Club update July 31st

General Club Information in the last 180 days - Posts open to Club members only
Dave Bax
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:53 am

Club update July 31st

Post by Dave Bax »

The highlight of the last couple of weeks was our first club dinner for sometime. Put on by John and Tracey Brake, simple fare of sausages BUT great, large tasty sausage in three flavors! Thanks also to Jacqueline Wood for providing a variety of additional potato and pasta salads and so forth. Music provided by John Craig, supported by the partner of Luis Rodriguez.

During the evening, the opportunity was taken to remember Walter Chmela, founder of the club, who passed away quietly earlier this month (July 10th).
Paul Moggach spoke not only to important milestones and achievements in Walters life but also to Paul's personal interactions with Walter over the years, both informative and humorous. To round off the celebration of his life, Walter was given a final toast with whisky provided by Paul Chalifour.

In the last week or two much work has been going on.

You may have noticed the runway grass being somewhat longer then usual. Not due to any slacking by the runway grass cutting crew (primarily Tom and Doug) but due to our major tractor being held up at the repair shop. Happily this returned to us on this Friday and we can look forward to well maintained runways again.

The proposed Xplornet mast, planned to be sited approximately opposite the old bullring entrance, has been challenged in various ways and certainly including following the proscribed procedure for objecting. Additionally, we have recently contacted the farmer owning the property concerned and, it would appear, he is quite amiable to cooperating with us to relocate the tower somewhat to the East. Whether this will work out with Xplornet remains to be seen. We will be seeking meetings with both the farmer and Xplornet in the very near future. This task is being attended to by Paul Moggach, Tim Wood and myself.

The planning committee has drawn up a list of projects that need to be addressed in the near future. A general aim of the committee is to improve the infrastructure to appeal more to current and future members. Further, to choose maintenance options that are more rigid than the previous approach of just-in-time make-do with minimal cost. Whilst the Board are awaiting a final report, such that the Board may accept, deny or modify certain project proposals, the clubhouse septic system was seen as in need of immediate attention/solution. The Board concurred. The current chair of the committee is Keith Laidlaw.

The Board have chosen to abandon the clubhouse septic because it is no longer viable to simply empty the tanks, it leaks, and is therefore toxic. Apart from being unethical to continue to pollute the grounds nearby, the club would be put at risk if an environment officer came across it, the days of patching over and making do are past. A holding tank is not a legal option for a site where the public attend. The choice to run a pipe from the clubhouse to the new septic tank near the workshop leverages the money put into the new septic 2 years ago and is the most economically sustainable solution (approx $11,000). We are additionally taking advantage of the ditch being dug for the sewage pipe, to run a fiberoptic cable from the clubhouse computer room to the workshop (from where it will either be extended to the campground or a repeater station will be placed).
The ditch will be dug, and the sewage connections and pump station will be provided by the contractor Billings. The lead on the septic is Stan Martin and for the fiberoptic project Paul Moggach. The work will commence first week of August.

Last week John Craig, assisted by Tom Fraser, installed yellow wooden strips to the deck between the club house and the shack, according to code, wherever there was a change in level, as an aid to safety. Additional work in leveling some parts of the deck took place. Consideration is being given to the placement of benches or rails to further prevent anyone falling/tripping on/off the deck.

EKV, as previously noted, is ready to return to the air when needed. meanwhile Paul Chalifour continues his fabric work, saving us considerable expense.

Rob volunteered to drive the 1-34 tailplane/elevators down to US for repair, thanks.

Tim Wood has been working at improving the signage opposite the workshop.

Tracey has stepped down from the Board, for personal reasons (no discontent with Board resolutions). Tracey will continue to manage the campground, reporting to the board via Stan. She will also continue to run the social activities, reporting to myself. However, Tracey has dropped Soar Tales and Youth management.

Soar Tales: we need a member to step forward and run this. Current policy is to email to all members whenever there is a need. The new editor may take the same approach or make it definitively regular. The Board resolved sometime ago that the Forum (that you are reading now) shall be the prime means of communicating to the members. You have read access to the discussions (as does the public), if you wish to post responses or start new topics then you need to logon. If you do not have a logon/password, contact John Brake (this season only). If we have an important or urgent topic to make all members aware of, we shall use both the Forum and email (e.g. for AGM procedures). The Soar Tales editor may fully rely on the support of Sarah ( for compilation, sending out etc. Editor job is primarily to find/solicit/edit content and determine when to send out.

