• Report: #586596

Complaint Review: Pony X Press

  • Submitted: Sun, March 28, 2010
  • Updated: Sun, April 15, 2012

  • Reported By: truthteller — Texas United States of America
Pony X Press
Internet United States of America

Pony X Press Dave Thornburg Old Buzzard's Soaring Book Author Dave Thornburg Review Missing Chapter Worthless Publication Internet, Internet

*Consumer Comment: No basis on claim

*Consumer Comment: Tips

*Consumer Comment: Defending lies

*Consumer Comment: Soaring

*Consumer Comment: No sink cycle

*Consumer Comment: Nothing on Page 3 4 or etc KIM

*Consumer Comment: A Great Little Book on Soaring

*Consumer Comment: Works randomly

*Consumer Comment: this is just wrong

*General Comment: Dave Thornburg

*Consumer Comment: The Old Buzzard's Soaring book is an excellent resource

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The Old Buzzard's Soaring book leaves out vital information. Once something is published in paperback it can't be corrected, and did they even care? This book is completely a waste for someone who is not already an expert. The law of physics has to be put in use here. This is left out and there is no way to correct it by using a so called method. Actually enough for a whole chapter is missing from this book. The missing info can be seen by searching online for this topic.

Please stop posting links all over the net to how great it is for all. The book is not great, and it leaves out vital information. Go ahead and buy it and you'll see. The people who say it is great have no expertise in this area. I am not going to tell you what is missing so that you people from forums aka "da net" can use it as ammo. The people who use forums don't know.

You have to realize this is just one of the millions of books used to make money commercially, and the info to make this a usable tool was simply left out. They were just selling a book folks.

I have one last thing to tell anyone of you who try to argue against this. It completely lacks the vital physics to make it work. Here you go- You're choosing to believe lies over reality. Reality "check"

It is a waste of money unless you can get the missing info ahead of time.

T. T

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/28/2010 08:12 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Pony-X-Press/internet/Pony-X-Press-Dave-Thornburg-Old-Buzzards-Soaring-Book-Author-Dave-Thornburg-Review-Missi-586596. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

No basis on claim

AUTHOR: Kurt - ()

Good day;

  I have been involved in the model glider hobby for almost 40 years.  I have read Dave Thornburg's book and have learned a great deal.  I know other fellow model glider flyers who have also read Mr. Thornburg's book with great success.

  Because I've been involved in this hobby for as long as I have I know quite a number of people who live not only in the US but around the country.  I have spent an exhaustive search looking for the claimant to identify his so called "record'.  I have been watching the Academy of Model Aeronautics National event for more than 30 years along with keeping up to date with quite a number of events held around the country as well as international.  I have not found any shred of evidence where the claimant has ever showed up in the ranks of any soaring event anywhere in the world.

  My only guess is this person got involved in the glider hobby, read Mr. Thornburg's book and due to is inability to grasp the finer details of flying decided to blame the author and not himself.  

  This is a case of unwarranted slander and should be stopped.  The person claiming he got ripped off due to this book so far out of line it make me wonder if this person is looking for "free money".


This is truly a sad attack on Dave Thornburg who is a very talented and knowledgeable person who has the record to prove it.  The so called victim is the one who should be held accountable for his slanderous public remarks.


Yours truly;

Kurt Zimmerman




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#2 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Help - ()

