More Soaring

Chad Sanders and his jet-powered glider
Chad Sanders

Meet Chad Sanders - Chad took an inexpensive (and ubiquitous) Schweitzer 1-26 sailplane and built a beautiful mount for a pair turbojets - and now he has a jet-powered, self-launching sailplane that can get him from the flatlands of the California Central Valley up to the hills where he can find lift to go soaring - and then back to his home base when he's had enough fun! Continue reading "More Soaring"

Soaring Tidbits

Cherokee II glider

At the 2018 Soaring Society of America convention this week, I attended a session on "Safety Considerations for Soaring in Northern Nevada," which covered a lot of good ground on thunderstorms, wave, and the like - but also on the realities of "landing out" if you can't make an airport. Interestingly enough, the presenter had similar thoughts to mine, in that you can fairly easily find a place to land - but that doesn't mean that you'll have good communications for pick-up, and you might be waiting in the desert for awhile. So - survival equipment is important, as is some sort of satellite tracker. A very good point he made is that for us GA pilots, don't forget that there are "low altitude relay satellites," otherwise known as airliners, and most of those crews are monitoring 121.5. You can add a little excitement to their day by asking them to relay a call to someone who can come pick you up - so don't feel you're alone, so long as you've got a VHF radio! Continue reading "Soaring Tidbits"

Report from the 2012 SSA Convention

The Swiss Stemme motorglider is loaded with unique features, including a pop-out nose cone and folding prop and this nifty backwards-folding wing to allow storage in regular hangars.

It was my good fortune to attend the 2012 Soaring Society of America convention at the Reno/Sparks Convention Hall in Reno, Nevada, February 1-5.

Besides a display hall filled with mostly white, gleaming, streamlined shapes, three large lecture halls hosted world leaders in aerodynamics, sailplane flight, launching methods, safety and meteorology. Continue reading "Report from the 2012 SSA Convention"