Join members of the Proving Grounds team on Sunday nights (9EST) for a friendly tour through various Proving Grounds installations organized through a Condor Club soaring competition.
The Condor soaring simulator is an incredible tool to help introduce XC soaring and task flying to pilots interested in flying tasks in real gliders. It’s an effective way to gain comfort with a flight computer – setup, task definition, and use in flight.
The Proving Grounds team is pleased to announce an agreement with the Soaring Society of America to support the adoption of the task flying and automated scoring platform to interested SSA chapters and commercial operators across America.
The Proving Grounds is an automated task scoring platform specifically designed with the recently solo or novice pilot in mind. Chapters configure 3 tasks from a local task around the home airfield (keeping the pilot within gliding range at all times), a task which requires a few climbs beyond final glide, then a sufficiently challenging ~100 sm task that includes a leg to satisfy FAI Silver. Or, another combination that makes sense for their operation – of course.
Times are recorded on magnetic strips of ‘whiteboard’ material and applied to beautiful stainless steel trophy boards – arranged from fastest to slowest by handicapped average speed. To confirm success and identify the speed, pilots simply email their .igc trace to the scoring bot for the club which will process the file against the tasks and reply with the result within 30 seconds.
Once configured, the platform requires only encouragement from tenured members – evaluation is automatic and scoring is do-it-yourself by the pilots. Overburdened senior members might mentor, shepherd, or cheerlead, but this should not to increase their workload!
SSA’s Growth and Retention Committee identified the value the Proving Grounds platform offers chapters as a ‘turn-key’, low administration solution to help support the transition of glider pilots to soaring pilots. The SSA has allocated funds to support a limited number of chapters to adopt the platform and will reimburse costs associated with configuration and shipping for any chapter that commits to the platform for three years ($35USD/year * 3-years = $105).
The Proving Grounds team would like to express sincere thanks to the SSA, and to interested chapters for their support of this platform, designed to strengthen the sport, the organization, and participating pilots.
Thank you to the SSA for supporting the sport of soaring and the chapters who make the theory of flight real across America!
Creating a safe and sustainable XC culture takes more than the Proving Grounds, but it helps.
Of course, Proving Grounds provides an easy to administer, strategic development path for pilots interested in flying XC to identify the steps toward success and confidence. Confidence both for the pilot and for the club – especially if at least the first few flights away from home will be completed in club aircraft.
I’m in a DG-1000S, outside of gliding range to the home field for the first time, I’m getting low, but I’m with the club CFI and XC virtuoso Chris Gough. All of my brainpower is consumed to make decisions based on very little experience in this situation, but I’m working through the issues and figuring it out with expert guidance.