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Support

The Proving Grounds team is thankful for financial support to extend the Proving Grounds platform to all interested Soaring Association of Canada clubs. Both the Alberta Soaring Council, and the Soaring Association of Canada provided seed support to solve technical challenges required to scale, and the Soaring Association of Canada will provide full support to set up and secure Proving Grounds access for years to come.

For interested Canadian gliding clubs, feel free to complete this onboarding form and submit to the included email address. A kit (task board, task slips, task sheets, and miscellaneous items) will be shipped to the address provided and SAC will be billed for the setup and at least the first 3 seasons of subscription fees ($50CAD/year + GST).

Thank you to SAC and ASC for supporting Canadian soaring development!

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Canada, Club Instances

The Lethbridge Soaring Club (LSC) is made up of a dedicated group of enthusiastic aviators operating from the legendary Cowley Gliderstrip, known as ‘Canada’s Diamond Mine’. The Cowley airstrip has a storied history and sits a couple of dozen km east of the Livingstone Range, a 35 km north/south knife-edge ridgeline that creates tremendous wave opportunities recognized with special airspace allowing gliders to FL280 (and above with clearance). With an east wind, the Livingstone Range provides thrilling ridge soaring opportunities.

There are also fantastic thermal soaring opportunities out into the Prairies, down to the US border and through the eastern ranges of Canada’s majestic Rocky Mountains.

Join pilots at the semi-annual ‘Cowley Camps‘ – the 10 days into the Heritage Holiday Weekend (early August), and the 10 days into Canadian Thanksgiving. This should be a requisite pilgrimage of all Canadian gliding pilots – to honor and celebrate the hard work and sacrifice of the pilots who worked to create the ‘Cowley block’ and continue to set records in Canada for altitude and distance.

The LSC Proving Grounds is made up of 3 triangles that build on each other – 73, 115, 166km out into the Prairies.

Come and fly at Cowley, primarily a winch site (other than during aforementioned camps), and regularly offering tremendous flying opportunities.

LSC Proving Grounds Task Sheet

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Canada, Club Instances

The Edmonton Soaring Club (ESC) operates off of a grass strip near the town of Chipman, Alberta, northeast of the city of Edmonton.

ESC is an innovative club with a number of tremendous programs to develop pilots, especially youth – the host of the oversubscribed ‘Western Canada Youth Development Camp’. Leaders at ESC liked the idea of a program to support XC pilot development, especially one that can stand the test of time, and requires little to no management by members with too much management obligation as it is.

ESC uses 3 triangle tasks that build on each other to define their Proving Grounds using the club as a start/finish point and 3 distinct turnpoints per task.


ESC Proving Grounds Task Sheet (March 2020)

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Canada, Club Instances

The Cu Nim Proving Ground is where the scoring platform began. Inspired by the MayFly gliding contest held for decades at the Gatineau Gliding Club, Cu Nim looked to establish static tasks to create a common language of flying for novice pilots – tasks with names, vs a list of turnpoints.

Duly inspired by the time rankings used by the BBC program Top Gear, the club posted 3 task boards with magnetic strips to record and reorder top times per task as they were flown.

Through the 2018 flying season, this framework was turned into a Python bot that would test an .igc file against the defined tasks and return the time for a successful task flown, and with that a scalable platform with these shared benefits became available to all gliding clubs with similar challenges – how to develop soaring pilots from solo pilots.

Synthesizing feedback from SOSA, the bot was updated to include the ‘Racetrack’ task variant since even the smallest task originally required distance from the field that required a FAI Silver leg to have been flown, and the goals of the Proving Grounds are to build pilots into XC pilots, so it cannot be a prerequisite.

The Cu Nim Proving Grounds includes a racetrack bound by airspace limitations to the north and two triangles to the SE where many of the best thermal flights from the club launch toward, making pilots comfortable with the first leg into the open prairies.

Come to Black Diamond, Alberta and see if your best task time is fast enough to make the Task Board!

Cu Nim Proving Grounds Task Sheet (March 2020)

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