A Nuggest’s View of the Seniors

Since I am a new author to Soaring Café, a bit of an introduction is appropriate.  I have a pretty short Bio.  I am a former Naval Aviator and a career Naval officer of 25 years.  I have flown A-4 and A-6 aircraft plus assorted cats and dogs type aircraft.  I started flying as a civilian in 1964, taking my first lesson in a Cessna 150.  I began flying gliders in 2000 and got my license the same year.  I have been a partner in an ASW-20 and currently own an ASW-27 “BZ”.  Although I have never flown in a competition, I do have a gold badge.

My goal in writing this blog is to offer a new guy’s look at a venerable competition, The Seniors.

Also, the choice for my blog’s title  “A Nuggest’s  View of the Seniors” warrants an explanation since most readers will not understand its meaning.  In a naval aviation squadron, any member on his first deployment is referred to as a nugget.  It is similar in meaning as a rookie in baseball.  My personal view of a nugget is one that suggests that I am here to learn.  Although I have my hours flying various aircraft types, I am really new to the art and sport of glider racing.

My buddy Frank Paynter is writing a blog parallel to this one and will give his view from one more experienced.  I will concentrate on what the learning curve is like for a new guy and perhaps encourage more of you to get out of the cone of final glide to your home airport.

My fist days here were devoted to getting ready to fly on Monday 5 Mar.  I needed to do some maintenance on my glider that was left over from the winter.  John Murray was kind enough to mail some Mylar tape to Seminole Lake so I could replace some tired tape on my vertical stabilizer.  I made sure my loggers were loaded with the local data and operating normally.  It helps if you already know how to do that…. I did not remember how, so I had a bit of learning to do but found others here willing to help… Thanks to John Good for his help.

I received my local familiarization from Florin and Andreea Alexandrescu.  Since every new guy, a nugget, is offered a mentor , I lucked out in getting Frank Paynter, who has devoted considerable time in getting me ready to fly in the first task in the Seniors.

The official first day of the Seniors is the 11th of Mar but the unofficial beginning seems to be the “Geezer Glide In” at the home of Wes and Judy Lineberry.  They have a lovely home on Lake Kirkland near the glider port.

It was well attended and just as important, well supplied with great food and ample refreshments.

Monday looks like a flyable day and I am hoping to get airborne for a look around central Florida.  More to come.

John Mittell


John Mittell

I am a former Naval Aviator, currently flying an ASW27, "BZ" out of Moontown airport near Huntsville, AL.

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