While we were all hoping that “life would be normal” by this fall, COVID-Delta has had other plans for us. While I believe most of our members have been vaccinated, we must be diligent. I am sorry to announce that we have canceled Neighbors day for this Year. Many instructors are now asking students to mask up while in the glider. We should limit congregating around the OPs desk and groups in the Club House. We are recommending all AOFs be conducted with masks by both the pilot and the passenger. Have the discussion with your instructor/student/passenger.
We are considering an end of season party. Likely the end of October beginning of November, maybe November 6th, same day as the Fall meeting. We will sweep out the hanger and set up tables.
AOFs – Aeronautical Orientation Flights. As of right now we are no longer selling “Mile High” AOFs. While it sounds cool and has been a good seller it brings with it several problems: It takes much longer to climb to 6000′, thus making the tow plane and glider unavailable for member flights. We will, of course, honor any Mile High gift certificates we have sold. But no more “Mile High AOF” will be sold.
During Encampment we had six additional campers on site. Owners of semi-permanent campers shared their water and electric hookups. There was much evening camaraderie and we were able to get an early start on the day’s flying. It is clear we need better facilities to support activities like this: More cleared camper spots, better use of the existing spots, showers, change rooms and perhaps water and electric hooks up for campers. We need to work on this in the coming year. It will take some effort there are many details to work out. But we need to upgrade our facilities.
I’m sure many of you have experienced the bumps and dips on RW24 when taking off. (Ok, some would say ski ramp!) This is beyond what the Big Roller can handle. So, we are looking for bids to have the runway graded. The idea is to have the land graded in late October or November, plant winter wheat hope to be back in service by the spring.
The Duo Discus is back. And with that the ongoing discussion of how to store it. On the one hand, it is better protected if it is disassembled and stored in it’s trailer. On the other hand, history has shown it get flown more, a lot more, if it is kept assembled and stored in the hanger. For now we will try keeping it in the hanger. Wolfgang has ordered a new canopy cover. The canopy MUST be cleaned each time before it is put in the hanger and the new cover installed. We must be very diligent about anything that could fall on the aircraft. And we must be very carful about moving all gliders in and out of the hanger. Yes, we can fit all four Grob 103s and the Duo Discs in the Hanger, but it takes time and a bit of skill. There should be at least three people, including at least one experienced person to move any glider. If you are not conformable moving an aircraft, GET HELP!
PGC has a unfortunate tradition of holding dues constant until it becomes critical we need an increase. We have been hit with insurance increases in the past two years. We were able to manage the increase last year by taking several aircraft off insurance to match the fleet to the reduced flight activity due to COVID and this year we changed insurance carriers. This year, due to COVID, we adopted a minimalist budget to try to preserve cash. This has worked, but we can not operate on a minimalist budget continuously. The BoD is working on a mult-year budget so we can better plan for facilities upgrades, fuel purchases, and tree trimming. The BoD has decided to ask the membership to approve a dues increase at the Fall membership meeting. Our last dues increase was approved in 2018 for the 2019 year. We are going to propose a ten percent increase for 2022 and a three percent each year for the three years after that. (don’t shoot the messenger.)
Fall membership meeting is scheduled for November 6th at Calvery Church. We are keeping an eye on COVID if we need to switch to Zoom, we will let you know.