May 2004                                                                                         Vol. 10                      No. 5
Published every month by mail/website                                         Brad Methvin, Web Editor                                              Richard McIntosh, Editor

'Georgia Sport Flyers' club members who elect to receive the newsletter by the US Postal Service, instead of  by e-mail, must pay $10 in addition to the annual $20 membership fee.  Please refer potential members to Secretary-Treasurer:
GSFA/ Richard Logue
584 Ripplewater Dr.
Marietta Ga.  30064

                             OUR BOARD of OFFICERS    
                                                  Kim Arrowood, President        
                                                  Lonnie Sand, VP            

                                                  Richard Logue, Sec Treas.
Before Ultralights #10
By the way you pilots may be interested to know that some dude (an airplane commander no doubt) discovered "the step". Probably in common use now but new to us. It consisted of flying above the planned altitude, getting everything smooth and settled down (four of each) then put her (airplanes are of course female. Mine was "The Heavenly Body") into a slight dive to the altitude at which you wanted to be. You discovered that the new attitude would hold itself allowing you to pull slowly back on the throttle (still four) and allow you to remain on that step (attitude) with less throttle, RPM's, etc., and without losing altitude. Another way to get back home with wet tanks. This may have become obsolete with jets. I fly ultralights.
I haven't told you about the atomic bombs because I didn't know anything. The Enola Gay was parked in a forbidden area next to us, but we didn't have a clue. One day we were half way to our target and were called back - "mission scrubbed". We were ticked off of course since no mission, no credit. We had completed the hardest part. When we got back we still didn't know what was going on. Sitting in the recreation beer garden suddenly the loudspeaker music was interrupted by President Truman describing the bomb and that we had dropped one. We, of course, didn't know what he was talking about and suspected misinformation or propaganda. I had taken chemistry in high school and knew what an atom was but it took the second bomb to convince me.
That was it as far as combat was concerned.
During the war all G.I's garnered "points" and got out of the service sooner or later depending on how many points one had. I did not stay in the Air Force because I was really ticked off. When I had flown a few missions over Europe I was promoted to lst Lt. I volunteered for as many missions as we could take and finished our 30th in three months. I did not have time to get to know my superior officers very well. I didn't drink or smoke, so didn't frequent the Officers Club much. I palled around with my crew mostly, and was in the sack early most nights. Since I was moving around so much on short assignments I did not come up for promotion. No superiors wanted to waste a promotion on someone who would mean nothing to him in the future.
When I was on Tinian I took a trip to Central Headquarters on Guam. There I talked with a desk officer who was quite surprised that I was still a lst Lt. considering all that I had done. He told me that my name would come up for Captain within the next few weeks since I had no blemish on my record. So what happens? We dropped the atomic bomb which put everything on hold! My C.O. on Tinian offered me a Captaincy if I would stay with the group to help hold it together and get it back to the states. At that stage of my life I was not very forgiving, and told him "thanks but no thanks". I went over to the coordination pool where they were selecting dischargees and with so many points they were happy to get me to fly a war weary full of G.I's back to the states. We lost an engine between Hawaii and the states before reaching the" no return" point so had to return to Hawaii for repairs. Getting home was important but a few days in Hawaii was not hard to take.
Then off again, landing at Travis Air Force base near Sacramento. Oh, I forgot to mention an incident that reflected my luck. I was on the skeet team of my group (462nd bomb group). Back home I knew my Valdosta hunting buddies were dying for shot gun shells, third to football and fishing I guess. Therefore I confiscated by moonlight a case out of the ammunition tent and hid them in the top gun turret. At Travis everything was geared toward getting us off the base and headed home. Total confusion! I ordered a cab out to my plane and hid them in the trunk in a G.I bag. I got away with it and went to the railway express in Sacramento and sent them home. No problem but some railroad worker no doubt recognized them and in turn stole them from me. I never heard about them again but got reimbursed about $25.00. Actually they were priceless at the time. My buddies would have given an arm or a leg for them.
The war was over for me and I was "separated" in San Antonio.