THERMAL SOARING When locating and utilizing thermals for soaring flight, called thermalling, glider pilots must constantly be aware of any nearby lift indicators. Successful thermalling requires several steps: locating the thermal, entering the thermal, centering the thermal, and finally leaving the thermal. Keep in mind that every thermal is unique in terms of size, shape, and strength. In the last chapter, we learned that if the air is moist enough and thermals rise high enough, cumulus clouds, or Cu (pronounced ‘q’) form. Glider pilots seek Cu in their developing stage, while the cloud is still being built by a thermal underneath it. The base of the Cu should be sharp and well defined. Clouds that have a fuzzy appearance are likely well past their prime and will probably have little lift left or even sink as the cloud dissipates. [Figure 10-1] Judging which clouds have the best chance for a good thermal takes practice. On any given day, the lifetime of an individual Cu can differ from previous days, so it becomes important to observe their lifecycle on a particular day. Agood looking Cu may already be dissipating by the time you reach it. Soaring pilots refer to such Cu as rapid or quick cycling, meaning they form, mature, and dissipate in a short time. The lifetime of Cu often varies during a given day as well; quick cycling Cu early in the day will often become well formed and longer lived as the day develops. Figure 10-1. Photographs of (A) mature cumulus likely producing good lift, and (B) dissipating cumulus. A B Courtesy of NCAR 10-2 Sometimes Cu cover enough of the sky that seeing the cloud tops becomes difficult. Hence, glider pilots should learn to read the bases of Cu. Generally, a dark area under the cloud base indicates a deeper cloud; therefore, a higher likelihood of a thermal underneath. Also, several thermals can feed one cloud, and it is often well worth the deviation to those darker areas under the cloud. At times, an otherwise flat cloud base under an individual Cu has wisps or tendrils of cloud hanging down from it, producing a particularly active area. Cloud hanging below the general base of a Cu indicate that that air is more moist, and hence more buoyant. Note the importance of distinguishing features under Cu that indicate potential lift from virga. Virga is rain or snow from the cloud base that is not yet reaching the ground and often signals that the friendly Cu has grown to cumulus congestus or thunderstorms.

Another indicator that one area of Cu may provide better lift is a concave region under an otherwise flat cloud base. This indicates air that is especially warm, and hence more buoyant, which means stronger lift. This can cause problems for the unwary pilot, since the lift near cloud base often dramatically increases, for instance from 400 to 1,000 (fpm). When trying to leave the strong lift in the concave area under the cloud, pilots can find themselves climbing rapidly with cloud all around—another good reason to abide by required cloud clearances. After a thermal rises from the surface and reaches the Convective Condensation Level (CCL), a cloud begins to form. At first, only a few wisps form. Then the cloud grows to a cauliflower shape. The initial wisps of Cu in an otherwise blue (cloudless) sky indicate where an active thermal is beginning to build a cloud. When crossing a blue hole (a region anywhere from a few miles to several dozen miles of cloud-free sky in an otherwise Cu-filled sky), diverting to an initial wisp of Cu is often worthwhile. On some days, when only a few thermals are reaching the CCL, the initial wisps may be the only cloud markers around. The trick is to get to the wisp when it first forms, in order to catch the thermal underneath. Lack of Cu does not necessarily mean lack of thermals. If the air aloft is cool enough and the surface temperature warms sufficiently, thermals will form whether or not enough moisture exists for cumulus formation. These blue or dry thermals, as they are called, can be just as strong as their Cu-topped counterparts. Glider pilots can find blue thermals, without Cu markers, by gliding along until stumbling upon a thermal. With any luck, other blue thermal indicators exist, making the search less random. One indicator of a thermal is another circling glider. Often the glint of the sun on wings is all you will see, so finding other gliders thermalling requires keeping a good lookout, which glider pilots should be doing anyway. Circling birds are also good indicators of thermal activity. Thermals tend to transport various aerosols, such as dust, upward with them. When a thermal rises to an inversion it disturbs the stable air above it and spreads out horizontally, thus depositing some of the aerosols at that level. Depending on the sun angle and the pilot’s sunglasses, haze domes can indicate dry thermals. If the air contains enough moisture, haze domes often form just before the first wisp of Cu. On blue, cloudless days, gliders and other airborne indicators are not around to mark thermals. In such cases, you must pay attention to clues on the ground. First, think about your previous flight experiences. It is worth noting where thermals have been found previously since certain areas tend to be consistent thermal sources. Remember that weather is fickle, so there is never a guarantee that a thermal will exist in the same place. In addition, if a thermal has recently formed, it will take time for the sun to reheat the area before the next thermal is triggered. Glider pilots new to a soaring location should ask the local pilots about favored spots—doing so might save the cost of a tow. Glider pilots talk about house thermals, which are simply thermals that seem to form over and over in the same spot or in the same area. Stay alert for other indicators, as well. In drier climates, dust devils mark thermals triggering from the ground. In hilly or mountainous terrain, look for sun-facing slopes. Unless the sun is directly overhead, the heating of a sun-facing slope is more intense than that over Figure 10-2. Photographs of (A) cumulus congestus, (B) cumulonimbus (Cb), (C) virga. A B C 10-3 streets, a joyous sight when they lie along a cross-country course line.

