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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: [Acro] AWAC 2002

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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: [Acro] AWAC 2002


Thread: [Acro] AWAC 2002

Message: [Acro] AWAC 2002

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Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 21:49:30 UTC


I started to write these comments as a response to one of the several notes 
that have been posted to the web in regard to the team situation but instead 
decided to make it a general post. Before it goes to far I would like to make 
a few comments. My comments are based upon being a Foundation Board member 
for the past 10 years and being a member of teams for the past 10 years.
With the recognition that this exploder is viewed by people all over the 
world I shall be very careful with my thoughts, something I have not seen 
done at times. 
You ask for more information about the team situation, I suggest that you are 
wanting to know about peoples personal lives and I don't feel that it is the 
business of the organization to know this information. I can tell you from 
past experience that even with funding, a trip to worlds is a very large 
finical, family and personal commitment. If you have not been involved you 
can never appreciate the magnitude of the effort. The Foundation committed to 
a level of support. This level was based upon available funds. These funds 
have been severally stretched. The reason for the lack of funds falls upon 
the decision of CIVA to realign the WAC and AWAC schedule thus causing 6 
world events in the past 3 years. These were 2-WAC, 2-AWAC and 2 glider world 
contests. It has always been a challenge for the foundation to support the 
normal contest structure without the extra events. Many hours have been 
expended by many people to raise funds for the teams, they do not deserve to 
be criticized for the efforts and or lack of successes.
I find it a little unrealistic for some to sit and demand that the 
organizations fund these trips no matter what the cost is. Quit obviously 
they would not run there personal finical life this way. Neither USAF or IAC 
can do this either. I also fine it unrealistic that the major level of 
funding for our teams comes from outside our organizations. 
This year has been especially difficult with the current world situation 
insurance coverage for travel has become impossible. A pilot taking an 
airplane out side the United States will probably do so without insurance 
coverage. The ability to ship airplanes has become much more difficult. The 
availability of airplanes equal to those being flown by our pilots are very 
limited if non existent. The original concept of AWAC was not to move 
airplanes but to be able to rent equipment at the contest site, thus keeping 
the cost to a much lower level. Our pilots have tried this as evidenced by 
our participation in 1999 and 2000. It, at best, was very unsuccessful.
I think that we all must realize that this is still a hobby. I am confident 
that these pilots who have decided that it is impossible to attend this event 
have very good reasons and that these reasons need not be public. I am also 
sure that if it were a different group of pilots that the out come would have 
been the same.
I truly hope that this will not effect our relation with the rest of the 
world. For them to attend a world event is like us attending an event in the 
US. For us, quite obviously, it is a major logistic and finical challenge. 
I trust that those who are truly concerned with the decisions of these team 
members will discuss the topic on an individual basis and not present this 
topic to the world.
In regard to the decisions of the IAC board and USAF, I can speak as a board 
member of both when I say that they are guide lines in place that limit the 
placement of new people on a team after January 1 of the team year. This rule 
was put in place at the request of members of previous teams who felt that it 
was unfair to have an alternate be standing by up until the date of 
I am sure that on a one on one that any of the current IAC or USAF board 
members can shed light on any questions that any of you might have.
This is not a topic that needs to become a political football.

Phil Knight


© Dr. Günther Eichhorn
Email Guenther Eichhorn