Latest posts by Tom Berry (see all)
- The 2014 Snowbird Contest - December 22, 2016
- Harris Hill pilots go to the World Gliding Championships - June 19, 2014
- Harris Hill Juniors Soaring Day - July 23, 2012
The disappointment was obvious when the Harris Hill Juniors were forced to cancel their planned trip to Mifflin County airport last weekend. Year round, our 25+ Juniors work tirelessly to fund an all expenses paid trip to fly the ridges of Pennsylvania every other year. It is a highlight of their Junior tenure and is responsible for a significant number of tales among the Junior crowd. Unfortunately, the Mifflin trip is a shine-only trip. There's no rain date because it requires plenty of pre-planning and participation by senior members at HHSC. Between arranging time off and glider logistics it can't be easily postponed for a few days. It's all or nothing.
This year, due to the rain, it was nothing until Janelle Sullivan, long time Junior advisor. managed to pull a rabbit out of her hat and, after quick consultation with all involved, moved the event back home to Harris Hill where the weather was forecast to be flyable. The dedicated resources of towplanes, gliders, instructors, senior members and food were all redirected to support a Junior Soaring Day on the Hill with the express intent of flying as many Junior members as possible. What a day it was! We managed 39 Junior flights, one first solo flight, a checkout in the club's 1-26, and six cross country flights during a very busy day that saw 75 total operations on the Hill including private and passenger rides. Older juniors gave rides to younger ones, and they kept the Discus busy while other Juniors managed multi-hour flights with improving conditions as the day wore on.
Several lucky juniors got their first taste of cross country flying in the Duo Discus. After the flights, the fun continued as the supplies for the trip were rapidly consumed around the firepit.
HHSC juniors consistently contribute above and beyond at the Hill, most recently by serving lunches and running a very busy line at the International Vintage Sailplane Meet as well as manning HHSC Summer operations and working line duty on weekend operations. They really appreciated having a dedicated day set aside for them without competing with our Senior student pilots for instructor time or working the line recovering pilots with tales of how great it is 'up there' while they are stuck on the ground.
Does your club have some hard-working Junior members? Give some consideration to giving them the gift of flight by dedicating a day to get them in the air. A little pre-planning and good weather will go a long way toward letting them know you appreciate their efforts and you'll be sure to find it as much fun as we did!