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Chris Gordan

Changing of the Guard

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Dear Friends,

It is with both great sadness and a smattering of pride that I must formally announce my resignation as the Director of SOAR.

It's been about 5 years or so since I accepted the directorship from SOAR's founder, Len Wagner and his partner, Colin Grahm. We've seen truly remarkable changes- not just evolutions, but veritable revolutions in virtual soaring, and we've gained about 1200 new members during that time, many of whom have contributed directly to this amazing growth in the technology and the sport of virtual soaring. I am indeed proud of the growth and accomplishments that we've achieved together, and it has been a pleasure to get to know so many of you. No, I'm not "leaving"...I'll be around to help when I can, and maybe even fly a race once in a while :-)

Don and Karen Hamilton have agreed to take the reigns. As many of you know, they have been handling so much of the SOAR functions already, that it's almost difficult to outline what their additional duties will be (LOL)! All kidding aside, it really has been their hard work and selfless dedication that has made much of what we all enjoy possible. My sincerest thanks go to them. You two are THE BEST!!

Let me close by saying that it has been an honor and a privilege to have served as SOAR's Director. Thank you, all!

Sincerely,

Chris

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Thank you very much for the job done and the time given to SOAR Chris !

Hope to "see" you soon on the forum and/or in virtual flight.

Let's go Don and Karen, nice that that you take this responsability in turn !

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Ill second that Mic.

Thanks for all the hard work you've put in Chris. The group has come a long way in thast few years.

Im sure don and Karen will do a great job in continuing the good work.

Dave

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Sorry to see you standing down Chris :cry: But I would add my thanks for your sterling work over the years :respect:

SOAR is in safe hands with Don & Karen :AA:

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I'd like to add my voice to the chorus and say well done! Your hard work has made SOAR a model for for the whole sim world. I particularly want to thank you for your help when I first started...your enthusiasm and guidance still carries me forward to this day. :AA:

Congratulations Don and Karen...we are in good hands. :ok:

Harry

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Chris,

You have good reason to be proud of the growth and accomplishments of SOAR under your leadership. It is truly an invaluable resource to those of us interested in virtual soaring.

To Don and Karen: You have big shoes to fill and I'm confident in your abilities and desires to just that. Congratulations!

Bill

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It is with some trepidation that we take on this position that Chris has so ably fullfilled for so long. We humbly accept the challenge to guide SOAR into the next generation of virtual soaring and will do our best to make it a vibrante and progressive organization. It has been a privelege to work with Chris through the years and we will sorley miss him at the helm of SOAR. We hope you will come back often and enjoy this great sport with us. Cheers to you Chris, for all your hard work and inspiration! :cheers2:

SOAR was founded in 1999 and back in the days of FS98 with .bgl thermals and white flat saucers for clouds. No ridge lift. FS2000 was only a little better. By todays standards virtual soaring was pretty primative. Yet the FS98-FS2000 years were the most active years for SOAR. While SOAR membership has grown through the years, activity and virtual soaring related creations have dwindled with each new edition of MSFS. Fewer designers are creating aircraft, races, sceneries for MSFS virtual soaring than ever before.Yet dispite this set back some truly remarkable advancments have been made to further the sport. Eric Cardon's CCS has truly made editable soaring scenery possible (at least thermals and ridge lift) for fairly large regions of terrain. Active Sky creates thermals, ridge lift and waves based on real weather for most of the planet. It is also editable and will work in FS2004, and FSX.

Microsoft Flight Sim has been the sim of choice for SOAR members since the beginning mainly due to the fact it was the only sim that permitted virtual soaring because of free third party addons which provided the necessary tools.The downside to this situation is that sense Microsoft has never really embraced virtual soaring, all the necessary tools for soaring have to be reinvented or at least modified with each new edition of MSFS. I think designers and pilots are getting tired of this hassle. Some pilots make the required updates in hardware, and software. Some pilots stay at the old development level, and some pilots and designers find something else to do.

Microsoft is no longer the only player on the block when it comes to virtual soaring. X-Plane supports soaring ( although it is kind of primitave at the moment). It has thermals and ridge lift which covers much of the planet. Condor, Silent Flight, SoTS and SgHT are dedicated virtual soaring flight sims. Condor and Silent Flight have thermals, ridge lift, and waves but only cover limited areas of the planet. The other sims all have strong points and weaknesses.

