First flight in a single seat aircraft

On January 23, 2011 I passed the check ride for Private Pilot Glider at Bermuda High Soaring. Four days later I took my dad for a ride and had the chance to get checked out in the Schweizer 1-26 single seat glider – a first for me.

SGS 1-26
About to takeoff – this picture and the others were taken by my dad.

Apparently, it’s pretty common to over control during takeoff on most pilots’ first flight. I listened to Frank’s directions and managed to do OK. The first flight was just a simple sled ride from 3,000′ to the ground.

SGS 1-26
Takeoff! I’m rolling down the runway on the first flight; I managed to avoid over controlling, too.

After the initial flight I was ready to go again! I released at 3,000′ and began to coast back. Suddenly, at about 1,800′ I felt a bump and thought, “This feels like how the books describe a thermal.” I didn’t know anything about centering in a thermal, but I did circle for a while and actually gained 600 feet. That was the first time I had “soared” rather than “glided.”

SGS 1-26
Frank Reid with me after the first “solo” in a single seat glider – also my first flight ever in a single seat aircraft. 🙂

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