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Marc's Introduction and Proposal

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  • Marc Ramsey
    This is a forum to discuss the creation of a winch-launch only club in northern California/Nevada. I propose that the club should own and operate a winch,
    Message 1 of 13 , Aug 17, 2008
      This is a forum to discuss the creation of a winch-launch only club in
      northern California/Nevada. I propose that the club should own and
      operate a winch, with the primary intent of training pilots, drivers,
      and ground crew in safe winch launching practices. We would initially
      operate the winch in cooperation with an existing glider club or FBO.
      We would also own a suitable training glider. Eventually I'd like to
      see us lease or buy a strip of land close enough to the SF and
      surrounding areas that one could come out for an afternoon and take a
      launch or three.

      I believe this club will allow us to train new pilots at reduced cost,
      encourage young people to become involved, and add to the gliding
      opportunities close to the San Francisco. I think winch launching will
      inevitably spread to other sites in the area, and I'd like to make sure
      we begin with good practices. By having the club own the winch, we can
      also establish qualifications to launch with or drive the winch,
      insisting upon appropriate levels of training and currency.

      Safe operations would start by recruiting a core group of experienced
      instructors and individuals interested in learning how to operate the
      winch. They would undergo training at an existing winch launch site
      (here or in Europe), and return to draft a set of operating procedures
      and a training syllabus.

      Meanwhile, we'd specify and acquire a suitable winch. I would like to
      avoid attempting to rebuild an old Gehrlein or similar, I think it is
      necessary to make a clean break with the past. I suggest a modern
      single drum design, typically powered by a Chevy 454 or 502 V8. Under
      ideal conditions with little or no wind, launch heights are in the range
      of 40% of the available run (2000 ft off a 5000 ft runway). Typical
      launch rates would be 5 to 10 per hour. When that becomes limiting,
      ading a retrieve winch would allows launch rates of up to 20 per hour,
      at small penalty in height. At present I'm aware of winches in this
      category, Roman's Design http://www.romansdesign.com/ is working on one
      which I hope will be in the $50 to $60K range. Skylaunch
      http://www.skylaunchuk.com/ has already announced a similar winch, $75K
      delivered complete here, perhaps as low as $60K if we transplant key
      parts from a donor Chevy pickup.

      For a training glider, an ASK-21 is ideal, used ones are hard to find,
      new ones are expensive. I propose a decent Grob Twin II in the $50K
      range, with eventual hopes of upgrading to a 21 if revenue makes it
      possible.

      Yearly winch operating costs include insurance, and an oil and spark
      plug change each year ($300). The engine and transmission are
      off-the-shelf GM products, new and remanufactured parts are readily
      available and inexpensive. The drivetrain should be good for 10 years
      of use with proper maintenance. Cost of a remanufactured 502 and TH400
      is about $8000 at present, so perhaps $800/yr should be set aside for an
      eventual replacement. Yearly insurance and maintenance on the glider
      should be about $3000.

      I've put together a spreadsheet WinchClubCashFlow.xls which contains
      some initial guesses at club expenses and income. The assumptions are
      50 members at $250 yearly dues, and 2000 launches/year (average 50
      launches for 40 weekends yearly) at $12.50 fee/launch. This generates
      enough income to pay off a $125,000 loan in 10 years at 5% interest with
      a surplus of $7500 yearly that would go towards future equipment
      upgrades.
    • Marc Ramsey
      Dear Friends, We have an opportunity to really help the sport of soaring here in Northern California, by safely introducing an inexpensive, low noise, fuel
      Message 2 of 13 , Aug 24, 2008
        Dear Friends,

        We have an opportunity to really help the sport of soaring here in
        Northern California, by safely introducing an inexpensive, low noise,
        fuel efficient launch method. We could operate closer to population
        centers, as the noise footprint is much smaller. We'd get more
        pilots, as the training will be less expensive and closer to home.
        We'd get younger pilots, as a winch launch rivals an amusement park
        ride for excitement. Groups of kids, once trained, could show up
        after school and launch each other, no need to track down a tow pilot.
        We can truly advertise soaring as a vibrant, ecologically friendly,
        and exciting sport.

        The problem, of course, is getting started. we can start slowly, by
        buying a winch and operating at an existing site like Avenal. Perhaps
        later, buy a training glider. Later yet, find some land to lease or
        buy within easy reach of the Bay Area. Or, we could start bigger, and
        try to do it all at once. But, we need to start. I encourage all of
        you to express your opinions on how to make this happen.

        I am committed to making this happen, sooner rather than later, even
        if I have to build the winch myself. This shouldn't take than a month
        or two of discussion, then I'd like to take some action. As I
        indicated earlier, I'd like to be launching gliders next spring. If
        it doesn't work out, we'll be able to sell the winch, as others in the
        US are reaching these same conclusions. But, I honestly believe this
        will work out, as the benefits are just too obvious. Who else agrees?

        Marc
      • Mike Mayo
        I agree 100%. Mike Mayo
        Message 3 of 13 , Aug 24, 2008
          I agree 100%.
          Mike Mayo

          Marc Ramsey wrote:
          >
          > Dear Friends,
          >
          > We have an opportunity to really help the sport of soaring here in
          > Northern California, by safely introducing an inexpensive, low noise,
          > fuel efficient launch method. We could operate closer to population
          > centers, as the noise footprint is much smaller. We'd get more
          > pilots, as the training will be less expensive and closer to home.
          > We'd get younger pilots, as a winch launch rivals an amusement park
          > ride for excitement. Groups of kids, once trained, could show up
          > after school and launch each other, no need to track down a tow pilot.
          > We can truly advertise soaring as a vibrant, ecologically friendly,
          > and exciting sport.
          >
          > The problem, of course, is getting started. we can start slowly, by
          > buying a winch and operating at an existing site like Avenal. Perhaps
          > later, buy a training glider. Later yet, find some land to lease or
          > buy within easy reach of the Bay Area. Or, we could start bigger, and
          > try to do it all at once. But, we need to start. I encourage all of
          > you to express your opinions on how to make this happen.
          >
          > I am committed to making this happen, sooner rather than later, even
          > if I have to build the winch myself. This shouldn't take than a month
          > or two of discussion, then I'd like to take some action. As I
          > indicated earlier, I'd like to be launching gliders next spring. If
          > it doesn't work out, we'll be able to sell the winch, as others in the
          > US are reaching these same conclusions. But, I honestly believe this
          > will work out, as the benefits are just too obvious. Who else agrees?
          >
          > Marc
          >
          >
        • Bob Korves
          I agree. It is difficult for Marc to present a business plan without some idea of the level of support in the Norcal soaring community. It is also difficult
          Message 4 of 13 , Aug 24, 2008
            I agree.

