Event with Louisville Soaring Club & Central Indiana Soaring Society

From: Greg Schoettmer <su.remtteohcsnull@gerg>
Date: Tue, Apr 29, 2014 at 2:12 PM
Subject: Louisville Soaring Club/Madison, IN Weekend
To: moc.liamgnull@fretnyap

     It was good to talk to you at lunchtime yesterday, albeit brief. Things got busy yesterday afternoon/evening and I didn’t get home until late, just in time to see the last few minutes of the Blue Jackets’ loss to Pittsburgh. Not what I had hoped for! Anyway, it was too late to start a long e-mail.
     To get back to what i mentioned on the phone, I’m a member of the Louisville Soaring Club (LSC) and we’re planning a weekend of soaring in Madison, IN over the 4th of July weekend. We would like to do it in conjunction with the Central Indiana Soaring Society (CISS) and Caesars Creek Soaring Club (CCSC). There’s a lot of potential here as well as some history. I don’t want to take too much of your time or oversell this but I do want to let you know the background of why we’re pursuing this.
     Several years ago we joined with the CISS for a weekend of soaring at Lee Bottom Field, a privately owned field about 10 miles south of Madison, IN along the Indiana side of the Ohio river. Each club sent a tow plane, a 2 seater and as many private gliders as wanted to come. There was soaring, barbecuing, camping, plenty to drink (after flying!) and swapping of club procedures that benefited each club. It was a great experience for all with positive feedback galore. We want to do it again but this time we’d like to have the CCSC be a part of it.
     This trip we want to make two significant changes: 1) We plan to use the Madison, IN airport (KIMS) as our primary base, not Lee Bottom field, We could check into the availability of Lee Bottom if necessary, it’s just an option 2) We would like to do it on the weekend that Madison has their “Regatta Weekend,” a weekend of jet boat races on the Ohio river. That would be a weekend with a lot for everyone to do and enjoy (details of the Regatta below).
     It’s also a great opportunity for us in that there is significant media coverage of the Regatta and if sailplanes are flying around we could piggyback on the publicity! The newspapers from Louisville, Indianapolis and Cincinnati are typically there. The airport will have some helicopter traffic as the TV stations’ reporters/cameramen fly in and out. Maybe we could offer the media a ride for a story on the 6 o’clock news?! I hope to take advantage of every aspect of this. The SSA magazine will get an article submitted from this effort!
     Our club has committed to this effort and we’ve contacted the CISS about the plan. Their representative was positive about it and needed to run the idea through their Board. We expect their answer (approval) shortly. We would love for the CCSC to also join in for a great weekend.
     We’re very flexible on the plan but the gist is that arrivals to KIMS would begin on Friday, July 4. The speedboat time trials are typically Friday and Saturday with the actual racing on Sunday of the weekend. For that reason, we hope to have sailplanes in the air Friday – Sunday for sure. We would need the tow planes and trainers to stay for the weekend to support the effort. Obviously, private gliders could come and go as their preferences dictated. They could fly in and out, come for a day or all weekend. Redeployment would be Monday, July 7.
     That’s the big picture/Reader’s Digest version. Obviously there are a lot of logistics/details that need to be coordinated but all very doable. I’ve begun that task and would like to get a point of contact from each club to assist/coordinate.
Here’s some additional information/details that are just FYI:
     If you’ve never been to the Madison Regatta or seen the speedboats, it’s kind of like an Indy 500 on water. Here are the Regatta’s web pages for reference and some PICs:
     If you’ve never been to Madison, it’s a small, river town with a long main street of small shops. Lots of knick knack and antique shops. They have many restaurants & wineries in town that will be open for business. For the Regatta, they block off the riverfront from auto traffic and have numerous vendors and booths; it’s like a carnival. Bands are scheduled throughout the day/evening. There will be plenty to do if one wants to take a break from the airport. This is far and away the biggest event in Madison each year.
     The Madison airport (KIMS) has 5000’ of paved runway, a grass strip next to the paved runway, almost no traffic, runways 3/21. I did call the airport manager for a general discussion and he was very, very interested in having us.
In summary:
By putting this together, we would have a weekend where we could:
1) Fly from a different field. That forces us all to get back to basics and actually plan what we want to do that day, not just show up at the same place and take everything for granted in our comfort zone. For the new kids it would be a tremendous learning experience, from the effort to move airplanes to KIMS, to flight planning, airspace considerations to pattern work without the usual ground references, etc. etc. For the old heads it’s the same! Good to do every so often!
2) We would be working with 3 glider clubs. That would certainly generate discussions and we could share methods and policies, the best of which we could bring home and implement. And oh, we’’ll probably all HAVE to drink a few beers and swap flying stories – I just hate it when that happens….
3) Over the weekend anyone could fly or take a break to go down to the river to watch the boat races, visit the wineries, shop, etc.
4) Advertise soaring and our clubs.

     So, that’s a top level view of an opportunity. That’s roughly 2 months away but from a planning perspective it’s tomorrow. Everyone involved is a volunteer with a real life outside of soaring so work gets done on a part time basis. Weeks seem to fly by in an environment like this so I’m anxious to get started on the planning effort ASAP.
    Please let me know if CCSC would like to participate and we’ll get a move on. My cell is (502) 435-2045.