Glider Rides

2018 Jul 9

We visited Alan in upstate New York in the summer. This day we went to Elmira to the Harris Hill Soaring club, one of the oldest glider flying clubs in the nation. They offer rides for a good price.

Melanie's glider went up first, behind a tow plane.

Melanie getting settled in the glider front seat

Then when the tow plane came back, it was my turn to be taken up. When we were at altitude, the pilot had me pull the release from the tow plane. The tow plane banked down and away from us, back to the runway.

view forward while being towed

Immediately, all you heard was a whooshing of air - no engine vibration. (It was the sky equivalent of coasting down a smooth hill on a bicycle.)

Melanie's glider was away left of us. I started taking pictures of everything with my phone and then I got a text message from Janae:

"Can you have Melanie check her phone? She isn't responding to the messages I sent her."

"She is a little busy right now." I replied, and sent a picture:

glider at left banking away

"We are getting glider rides with Alan. See that plane? She is in it."

"Holy smokes!", she said.   :-)     (She contacted Melanie later.)

The views were great. Harris Hill is a great location for gliding because directly below in the river valley, Elmira has an airport. If a pilot were to miss their landing on the hill, they had a second option. I also imagine the hilly country supplies good options for catching thermals that will keep you up in the air.

view down on flying club landing field

Alan was next and actually got two rides up. At first, the pilot released early because he felt a good thermal, but it disappeared. They took Alan up again though, so he had a full ride.

It was memorable and a lot of fun.

Larry standing by parked glider