            It is difficult for Marc to present a 'business' plan without some idea of
            the level of support in the Norcal soaring community. It is also difficult
            for people to support a project that is not well defined -- the classic
            chicken-or-egg conundrum.

            There are a lot of considerations -- procuring a winch, finding aircraft to
            use, finding a place to fly, insurance, demographics, instruction, and lots
            more. Choices must be made based on available assets and support.

            Perhaps it would be a good idea for us each to tell Marc, here or privately,
            our feelings of what level of commitment and support for this venture
            (financial, time, and/or expertise) we can each contribute. Marc can then
            get an idea of the level of resources available in the local soaring
            community and can choose the plan that will most likely be successful. This
            commitment need not be binding until the plan becomes further defined.

            I can personally pledge my time, expertise in the nuts and bolts of winch
            drive components, and perhaps some financial support. I am retired from
            active soaring and will not be a flying member of whatever organization is
            started. I will be able to help with maintenance, and in training for
            operation and care of the equipment. I have line boy skills, only slower...
            (-;
            -Bob Korves

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Marc Ramsey" <marc@...>
            To: <norcalwinch@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Sunday, August 24, 2008 1:58 AM
            Subject: [norcalwinch] Re: Marc's Introduction and Proposal


            > Dear Friends,
            >
            > We have an opportunity to really help the sport of soaring here in
            > Northern California, by safely introducing an inexpensive, low noise,
            > fuel efficient launch method. We could operate closer to population
            > centers, as the noise footprint is much smaller. We'd get more
            > pilots, as the training will be less expensive and closer to home.
            > We'd get younger pilots, as a winch launch rivals an amusement park
            > ride for excitement. Groups of kids, once trained, could show up
            > after school and launch each other, no need to track down a tow pilot.
            > We can truly advertise soaring as a vibrant, ecologically friendly,
            > and exciting sport.
            >
            > The problem, of course, is getting started. we can start slowly, by
            > buying a winch and operating at an existing site like Avenal. Perhaps
            > later, buy a training glider. Later yet, find some land to lease or
            > buy within easy reach of the Bay Area. Or, we could start bigger, and
            > try to do it all at once. But, we need to start. I encourage all of
            > you to express your opinions on how to make this happen.
            >
            > I am committed to making this happen, sooner rather than later, even
            > if I have to build the winch myself. This shouldn't take than a month
            > or two of discussion, then I'd like to take some action. As I
            > indicated earlier, I'd like to be launching gliders next spring. If
            > it doesn't work out, we'll be able to sell the winch, as others in the
            > US are reaching these same conclusions. But, I honestly believe this
            > will work out, as the benefits are just too obvious. Who else agrees?
            >
            > Marc
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > ------------------------------------
            >
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
          • Peter Deane
            Hi Marc   Its hard NOT to agree with you here - you can count on my support - key question is how much support could I give and would it be enough to be
            Message 5 of 13 , Aug 24, 2008
              Hi Marc
               
              Its hard NOT to agree with you here - you can count on my support - key question is how much support could I give and would it be enough to be helpful ..
               
              I can support with time, some financial help if needed to get the winch, sign up for training sessions and winch driving once competent, on a regular but manageable basis.
               
              Most importantly up front I can help with the planning /biz model side - and of course promotion of the idea around the region - through PASCO, WestWind etc etc. Your spreadsheet is a good start however it needs a lot of work !! - We can expand and improve this to explore various scenarios. We can also identify the critical action plans needed to make each scenario work - I will volunteer to contribute on this up front.
               
              I think we could start with a few 'scenarios' for the biz plan - rather than try and debate endlessly about which would be the best way to go , then we'll have a way to test our assumptions better ( always good where money and time are involved) and can try the scenarios out
               
              The first and easiest scenario might be just buy a winch, get some interested folks together who have a winch-worthy 2 seater and start launching - from a club or site that will support it.  We could get the winch fairly quickly and as long as we have a starter site and a starter glider identified with some instruction and winch trainers set up we're off and launching and this COULD be done by next spring...
               
              I agree with you that the worst case of selling everything if its a flop is not a big financial risk -
               
              The news group is a good way to share thoughts and discuss broad issues but I think its important to have a core group of folks who will work on the plan and articulate it to the rest of the group for feedback/buy-in/improvement. Then we can lock in on a plan and get going. I think for real progress there needs to be regular face to face meetings of the core team to get the plan worked out - I volunteer to be part of this process should we go that way.
               
              Comments??
               
              Kind Regards
               
              Peter
               


              ----- Original Message ----
              From: Marc Ramsey <marc@...>
              To: norcalwinch@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Sunday, August 24, 2008 1:58:23 AM
              Subject: [norcalwinch] Re: Marc's Introduction and Proposal

              Dear Friends,

              We have an opportunity to really help the sport of soaring here in
              Northern California, by safely introducing an inexpensive, low noise,
              fuel efficient launch method. We could operate closer to population
              centers, as the noise footprint is much smaller. We'd get more
              pilots, as the training will be less expensive and closer to home.
              We'd get younger pilots, as a winch launch rivals an amusement park
              ride for excitement. Groups of kids, once trained, could show up
              after school and launch each other, no need to track down a tow pilot.
              We can truly advertise soaring as a vibrant, ecologically friendly,
              and exciting sport.

              The problem, of course, is getting started. we can start slowly, by
              buying a winch and operating at an existing site like Avenal. Perhaps
              later, buy a training glider. Later yet, find some land to lease or
              buy within easy reach of the Bay Area. Or, we could start bigger, and
              try to do it all at once. But, we need to start. I encourage all of
              you to express your opinions on how to make this happen.

              I am committed to making this happen, sooner rather than later, even
              if I have to build the winch myself. This shouldn't take than a month
              or two of discussion, then I'd like to take some action. As I
              indicated earlier, I'd like to be launching gliders next spring. If
              it doesn't work out, we'll be able to sell the winch, as others in the
              US are reaching these same conclusions. But, I honestly believe this
              will work out, as the benefits are just too obvious. Who else agrees?

              Marc

            • Richard Graham
              Here is a copy of the letter I just sent to members of Silverado Soaring. Thanks Marc Silverado members Marc Ramsey has started a winch launch yahoo group.
              Message 6 of 13 , Aug 24, 2008

                Here is a copy of the letter I just sent to members of Silverado Soaring. Thanks Marc

                 

                 

                Silverado members

                 

                Marc Ramsey has started a winch launch yahoo group.  Many of us are aware that Marc has been talking this issue up for awhile. The yahoo group has generated a lot of discussion and given me a sense that there is widespread interest in taking the first step.

