The Joys of Soaring - 15 year old solos.

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by saddletramp, Oct 31, 2018.

  1. saddletramp

    saddletramp Line Up and Wait

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    Some of my fellow pilots wonder why I chose to open a soaring school. I did it for selfish reasons. I really love teaching basic piloting skills in a glider (aka sailplane).

    I've had two students this year with zero flight experience come to our operation to solo the sailplane. The rest of the students were power add-ons. One was a fellow who wanted to get his private pilot airplane but couldn't find a flight school close to his residence. We kinda live out in the sticks. He came to me to start in the sailplane. After he soloed, he bought a Cherokee 140 & found a CFI willing to teach him. His new CFI was amazed how well he flew. His coordination, slow flights skills, & cross wind landings were "like a seasoned pilot". His instructors words.

    The 15 year old in the picture soloed a couple of weekends age & also flew very well. He's seeking future airline or military flying job, so what a start!

    Even though we're not making much profit with only being in business two seasons, the rewards have been unsurpassed. When I decided to reinstate my CFI after a long period of inactivity a few years back, a soaring school was what I zeroed in on. I just had to break it too my wife that I wanted to buy an airplane & a sailplane! She actually loves the business now too.

    Even though I have logbooks filled with dual given in airplanes over the past 40+ years as a CFI, soaring is still the best!

    That said, I still enjoy taking my 182 straight tail towplane out exploring backwood strips in the mountains.
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  2. l8evator

    l8evator Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Congratulations both to your student and to you! If I were king, every student would start in gliders and master them before undertaking power plane training. And that's just one of my ideas. Fortunately for the world, I won't ever be king. Keep up the good work.

    Scott
     
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  3. Eric Gleason

    Eric Gleason Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Good for you! And congratulations to your student! I started in gliders at 13 (I was getting antsy so I started early), and having those skills really served me well. It's a tough business to be in, and I hope it works out well for you!

    Where are you located?
     
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  4. BillTIZ

    BillTIZ Final Approach

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    Congrats! I’ve soloed a few young first time pilots. Got another one, 14 going on 15, that will solo in a couple of weeks.
    Always great to see where they go. One of my 14 yr old solos is now in his 3rd year at UND, completed Commercial, Multi, Instrument and working on his Instructor certificate.
     
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