My friend Art is one of those guys that seems to be good at everything. He’s got his PHD, he’s ridiculously smart, he knows how to work on cars, AND now he’s a glider pilot. He joined the Eagleville Soaring Club, a glider club that’s located about 30 minutes South of Nashville. I admire how consistent he’s been in taking the lessons and practicing his flying.
He recently graduated the class and secured his license, and I had been chomping at the bit to try flying with him. The day came, and we had a blast driving out in the country and “soaring” all afternoon long.
Before flying, the glider has to be inspected very thoroughly. Art and his young protege took care of that.
We had to wait for the tow plane to come back from towing up another glider. We were able to stand so close to it while it came in for the landing!
Out popped Jim, our master pilot. Since Art is still in the early stages of his license, I couldn’t fly with him yet. But let me tell you, Jim was a worthy substitute.
I tried to snap a few shots while we were being towed. I love how this black and white image turned out, with a little action blur for effect. We were shaking pretty heavily as we were being towed.
That all changes once the tow plane cuts the cord, though. After that, it’s just an unbelievable peaceful gliding experience. There was only one little slot in the window to fit my camera in, so I wasn’t able to get many photos. Still, it was a very beautiful view from up there.
Jim and I stayed up in the air for quite awhile, probably at least 30 minutes. The thermal air pockets weren’t as ideal as we would have liked, otherwise we could have stayed up even longer. While we glided along, Jim told me several stories of how he came to be a glider pilot, and some close calls he’s had over the years. I even found out that he had been trained by a pilot who had been trained by one of the Wright brothers – yes, the guys who invented flying. What a cool connection!
Once we landed, I got a few shots of Art as he was flying, then as he came in for his landing….he nailed it.
While I waited for Art to finish up, I shot the breeze with Jim for a while longer. I love hearing living legends like that tell their stories. I could sit and listen all day.