                 

                 Silverado has long pondered ways to offer affordable flight training for the Bay Area market. We have a Grob that is available. Thinking that maybe some day, perhaps, who knows, some how a winch operation will appear is not how it will happen. Do we want Silverado to become part of the critical mass necessary for this to happen?  I urge you to join the Yahoo group and let’s talk about it.  Below is the link and a proposal from Marc. 

                 

                Richard Graham

                 

                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/norcalwinch/

                 


                > Dear Friends,
                >
                > We have an opportunity to really help the sport of soaring here in
                > Northern
                California, by safely introducing an inexpensive, low noise,
                > fuel efficient launch method. We could operate closer to population
                > centers, as the noise footprint is much smaller. We'd get more
                > pilots, as the training will be less expensive and closer to home.
                > We'd get younger pilots, as a winch launch rivals an amusement park
                > ride for excitement. Groups of kids, once trained, could show up
                > after school and launch each other, no need to track down a tow pilot.
                > We can truly advertise soaring as a vibrant, ecologically friendly,
                > and exciting sport.
                >
                > The problem, of course, is getting started. we can start slowly, by
                > buying a winch and operating at an existing site like Avenal. Perhaps
                > later, buy a training glider. Later yet, find some land to lease or
                > buy within easy reach of the Bay Area. Or, we could start bigger, and
                > try to do it all at once. But, we need to start. I encourage all of
                > you to express your opinions on how to make this happen.
                >
                > I am committed to making this happen, sooner rather than later, even
                > if I have to build the winch myself. This shouldn't take than a month
                > or two of discussion, then I'd like to take some action. As I
                > indicated earlier, I'd like to be launching gliders next spring. If
                > it doesn't work out, we'll be able to sell the winch, as others in the
                > US are reaching these same conclusions. But, I honestly believe this
                > will work out, as the benefits are just too obvious. Who else agrees?

                 

              • Paul Hanson
                Hi All, Naturally, I m in. I have not money, but I m willing with time and ideas etc. You point, I ll pull. -Paul
                Message 7 of 13 , Aug 24, 2008

                      Hi All,

                      Naturally, I'm in. I have not money, but I'm willing with time and ideas etc. You point, I'll pull.

                  -Paul


                  Marc Ramsey wrote:

                  Dear Friends,

                  We have an opportunity to really help the sport of soaring here in
                  Northern California, by safely introducing an inexpensive, low noise,
                  fuel efficient launch method. We could operate closer to population
                  centers, as the noise footprint is much smaller. We'd get more
                  pilots, as the training will be less expensive and closer to home.
                  We'd get younger pilots, as a winch launch rivals an amusement park
                  ride for excitement. Groups of kids, once trained, could show up
                  after school and launch each other, no need to track down a tow pilot.
                  We can truly advertise soaring as a vibrant, ecologically friendly,
                  and exciting sport.

                  The problem, of course, is getting started. we can start slowly, by
                  buying a winch and operating at an existing site like Avenal. Perhaps
                  later, buy a training glider. Later yet, find some land to lease or
                  buy within easy reach of the Bay Area. Or, we could start bigger, and
                  try to do it all at once. But, we need to start. I encourage all of
                  you to express your opinions on how to make this happen.

                  I am committed to making this happen, sooner rather than later, even
                  if I have to build the winch myself. This shouldn't take than a month
                  or two of discussion, then I'd like to take some action. As I
                  indicated earlier, I'd like to be launching gliders next spring. If
                  it doesn't work out, we'll be able to sell the winch, as others in the
                  US are reaching these same conclusions. But, I honestly believe this
                  will work out, as the benefits are just too obvious. Who else agrees?

                  Marc


                • kizuno@aol.com
                  Re: cost, if we bought the two 2-33s from Nutmeg soaring for $20K: http://www.wingsandwheels.com/wantads1.htm ...then we have a benign fleet of two ships for
                  Message 8 of 13 , Aug 24, 2008
                    Re: cost, if we bought the two 2-33s from Nutmeg soaring for $20K:

                    http://www.wingsandwheels.com/wantads1.htm

                    ...then we have a benign fleet of two ships for "cheap".  I'd be happy to drive 1 hour in the late afternoon to do 3-4 circuits to practice spot landings, help out with ops then go home.

                    Keeps me from getting stale and a easy way to introduce others to the sport.

                    I'm in for the idea, some funding and of course, the filming, editing and hosting of the video.

                    Kemp



                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: Marc Ramsey <marc@...>
                    To: norcalwinch@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Sun, 24 Aug 2008 1:58 am
                    Subject: [norcalwinch] Re: Marc's Introduction and Proposal

                    Dear Friends,

                    We have an opportunity to really help the sport of soaring here in
                    Northern California, by safely introducing an inexpensive, low noise,
                    fuel efficient launch method. We could operate closer to population
                    centers, as the noise footprint is much smaller. We'd get more
                    pilots, as the training will be less expensive and closer to home.
                    We'd get younger pilots, as a winch launch rivals an amusement park
                    ride for excitement. Groups of kids, once trained, could show up
                    after school and launch each other, no need to track down a tow pilot.
                    We can truly advertise soaring as a vibrant, ecologically friendly,
                    and exciting sport.

                    The problem, of course, is getting started. we can start slowly, by
                    buying a winch and operating at an existing site like Avenal. Perhaps
                    later, buy a training glider. Later yet, find some land to lease or
                    buy within easy reach of the Bay Area. Or, we could start bigger, and
                    try to do it all at once. But, we need to start. I encourage all of
                    you to express your opinions on how to make this happen.

                    I am committed to making this happen, sooner rather than later, even
                    if I have to build the winch myself. This shouldn't take than a month
                    or two of discussion, then I'd like to take some action. As I
                    indicated earlier, I'd like to be launching gliders next spring. If
                    it doesn't work out, we'll be able to sell the winch, as others in the
                    US are reaching these same conclusions. But, I honestly believe this
                    will work out, as the benefits are just too obvious. Who else agrees?

                    Marc

                  • Daniel Gudgel
                    Out on a little bit of a limb, here, but the Avenal Club may be able to throw some money into this pot ($1000 or more???) toward the purchase of a winch for
                    Message 9 of 13 , Aug 25, 2008
                      Out on a little bit of a limb, here, but the Avenal Club may be able to throw some money into this pot ($1000 or more???) toward the purchase of a winch for the benefit of NORCAL.  We are currently solidifying our towplane options but a winch provides diversity and a cost-effective mechanism for training flights.  Just thinking (as much as a contradictory statement as that can be in regards to me).
                      Dan Gudgel

                      Peter Deane <peter.deane@...> wrote:
                      Hi Marc
                       
                      Its hard NOT to agree with you here - you can count on my support - key question is how much support could I give and would it be enough to be helpful ..
                       