Youth: we need a member to manage Youth issues. Duty of care to those under 21, interacting with government for grants, potentially young office workers and associated paperwork. Aviation wise, possibly interactions with others and the cadet movement in the planning, post covid, of courses or other support to cadets and local youth.

John Brake will continue as the primary Covid officer/advisor for the rest of the season. please support his decisions.

The Office: since I now live farther away, I am likely to be at the club only 3 to 5 days primarily weekdays. I have found a 14 year old girl and 14 year old boy who will be coming up first week of August to se if they like/can manage the flight recording and computer. Please take particular care to be polite and welcoming to them. Out of necessity they will need to bother you by asking names/account numbers in the first days. They have no aviation history, there interest in gliding is unknown. Please do not fly them while they work and not without specific parental/guardian signatures for each flight. They will work alone or together on random days/random hours for now. Any club member(s) wishing to volunteer to help run the office are welcome to contact me.

Credit card/Debit card machine. This device is now discontinued, cost way too much per month for little reason. eTransfer is till the preferred method of member payments. Next season, w will have the so called "square" method of payments for intro's.

Flights this year: over 400 launches, a lot of both K21 and 2-33 training on-going. Flying membership now 56, with at least one more to join next week.
Dave Bax
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:53 am

Re: Club update July 31st

Post by Dave Bax »


Tiresome weather, but, matching our priority concern to maintain/improve membership levels: we have continued to receive several new sign-ups this month, both trainees and late returning old members. As of today, we are 50 flying members and 12 social members. Unfortunately turnout during the week, on some very interesting flying days, has been rather minimal. But thanks to Tom and Paul those turning up needing instruction got their tows and training.

Your Board is working on a few urgent items. The very latest being, as you may have seen on page 36 of the Wellington Advertiser, a threat in the form of a proposed new Xplorenet tower, on Sideroad 5, 45m high and a little over 500m from our field. Certainly a significant encumbrance if allowed to happen and impacting, as a minimum, the approaches to 30 and 32.

Another urgent activity is the re-establishment of proper septic facilities for the clubhouse. Highlighted by the planning committee for immediate action, the Board have opted for capitalizing on the use of the new septic installed a couple of years ago, by running an underground pipe from the clubhouse, descending to the septic tank and being pumped up. Project led by Stan, with contract Billings developing the final design and installing.

As additional proactive planning (for the near future), a further use of the trench to be dug will be the laying of a conduit for cables, for example carrying internet to at least the workshop. Project led by Paul Moggach.

For whatever reason, on good flying days at the weekends, it has proved largely impossible to maintain the integrity of the white card system. With efforts by a couple of Board members, the white card data has been (we believed) correctly established with minimum loss. However, the way forward is now to experiment (with a view to permanency) by replacing the white card recording with a launch point flight list (similar data to the white cards, but significantly reduced effort to maintain). Ideally a pilot will fill in the sheet at the launch point, if not a designated recorder will be expected to add that data. Then the recorder/wingrunner will of course be expected to add the take off time. On landing, the pilot should check the recorder has entered an appropriate landing time. Please make best effort to make this work, or we will be heading to a scenario with NO FLYING UNTIL A LINE-CHIEF/RECORDER put in place. Thanks to Paul Chalifour for initially promoting this idea.

Most of the tractors are receiving urgent care, either on or off-site, thanks Stan for organizing. Runway grass cutting is therefore a problem. Thanks to Doug for doing his best to ensure at least some safe path for tow planes to take off. Thanks to others, e.g. Cole, supporting him.

LTX remains are only tow plane insured for air. EKV has had its annual, and will insured (less than one working days notice) if/when necessary for air.

Finally, please note the announcement of camp-site club dinner Saturday 24th, hosted by Tracey. A good time to meet up (socially distanced) some of the new members.
Dave Bax
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:53 am

Re: Club update July 31st

Post by Dave Bax »

Previously from July 1st

It has been a difficult couple of weeks with the weather, some great days spoilt by high winds and rain showers to say nothing of the odd thunderstorms.