The driving directions to Etowah Bend Gliderport:
Driving from downtown Atlanta take: Hwy I-75 North exit 290 Cartersvilles Exit  make left, follow to US 41, turn right on HWY 411, then follow signs to Rome.   After 10 miles will cross Etowah River.  Make U-turn after bridge then Etowah Bend clubhouse will be the FIRST GATE on the right after driving back over the bridge.
(for more up to date and late developing events go to the forum at )
May  Meeting
May 8th, 2004 at 11:00 AM
(10:30 AM for those who are late) at

Etowah Bend Gliderport
June 12, 2004 (if rain on the 12th the Rally will be held on the 13th)
Etowah Bend Gliderport


September 10-12, at Marion County Airport, Jasper, Tennessee.  INFORMATION; T.L. Primm  (706)657-2318.  e-mail:


View from the cockpit through a beginners eyes

By Richard McIntosh

It is with great sadness that I report to you that I have taken my last lesson the other day.  Due to other commitments and other factors in my life I will have to postpone my flight lessons and I will have to give up being the editor of the newspaper for now.  The Georgia Sport Flyers is one great ultralight club with helpful and informative members.  I was proud to be a member and will remember great times with the club.  Keep up the good work and enjoy flying when ever possible.  Thank you for letting me be a part of a great group of people.


Would you like to Learn to fly Ultralights or Trikes?    Here are instructors you  can call:                
Fixed Wing
            Joe Horton                                     770-975-0003
            Bryan Jorgensen                                     770-439-5504
            Richard Logue                               770-590-3071
            Ben Methvin                                              770-509-6753
            Brad Methvin                                  678-461-4463
            Bob Smedberg                 404-427-5739
            Kim Arrowood                               770-547-3622


           Chris Antoskow                                    404-451-5656  
           Chuck Goodrum                         770-426-7294

(If you know of other instructors please e-mail
Minutes from the April Meeting

President Kim Arrowood open the meeting by welcoming visitors and new members.  Kim gave a report of the trip to Peachtree City's Falcon field.  Seven planes left and flew down in perfect conditions.  The trip back was anything but perfect conditions but a good time was had.  Kim showed off her pocket vest talked of the possibility of having Club logo embroidered on vest.  A list was set up for anyone interested in getting the vest.  Mike Prossor talked about the Airport Authority at Cartersville.  Mike said that there was no agenda posted.  There was a small turn out and no new business.  Ultralight planes are not well received at Cartersville Airport but have to leave only if there is a safety issue.  Mike asked Bob about our performance.  Bob indicated that the only problem was that ultralight planes were going all the way to the end of the field to take off when they should use the middle third of runway.  Mike said he would meet back with Bob to go over what was agreed to in the past.  There was mentioned that any new information on Sport Pilot/Sport Plane could be accessed on web page.  USUA talks about insurance available for ultralights.  Mark Henderson talked about the Air Rally on June 12.  He has had flyers made up about the Rally to distribute and advertise the event.  Volunteers are still needed.  Quicker cooking process, moonwalk, toilets, control tower discussed.  Bob Smedberg doing target on field.  Mike Bertolami will run the fuel truck.  Erick Baron will in charge of competitions.  Ben Methvin and Chuck Goodrum will run the tower duties (M.C., Air Boss).  Sun 'n Fun trip was talked about.  A meeting place for getting all the bags and things that will go down by car.  Wednesday was going the best day to take off from Cartersville Airport.  Late arriving visitors from Vermont were welcomed.  Meeting was adjourned.
Solo Flight

It is rumoured that Hugo Garcia has made a solo flight in his plane.  Come to the next meeting or e-mail Hugo for more information.
I was visiting the EAA website for an overview of Sun-N-Fun and these 2004 award winners were announced:

Mike Fouts, Woodstock, Ga., Piper L21 - Dirty Bird Award
Richard Hess, Cartersville, Ga. for Newest Warbird, Nanchang CJ-6 .- Judges Award

UL Category:
Stu Metcalf, Williamson, Ga., FlightStar II SL - Best Type, Assembly Kit Award
Wayne Waddel, Hahira, Ga., Challenger II - Grand Champion Award

Congratulations to everyone!!!

Call Signs

Kim Arrowood
has new Call Sign. She is "Spirit One".
Ultralight Emergency Landouts
Erick Baron

We of the Georgia Sport Flyers Association are blessed with great instructors and safety conscious members. The purpose of this writing is not to teach you something new but to polish the pearls  your instructor has gifted you already. It never hurts to review safety procedures.