                      I can support with time, some financial help if needed to get the winch, sign up for training sessions and winch driving once competent, on a regular but manageable basis.
                       
                      Most importantly up front I can help with the planning /biz model side - and of course promotion of the idea around the region - through PASCO, WestWind etc etc. Your spreadsheet is a good start however it needs a lot of work !! - We can expand and improve this to explore various scenarios. We can also identify the critical action plans needed to make each scenario work - I will volunteer to contribute on this up front.
                       
                      I think we could start with a few 'scenarios' for the biz plan - rather than try and debate endlessly about which would be the best way to go , then we'll have a way to test our assumptions better ( always good where money and time are involved) and can try the scenarios out
                       
                      The first and easiest scenario might be just buy a winch, get some interested folks together who have a winch-worthy 2 seater and start launching - from a club or site that will support it.  We could get the winch fairly quickly and as long as we have a starter site and a starter glider identified with some instruction and winch trainers set up we're off and launching and this COULD be done by next spring...
                       
                      I agree with you that the worst case of selling everything if its a flop is not a big financial risk -
                       
                      The news group is a good way to share thoughts and discuss broad issues but I think its important to have a core group of folks who will work on the plan and articulate it to the rest of the group for feedback/buy- in/improvement. Then we can lock in on a plan and get going. I think for real progress there needs to be regular face to face meetings of the core team to get the plan worked out - I volunteer to be part of this process should we go that way.
                       
                      Comments??
                       
                      Kind Regards
                       
                      Peter
                       


                      ----- Original Message ----
                      From: Marc Ramsey <marc@ranlog. com>
                      To: norcalwinch@ yahoogroups. com
                      Sent: Sunday, August 24, 2008 1:58:23 AM
                      Subject: [norcalwinch] Re: Marc's Introduction and Proposal

                      Dear Friends,

                      We have an opportunity to really help the sport of soaring here in
                      Northern California, by safely introducing an inexpensive, low noise,
                      fuel efficient launch method. We could operate closer to population
                      centers, as the noise footprint is much smaller. We'd get more
                      pilots, as the training will be less expensive and closer to home.
                      We'd get younger pilots, as a winch launch rivals an amusement park
                      ride for excitement. Groups of kids, once trained, could show up
                      after school and launch each other, no need to track down a tow pilot.
                      We can truly advertise soaring as a vibrant, ecologically friendly,
                      and exciting sport.

                      The problem, of course, is getting started. we can start slowly, by
                      buying a winch and operating at an existing site like Avenal. Perhaps
                      later, buy a training glider. Later yet, find some land to lease or
                      buy within easy reach of the Bay Area. Or, we could start bigger, and
                      try to do it all at once. But, we need to start. I encourage all of
                      you to express your opinions on how to make this happen.

                      I am committed to making this happen, sooner rather than later, even
                      if I have to build the winch myself. This shouldn't take than a month
                      or two of discussion, then I'd like to take some action. As I
                      indicated earlier, I'd like to be launching gliders next spring. If
                      it doesn't work out, we'll be able to sell the winch, as others in the
                      US are reaching these same conclusions. But, I honestly believe this
                      will work out, as the benefits are just too obvious. Who else agrees?

                      Marc


                    • Marc Ramsey
                      Thanks, Dan, I won t hold you to it, yet... 8^) Going back to Peter s message about scenarios for a business plan, here are a few I see: 1. Buy winch, operate
                      Message 10 of 13 , Aug 25, 2008
                        Thanks, Dan, I won't hold you to it, yet... 8^)

                        Going back to Peter's message about scenarios for a business plan, here are a few I see:

                        1. Buy winch, operate at existing glider site with gliders and instructors provided by host/clubs.  Pros: least expensive way to get going with a winch.  Cons: highly dependent on others to make available glider(s) with CG hook, availability of instructors with ground launch endorsement and winch training, suitability of existing sites for winch launching limits possible choices.

                        2. As above, club additionally buys inexpensive ($20K or less) training glider, recruits and arranges winch training for instructor(s).  Pros: eliminates dependency on others providing gliders and instructors.  Cons: increased up-front cost, need to find suitable glider and equip with CG hook, still limited to existing suitable sites.

                        3. As above, lease suitable 4000+ ft strip of farm land to operate from.  Pros: eliminates site suitability issue.  Cons: presently unknown lease expense, need to find right person to locate suitable land and negotiate lease, decouples from existing operations resulting in competition for students, security of winch and glider(s) when site unattended.

                        Inspired by Drew's earlier comments, we can consider initially substituting purchase of a 4x4 pickup for a winch in 2 or 3 above, and utilize 2:1 or 3:1 pulley tow.  Pros: much less funds needed up front.  Cons: may not inspire enough interest to ever get to the point of introducing the winch.

                        Discussion?

                        Thanks to all who've commented so far,
                        Marc

                        On Mon, Aug 25, 2008 at 4:47 PM, Daniel Gudgel <d.gudgel@...> wrote:

                        Out on a little bit of a limb, here, but the Avenal Club may be able to throw some money into this pot ($1000 or more???) toward the purchase of a winch for the benefit of NORCAL.  We are currently solidifying our towplane options but a winch provides diversity and a cost-effective mechanism for training flights.  Just thinking (as much as a contradictory statement as that can be in regards to me).
                        Dan Gudgel


                        Peter Deane <peter.deane@...> wrote:
                        Hi Marc
                         
                        Its hard NOT to agree with you here - you can count on my support - key question is how much support could I give and would it be enough to be helpful ..
                         
                        I can support with time, some financial help if needed to get the winch, sign up for training sessions and winch driving once competent, on a regular but manageable basis.
                         
                        Most importantly up front I can help with the planning /biz model side - and of course promotion of the idea around the region - through PASCO, WestWind etc etc. Your spreadsheet is a good start however it needs a lot of work !! - We can expand and improve this to explore various scenarios. We can also identify the critical action plans needed to make each scenario work - I will volunteer to contribute on this up front.
                         
                        I think we could start with a few 'scenarios' for the biz plan - rather than try and debate endlessly about which would be the best way to go , then we'll have a way to test our assumptions better ( always good where money and time are involved) and can try the scenarios out
                         
                        The first and easiest scenario might be just buy a winch, get some interested folks together who have a winch-worthy 2 seater and start launching - from a club or site that will support it.  We could get the winch fairly quickly and as long as we have a starter site and a starter glider identified with some instruction and winch trainers set up we're off and launching and this COULD be done by next spring...
                         
