“Don’t let age keep you from learning new skills.” Cal.

Last week I promised you to see if I could get some more details from the 81 year old pilot Cal, who made his first solo flight in a glider from Chilhowee.
Cal was very helpful, so was Sarah.
Thank you both for sharing!!!!!

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Cal and Sarah.

Here is the story of the " new life"  for Cal, who after he lost his son and recently his wife of 50 years, did not fall in a deep hole,  but found a new challenge in soaring and new soaring-mates.
"Another great step in life", Sarah had to write on his T shirt after going solo!
It's our own choice to sit behind the geraniums , or to step back in the middle of action.
For real action of course you have to be fit enough, certainly when you are over 80!!!
Let's get inspired!!

Cal was no novice to the world of aviation .He received his single engine license on Aug. 4, 1956. Later he advanced to an Instrument Rating, Single and Multi- Engine.
As he says; " Most of my time was spent flying for pleasure and on business. Flights were mostly on the East coast, the Caribbean, and Central America."
And Sarah adds;"   I know that Cal is a Korean war veteran, and that he is one of the nicest people I've ever met. He originally learned to fly a very long time ago, back when pilots were really taught to fly. He amassed a lot of hours over the years, but hadn't flown power for quite awhile."

Cal continues;"My son was riding by Chilhowee Gliderport one day, stopped and purchased a demonstration ride. I was "hooked" from the first ride with Jason Arnold. Loved it right away." 

Jason and I flew in Schleicher K7, and we had an AeroTow. Very different from anything I had ever experienced.  We climbed to 5000 agl and he had me pull the release. So strange and so quiet so smooth, so wonderful. The day was beautiful with small cu against a deep blue sky. I must admit, I closed my eyes and talked briefly with my beautiful wife and oldest son who are gone from this world but are still alive. It was to me a holy moment.

Sarah and Jason

Sarah and Jason

Jason let me fly for a few minutes as we sailed along the ridge. There was no extra lift from the wind, but the flying so great. All to soon we entered the pattern and I said to myself. "This is going to be interesting" A well defined pattern. Downwind, base and then the turn to final. I thought we are very high and then the spoilers were deployed and the landing was sensational for me.
We landed long and rolled to a stop near the tow plane. Perfect."

Cal talked to Sarah and started taking lessons.
" What a great time in my life. Always looking for fun things to do. The first flight with her was unbelievable. She handed the controls over to me. A little strange flying without and engine and not having the ability to make a "go around".  Now here I am. Soloed and looking to learn more."

" What a great instructor and individual she is. From a teacher to a good friend in so short a time."

"  With Sarahs training I am getting there. SO FUN and a new blessing in my life.My children and grandchildren want to watch me fly when the weather warms. Picnic and all"!!!
 " The past was great with its thrills and heart aches, but the future holds so many new adventures. Maybe I will fly across the USA one day."

SARAH 001  Sarah with bronze

Sarah and me in Uvalde and Sarah as WWGC bronze medalist in Issoudun.

That's the SPIRIT Cal !!!!!
Life is good and hopefully we can all grow old with this kind of enthusiasm at that age!!!
I am inspired!!!!!

What happened more last week.
After the cool change, the weather warmed up again in the South of Australia and Pepe [Spain]  flew from Corowa, last Thursday nearly 700 km. His last flight for the season before he helps Grietje and Francesco packing his glider [ASH 31/21m.] in the last container going back to Holland.
In the air Kari [Finland] met Pepe, on his way from Tocumwal to West Wyalong[NE] . Both met in the past at Sportavia!
Thermals were pretty weak in the end of the flight so Kari out -landed his LS 6 not far NE of the field.He still flew over 500 km!
The Benalla pilots enjoyed a good 500 km. day as well, not flying up N. but more to the W.

This area with Benalla about 70 km. South  of Tocumwal and Corowa about 70 km East had a real good run this year.
Looking at the airport stats from the OLC,  Benalla is at this stage on spot 5, Corowa at 8 and Tocumwal at 10 with Narromine in between on spot 6!

Also New Zealand had good weather as Max Stevens commented:
" Weak & blue for first couple hours, then good convergence Cu with bases up to 10,000ft."  475 km. in the Ventus 2C/18m.
Some of the juniors in New Zealand as  Nick and Alex are flying at the Nelson lakes gliding club the 2014 Alpine lodge Club Class Nationals.
" Today was practice day and we both had good local flights. Thermals to around 5000ft with wave on top"
They even had time to make a great picture from fabulous New Zealand.

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As shared on FB.

BUT

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Day 1, waiting for rain to clear. " Task set but I doubt we will be flying."

Europe is still grey and wet BUT  with SUPER SUNNY spells and temperatures too high for the time of the year.Just heard we have had this winter only 10 days below zero, which is a new record.
We are getting there and the USA has had some real good mountain flights from Minden, it's only waiting for spring to arrive fully.

The Olympics are over today and the Dutch speed skaters put on a great show; a once-in-your-life-thrill for them and for us Dutchies, but also from those interested world wide. Yesterday there was a lot of pressure on the last discipline; Team pursuit for both men and women. But they did what they hoped and worked so hard for; after loosing in Turin and Vancouver ,....they finally had GOLD.
One of the girls Irene Wust participated in 5 disciplines and won 2 x gold and 3 x silver. With that she is the BEST Dutch performer on either summer or winter Olympics.
A great finish of the best Winter Olympics ever for Holland.Loved it!24 medals!!!!!
I know only in speed-skating,[ sorry one on short track skates.] but what's wrong with that.
In 4 years it will be different as the wake up call for ALL other countries has surely worked.
And don't get me wrong I loved ALL sports even got to like curling!!!
And do you know why? Cause we had a real good and enthusiastic commentator explaining the rules and sharing his pleasure in the sport with us.

And last but not least......Have a look at the current SUPER-line-up for the French Grand Prix 2014.

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Selected Pilots SGP2014 updated!
As shared on FB by the organizers.

Cheers Ritz
For all other news also about the Olympics you can read www.soaring.eu

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Ritz

Since before the word “blog” was created, Ritz wrote about her experiences every day after flying at the Sportavia Soaring Center in Australia, where she helped run a successful business from 1996 to 2005. Her first blogs on soaring.eu date from June 2006, and she has been blogging ever since, joining Soaring Café in January 2011. She says her experience as columnist for Gliding International and blogger for Soaring Café has enriched her world more than she can say and that her soaring friends keep her young and ”going”.

Read Ritz' full bio under the menu item About -> Our Contributors.

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