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#3 Consumer Comment

Defending lies

AUTHOR: RcGliderPilot - ()

Its just amazing- I see criminals trying to defend a lie. It looks like hero worship. You guys are in a cult. And Dave can do no wrong. Go ahead and drink the cool aid. You are fantastic in that you all have convinced yourselves of a lie.

I have the book- no such thing mentioned -not page has what you guys claim. The book is really is lacking.

I offer 1,000 dollars to anyone who can beat me using a sink cycle for a launch. Since the book does not cover that... LOL

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#4 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: RcGliderPilot - ()

If there is one skill that demands more practice than any other to be proficient at Thermal Duration soaring it would be “mastering thermal soaring techniques.” The art of effectively identifying the location of a thermal and then utilizing it to keep their craft aloft is a skill that often evades many would-be thermal pilots. Yet it is a skill that can be learned, understood and then practised, so the joy of thermal soaring can be experienced everytime we fly. There is so much to learn but if we are receptive and attentive to the skills of others, we can quickly become skilled ourselves. I have collected together a series of great articles here which is a stepping stone towards learning the skills. The most important ingredient is air time to put the ideas into practice. My best advice is to treat every single flight like a contest flight and always look for lift BEFORE launching and attempt to engage that lift to confirm your pre-launch belief and then after thermalling land to a contest type landing zone using a talking timer. The result is that significant air reading skills are engaged every launch and your thermal soaring ability will improve at a remarkable pace. Try it. Start by reading these articles by some legends in RC Soaring. Let an experienced pilot know that you want to improve your skills when you are at the field and they will help you personally. Gordon Buckland

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#5 Consumer Comment

No sink cycle

AUTHOR: RcGliderPilot - ()

No mention of a sink cycle. Worthless..

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#6 Consumer Comment

Nothing on Page 3 4 or etc KIM

AUTHOR: RcGliderPilot - ()

There is nothing at all on any page to discuss a wind gradient. WOW you have to use fancy  words like gradient to talk about a sink cycle?

You guys who post are just total self righteous criminals. You are total liars. I have the book. There is nothing-I mean nothing about sink cycles and you will be blown down randomly without this info.

You are all disgusting trolls. White wash on the outside- well spoken- creative grammar, but full of vipers on the inside. Anyone you convince you make twice the son of hell as yourselves.

Pastor Keith White- 34 years exp- rc gliders

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#7 Consumer Comment

A Great Little Book on Soaring

AUTHOR: Kim - ()

 Mr. Thornburg's "Old Buzzard's Soaring Book" is a sometimes hilarious and always intelligent composition on how and why sailplanes do what they do. This guy obviously knows his stuff, and presents it in fun, understandable terms. His self-depreciating humor, completely free of tiresome ego-puffing, keeps things rolling all the way through. While I'm sure that he enjoyed writing it, his book must have taken a ton of effort to produce. Anyone who has been in charge of a club newsletter could appreciate the work involved...and Dave certainly earned any and all compensation he might have received...which I'm betting wasn't just a whole lot. Endeavors like this are almost always a labor of love, and their compensation rarely matches the effort involved. His accounts with other flyers' techniques, and lessons gleaned from those experiences, proved to be great reading for me, and I tore through the book, wishing there was more. As to the omission of the mysterious "vital physics", I must admit to being at a complete loss, and without a single note of description as to what they are, figure I'll just have to slug happily along without them. For the flyer whose sailplane was "simply blown down by a moderate wind", wind gradients and their affect on sailplanes are discussed in the very beginning of the book. Their affect on thermals is covered across pages 3 & 4, with extremely descriptive accounts and drawings across pages 48 & 49. All told, this seems to be a very vague and unfair attack on an excellent book. It's a great read, written by a great, long time glider driver. Sincerely, Kim

