The 2015 Evergreen encampment in Ephrata

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by Zach Schrempp

Every year, the Evergreen Soaring club goes on a weeklong encampment to the Ephrata Airport, located in central Washington. Ephrata usually has strong thermals and high cloudbases, giving club pilots a chance to soar for long periods and try cross country flights. The airport is large, and has a crosswind runway which can be used if the wind really starts howling. The Seattle Glider Council (SGC) bases two towplanes at Ephrata, and has constructed a nice clubhouse with bunks, showers, and a kitchen on the field. One can also camp at the airport, either in a camper or in a tent.

gridline-400x225.jpgMany enthusiastic club members participated in the encampment this year, and we had enough volunteers to bring all but one of our club sailplanes to Ephrata. One L-23, both L-33s, the Grob 103, and the DG-300 all arrived safely in Ephrata on Friday, May 22nd after being de-rigged and towed over the mountains by an armada of Evergreen members with towball-equipped vehicles. Phil Anderson ferried Pawnee 30Y over the mountains for towing. A large contingent of Evergreen members also brought their privately-owned sailplanes over the mountains to participate.

howmanypilotstofixanL33-400x225.jpgOver the Memorial Day Weekend, the SGC sponsored the "Dust Up", an intro to cross-country soaring and contests which is held every year. Some club members participated in the Dust Up using club equipment or their own gliders, and Evergreen also volunteered our tow plane for Dust Up participants. After the Dust Up tows were launched, more casual and training flights took place for the rest of the day. After the Dust Up was over, the Evergreen encampment continued for the rest of the week.

howmanypilotstofixanL33-400x225.jpgDuring the week, we had a few days of over-developed weather, including some lightning and an epic rainstorm on Tuesday which must have dumped most of Ephrata’s annual quota of precipitation. Some days were better soaring than others, but club pilots had chances to fly every day of the week. Many club pilots got to try extended-local and cross-country flying for the first time, and there were a few landouts to show for it. A lot of training, both basic and cross-country, was done in the two-place ships throughout the week by our diligent volunteer instructors. Thanks to Steve Baker, the club president was even able to get his BFR done.

Here are a few great flights in club gliders that were posted on the OLC:

Daniel Dyck and Thomas van de Velde, in the club’s Grob 103, visited (in order) Wenatchee, Waterville, Brewster, Mansfield, and finally landed out in Coulee City, on one of the best flights of the day. (

Daniel Dyck made another nice flight out over the plateau in one of the club L-33s, reaching a point between Waterville and Mansfield. (

Makoto Saito made a 5+ hour local flight around Ephrata in an L-33, leaving no thermal untouched. (

x3inwheatfield-400x225.jpgHere are some statistics of the 2015 Evergreen encampment:

N265BA (L-23): 36 flights, 1069 minutes (17.8 hrs)

N2886A (G-103): 11 flights, 926 minutes - plus two flight times not yet reported (15.4 hrs+)

N302N (DG-300): 10 flights, 944 minutes (15.7 hrs)

N355BA (L-33): 12 flights, 1,683 minutes (28.1 hrs)

N379BA (L-33): 9 flights, 1,291 minutes (21.5 hrs)

In sum, ES gliders made 78 flights for a total of about 100 hours of flight time.

17 ES pilots used club gliders during the encampment:

Ned Backus, Hugh Davies, Mike Delaney, Jim Dobberfuhl, Erik Dwyer, Daniel Dyck, Greg Gohsman, Oleg Gorenko, Fred Hermanspann, Ryosuke Ito, Ondrej Lehecka, Dave Lindberg, Tony Puglisi, Makoto Saito, Zach Schrempp, Thomas Van de Velde, and Mary Triana Vasquez.

The three ES towpilots were:

Phil Anderson, Bruce Byrkett, and Kris Kasprowicz.

The four ES instructors were:

Paul Adriance, Steve Baker, Mike Delaney, and Dave Reusch.

There were also, of course, the numerous club members flying private ships: Marty Gibbins (ASW-19), Dave Lindberg (LS-4), Dave Reusch (Libelle), Greg Gohsman (Std. Cirrus), Steve Baker (G-102), the GrobOG (X3), Kevin Finke (ASW-24), Chris Young (Duckhawk), Noel Wade (ASG-29), Bruce Byrkett (LS-6), and undoubtedly many others who I cannot remember at this moment (my apologies). Fred and Kathleen arrived mid-week (by car) and had to deal with people asking if they had flown to Ephrata via Chinook Cross-Cascade Airways. The SGC DG-1000 was also flown on several long cross country flights by ES club members who are part of the syndicate.

All in all, a pretty good show this year. See you next time.