                        I agree with you that the worst case of selling everything if its a flop is not a big financial risk -
                         
                        The news group is a good way to share thoughts and discuss broad issues but I think its important to have a core group of folks who will work on the plan and articulate it to the rest of the group for feedback/buy-in/improvement. Then we can lock in on a plan and get going. I think for real progress there needs to be regular face to face meetings of the core team to get the plan worked out - I volunteer to be part of this process should we go that way.
                         
                        Comments??
                         
                        Kind Regards
                         
                        Peter
                         


                        ----- Original Message ----
                        From: Marc Ramsey <marc@...>
                        To: norcalwinch@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Sunday, August 24, 2008 1:58:23 AM
                        Subject: [norcalwinch] Re: Marc's Introduction and Proposal

                        Dear Friends,

                        We have an opportunity to really help the sport of soaring here in
                        Northern California, by safely introducing an inexpensive, low noise,
                        fuel efficient launch method. We could operate closer to population
                        centers, as the noise footprint is much smaller. We'd get more
                        pilots, as the training will be less expensive and closer to home.
                        We'd get younger pilots, as a winch launch rivals an amusement park
                        ride for excitement. Groups of kids, once trained, could show up
                        after school and launch each other, no need to track down a tow pilot.
                        We can truly advertise soaring as a vibrant, ecologically friendly,
                        and exciting sport.

                        The problem, of course, is getting started. we can start slowly, by
                        buying a winch and operating at an existing site like Avenal. Perhaps
                        later, buy a training glider. Later yet, find some land to lease or
                        buy within easy reach of the Bay Area. Or, we could start bigger, and
                        try to do it all at once. But, we need to start. I encourage all of
                        you to express your opinions on how to make this happen.

                        I am committed to making this happen, sooner rather than later, even
                        if I have to build the winch myself. This shouldn't take than a month
                        or two of discussion, then I'd like to take some action. As I
                        indicated earlier, I'd like to be launching gliders next spring. If
                        it doesn't work out, we'll be able to sell the winch, as others in the
                        US are reaching these same conclusions. But, I honestly believe this
                        will work out, as the benefits are just too obvious. Who else agrees?

                        Marc



                      • Peter Deane
                        Hi Marc I think the first thing we might look hard at is what is the minimum set of conditions for success. I feel that we would want to establish enthusiasm
                        Message 11 of 13 , Aug 27, 2008
                          Hi Marc

                          I think the first thing we might look hard at is what is the minimum set of conditions for success.
                           
                          I feel that we would want to establish enthusiasm and demand for winch launching quickly.
                           
                          For my 2c worth, we would need to have enough equipment that we depend on as little external people/factors as possible without introducing too many startup hurdles - land acquisition or rental would be a significant one .....
                           
                          If we could get 1 winch, 1 reasonable 2 seater (Blanik? ASK21?), we would *only* need to worry about where to fly. So if possible to do I think option 2 will be the most cost *effective*
                           
                          If we could get 2 sites interesting in supporting a winch presence ahead of purchase (Avenal, Crazy Creek?) we can start right away with no major barriers.
                           
                          This would be important as a key issue will be generating momentum and enthusiasm/demand early on, also to recruit and train new volunteers/members quickly so we dont get volunteer burnout right away.
                           
                          We can be looking at option 3 as we generate demand - but I think we need to get buy-in for opereation from at least one gliding site to get started quickly.
                           
                          Comments??
                           
                          2T
                          ----- Original Message ----
                          From: Marc Ramsey <marc@...>
                          To: norcalwinch@yahoogroups.com
                          Sent: Monday, August 25, 2008 6:34:10 PM
                          Subject: Re: [norcalwinch] Re: Marc's Introduction and Proposal

                          Thanks, Dan, I won't hold you to it, yet... 8^)

                          Going back to Peter's message about scenarios for a business plan, here are a few I see:

                          1. Buy winch, operate at existing glider site with gliders and instructors provided by host/clubs.  Pros: least expensive way to get going with a winch.  Cons: highly dependent on others to make available glider(s) with CG hook, availability of instructors with ground launch endorsement and winch training, suitability of existing sites for winch launching limits possible choices.

                          2. As above, club additionally buys inexpensive ($20K or less) training glider, recruits and arranges winch training for instructor(s) .  Pros: eliminates dependency on others providing gliders and instructors.  Cons: increased up-front cost, need to find suitable glider and equip with CG hook, still limited to existing suitable sites.

                          3. As above, lease suitable 4000+ ft strip of farm land to operate from.  Pros: eliminates site suitability issue.  Cons: presently unknown lease expense, need to find right person to locate suitable land and negotiate lease, decouples from existing operations resulting in competition for students, security of winch and glider(s) when site unattended.

                          Inspired by Drew's earlier comments, we can consider initially substituting purchase of a 4x4 pickup for a winch in 2 or 3 above, and utilize 2:1 or 3:1 pulley tow.  Pros: much less funds needed up front.  Cons: may not inspire enough interest to ever get to the point of introducing the winch.

                          Discussion?

                          Thanks to all who've commented so far,
                          Marc

                          On Mon, Aug 25, 2008 at 4:47 PM, Daniel Gudgel <d.gudgel@sbcglobal. net> wrote:

                          Out on a little bit of a limb, here, but the Avenal Club may be able to throw some money into this pot ($1000 or more???) toward the purchase of a winch for the benefit of NORCAL.  We are currently solidifying our towplane options but a winch provides diversity and a cost-effective mechanism for training flights.  Just thinking (as much as a contradictory statement as that can be in regards to me).
                          Dan Gudgel


                          Peter Deane <peter.deane@ sbcglobal. net> wrote:
                          Hi Marc
                           
                          Its hard NOT to agree with you here - you can count on my support - key question is how much support could I give and would it be enough to be helpful ..
                           
                          I can support with time, some financial help if needed to get the winch, sign up for training sessions and winch driving once competent, on a regular but manageable basis.
                           
                          Most importantly up front I can help with the planning /biz model side - and of course promotion of the idea around the region - through PASCO, WestWind etc etc. Your spreadsheet is a good start however it needs a lot of work !! - We can expand and improve this to explore various scenarios. We can also identify the critical action plans needed to make each scenario work - I will volunteer to contribute on this up front.
                           
                          I think we could start with a few 'scenarios' for the biz plan - rather than try and debate endlessly about which would be the best way to go , then we'll have a way to test our assumptions better ( always good where money and time are involved) and can try the scenarios out
                           
                          The first and easiest scenario might be just buy a winch, get some interested folks together who have a winch-worthy 2 seater and start launching - from a club or site that will support it.  We could get the winch fairly quickly and as long as we have a starter site and a starter glider identified with some instruction and winch trainers set up we're off and launching and this COULD be done by next spring...
                           
