Among other hobbies, I enjoy flying both radio-controlled sailplanes and full-scale sailplanes. Here are some of my favorite photos from memorable glider flights and soaring-related moments.
The two photos above were from a ride I was fortunate to have had in a Schweizer 2-33 with the Royal Canadian Air Cadets in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada in the late summer of 1994. The photo to the left shows the view of the winch launch from behind the sailplane. The photo to the right shows the view from in the cockpit, looking to the left side. The ascent angle at this point in the launch was approximately 35 degrees to the horizontal. The maximum altitude we achieved during this launch was approximately 900 feet above ground level (AGL). I flew a total of three times, having experienced a line break on the second flight at about 400 feet AGL.
The photo to the far left was taken from a Blanik L-23 near the Grand Tetons in 1998, This is the view from the glider, looking at the Pawnee towplane as we passed through about 10,600 MSL on the way to release around 11,000 MSL. The view of the Tetons was spectacular! The photo to the right shows another view of the Tetons with the right wing of the sailplane in view. The tallest peak in the center of the picture is the Grand Teton. After releasing from tow in the mountains, we spent approximately 40 minutes looking for ridge and wave lift, but didn't find any. After getting out of the mountains and into the flatland, we managed to stay up for another 90 minutes using thermals.
I was fortunate to attend one day of a soaring competition in Masterton, New Zealand in March, 2008. I didn't fly, but had a great time meeting folks and taking pictures. The photo on the left is of a portion of the grid getting ready to go for fun flying on Thursday afternoon. The weather had been bad all week (contest started on Monday) that this was the first opportunity to fly. Unfortunately it was so late in the afternoon for competition tasks, so the contest was scrubbed not only for the day, but for the week. The photo on the left above shows an anxious pilot, ready to go. The photo on the right above is of two gliders clawing for altitude in a weak afternoon thermal.
The photo to the left above is a DG-1000 landing, while the photo on the right above is a Phoebus landing at Masterton.
Back home at Downtown Island Airport in Knoxville, TN, this is the glider I enjoy flying most! It is a PW-5 Smyk built by PZL Swidnik from Poland.
Photography Notes: Most images above were taken with a Nikon F with Photomic light meter and a 50 mm Nikkor lens. The color prints were then scanned and .JPG files created. Photos from Masterton, NZ were taken with a Canon EOS 5D and a 70-200 f2.8L lens with a Canon 2x doubler.
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