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#8 Consumer Comment

Works randomly

AUTHOR: Rocky - ()

The book really does have a problem. My glider only stayed up and random times. There were times when it was simply blown down by a moderate wind. I found out the best time to launch was when its not windy. The book never mentions this.

A buddy who belongs to a glider club told me that after thermals pass there is bad air that blows thru to replace the good air. The book never mentions this. I did a whole bunch of launching for nothing. Also-I figured this all out on my own without the book. The book really is poor compared to some of the new Paul Naton dvds that show steamers and when thermals are directly overhead. There is also free info online and on youtube. This was waste of money to me. Sorry guys I dont see your point. I am with the OP.

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#9 Consumer Comment

this is just wrong

AUTHOR: LR - (United States of America)

 I don't have as much soaring experience as Dave Thornburg, but I've caught thousands of thermals, and I've won quite a few contests, and I'm working on LSF level 5. Dave doesn't throw a bunch of equations at you, but he has very useful information on how to catch thermals. Like just about everyone with soaring experience who's read the book, I highly recommend it.

I've met Dave in person. He's an enthusiastic and smart guy. He knows that no one gets rich off a book like this. I'm sure he did it as a service to the soaring community, and also, to some extent perhaps, because of the favorable reaction to the magazine columns it originated in.

If it didn't attack someone I respect, I'd ignore this report. But Dave doesn't deserve this.
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#10 General Comment

Dave Thornburg

AUTHOR: Lucas - (United States of America)

I know Dave Thornburg very well. I am very pleased to call him a friend of mine and I am certain he feels the same way about me. I understand why he wrote, "Old Buzzards Soaring Book" I can assure you it was not for the money. I wouldn't be surprised in the least if he hasn't given away as many as have been sold.

I know a lot about thermals and how to find them. To date, my longest model glider flight was 3 hours and 41 minutes. I have flown several flights over two hours and dozens over one hour. I have taught well over a hundred persons how to fly model gliders. Several of them have gone on to set national thermal duration records, including a 14 year old girl.

I say these things about myself to establish that I know what I am talking about. I know that Dave's book is a very valuable book for the beginning glider pilot. Why anyone would want to write such a scathing review is beyond me. Certainly Dave's book doesn't tell a highly experienced pilot very much that he shouldn't already know. Even so, it's a worth while buy for the lighthearted humor. It's even a worthy investment. Ebay has only one for sale. The ,"Buy it now" price is $49.95. That's a pretty good return on a 16 dollar book. A third reprint is unlikely. I've got mine sealed in plastic and my wife has been told what to do with it when I pass on. 
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#11 Consumer Comment

The Old Buzzard's Soaring book is an excellent resource

AUTHOR: Rocky - (United States of America)

The author of the "complaint" states there is missing information that's vital, but then cryptically refuses to even hint at what that information might be. He claims the book is a complete waste for someone who is not already an expert at radio-controlled soaring.

While the book may very well be a waste of time for _him_, it's been of _great_ help to everyone _else_ with whom I've spoken or corresponded regarding techniques of thermal soaring. I purchased the book not long after I began R/C soaring and it was an invaluable part of my "training". Last week I flew a 2-meter glider for a single flight of over 40 minutes--using precisely the skills and techniques learned from Thornburg's "Old Buzzard's Soaring Book".

As "T. T" says, "Go ahead and buy it and you'll see."


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