Training for Aspiring Sailplane Pilots The club provides individualized training for those who wanting to become a competent RC (radio control) Sailplane Pilot.
The club maintains a list of instructors that will facilitate flight training. Some of the instructors listed focus on a certain aspect of flight instruction or flying formats. Basically there are three launching formats, Hand Launch, Winch Launch and Electric Launch. There are subsets of competition formed around these launch methods but for learning one only has to pick one he or she is comfortable with for both cost and complexity.
The aspiring sailplane pilot can receive up to three (3) hours of free instruction without the requirement of club membership. For instruction to continue, then the student pilot will be required to provide proof of membership in the AMA (Academy of Model Aeronautics - https://www.modelaircraft.org) and will be required to join the GDSHS club.
The aspiring pilot simply needs to contact Ned Burdick (See list of officers on this web site). Once an assessment is made of what training is necessary, the student pilot will be matched to the appropriate instructor(s) and they will arrange to meet on a mutually acceptable day and time at the club flying field. The instruction will be one-on-one between the pilot and instructor. On a given day, flight instruction will last for one hour or for a mutually agreed upon time between the pilot and instructor. Weather can be a factor so there needs to be flexibility for scheduling flight training.
The new pilot must provide their own sailplane and radio. Prior to flight instruction, there will be a thorough evaluation of the student’s sailplane and radio setup to ensure that the sailplane is air worthy. As part of the process, the flight instructor will inspect all control surfaces to ensure they are properly set both mechanically and through the radio setup.
The focus of our training is always on safety. Safety of the people on the flying field first and foremost and safety of the equipment.
If you are interested in learning to fly RC Sailplanes but have not yet purchased a sailplane or radio, please contact us for suggestions based upon your interests.
During the flying season (May - September), on Wednesdays, we are generally at the field from mid-day on. Some of the club members are retired (affectionately known as the “old retired farts - ORF’s), and Wednesday is the designated day to fly - and again, weather permitting. This is a good time to see what the hobby of RC Sailplanes is all about. The ORF’s area friendly group and will gladly answer any questions that you may have. This is also a good time to visit the field as you will generally see multiple launching formats and practice for some of the competition events (DLG, ALES, TALES, and Thermal Duration using a Winch/High Start).
The GDSHS is also a competitive club and hosts a series of Soaring Contests in a variety of contest formats. Check the contest schedule listed on the website and come out and watch. We have club members that are either current or past National Champions in the various contest formats. Consequently, if you show up on contest day, you will have the opportunity to see some of the best pilots in the country compete. In order to get an advanced knowledge on how these pilots compete, the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) rule book for soaring contests is at https://www.modelaircraft.org/sites/default/files/RCSoaring%202019-2020.pdf
Of course not all members are into competition flying and there are many who just fly for the fun of it as it really is a relaxing and educational pastime.
Field Location: The field is located in the Addison Oaks County park on 32 Mile Rd. about 3 miles west of Rochester Road.
Once inside the park you must have a park pass and you get one at the booth at the normal park entrance (right turn just inside the entrance off of 32 MileRd). Once you get a pass ask for directions to the flying field.
If you have a pass, continue straight after exiting 32 Mile Rd. and go past the first stop sign and little Sheriff's station to the Convention Center- go through the parking lot to the fence and gate at the end of the parking lot and enter the restricted area. Turn right just past the gate and follow that road back to the field- once there follow the path to where people are parked. If the winches and people are flying, wait at the bottom of the hill for a signal to go into the parking area. (See map to the field link below)
All this is less complicated than it sounds, just keep an eye out for flyers and planes and use common sense.
Founded in 1969 AMA Chartered Club #357
OVER 50 YEARS OF FLYING FUN
Outdoor Activities: Club Contests:
Club Contests are held the first Sunday of the month depending upon weather and is a great venue to improve one’s flying skill, bond with fellow pilots and have fun. The club contests are low key but still competitive for those that need that sort of thing, We hold WLS (Winch Launched Sailplanes) combined with ALES (Altitude Limited Electric Sailplanes), DLG contest and now a new format contest called TALES. TALES is exciting and fun and information can be seen at TALES EVENT RULES and you can see the contest schedule HERE. - NOTES: On WLS/ALES contest days, planes will compete using these GUIDELINES. We encourage beginning pilots to participate in these contests as it the best way to improve skills quickly and the accomplished pilots will be there to help the beginner along. Although these are "Club Contests", we allow anyone to fly in them if they are AMA members and have approval to fly by the CD for that day but their score will not be included in the club standing calculations. We have a yearly club championship that is determined by rules shown on CLUB CONTEST STANDING CALCULATIONS.
In the winter, generally from November to April, we fly at the Ultimate Soccer Arena in Pontiac on South Boulevard just west of Opdyke. We can fly planes and helis under 20 oz, there is ample room for sport and 3D foamies as well as micro flyers.
Mission and Format: We are a model sailplane club that includes competition and sport flyers and our mission is to foster the skill level of all flyers through individual training as well as participation in club events and major contests.
The format of the club is low key fellowship with a nice place to gather and fly .
Club Meetings: We do not have regular club meetings as of September 2017 but have Executive Board meetings once a month. If anyone is interested in joing the meeting or has an item that needs to be put on the agenda, please contact one of the officers for instructions on attending. It is the policy of the club that anyone is invited and welcome to the Board Meetings. We have two open club meetings a year, one mid-summer and the other being the annual holiday party (normally the first week of December). Location of the meetings will be announced on the club forum on "Gmail Groups Forum" but can be found by contacting one of the officers.
Support of Charities: The club is involved in: The "Toys for Tots" campaign that we donate to as a club from our treasury plus the total proceeds of our yearly major DLG contest. The club members also participate in the Skymasters Christmas activity at the Ultimate Soccer Arena where a fund raiser is held each year for a local charitiable organization (the organization varies from year to year.
Why the name?
In the beginning there were no retrievers for the winch launched or bungie launched sailplanes launching lines, so if you wanted to SOAR, you had to HIKE to get the launching line.
Click the Google Icon to get to a map to the field