Because I previously had a little flying time, much of my training with Ben was devoted to ultralight emergency procedures. He had to undo  some of my previous thinking. I was used to gliding at a 40:1 glide ratio. This gives a pilot some time (and distance) while making decisions. In an ultralight, at a 7:1 glide ratio, you dont have that luxury. If you lose power you are landing - now. One of the most important things I learned from Ben is to reflexively put the nose down to maintain airspeed. He also amplified the emergency prime rule - Fly The Airplane First . Worry about the radio and lunch later.

Being prepared for such an emergency accomplishes three things. One, it greatly reduces the stress level when the emergency does occur. Two, it helps you make the proper choices in a very limited time span. And lastly, one of Murphys laws state that the more prepared you are for something, the less likely that event will actually occur. Think of this preparation the same as you would aircraft maintenance or preflight. When the blessed event happens, would you rather have a plan of action or thought choking panic? Take the time now, while sitting safely on your favorite reading chair (mine is bolted to the floor), to develop your plan of action.

Your emergency outlanding will most likely be the result of a power loss from mechanical failure. The fan quits spinning. Know your planes best L/D airspeed. Get to that speed immediately. Pushing forward on the stick should be a well rehearsed reflex. Get the nose down. Not just level, but down. Other causes can be a sudden weather change (a topic for another article), flight control failure and SBB (Sudden Bathroom Break). All of these causes, especially the flight control failure, greatly complicate an emergency outlanding.

Preparing for an emergency outlanding begins before you ever get to the airport. Knowing what types of fields are in your area is essential. Also pay attention to the time of growing season. Has the soil just been tilled? Are the crops young and short or mature and tall? Soy versus corn? A healthy corn crop looks smooth and level from altitude but is absolutely unlandable. Tobacco is unlandable. A freshly turned field may be a little rough but hides nothing. The next time you are driving thru the countryside, take a little detour to some fields. Do this seasonally. It will also make you appreciate farmers more.

The contour of the field is as important as any crop. What looks like a smooth, level field at altitude becomes a sloping, rutted roller coaster up close. This is where a little practice comes in handy. Try choosing a likely, but unknown, field from 2000 feet then fly down and assess it from 50 feet. Please watch for wires. As a matter of practice watch for wires, towers, crop, slope and other aircraft. Do not harass homeowners doing this.

In a real emergency landing you may have to land on sloping terrain. A short field landing technique should be used no matter how long the field. Get down, get stopped. Do not land downhill. It is preferable to land downwind and uphill than upwind and downhill. A downhill landing will only get you an intimate view of the far trees and fence. A steep uphill landing requires extra speed and flying very close to the ground before flairing up the slope. The ground roll will be very short. A side slope presents unique problems. You may have to S-turn creatively to match the terrain keeping your wings parallel to the ground underneath you. And then once you are on the ground, and rolling, you have to turn with the slope. Imagine yourself riding a bicycle in a giant tube. Then, just before stopping, using up your last bit of energy you will want to turn across the slope to prevent your plane from rolling downhill.

Pay attention to your cruise altitude. For instance, if you are flying to Etowah Bend from Cartersville, the first five or six miles are littered with plenty of landable fields. The last 3 or four miles, however, are sparse. I am comfortable at 1300 ft for the first part but climb to 1500 or 1800 ft for the last. And there are still some parts of that flight when I am uncomfortable. As I get more time on the Phantom my anxiety is reduced, but thats just false security. Flying hour after hour without so much as a burp from the engine doesnt guarantee uninterrupted power.

The wind will not always be to your favor. I do not envy my taildragger friends who might have to land downwind over tall obstructions into an unknown short field. Whew. I get sweaty just thinking about it. The wind that changes your heading at 2000 feet will not be the same wind swirling over the trees. Just when you turn final with very little extra speed, and you think you can relax, you have to remain on your toes. The flows and eddies will be different than at Cartersville, Etowah Bend and Rhodes. Know your wind direction on the ground.

The approach. At some point, depending on available fields, you must commit to a field. This is a good time to tighten your straps and say a prayer. Fly as close to a normal pattern as altitude permits. Especially a square base leg. This provides your best chance to judge wind, slope and obstacles. Use a little extra airspeed. You can use slip if you need to descend a little faster. Once you have turned final you cannot change your mind and choose another field. Even if your field has obstacles, you are aware of them and have already planned for them. You simply do not have a chance to evaluate a new field.  

