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I was in the Ag business in Mississippi for about fifteen years. When I moved to Georgia in 1994 I joined Mid Georgia Soaring to tow in a Pawnee. After the first year towing I got my private glider rating with the help of "Turbo" Tom Wyatt. The next year I got my commercial and CFIG ratings. I still tow in the Pawnee but don't fly the gliders as much anymore due to CFIG liabilities. We have a great CAP organization here in Georgia that has sparked interest in aviation with hundreds of young people. I personally participated in eight glider encampments both as a tow pilot in the Maule and as an instructor pilot in the L-23. Nothing beats the excitement of soloing a fifteen year old! If I can get another dozen or so flights in 2014 I will hit the magic number of 1000 glider flights.
Does anyone here know Paul Gaines, the best composite man in the industry?
Been flying gliders for over 40 years. In fact I learned to fly gliders before power. Have flown contests, cross country badge flights, wave flying and ridge flying in New England, Florida and California as well as Tennessee but my greatest enjoyment is to be in a thermal with Red Tail Hawks and Turkey Buzzards all circling together while enjoying nature's uplifting force.
I owned a 2-22 and took my Comm. Glider and Glider CFI in that aircraft in the same check ride.
This included a ground tow demo.
I towed with a Stinson L-5 at Sun Valley, ID about 35 years ago.
Hi Michael, et al. My glider flying is limited, but I towed for several years for the old Gold Coast Club here in Palm Beach County. I had one dual flight in an old 222, operated by a couple of women up in central Florida. I then got to fly a buddies' Cherokee 2 homebuilt glider, single place. After towing Jay one day, he asked if I'd like to try it. So I said YES very quickly and said now he could tow me. Says he " er, ah, I don't have a power plane rating!!" So I had to get Sandy (John Sanders, FL Airmotive mechanic, also tow qualified) Jays' only instructions,. "it's a little sensitive in pitch". The UNDERSTATEMENT of the year! I was one busy little bee for about the first 30 seconds after lift-off! Later in the day Fritz Ludington showed up with his I-26 complete with open cockpit canopy!! I told him about flying Jays bird and he asked if I'd like to try hi 1-26. Another instantaneous "YES" from me! He was able to tow me. What a ball (though inefficient) with the open cockpit canopy! I was taught to tow by an old timer named Lou Rehr, in a C170B owned by Johnny Bird. Johnny lived right beside me out at Antiquers Aerodrome, West of Delray Beach, FL. I haven't had a chance to fly a glider/sailplane since, something I really miss! Lee Robinson West Palm Beach.
I actually received my initial Private Pilot's license in gliders, and went on to a commercial glider rating as well. I believe it made me a much better stick and rudder pilot and gave me a good understanding of the aerodynamics of flight which helped when I transitioned to single engine aircraft. I haven't been PIC in a glider for a while now, but do plan on getting back to it someday!
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