                          I agree with you that the worst case of selling everything if its a flop is not a big financial risk -
                           
                          The news group is a good way to share thoughts and discuss broad issues but I think its important to have a core group of folks who will work on the plan and articulate it to the rest of the group for feedback/buy- in/improvement. Then we can lock in on a plan and get going. I think for real progress there needs to be regular face to face meetings of the core team to get the plan worked out - I volunteer to be part of this process should we go that way.
                           
                          Comments??
                           
                          Kind Regards
                           
                          Peter
                           


                          ----- Original Message ----
                          From: Marc Ramsey <marc@ranlog. com>
                          To: norcalwinch@ yahoogroups. com
                          Sent: Sunday, August 24, 2008 1:58:23 AM
                          Subject: [norcalwinch] Re: Marc's Introduction and Proposal

                          Dear Friends,

                          We have an opportunity to really help the sport of soaring here in
                          Northern California, by safely introducing an inexpensive, low noise,
                          fuel efficient launch method. We could operate closer to population
                          centers, as the noise footprint is much smaller. We'd get more
                          pilots, as the training will be less expensive and closer to home.
                          We'd get younger pilots, as a winch launch rivals an amusement park
                          ride for excitement. Groups of kids, once trained, could show up
                          after school and launch each other, no need to track down a tow pilot.
                          We can truly advertise soaring as a vibrant, ecologically friendly,
                          and exciting sport.

                          The problem, of course, is getting started. we can start slowly, by
                          buying a winch and operating at an existing site like Avenal. Perhaps
                          later, buy a training glider. Later yet, find some land to lease or
                          buy within easy reach of the Bay Area. Or, we could start bigger, and
                          try to do it all at once. But, we need to start. I encourage all of
                          you to express your opinions on how to make this happen.

                          I am committed to making this happen, sooner rather than later, even
                          if I have to build the winch myself. This shouldn't take than a month
                          or two of discussion, then I'd like to take some action. As I
                          indicated earlier, I'd like to be launching gliders next spring. If
                          it doesn't work out, we'll be able to sell the winch, as others in the
                          US are reaching these same conclusions. But, I honestly believe this
                          will work out, as the benefits are just too obvious. Who else agrees?

                          Marc



                        • Marc Ramsey
                          Hi Peter, These are just my opinions, of course, I hope others will join in: I think the conditions for success are very simple, within a year or two we should
                          Message 12 of 13 , Aug 27, 2008
                            Hi Peter,

                            These are just my opinions, of course, I hope others will join in:

                            I think the conditions for success are very simple, within a year or two we should have ramped to a number of launches that will allow the operation to be self-sustaining, and allow us to pay off the debts incurred in a reasonable time frame.  That number appears to be somewhere between 1500 and 2000 launches per year at a $12.50/launch target price.

                            I've received a pointer to what is potentially a quite suitable low cost two seater.  The owner has been contacted, and I'll report back as soon as I get a chance to take a look at it (probably a week or two).

                            I think you've already identified the two soaring sites most likely to allow us to operate in the near term.  I'll contact Jim Indrebo, perhaps Dan Gudgel or Paul Hanson can get word from the CCSC leadership.  I'll also contact the Tracy Municipal Airport manager about the conditions under which we could operate at New Jerusalem.

                            And, I agree that we need to generate some momentum and enthusiasm early on.  I intentionally timed the launch of this group to match up with the end of the summer soaring season, thus providing sorely needed entertainment for the fall and winter months...

                            Thanks,
                            Marc

                            On Wed, Aug 27, 2008 at 9:31 PM, Peter Deane <peter.deane@...> wrote:

                            Hi Marc

                            I think the first thing we might look hard at is what is the minimum set of conditions for success.
                             
                            I feel that we would want to establish enthusiasm and demand for winch launching quickly.
                             
                            For my 2c worth, we would need to have enough equipment that we depend on as little external people/factors as possible without introducing too many startup hurdles - land acquisition or rental would be a significant one .....
                             
                            If we could get 1 winch, 1 reasonable 2 seater (Blanik? ASK21?), we would *only* need to worry about where to fly. So if possible to do I think option 2 will be the most cost *effective*
                             
                            If we could get 2 sites interesting in supporting a winch presence ahead of purchase (Avenal, Crazy Creek?) we can start right away with no major barriers.
                             
                            This would be important as a key issue will be generating momentum and enthusiasm/demand early on, also to recruit and train new volunteers/members quickly so we dont get volunteer burnout right away.
                             
                            We can be looking at option 3 as we generate demand - but I think we need to get buy-in for opereation from at least one gliding site to get started quickly.
                             
                            Comments??
                             
                            2T
                            ----- Original Message ----
                            From: Marc Ramsey <marc@...>
                            To: norcalwinch@yahoogroups.com
                            Sent: Monday, August 25, 2008 6:34:10 PM
                            Subject: Re: [norcalwinch] Re: Marc's Introduction and Proposal

                            Thanks, Dan, I won't hold you to it, yet... 8^)

                            Going back to Peter's message about scenarios for a business plan, here are a few I see:

                            1. Buy winch, operate at existing glider site with gliders and instructors provided by host/clubs.  Pros: least expensive way to get going with a winch.  Cons: highly dependent on others to make available glider(s) with CG hook, availability of instructors with ground launch endorsement and winch training, suitability of existing sites for winch launching limits possible choices.

                            2. As above, club additionally buys inexpensive ($20K or less) training glider, recruits and arranges winch training for instructor(s) .  Pros: eliminates dependency on others providing gliders and instructors.  Cons: increased up-front cost, need to find suitable glider and equip with CG hook, still limited to existing suitable sites.

                            3. As above, lease suitable 4000+ ft strip of farm land to operate from.  Pros: eliminates site suitability issue.  Cons: presently unknown lease expense, need to find right person to locate suitable land and negotiate lease, decouples from existing operations resulting in competition for students, security of winch and glider(s) when site unattended.

                            Inspired by Drew's earlier comments, we can consider initially substituting purchase of a 4x4 pickup for a winch in 2 or 3 above, and utilize 2:1 or 3:1 pulley tow.  Pros: much less funds needed up front.  Cons: may not inspire enough interest to ever get to the point of introducing the winch.

                            Discussion?

