Steele Lipe, M.D.

    I am a retired physician who specialized in Anesthesiology and practiced in Sacramento, California for almost 30 years, the final 15 years specializing in cardiac, cardiac transplant and the surgical care of the neonate.
    Like my wife, I am a native of La Jolla, California, the son of General Practitioner, J T Lipe and medical illustrator turned acclaimed artist Georgeanna Lipe. Initially, I wanted to be an electrical engineer and matriculated to Massachusetts Institute of Technology for several years. Subsequently, like many college students, I changed my major and transferred to San Diego State College (San Diego State University). After earning BS degrees in Life Sciences and Chemistry, I attended both my parents' alma mater, Vanderbilt University, School of Medicine, in Nashville, Tennessee where I earned my M.D. Degree. I interned in San Francisco and took my residency in Anesthesiology at the University of California, San Francisco. My practice was mainly in Sacramento but I flew back to San Francisco to teach residents at UCSF where I held the appointment of Clinical Associate.
    I have flown private aircraft since 1966 having owned a Cessna 182 and then a Cessna Turbo 210. These aircraft introduced me to flight at altitudes where supplemental oxygen was required. In 1972, I was introduced to gliders. My first glider was a Glaser-Dirks DG-100 in which I earned both my Diamond Altitude and Goal distance medals. Subsequently, I owned a DG-600M (motorized) and was able to achieve my personal altitude record: 38,400 feet, having released tow at 6,600 feet AGL and climbed in atmospheric conditions of thermal and wave.

    I have many flights above 18,000 feet (FAA positive control area) gaining valuable experience in high altitude oxygen physiology. In many of these flights I recorded my personal reactions to the harsh and dangerous environment using modern electronic monitors. The data was then used to develop my talk on Oxygen and an article of advice to glider pilots in "The Correct Use of Oxygen" both are available on this website. Another article is in preparation on conversion of Glaser-Dirks sailplanes equipped with the Tost drum brake to the Tost disk brake for much better breaking. As a founding member of Truckee-Tahoe Soaring, the FBO (fixed base operator) located at Truckee, California, I was instrumental in developing that airport for use in gliding. I was also active in High Country Soaring, a cooperative soaring venture about 37 miles north of Reno, Nevada, where I was particularly involved in the glider high altitude training camp (Wave Camp) and Cross-Country Camp giving talks and demonstrations on the correct use of oxygen.
Also held at High Country in early summer, was the Cross-Country Camp where glider pilots were instructed in the principles and hands on approach to the problems of cross country soaring. I (yellow shirt) was one of the instructors and lead pilots.

   After retirement, I left Northern California and moved back to La Jolla, California and married Patricia Daly who was, as she says, "one of my many previous girlfriends". We lived in La Jolla, our childhood home, for seven years writing La Jolla, A Celebration of Its Past and accomplishing the impossible, that of changing the name of a major thoroughfare from Ardath Road to La Jolla Parkway. Eventually, we both tired of the high cost of living and the major traffic of the San Diego area and moved to Prince William County, Virginia where we now live close to Patricia's three children and her 10 grandchildren.
    I have two daughters, one in Northern California and one in Port Angeles, WA and have "adopted" Patricia's children (roughly the same ages) here in Virginia. Thus, I am also the proud step grandfather of three families, two with brand new youngsters.
    Life here in Northern Virginia is idyllic except for the occasional heat and humidity. Contrary to Southern California, I have found there are real seasonal changes with clearly defined four seasons instead of the two in La Jolla: dry and drier. We have a 10 acre spread that has been developed into lush green horse pastures for our horses. There are plenty of trails around on which to ride including many on the Civil War Battle Grounds.

Read the Oxygen Talk given before the Soaring Society of America (SSA). To download the talk as a pdf click here.

Also read The Correct Usage of Oxygen, a copy of an article written for DG Flugzeugbau, GmbH the German manufacturer of Glaser-Dirks sailplanes.

Tost drum brake to disk brake conversion on DG sailplanes. This article is available as a pdf. Click here. A conversion that greatly improves the braking ability of these aircraft.