An encounter with gliding


When Les asked me if I wanted to go flying that weekend, of course I jumped at the chance. Having never been in the air, I was excited and exhilarated at the prospect of being airborne. After all, wasn’t this my dream?

To fly, to soar, and reach for the stars? Little did I think of thermals, lift and drag.

It was a bright, sunny, summer day when Les drove me out to airport. In those days a glider rented for $15 and splitting between the two of us it was $7.50 a piece. First to go was his girlfriend. And soon it was my turn. It was incredible being off the ground even if tethered to a powered aircraft. Reaching sufficient altitude we were struck loose and on our own. Drifting about, and chasing thermals. But hey we were airborne and flying! Hmm.. gliding! All too soon we landed.

It almost felt a sweet deal to learn to fly a glider at $15 an hour. Almost.

When Les asked me to go flying a second time, I was more than interested. Having attended a meeting of the glider club, I was seriously considering the prospect of learning to fly a glider. It seemed possible at $15 per hour. We took off tethered as usual. Once we gained altitude, we were free and on our own.

We circled around, trying to finding thermals to sustain flight. We circled, again and again. Sitting in the rear this time, I felt uncomfortable. We zoomed around again, and again innumerable times! Les, I said, I am nauseated. With no headset to communicate I could only hope he understood my plight. Unfortunately with no headset to communicate he could not relay his thoughts or communicate or understand that my plight was not that serious.

Soon we were circling and hey were we landing? Upon my mind we were circling and and setting down on 16th street. Yes I was queasy but not so desperate as to land! If only we could communicate. If only I could open the rear window to get some fresh air?

And so happened a life changing day. A gruesome day with an emergency landing in a corn field; of dismantling a glider and loading it on to trailer and driving it back to a airport.

Les doesn’t know it.

But that was the day I decided that I did not really want to fly gliders, but powered flight was my cup of tea!

Thanks Les for showing me the joy of flying!

4 thoughts on “An encounter with gliding

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