Lets look at an example. You are cruising home after the big rally. Daydreaming about your landing contest trophy when you notice on your instrument scan that your altitude is lower than it should be and your RPMs are at 4500 RPM at full throttle. You are descending. Well thats not right , you think. After a moment of confusion your puckerometer surges. But its not pegged because you already know you are at a safe altitude and can easily make it to several attractive fields below. First thing? Nose down, best speed. And you know the direction of the wind. This is merely an inconvenience. Not something to take lightly of course. No landing is to be performed nonchalantly. Your training kicks in. And since you have practiced it, and have a plan, its not a mind numbing terrifying situation. You use your altitude and best glide speed to extend your time aloft as you evaluate your choices. Field size, orientation and terrain run thru your mind. Then crop and obstructions. Check your airspeed. You circle your best choice, if you have the altitude, confirming all your information and getting a feeling for wind. Then you do a nice standard pattern. Check your airspeed. A square base leg gives you the opportunity to check the wind and look for unseen obstacles, especially on the approach end. On final, check your airspeed, you should be looking for obstacles and checking your airspeed. Wheels touch the ground but you are not done yet. Keep your nosewheel light but get stopped. This field is an unknown. There may be all sorts of dangers lurking in the crop. Finally you bounce to a stop. You and your aircraft are intact.

There. Youve done it. You may now get out and do your celebration dance, pat yourself on the back or kiss Mother Earth. You deserve it. Smell the crop. Check your underwear. Then secure your plane. Is the ignition off? Is the fuel off? Is there fuel in it? If you simply ran out of fuel - dont tell anybody about it. We will never, ever, let you forget about it. Make up a lie. And practice it before someone comes to pick you up.

In the preceding example our power loss was gradual. Power loss may be sudden or an unnoticed loss of RPM. The gradual loss is the more insidious. It can delay your decision to commit to an outlanding until you are too low and have passed several good sites. Make your go / no go  decision at the highest altitude possible. Dont let yourself get so low you run out of options.

If your engine is going away  use the power as long as possible to reach a safe field. Only when your safety is ensured should you consider shutting off, or saving, the engine.
Power loss on takeoff emergencies are another subject to be explored later. The only thing I will say here is Get The Nose Down Fast  and Fly The Plane First . Ill bet Ben has these two phrases tattooed somewhere.

Do not concern yourself much with crop damage. If there is a viable crop in your field you will stop before doing much damage. But in reality, most farmers are so proud that their beautiful field saved your bacon they dismiss your minor trespass. Remember; do as little damage retrieving your plane as you can. If you buy insurance it should cover this sort of thing. A farmer can not hold a certificated plane that has landed on his property. I am not sure about our ultralights but he must at least protect your property. If there is any sort of conflict call a Sheriff immediately.

If all else fails and you are faced with the unpleasant task of landing  on an unlandable surface, such as water, corn, tobacco or trees, do so with control. This is called ditching . Many pilots think they will just skip along softly on top of the water or corn stalks. But you wont. Your landing gear will get snatched out and your nose will be driven down flipping you over on your back. You want to ditch with the least amount of speed, or energy, as possible. You want to stall, or plop , onto the surface. There is some debate about how to control crash  into trees. Some will teach you to aim right between two trees and let your aircraft absorb the energy. If the situation calls for it do so confidently. And in control. For water landing (ditching) Ben suggested shallow water, close to the shore, and sticking one wheel into the water causing a sort of ground loop. This maneuver dissipates energy well and helps to protect both pilot and plane.

If you have a Ballistic Recovery System type parachute now, as you read this, is the time to ponder when you will use it. Know the limitations of your specific rig. How long does it take to deploy? What is the descent rate with your big fat ultralight hanging under it? Would you rather land normally or use the chute ? Repacking cost should not be any concern. Repacking cost about the same as one physical therapy session. I have heard of out of date chutes deploying just fine but, if I had one, I would know my repack date and the condition of my rig. This (BRS) is another subject worth exploring further.

Finally, practice. Practice makes perfect. And perfect is the way I want to handle my emergency landing. Not that we need much of an excuse to fly. But practicing emergencies is a great excuse. And I would log my practice sessions.

I dont know if these random thoughts polished the pearls or muddied the waters. Its good if you disagree with some of it. That means you have given it some thought. I do know, however, that not one of these thoughts are my very own. I must give credit to my instructors and several writers. I hope this helps someone.