However, several flights have taken place. thanks in no small part to the regulars supporting mid-week operations and a good turnout of tow pilots. Welcome to the small, but ever growing week on week, number of new members (hope some/all of you can make the camp ground dinner on 24th July for meet and greet). We are making sure they can all fly when they turn up, weather permitting.

Now more than 230 flights this year, so far.

A land out, a week ago, resulted in a damaged 1-34 (primarily tail plane/elevator) but no injury to the pilot. The aircraft will not be flyable in the near future, but we do have the other 1-34 (QPR) insured to fly. Damaged QJZ is in its trailer, but no extra space in hangar because currently EKV is at the back of the main hangar such that Paul Lamont may complete its annual over the course of a week or so.

Paul Moggach, more visible and active in the club recently (after stepping back last year), in addition to towing has kindly taken on the role of responsibilities associated with runways, taxiways, tie-down and maneuvering areas (maintenance and planning). Stan Martin will continue with responsibility for the rest of the property (buildings, paths, water, hydro, septic, physical aspects of the campground, signage). Stan, as a director, will report to the Board (as usual) on all aspects of the property, but Paul and Stan have distinctly different areas of responsibility and will establish their own teams for support.

The planning committee meet next week, the Board meet the week after. If any member has issues they would like raised with the Board, preferably discuss first with Board the member most closely associated with your issue, but otherwise send an email to the office for consideration of putting on the agenda (

Hopefully the weather will improve from this weekend on.
Dave Bax
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:53 am

Re: Club update July 31st

Post by Dave Bax »

PREVIOUSLY from June 21st

It is my intention to keep the general membership more up-to-date with club planning and activity.

First, following a very tight election process earlier this month, thanks to all the very eligible candidates that participated. Special thanks to both Jim Fryett who left the Board after many years service to it, several as President and to Charles Petersen who has served on the Board in the past and stepped up to fill a vacancy last year and contributes to the club, and Canada soaring in general, in many other ways.

The new board agreed roles, detailed at the end of this message.

We are currently operating with 45 flying members, probably reaching close to 200 flights as of the weekend. These include five Youth Flight scholarship licensed students (K21), two ABinitio students (one choosing the K21, one choosing the 2-33 path) and also a returning licensed pilot who has recently re-solo'd on 2-33 and building P1 time.

The club is operating 7 days a week. Weekdays attendance is light, but there is always a tow pilot plus K21 and 2-33 instructors. The weekday operation is primarily looked after by Tom Fraser supported by Paul Chalifour and myself.

The club glider fleet is slightly restricted (2 tow planes and 6 twins not yet insured for air liability). However, if/when the demand is sufficient one or more of these will come on line. One of the Pawnees will be made ready to come on line with a days notice, in the event of problems with the scout or a consistently large turnout of members at weekends.

The board is actively following up and preparing to support various essential maintenance and safety projects. There is a 5 year planning committee working on (a) how to increase membership numbers (b) how we would like the club to look in 5+ years time and what projects need to be initiated before hand to achieve that goal.

The washrooms are all up and running now, the campground and other outdoor areas of the club can have up to 10 members assembled in the same area.

Intro flights for the public are not yet allowed.

Tow pilots: all checked out now, we have sufficient numbers to cover for the rest of the season (including the latest: Cole Bishop)

Flight cards: please ensure you submit a white card at the flight shack BEFORE flight. After your flight, please check/complete your flight card(s) before leaving.

Dave Bax (President +FAS/office support)
Tim Wood (Vice-President +Liaison with other clubs)
Keith Laidlaw (Treasurer +membership/marketing)
Doug Carman (Corporate Secretary +Director of Operations)
John Brake (Covid officer +Transport Canada liaison)
Wayne Hewison (CFI, Youth)
Stan Martin (Safety officer + Chairman Building/Paths/Signage/Water/hydro/tractor maintenance)
Rob Mccallum (Aircraft and other maintenance)

Additionally, not on the Board:
Tracey Brake (Campground + Social events)
Tom Fraser: Chief tow pilot
Tony Firmin: Chairman fleet committee.
Paul Moggach: Chairman runway planning/maintenance
Sarah Tengler: Secretary and FAS/office support