                            Thanks to all who've commented so far,
                            Marc

                            On Mon, Aug 25, 2008 at 4:47 PM, Daniel Gudgel <d.gudgel@sbcglobal. net> wrote:

                            Out on a little bit of a limb, here, but the Avenal Club may be able to throw some money into this pot ($1000 or more???) toward the purchase of a winch for the benefit of NORCAL.  We are currently solidifying our towplane options but a winch provides diversity and a cost-effective mechanism for training flights.  Just thinking (as much as a contradictory statement as that can be in regards to me).
                            Dan Gudgel


                            Peter Deane <peter.deane@ sbcglobal. net> wrote:
                            Hi Marc
                             
                            Its hard NOT to agree with you here - you can count on my support - key question is how much support could I give and would it be enough to be helpful ..
                             
                            I can support with time, some financial help if needed to get the winch, sign up for training sessions and winch driving once competent, on a regular but manageable basis.
                             
                            Most importantly up front I can help with the planning /biz model side - and of course promotion of the idea around the region - through PASCO, WestWind etc etc. Your spreadsheet is a good start however it needs a lot of work !! - We can expand and improve this to explore various scenarios. We can also identify the critical action plans needed to make each scenario work - I will volunteer to contribute on this up front.
                             
                            I think we could start with a few 'scenarios' for the biz plan - rather than try and debate endlessly about which would be the best way to go , then we'll have a way to test our assumptions better ( always good where money and time are involved) and can try the scenarios out
                             
                            The first and easiest scenario might be just buy a winch, get some interested folks together who have a winch-worthy 2 seater and start launching - from a club or site that will support it.  We could get the winch fairly quickly and as long as we have a starter site and a starter glider identified with some instruction and winch trainers set up we're off and launching and this COULD be done by next spring...
                             
                            I agree with you that the worst case of selling everything if its a flop is not a big financial risk -
                             
                            The news group is a good way to share thoughts and discuss broad issues but I think its important to have a core group of folks who will work on the plan and articulate it to the rest of the group for feedback/buy- in/improvement. Then we can lock in on a plan and get going. I think for real progress there needs to be regular face to face meetings of the core team to get the plan worked out - I volunteer to be part of this process should we go that way.
                             
                            Comments??
                             
                            Kind Regards
                             
                            Peter
                             


                            ----- Original Message ----
                            From: Marc Ramsey <marc@ranlog. com>
                            To: norcalwinch@ yahoogroups. com
                            Sent: Sunday, August 24, 2008 1:58:23 AM
                            Subject: [norcalwinch] Re: Marc's Introduction and Proposal

                            Dear Friends,

                            We have an opportunity to really help the sport of soaring here in
                            Northern California, by safely introducing an inexpensive, low noise,
                            fuel efficient launch method. We could operate closer to population
                            centers, as the noise footprint is much smaller. We'd get more
                            pilots, as the training will be less expensive and closer to home.
                            We'd get younger pilots, as a winch launch rivals an amusement park
                            ride for excitement. Groups of kids, once trained, could show up
                            after school and launch each other, no need to track down a tow pilot.
                            We can truly advertise soaring as a vibrant, ecologically friendly,
                            and exciting sport.

                            The problem, of course, is getting started. we can start slowly, by
                            buying a winch and operating at an existing site like Avenal. Perhaps
                            later, buy a training glider. Later yet, find some land to lease or
                            buy within easy reach of the Bay Area. Or, we could start bigger, and
                            try to do it all at once. But, we need to start. I encourage all of
                            you to express your opinions on how to make this happen.

                            I am committed to making this happen, sooner rather than later, even
                            if I have to build the winch myself. This shouldn't take than a month
                            or two of discussion, then I'd like to take some action. As I
                            indicated earlier, I'd like to be launching gliders next spring. If
                            it doesn't work out, we'll be able to sell the winch, as others in the
                            US are reaching these same conclusions. But, I honestly believe this
                            will work out, as the benefits are just too obvious. Who else agrees?

                            Marc




                          • Bob & Toodie Marshall
                            Marc, IMHO, contact flying clubs/pilot assn./4-H clubs surrounding the area you decide on. New Jerusalem is a central location for drawing prospective pilots
                            Message 13 of 13 , Aug 28, 2008
                              Marc,
                              IMHO, contact flying clubs/pilot assn./4-H clubs surrounding the area you decide on.  New Jerusalem is a central location for drawing prospective pilots young and older.  Having a base of hopeful pilots is a major consideration.  Jim Indrebo's location is rather remote, albeit excellent soaring, but that is not the intent of this group.  Stimulating the youth will be a challenge.  I was the Community Leader for the Tassajara Valley 4-H Pleasanton, 4-H has an aerospace/aviation program....may need to be revitalized.  I had the Aviation project, gave rides at the end of the 4-H year to everyone in my ASk-13.  Had a great time teaching aviation to the young people in my project. 
                               
                              Form a letter of intent, to be sent to all the local flying clubs, the local schools may  have an aviation club you could contact.. Truckee use to, not sure it's still going.  Your enthusiasm/help may come from outside the soaring community.  From conversations we've had lately, there are power pilots who would love to fly a sailplane, cost usually stops them, same for the kids.  This will be an excellent avenue to pursue.  Tracy has a pilot association, if you all decide and can use New Jerusalem. Don't forget the local EAA Chapters, their continued existence depends upon younger people learning to fly right along with the soaring community.   Livermore has an active group. 
                              Toodie Marshall
                               
                               
                              ----- Original Message -----
                              Sent: Wednesday, August 27, 2008 10:23 PM
                              Subject: Re: [norcalwinch] Re: Marc's Introduction and Proposal

                              Hi Peter,

                              These are just my opinions, of course, I hope others will join in:

                              I think the conditions for success are very simple, within a year or two we should have ramped to a number of launches that will allow the operation to be self-sustaining, and allow us to pay off the debts incurred in a reasonable time frame.  That number appears to be somewhere between 1500 and 2000 launches per year at a $12.50/launch target price.

                              I've received a pointer to what is potentially a quite suitable low cost two seater.  The owner has been contacted, and I'll report back as soon as I get a chance to take a look at it (probably a week or two).

                              I think you've already identified the two soaring sites most likely to allow us to operate in the near term.  I'll contact Jim Indrebo, perhaps Dan Gudgel or Paul Hanson can get word from the CCSC leadership.  I'll also contact the Tracy Municipal Airport manager about the conditions under which we could operate at New Jerusalem.

                              And, I agree that we need to generate some momentum and enthusiasm early on.  I intentionally timed the launch of this group to match up with the end of the summer soaring season, thus providing sorely needed entertainment for the fall and winter months...

                              Thanks,
                              Marc

                              On Wed, Aug 27, 2008 at 9:31 PM, Peter Deane <peter.deane@ sbcglobal. net> wrote:

                              Hi Marc

                              I think the first thing we might look hard at is what is the minimum set of conditions for success.
                               
