February 2-4, 2012 saw the Touring Motor Glider Association's debut at the annual Soaring Society of America's annual convention in Reno, Nevada. There were over 650 registered attendees (with many more drop-ins) and all the aviation eye-candy one can only lust for. The Atlantis Hotel and Casino was a great venue with a large exhibit hall and comfortable presentation rooms for many outstanding soaring sessions.
The recently kicked-off TMGA had its own booth, sponsored by Lambada, Phoenix, Diamond, Pipistral, and Ximango. THANK YOU, MANUFACTURERS! Lambada had reps Mike Tomazin and Joe Kulbeth in attendance and Diamond had Russ Hustead there, with Ron Snedecor and myself rounding out the team. Lots of product literature for all the models were given out and newcomers to the TMG scene were amazed at the new generation of TMGs. We had our big banner and a constantly looping slideshow of all TMGs from the early days to the most modern on a wide screen TV.
Michael Haisten (A&P, I.A., Auburn Airplane Works) and I gave a well-attended presentation on TMGs at one of the formal sessions. We all hung out in the booth answering questions and sometimes it seemed like our booth was the busiest of them all. The coolest time was when Bob Harris (U.S. sailplane record holder) and Einar Enevoldson, (co-owner with Steve Fossett of the world altitude record) were BOTH in our booth chatting away about their flights and other accomplishments and totally oblivious of us. Just listening to those two legends was an unforgettable treat. Unfortunately I didn’t have my camera handy to get a picture of them under the TMGA banner.
Our booth was right next to one shared by Minden-Tahoe Airport (a great supporter of our annual fly-in, SoaringNV (the on-site host for the fly-in), and the Minden Soaring Club and we were able to work on some logistics for the July 12-15 event . Note: Do not forget to sign up in the Events section of the website, under the 2012 Sign-Up tab; sign-up even if you are only a "possible" at this time.
All in all, grand fun and we made some real headway in promoting TMGs.
(submitted by Richard Pearl, Director, TMGA)