“It ain’t over ‘til its over”

Dear PGC Pilots- I have five separate things to talk to you about today. Please bear with me.

  1. “It ain’t over ‘til its over”- This is the last weekend with scheduled field managers, but that doesn’t mean that we will go into hibernation. As long as the field is clear of snow, and tow pilots are willing to fly, we will keep flying. I have been a member of PGC for 33 years. Some winters, the field has been covered with snow and we have had to shut down before Christmas. Other years we have been able to fly almost every weekend all winter. Keep an eye on the web site. If we have tow pilots signed up to tow on Saturdays and Sundays, we’ll be flying. Our instruction scheduling system will stay live, so feel free to sign up for instruction. And regardless of the temperature, it is a PGC tradition to take the first flight of the year on New Year’s Day.
  2. Daylight savings time has changed, and the sun is setting before 5:00 PM. For those of you with real jobs, that probably means that you can not join us on Wednesdays. But we have some tow pilots and instructors who are unencumbered by employment, and who are still happy to fly on Wednesday afternoons. We had a great time flying this Wednesday, with the last flight pushing sunset. I will continue to announce Wednesday flying every week.
  3. Winter Ground School- Student pilots need to prepare for the knowledge requirements to solo, for their FAA “Written” knowledge test and the oral portion of their Practical Test. Licensed pilots need to prepare for their Biennial Flight Reviews. We all need a refresher to stay sharp. Every winter PGC instructors present a ground school. We use to meet in the club house or church basements, but when the pandemic hit, we went virtual, and opened up our ground school to glider pilots from all over the country. This year we will be running our ground school on five or six Saturday mornings starting on January 28th. Attendance is open to all PGC members, anyone in the soaring community, and anyone who is interested in flying. Please mark your calendars and plan to participate. Details will be announced after Christmas.
  4. Flight Instructor Refresher Course (FIRC)- Student Pilot, Private Pilot, and Commercial Pilot certificates are good for the rest of your life, but Certified Flight Instructor Certificates expire after just two years. That’s because the FAA wants all instructors to stay up to date on the latest safety concerns, teaching techniques, and regulations. So PGC hosts an FAA sanctioned FIRC every two years. Not only does it get all of our instructors recertified, but it gets us all together in the same room, with instructors from other clubs and organizations, and even other disciplines (power instructors, instrument instructors, helicopter instructors) to discuss best practices and safety. For the last 6 years, our FIRCs have been presented by a company that is geared to power flight, but this year we have asked the Soaring Safety Foundation to run our FIRC so that it will be more glider oriented. The SSF will be bringing three presenters to run the course. All PGC flight instructors are expected to attend, and everyone else is welcome to join us. Are you a commercial pilot thinking about earning your instructor’s rating? Are you a private pilot or student pilot wanting to take a deeper dive into flight safety? Would you like to learn the instructor’s secret handshake, and understand what we are trying to teach you and why? Then please join us. The course will be held on Saturday February 11thand Sunday February 12th, so please mark your 2023 calendars. More details will follow.
  5. Finally, PGC can save $700 if we provide the meeting room for the FIRC. In the past, we have used hotel meeting rooms, company classrooms, a fire house, and a class room in a Quaker school. Since class runs Saturday and Sunday, we can not use a church basement. If you have access through work or school to a class room that would accommodate about 40 people at tables, for free or a reasonable price, please let me know.

Thank you all!

Phil Klauder