                              I feel that we would want to establish enthusiasm and demand for winch launching quickly.
                               
                              For my 2c worth, we would need to have enough equipment that we depend on as little external people/factors as possible without introducing too many startup hurdles - land acquisition or rental would be a significant one .....
                               
                              If we could get 1 winch, 1 reasonable 2 seater (Blanik? ASK21?), we would *only* need to worry about where to fly. So if possible to do I think option 2 will be the most cost *effective*
                               
                              If we could get 2 sites interesting in supporting a winch presence ahead of purchase (Avenal, Crazy Creek?) we can start right away with no major barriers.
                               
                              This would be important as a key issue will be generating momentum and enthusiasm/demand early on, also to recruit and train new volunteers/members quickly so we dont get volunteer burnout right away.
                               
                              We can be looking at option 3 as we generate demand - but I think we need to get buy-in for opereation from at least one gliding site to get started quickly.
                               
                              Comments??
                               
                              2T
                              ----- Original Message ----
                              From: Marc Ramsey <marc@ranlog. com>
                              To: norcalwinch@ yahoogroups. com
                              Sent: Monday, August 25, 2008 6:34:10 PM
                              Subject: Re: [norcalwinch] Re: Marc's Introduction and Proposal

                              Thanks, Dan, I won't hold you to it, yet... 8^)

                              Going back to Peter's message about scenarios for a business plan, here are a few I see:

                              1. Buy winch, operate at existing glider site with gliders and instructors provided by host/clubs.  Pros: least expensive way to get going with a winch.  Cons: highly dependent on others to make available glider(s) with CG hook, availability of instructors with ground launch endorsement and winch training, suitability of existing sites for winch launching limits possible choices.

                              2. As above, club additionally buys inexpensive ($20K or less) training glider, recruits and arranges winch training for instructor(s) .  Pros: eliminates dependency on others providing gliders and instructors.  Cons: increased up-front cost, need to find suitable glider and equip with CG hook, still limited to existing suitable sites.

                              3. As above, lease suitable 4000+ ft strip of farm land to operate from.  Pros: eliminates site suitability issue.  Cons: presently unknown lease expense, need to find right person to locate suitable land and negotiate lease, decouples from existing operations resulting in competition for students, security of winch and glider(s) when site unattended.

                              Inspired by Drew's earlier comments, we can consider initially substituting purchase of a 4x4 pickup for a winch in 2 or 3 above, and utilize 2:1 or 3:1 pulley tow.  Pros: much less funds needed up front.  Cons: may not inspire enough interest to ever get to the point of introducing the winch.

                              Discussion?

                              Thanks to all who've commented so far,
                              Marc

                              On Mon, Aug 25, 2008 at 4:47 PM, Daniel Gudgel <d.gudgel@sbcglobal. net> wrote:

                              Out on a little bit of a limb, here, but the Avenal Club may be able to throw some money into this pot ($1000 or more???) toward the purchase of a winch for the benefit of NORCAL.  We are currently solidifying our towplane options but a winch provides diversity and a cost-effective mechanism for training flights.  Just thinking (as much as a contradictory statement as that can be in regards to me).
                              Dan Gudgel


                              Peter Deane <peter.deane@ sbcglobal. net> wrote:
                              Hi Marc
                               
                              Its hard NOT to agree with you here - you can count on my support - key question is how much support could I give and would it be enough to be helpful ..
                               
                              I can support with time, some financial help if needed to get the winch, sign up for training sessions and winch driving once competent, on a regular but manageable basis.
                               
                              Most importantly up front I can help with the planning /biz model side - and of course promotion of the idea around the region - through PASCO, WestWind etc etc. Your spreadsheet is a good start however it needs a lot of work !! - We can expand and improve this to explore various scenarios. We can also identify the critical action plans needed to make each scenario work - I will volunteer to contribute on this up front.
                               
                              I think we could start with a few 'scenarios' for the biz plan - rather than try and debate endlessly about which would be the best way to go , then we'll have a way to test our assumptions better ( always good where money and time are involved) and can try the scenarios out
                               
                              The first and easiest scenario might be just buy a winch, get some interested folks together who have a winch-worthy 2 seater and start launching - from a club or site that will support it.  We could get the winch fairly quickly and as long as we have a starter site and a starter glider identified with some instruction and winch trainers set up we're off and launching and this COULD be done by next spring...
                               
                              I agree with you that the worst case of selling everything if its a flop is not a big financial risk -
                               
                              The news group is a good way to share thoughts and discuss broad issues but I think its important to have a core group of folks who will work on the plan and articulate it to the rest of the group for feedback/buy- in/improvement. Then we can lock in on a plan and get going. I think for real progress there needs to be regular face to face meetings of the core team to get the plan worked out - I volunteer to be part of this process should we go that way.
                               
                              Comments??
                               
                              Kind Regards
                               
                              Peter
                               


                              ----- Original Message ----
                              From: Marc Ramsey <marc@ranlog. com>
                              To: norcalwinch@ yahoogroups. com
                              Sent: Sunday, August 24, 2008 1:58:23 AM
                              Subject: [norcalwinch] Re: Marc's Introduction and Proposal

                              Dear Friends,

                              We have an opportunity to really help the sport of soaring here in
                              Northern California, by safely introducing an inexpensive, low noise,
                              fuel efficient launch method. We could operate closer to population
                              centers, as the noise footprint is much smaller. We'd get more
                              pilots, as the training will be less expensive and closer to home.
                              We'd get younger pilots, as a winch launch rivals an amusement park
                              ride for excitement. Groups of kids, once trained, could show up
                              after school and launch each other, no need to track down a tow pilot.
                              We can truly advertise soaring as a vibrant, ecologically friendly,
                              and exciting sport.

                              The problem, of course, is getting started. we can start slowly, by
                              buying a winch and operating at an existing site like Avenal. Perhaps
                              later, buy a training glider. Later yet, find some land to lease or
                              buy within easy reach of the Bay Area. Or, we could start bigger, and
                              try to do it all at once. But, we need to start. I encourage all of
                              you to express your opinions on how to make this happen.

                              I am committed to making this happen, sooner rather than later, even
                              if I have to build the winch myself. This shouldn't take than a month
                              or two of discussion, then I'd like to take some action. As I
                              indicated earlier, I'd like to be launching gliders next spring. If
                              it doesn't work out, we'll be able to sell the winch, as others in the
                              US are reaching these same conclusions. But, I honestly believe this
                              will work out, as the benefits are just too obvious. Who else agrees?

                              Marc




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