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Region 7 Soaring Contest 
Albert Lea, Minnesota
June 2 - 8, 2024



Welcome to the Region 7 Soaring Contest - 2024

  • Fly well and safely, race fast and have fun.

  • Extend your appreciation to the contest volunteers, include them in your hangar talk, and socialize with them while at the airport.

  • Extend your appreciation to the airport manager.

Covid-19 Guidance

  • Guidance by the CDC.


  • Make safety first.

  • Report unsafe activities (flying or on ground) .

  • Stay behind glider prepared to launch (CRITICAL!).

  • SMOKING is allowed only near the ornamental jet.

Registration (Region 7 Soaring Contest)

  • Register in the Contest Office at the old, yellow FBO building next to the gated entrance.  No contest flying is to be done prior to registration. 

  • Please use the SSA online entry system and send in your completed paperwork along with your deposit/or registration and 4 tows.

Tie Downs

  • Secure your trailer and glider in designated areas knowing that thunderstorms may pass through. Tie downs are first-come-first-claim.

  • Towplanes on Apron by FBO


  • Camping sites are first-come-first-claim.

  • Park your RV or camper, or erect your tent at the airport in areas that don’t interfere with movement of gliders and other airfield operations.

  • Plan your use of water and other camping operations.  There are no sanitary or water hookups.  A sanitation pump-out truck will service the port-potties.  Airport potable water is available requiring you to move your rig to the water-station.

 General Airport Operations

  • Use the noted grass areas parallel or next to the runways as alternative landing areas to the airport runways.

  • Avoid at all reasonable effort the unlandable grass islands in-between Runway 17/35 and the taxiway.  This unlandable area has grades that will lead to glider damage and possibly pilot injury.

  • Use the taxiway to move your glider only if you have 15m or shorter wings; follow the centerline.

  • Use the runway to move gliders with wing-spans 15m or longer in order to avoid the blue taxiway markers.

  • Operate at this municipal airport knowing of continuous use by general aviation.

  • Leave the area near the fuel pumps free at all times.

 Driving on the Airport

  • No driving on the runways (unless directed by Operations to re stage sailplanes or retrieve sailplanes).

  • Contest ID shall be annotated on crew vehicle (visibly).

  • Minimize driving on aprons, ramps, taxiways (unless towing a glider); monitor 123.0 until staged, then switch to 123.3.

  • 10 mph speed limit on any airport road or taxiway.


  • No pets at meal events and during the launch.  Pets OK if contained or leashed.

 Access and Local Facilities

  • The runways and taxiway are always active.

  • A NOTAM for AEL informs other aviation traffic of glider activity at and near the airport for this week.

  • Move your glider on the runways or taxiway as if "Just in Time". Monitor 123.0 for incoming traffic when driving on a runway or taxiway.

  • Use porta-potties by the Maintenance Building/Hangar, and the runway ends.  Do not use the bathrooms in the FBO.

  • Make every effort to drive on paved surfaces.  Avoid turf surfaces whenever possible.

Glider Preparation

  • Expect uncertain opportunities to charge your batteries at the maintenance hangar or other areas at the airport. The contest organizers will do their best to provide some capacity.

 Pilot Meetings (Region 7 Soaring Contest)

  • Communications at the contest will be done via the app Signal which you can get from your favorite app site.  Make a point to test the app with me before you arrive.    

  • Documents at the contest like the day's task will be sent to your email address.  Printed tasks will also be available.

  • Meetings on the grid are unlikely. Rather, contest staff will walk the grid to inform pilots by tail number of changes.

  Weighing (Region 7 Soaring Contest)

  • This is a dry contest for all classes.

  • Top finishers from prior contest day in each class may be weighed, others may be weighed at random.

  • Official weighing will be done after staging.


  • Move your glider to the staging area before the announced grid time. We are likely to see comfortable temperatures, negating any need to stage early because of high temperatures. Remember, the runways and taxiway are always active.

  • Monitor 123.0 while on the runway or taxiway; be prepared to pull off and clear for power traffic. Switch to 123.3 after Staging.

  • Stage according to the Contest Manager’s directions.

  • Pull off at your (numbered) grid position. See grid sheet for position number (changes daily).

  • Leave clearance to the edge of the asphalt and your wingtips so others can get to their grid position.

  • Remove tail dolly if you leave the ship.


  • Move into position at grid time (announced via Signal and/or task sheet, subject to delays by broadcast on 123.3).

  • If you are not there at grid time, other people may move your ship into position.

  • Critical Assembly Check daily sign-off must be visible on your left wing-tape (Operations may remove unverified ships from grid).

  • Angle park cars and RVs before grid time (west side of Runway 17/35 with everyone behind the last glider)

  • Leave your keys in the car; be ready to move vehicles if need arises. Make arrangements to have your cars and wing stands/wheels removed from the field immediately after you take off.

  • NO PARKING BETWEEN TAXIWAY AND RUNWAY. Crew cars stay behind the line of launch as it progresses

  • Elephant March: If wind direction changes, listen on 123.3 for mass marching orders from Operations.


  • Towing will be from the runways (airport NOTAM informs general aviation of gliders in the area). Launch may begin as soon as 20 minutes after grid time.

  • BE READY to go when it is your turn. If you are not ready, pull out. BE READY to roll when the slack is out. Don't make the operations wait on you. Be prepared.

  • Tow speed 75-80 mph. Ask to increase or decrease speed by 5 knots and not to another airspeed.

  • Towplanes follow a specified route to allow gliders to release in the same general area, but may deviate for safety purposes.

  • Release at 2,000 AGL or if you get a wave-off. It's courteous to fellow pilots & launch crew to release early (in lift).

  • Turn RIGHT after release because the towplane turns left.

  • Motorgliders: Warm up ahead of time. Roll forward -100 feet prior to full power. Launch when signaled.

  Relights and Pull Backs (Region 7 Soaring Contest)

  • Relights on Runway 5/23 or the grassed areas east of the taxiway. Pull well off to either side.

  • No-Fault relaunch (i.e. rope break) shall be (per as soon as practical.

  • Relaunches and/or pull backs towed in sequence behind the last launch of class.

 Racing Files and the Internet (Region 7 Soaring Contest)

  • The scorer is not at the airport so contestants will submit their *.igc files via the internet at the email address noted at the beginning of this page.  Your email subject line must include the contest name, date and contest ID.  

  • Expect limited internet access at the airport, because of range and buildings. The contest organizers will use internet access for weather prediction, managing glider retrieves, contest reporting. Contestants can use this capacity to submit flight logs to the scorer and other meaningful soaring subjects.

Contest Communication (Region 7 Soaring Contest)

  • The CD and CM will use the app SIGNAL for smart phones to communicate during the contest.

  • The CM will invite contestants and their guests to the contact list for the contest.

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