UP UP AND AWAY!!!
Here's what the weather was like when Steve Weston '63 invited me for a sailplane ride at Warner Springs. The aircraft is a GROB 103, made in Germany. Its 57-foot wings help give it a 36 to 1 glide ratio. This particular aircraft has appeared at the Miramar Air Show. Steve has been flying since 1965 and has owned single-engine airplanes, helicopters and gliders. "Flying sailplanes," he says, "requires skills that most airplane pilots never quite master.Not that its difficult, but to stay aloft the pilot must use his/her knowledge of weather and use precise technique with the controls. SkySailing has been in business since 1958 and has given "thousands" of people the chance to experience soaring flight. SkySailing offers rides for two, rides for one and instruction. I fly all of the mentioned and specialize in instruction. They are open seven days per week but I teach on weekends only. (Unless by appointment)."
Here I am while Steve unzips the back seat. Low clouds, wind gusts and the threat of rain greeted me on my April 1, 2004 visit. Steve was apologetic that the inclement conditions made for a short ride. Hats off to Jim Goodwin '74 who rode shotgun in the Mustang from Clairemont to Warner Springs and back, took this picture, helped launch the aircraft, didn't get a ride in the sailplane, and didn't get his picture on the web page.
But Wait -- There's More!!
Here's Bret Willat in the same plane at the NAF El Centro Air Show, March 13, 2004. These photos were taken by Fred Bruenjes, at the 2004 Naval Air Facility El Centro Airshow. NAF El Centro is the winter home of the Navy's Blue Angels, and this airshow is their first public performance of the season.