:lightbulb: It is my vision that SOAR will provide a friendly environment for members to explore and compare the various soaring sims without bias. With this in mind, we would like to make some changes to SOAR, to go in this new direction. We are planning on doing a section on each sim with screenshots, latest news, links to the parent sites, downloads and other related places. It is not our intent to reinvent the wheel with the various sims and we will continue to support MSFS as long as we have the tools to do it with and there is interest for it. If anyone would like to see something happen at SOAR that has not been mentioned please speak up and we will try to accomodate if possible.

We have at least six pilots in SOAR who have Condor (Harry, Norby, Trace, Tom, Jerry,and myself) and there may be others. Personally, I would like to see weekly online informal fly-ins or races in Condor (or any of the other sims). (Or more often if there is interest)

I also plan to develop a Trans American Soaring Tour for motorglider and/or glider which will run from Tierra del Fuego in southern tip of Chile to Kotzebue Alaska (Western end of the Brooks Range). It will ultalize ridge lift, and thermals found in the Andes (South America), various ranges in Central America, and Mexico, the United States Rockies, the Canadian Rockies, the Olgive Mountians (Yukon), and the Brooks Range (Alaska). I hope to develop this tour in MSFS and X-Plane and will award certificates for completion of the course. Airstrips with facilities will be built at strategic locations along the route to allow for reasonable length day flights. It is hoped that these tours can be done as solo offline events or as online multi affairs.

Again, any other ideas are always welcome and appreciated!!

We would also like to open some staff positions and if any of you are interested please contact either myself or Karen. Please consider volunteering to help - let's make SOAR the best virtual soaring site on the web.

:star: :star: :star: These are the positions we have in mind:

:star: Public Relations Director: we need someone that is interested in promoting and telling others about SOAR, writing some articles for magazines, etc. Just basically letting others know we exist.

:star: Liason (for each flight sim) this person would moderate the appropriate forum and spread the word about our forum to other soaring pilots in the other sims. (have noticed for example that the soaring posts just get lost at the x-plane forum, but there are definitely folks interested in soaring, perhaps they would want to join SOAR) Also, this person would keep us updated on news, downloads, events, etc. related to his specific sim so we could update our web pages.

:star: Condor Event Director this person would organize and manage events.

Just a final thank you Chris for your excellent leadership through the years and just know that you will be greatly missed! :excellenttext: :grouphug: :thankyou: :goodluck:

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I remember talking to len ( i still have him in my icq) and then to chris a few times. Then i started to look round the forums and watch ans chris developed the site and SOAR into the definitive resource for virtual soaring.

What you have done with SOAR is to bring together an extremely talented and dedicated group of people with a common goal..that of virtual soaring.

Chris you have been the rock behind soar for a very long time and I am glad that you will still be around :)

Hopefully we will see you flying with us more :)

best wishes and again many thanks

tom

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Thank you Chris !

Your work, effort and finesse at Soar will be unassailable.

I`ll still be looking for you in the Virtual Skies at Soar.

Thanks a million, :AA:

Bud Fuechtmann

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Chris, you have made SOAR a reference in the (not so) virtual soaring community, and elevated this reference to high standards. We must thank you for that. SOAR has become a serious yet enjoyable source of inspiration and renew of ideas. For me, Soar has changed my simulator's experience from a game to a soaring exercice.

In addition to the fantastic amount and quality of add-ons being created within SOAR, I appreciated the content of the discussions here. And Chris, you've always been a perfect manager, directing these discussions to "higher altitudes". Hopefully, you'll step in the debates to come.

This happens at a moment when it seems necessary to re-boost members activity. And it seems that Don and Karen have found the inspiration for this to happen. We'll do our best to support all efforts and projects with you guys! :winks:

:AA: :AA:

Cheers!

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Thanks to all for your kind words :embaressed:

Yes, SOAR is indeed in good hands. I suspect that it will be for a VERY long time. Whether it's a few years or a dozen - when it's time for the Don and Karen to leave the director's chair, it will once again go to good friends who will do their best. Lenny and Colin started something that will no doubt continue.

This happens at a moment when it seems necessary to re-boost members activity. And it seems that Don and Karen have found the inspiration for this to happen. We'll do our best to support all efforts and projects with you guys!

As to member activity, we always received the most new membership and forum signups after one of a few articles I wrote that were published on Flightsim.com. What many do not know, is that articles are accepted from everywhere. One does not need to be an "insider" to get their words out there - if you have a reasonably well written treatise on anything related to flightsimming, it will be added to the queue of articles and will probably come out 6-8 weeks after it's accepted.

I'd LOVE to see more articles from the membership! I know for a fact that quite a few of you have wonderful writing skills...go for it!

...and again, you folks are the best. THANKS! :respect: :respect: :respect:

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