BillD, June 12th, 2009
Airplane owners think nothing of taking off for a distant location - it's why they own an airplane. For sailplane owners, it's a little more complicated but just as much fun.
Most sailplane clubs have a tradition of taking their gliders and tow planes to a distant airport for a weekend to fly different skies. Sometimes it's to the same place on the same holiday every year and sometimes it's an expedition to a place where no one has flown sailplanes before. Expeditions to new places are always fun Read More >>
BillD, May 15th, 2009
PC flight simulators have proven very popular. The current generation of gaming PC's deliver performance that only a few years ago was the province of supercomputer labs. It's not surprising that aviation enthusiasts have written flight simulator software to take advantage of this computer power. Read More >>
BillD, May 4th, 2009
When airplane pilots first encounter a glider instrument panel it can be a jaw dropping experience. Not because of its complexity but its simplicity. Training gliders may have nothing more than an altimeter, ASI, variometer and compass. Instructors will point out that the view outside and a bit of red yarn taped to the canopy are your most important instruments. Read More >>
BillD, April 17th, 2009
This story is about my Diamond Distance flight from Sunspot near Alamogordo, NM to Alamosa, CO in a Nimbus 2C sailplane. Perhaps this narrative will give the reader a sense of the techniques and decision-making that goes into a cross country glider flight. There's nothing special about this flight - many pilots have gone farther and faster in lower performance gliders. The photo shows a plot of the flight log on a Sectional Chart. Cool colors mean the glider was losing altitude and warm colors mean it was gaining altitude. Read More >>
BillD, April 2nd, 2009
Many glider pilots find enough challenge matching wits with nature for a few quiet, beautiful hours of soaring flight, but others have a 'Racing Gene'. Air Racing has always been a dramatic part of aviation. However, when racing sailplanes, there is a special tension involved - you have to go fast AND stay in the air. Read More >>
BillD, March 24th, 2009
We have seen that gliders, once airborne, can fly high and remain in the air for long periods. Pure gliders lack a power source to get them in the air. So, how is this done? Read More >>
BillD, March 19th, 2009
All aviators face the possibility of an unplanned emergency landing and are supposed to keep options in mind. Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger made the best of a very bad situation by gliding Flight 1549 to a landing in the Hudson River setting an example for all of us. Glider pilots have a special empathy for Sully and his passengers. Read More >>
A Pilot's Story movie, March 18th, 2009
Tell us your pilot story for a chance to win prizes!
The producers of "A Pilot's Story" are pleased to announce the launch of the first contest in connection with the film. You now have an opportunity to have your own "Pilot Story" featured in the film if you are the "Grand Prize" winner of the contest.
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BillD, March 12th, 2009
"How would you handle a go-around?" This is a perfectly logical question for a pilot trained in airplanes but it's likely to be met with a quizzical, "Why would you want to?" from a glider pilot. The question simply doesn't occur to a glider pilot who has been trained to land from every approach. So, how do soaring guys and gals manage to land nicely every time? Its a matter of energy management, judgment and planning - something any skateboarder or mountain bicyclist understands. Read More >>
BillD, March 5th, 2009
All aircraft are beautiful in their own way but sailplanes are arguably the most visually stunning. Because sailplanes are raced and "racing improves the breed", the pursuit of pure, uncompromising performance has resulted in objects of unsurpassed beauty. They have been refined through thousands of prototypes until designers settled on long, thin wings, a "pod and boom" fuselage and a "T" tail. The result is beautiful, fast and has superb handling qualities. Read More >>