18 May 2011

College Park Aviation Museum

After dropping off the paperwork required to fly into CGS and learning the airport operating procedures, I decided to check out the adjacent College Park Aviation Museum. I'm glad that I did. I had no idea how much history took place at this airfield:

  • Wilbur Wright trained the first two Army aviators at the field (they soloed in under 4 hours, if I remember correctly)
  • It was a stop on the first airmail route
  • The precursor of the ILS was developed and tested there 
  • The Ercoupe was test flown there

10 May 2011

First Glider Solo

On Sunday afternoon, May 8, I flew my first solo in an ASK-21 glider:

It felt great, especially after some pretty poor flying on my part in the past two lessons. I'm grateful for all the patient flight instruction that I've received since joining the club in late March.

06 May 2011

A Passenger (Ballast) Today. Photos and Canopy Glare

I decided that I'd much rather spend the day at the airport than work on items (e.g. yard work) from my ever-growing list. It is a sickness.

I don't yet have a solo endorsement for gliders and there was no instructor on duty today, so I was content to help out with ground operations, not intending to go flying. Only three of us and the tow pilot showed up, so we just pulled one glider out of the hangar. With my ground handling duties diminished, I happily seized the opportunity to serve as human ballast on two flights. During the second sortie, the thermals lifted us to 7,400 feet MSL (about 6,700 feet AGL)--the highest I've been in a glider so far--with climb rates briefly exceeding 1,000 feet per minute. The air brakes were required to maintain a legal clearance beneath the clouds and to descend before the hour reservation was up; we could have stayed aloft all day.

This was the first time I took a camera with me in the cockpit. Unfortunately, the glare from the canopy spoiled the majority of my pictures.

Reflections from the canopy spoiled this one