Recent Achievements

Al Freedy Receives FAA Master Pilot Award

Al Freedy, a valued member of WCSA, received the prestigious FAA Wright Brothers “Master Pilot” Award for his contributions to aviation for over fifty years. Presenting the award on behalf of the FAA were Bill Law and Chet Cybulski, Operations Supervisor of the DuPage Flight Standards District Office. Also on hand were Al’s wife Marilyn and aviation friends Al has collected over the years.

“The award recognizes the efforts of pilots who have followed and continue to follow the precaution and awareness of safe flight operations. Most of all, the FAA recognizes pilots who have contributed and maintained safe flight for 50 or more years of piloting aircraft”.

Jim & Simine Short were awarded the Eaton Trophy by the SSA

Jim & Simine Short, are founding members of the WCSA. The Eaton Trophy is named after Warren E. Eaton, founder of the SSA and is the SSA’s highest award. It is awarded each year to someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the art, sport, or science of soaring flight in the USA.
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2014 Season Summary

Andrew Smolen Acheives Certified Flight Instructor Glider (CFIG) Rating
On 2014.03.25 Andrew Smolen acheived his CFIG. He said the oral exam was about 6 hours long and was followed by just 2 flights. Great work Andrew!

Mike Mike Purpura Acheives Private Pilot Glider Rating
On 2014.03.21 Mike Mike Purpura achieved his Private Pilot Glider rating. Word is that the oral was about 2 hours and he impressed the examiner so much (or scared him enough) that he completed teh exam with only 2 flights in a Grob. Way to go Mike. We owe you a baptism.

2013 Season Summary

Zack Babb Goes Solo
On 2013.06.23, Zack Babb completed his first solo flight (just one day after his 14th Birthday) with a perfect take off and landing in fairly significant crosswinds. Congratulations Zack!

2012 Season Summary

Don Poll Achieves Solo
On 2012.09.29, Don Poll completed a great first solo flight with a perfect take off and landing. Congratulations Don! Also congratulations to Instructor Pete Washburn for training his second solo student this season!

Bill Freeman Completes Silver Badge Altitude, Distance and Duration Flights
On 2012.09.29, Bill Freeman completed the Silver distance and altitude flights to complete the final requirements for his Silver Badge.
On 2012.09.23, Bill Freeman landed on runway 27 at 5:54 pm with a total flight time, release to landing, of 5 hours 49 minutes. Nice Flights Bill!

Christian Reditsch Goes Solo On His 14th Birthday
On 2012.09.18, Christian Reditsch celebrated his 14th birthday by making his first solo flight. He flew an ASK-21 sailplane while his proud parents, Leif and Sheri, and his flight instructor, Pete Washburn, observed. Several WCSA club members also took time off from work and school (don’t tell) to cheered him on. Christian was able to exploit lift to reach a maximum altitude of 6300 feet and remained aloft for 90 minutes then executed his landing in some fairly significant crosswinds proving he is an outstanding young pilot! Happy Soaring Birthday!

Wit Kwiecinski Goes For The Gold
On 2012.09.09, Wit Kwiecinski completed a 300K Gold Badge flight. Wit planned and completed a truly ambitious task going for the Gold distance leg under some pretty tricky This added to the long and still growing list of WCSA pilot accomplishments this season. Wow! What a year! Great flying Wit!

Michael Nuebeck Makes 5hr Flight
On 2012.09.08, Michael Nuebeck completed a 5hr Silver Badge duration flight. Go Michael Go!

Craig Kinney Makes First Solo Flight & Nails Landing
On 2012.09.03, Craig Kinney achieved solo status! And… he totally greased the landing like an old pro in one of the clubs ASK-21 gliders. Way to go Graig! Jeff Kukuk, his flight instructor, must be quite proud.

Darek Ratjewski Completes 300K Flight
On 2012.08.28, Darek Ratjewski completed a 300K triangle flight. Yet another outstanding achievement from a Windy City Soaring Club Member.

Rafal Serdyniecki Earns a Silver Badge
On 2012.08.06, Rafal Serdynieck completed the remaining distance leg for and has now been awarded the SSA Silver Badge. Rafal flew from Hinckley to Spring Brook Airfield and returned. He also did it the hard way – Old School. Although he had the clubs new flight logger he did not a have GPS moving map and navigated by chart!

Norbert Pass Acheives Solo Status
On 2012.07.21, Norbert Paas was signed off for Solo flight by WCSA Flight Instructor Dennis Stehlick and did a great job on his first solo glider flight and landing. Norbert joined WCSA with a strong background in powered flight and achieved his solo status in a VERY short period of time with MINIMAL instruction required.

Windy City President Mines Silver
On 2012.06.22, John Ehrisman, President of Windy City Soaring, departed Hinckley Airfield at 12:30pm hoping to complete the distance and duration requirements for a Silver Badge. John had previously completed the altitude requirement. At 6:00pm, John returned successfully having reached Poplar Grove Airfield and having remained airborne for 5.5 hours. Nice flight old boy! This makes 4 Silver badges this year for club members.

Three WCSA Pilots Earn Silver Badges
Earning the FAI Silver Badge involves 3 required elements. Silver Altitude is a 1,000-meter (3,281-foot) altitude gain; Silver Duration is a 5-hour flight time; and Silver Distance is a 50-km (31.07-mile) cross country flight. So far this year three WCSA members have completed these tasks.
2012.04.12 Badge # 6846 Mateusz Slowick
2012.05.19 Badge # 6853 Dariusz Ratajewski
2012.06.09 badge # 6856 Wit Kwiecinski

Three WCSA Pilots Start the Season Off with Sky High Accomplishments
Peter Washburn earned his Certified Flight Instructor Glider rating.
Christopher Marczewski earned his Commercial Pilot Glider rating.
Mateusz Slowik successfully completed a 5 hour Silver Badge duration flight.
All of these achievements were completed on the same day, April 12, 2012.
What an amazing day for WCSA. And… so early in the season. Wow!