Looking over my log book tonight, I noticed that my first flights with an instructor at Hollister were one year ago today: One flight to 6,000 feet ASK-21 63JJ and one flight to 6,000 feet in 2-32 7531, both with Gus Ponder. It was part of the pack of Discovery Flights that I went on before attending Russell's one day ground school.

This made me stop and think a bit about what I've done in the last year. I've met a ton of great people at the gliderport and have flown with a number of great instructors (Jim, Russell, Drew, Gus, Brett, Jonathon). I've helped push a lot of gliders out to the runway and have probably been pushed out as many times.

Like many of the students from last year, I started in the 2-32s with Jim, soloed in 64E, started into the ASK-21, took a check ride and got my license early this year. Then I did my back seat checkout and gave rides to a few friends. Not long after, I joined BASA, started flying the Grob, worked on one of the first Panoche checkouts, and moved into the 1-34. I even had the chance to spend a few days at Truckee flying in the other Grob and then with Steve Ford in the Duo--and I even snuck in a test flight in the DG-1000.

What a year! Nearly 200 flights. (I guess that's what comes with flying nearly every week for a year.)

But, hey... I'm not addicted or anything. :-)

Anyway, I just wanted to take a second and say thanks to everyone who's helped me along the way. Having a welcoming glider operation only an hour away made much of this possible. It's been a lot of fun and I've learned a ton about flying and flying safely. Looking around at the more experienced folks, I also see that there's a lot more great flying and learning ahead.

Today I got a chance to fly the Pegasus for the first time. That's not a bad, if unplanned, way to celebrate a year of learning and flying.

Thanks, everyone.

Posted by jzawodn at November 16, 2003 11:11 PM

Reader Comments
# Dick said:

Enjoy your blog -- I'm just getting started with one. I own a 1-34 which I fly in Vermont -- when the weather is better. Is there a way I can hook to your blog (the only way I know now is when there's an XML logo) Dick Mansfield

on November 19, 2003 01:09 PM
# Mark Denovich said:

I was going to suggest you add a link to the NCSA (heh) Northern California Soaring Association http://norcalsoaring.org/ but the website is mostly fubar'd.

That was where my wife and I took our first (and so far only) glider instruction. We had a great time, and couldn't believe how much we got to fly. I figured our first flight would be just along for the ride. But our instructor (Monique) had us doing most of the flying right from the start. I think we paid about $100 for 3 flights (pulled up to 3500') It was a ton of fun, although all three of us got a little green at one point or another. We all got quite a workout too, as those not flying got to help shove/drag planes around in 95F heat.

I definately recommend the group for Bay area soaring on a budget.

I have some photos in our old photo gallery:

on November 20, 2003 05:36 PM
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