This is the home for everything related to Cherokee II Sailplanes. Email me at if you have anything to add.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday at the Wichita Vintage Rally

Well the rally ended today and as far as I could tell everyone who attended had a great time. The soaring weather today, once again, was not too fantastic but it didn't stop many of us from flying. First I must mention a few flights that I missed yesterday. One is that John Wells flew Richard Kirkland's 17 Meter Slingsby Dart. This was the first flight of this plane since the late 1980's and after some pretty extensive inspection work done to comply with the spar AD on this type. John used to be a part owner in this Dart and said that it flew just as wonderfully as the last time he flew it, nearly 30 years ago. Also, at least one flight was made yesterday by Neal Pfeiffer's Ka-2b which has been a regular flyer at the rally here, giving rides to vintage pilots.

Today we started out the morning with Matt, Cory, Pete, and I cutting down 3 dead birch trees in my yard. We arrived at the gliderport about Noon and concocted a plan. Matt & Cory were headed back to Iowa in the 150 so I planned to fly the NG-1 and Pete once again flew YYY. Other flights today included Dave Schuur and Jim Short in the MG-23, John McMasters in his Grob Std. Astir, Matt Gonitzke & Charles Pate in the WSA Ka-6CR, Neal Pfeiffer in his Ka-6BR, as well as flights made by the local Grob 103 and Neal's Ka-2b. Duration of over an hour was a pretty good flight, most were less I think.

The primary task as the afternoon wore on was de-rigging gliders. I had a handful with the Cirrus, NG-1, and Cherokee. I also helped Rafael get his Salto back in the trailer. We had a great time visiting with everyone who came up for the rally, we had a really strong out of town presence this year that was very nice. I'll be spending most of the week re-arranging trailers back to their rightful spots and generally recovering from the rally.

Leah and I are the new VSA T-Shirt mongers so if you're looking for new threads featuring your favorite vintage sailplane let me know. Nothing featuring the Cherokee II...yet.

I'll try to get some pictures from the rally up in the next few days.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Saturday at the Wichita Vintage Rally

Well we had another great day here in Wichita. A few new arrivals today as Scott Williams arrived from Oklahoma City, sans his SHK, Matt Michael & his friend Cory flew down from Iowa in Matt's 150, Rafael brought out his Salto with its nice new canopy and Steve Leonard arrived to display his ASW-12 which was quite the attraction to those ground-bound.

The morning started out with some presentations including Jim Short talking about the glider operations at Soaring 100, Matt Gonitzke showed some slides of his Std. Austria restoration, Neal Pfeiffer discussed operations at the gliderport and some specifics for us to avoid the airshow traffic down at McConnell Air Force Base today, and Harry Clayton finished up with a discussion about some repairs he's been working on.

Flying was slow to start with some high cirrus overhead not being too encouraging. Jim Short launched first in his new-to-him MG-23 and got a good flight in of over 2 hrs I'm sure. Chad Wille flew John Hardy's Ka-8, Matt Gonitzke flew the WSA Ka-6, I flew the Std. Cirrus, Pete VonTresckow flew my Cherokee II (YYY) and Matt Michael launched in my NG-1. Some fell out immediately and others had good soaring flights. I made it to 4500 MSL and got in just over an hour. Matt M and I had a lot of fun thermalling together. There were also flights made by the local clubs Grob and Lark and maybe a few others that I didn't notice.

Those of us who managed to stay up for a bit got a chance to see the airshow going on down at McConnell. I saw the Thunderbirds a few times doing their passes and otherwise a whole lot of smoke.

Harry & Sue organized the cookout tonight with some venison burgers supplied by Bob Holiday taken from the airport. Everyone had a great time and we enjoyed watching a bunch of old and new glider videos.

More tomorrow, hopefully Dr. Jack is wrong and we can get some better conditions.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday at the Wichita Vintage Rally

Well we had a great day today here in Wichita. Most gliders arrived yesterday and about 25-30 people attended the cookout we had here at the Condon house last night which was a lot of fun and a great way to open the Rally. This morning we awoke to 200 foot ceilings and fog but I pulled the Std. Cirrus out to the gliderport where Hank Claybourn helped me rig. Hank and I were planning to do his flight review in the morning, once the clouds lifted.

The main task for the day was rigging and by 3 PM we had the Cirrus and the Cherokee II assembled, Richard Kirlkland and John Wells had assembled the 17 meter Dart, Matt Gonitzke and Pete had gotten the WSA Ka-6CR from Sunflower and rigged it, Jim Short's new-to-him MG-23 was together and John Hardy had arrived and rigged his Ka-8. Hank and I finally launched shortly before 3 on his flight review. Cloud base was low but there was lift EVERYWHERE, especially on our second flight. We were running at 70 mph on NE/SW lines for about 4 miles each direction and not losing altitude. It was great fun! John Hardy launched in the Ka-8 to join us and Neal Pfeiffer flew his award-winning Ka-2b with a passenger, Dave Ochsner I think.

Right after Hank and I landed I started quickly getting YYY ready to launch about the time it started sprinkling, which literally washed John & Neal out of the sky. All the gliders got a nice bath too, at least all that were sitting outside. The rain lasted for about 30 minutes which was long enough for me to decide not to fly after all, and we managed to squeeze everything in the hangar. Dinner was a local mexican place and lots of fun was had by all.

There are a lot of people here just visiting, without gliders, which really reinforces the always strong social aspect to a vintage glider meet. Lee & Dave from Lawrenceville drove over with Jim Short, Chad Wille is down from Iowa, Mike Weatherford & Hank Claybourn & Jim Duea & Steve Hard are all visiting from Oklahoma. Mike passed his Commercial Glider checkride last night, congrats to him!

Last I looked the soaring forecast is looking good for tomorrow and we'll have a few more attendees and a few more gliders too. I'll try to get a report up in the evening, I'm sure there will be some attempts for those coveted VSA coins to report.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Picture of N72DG

Dean Gradwell sent along this awesome picture of N72DG turning final at Montague. He'll be hosting a vintage/classic rally there over 4th of July weekend next year and it should be a good time. Not sure if I'll be able to make it but hopefully I can take YYY. We'll have to see.

Plans are coming together nicely for the vintage rally here in Wichita. Matt & I have been working nightly on his Std. Austria and the wings should be painted and all the parts will be assembled in time to be on display for the rally. YYY will be there flying as well as the NG-1. We're also expecting a couple 1-26's and some other vintage and classic gliders. I'll be posting updates here!