Soaring the sky a glider pilot‘s Podcast

Soaring the sky is an aviation podcast dedicated to sailplanes and gliding. Join Chuck as he talks with glider pilots around the globe. You never know who my be the next guest on Soaring the sky.

118: Cross Country Across The Country: An Interview with Gordon Boettger

May 20th, 2022

Our friend Zach Yamauchi recently caught up with Gordon Boettger, Gordon has added a whole new meaning to "cross country" soaring as you are about to hear on this episode. He has been soaring pretty much his whole life. He soloed at 14 and has not looked back. Gordon holds 5 US distance Records and has Multiple crosswind and downwind flights beyond 2000 km, including flights done in a Kestrel from the 1970s. 
He began his professional aviation career in the Navy, and now flies for FedEx. Gordons true passion for aviation is in the glider and finding the perfect conditions to grab another long distance flight.   
Finally, a reminder for us all before we let him tell his story, "Gordan is a highly experienced aviator, and has a lifetime of experience that has enabled him to do these amazing flights safely and legally. The experiences we are about to share with you are for educational and entertainment purposes only and are NOT a substitute for formal flight training or mentorship." 

Later on this episode, Sergio The Soaring Master joins us for some great information and advice on speed to fly. Join us now for this exciting episode as we bring you episode 118! Enjoy the show!

You can find Gordon on instagram @grboettger where he has shared some amazing shots from the glider.

If you are able to to help us grow the show please go to or if not please share the podcast with your friends and fellow glider pilots.

117: Pioneering a new route to Sierra wave: An Interview with Morgan Hall

May 6th, 2022

Morgan Hall has just experienced an amazing uncharted soaring route flying wave in the sierras. What an adventure he had! You can open the OLC link below and follow along with us as he tells us about this crazy ride in wave. Morgans family has a deep aviation background that goes all the way back to World war II. So, its not a suprise that he was determined to start his own aviation journey. So, he traded his computer for his first aircraft, an ultralight. Soon after he discovered hang gliders and flew them for over 15 years before discovering sailplanes. Join us now for this amazing soaring adventure here on Soaring The Sky!


116: Soaring Austria: An interview with Rudi Schlesinger

April 15th, 2022

On this episode we chat with Rudi Schlesinger, glider pilot and airline captain. Rudi started flying gliders in 1998 and later flew competitions including the Austrian Junior Nationals in 2002, Junior Worlds In Slovakia in 2003 and later that year he was invited to a training camp with Geaorge Lee in Austria. Rudi flew his first 1000k flight in 2010. He was Austrian National Champion in 2012. He had 2 World Records in the 13.5m class in 2020. On this episode he shares some crazy stories like the time he flew around the tower at the Vienna International Airport in his glider! Rudi also enjoys flying gliders in other parts of the world when ever he gets the chance. He has flown in Germany, Japan, Isreal, Denmark, switzerland and the United states. Stick around after our chat with rudi for another new segment from our friend Sergio The Soaring master as he talks about Cross Country Checks. All This and more now on Soaring The Sky.







115: Cross Country Soaring In The French Alps: An interview with Christopher Fleming Of Fayence Soaring

March 28th, 2022

On this episode we head to Fayence France to chat with our guest pilot Christopher Fleming. Chris took the opportunity as an airline pilot to soar in as many locations as he could but, found his soaring paradise in the Alps. He decided to move there so he could fly more often. Today we chat about his many adventures and the important things he has learned along the way & what it takes to fly in that kind of tarrain with little to no landing out options. We also get into thermaling, convergence, wave, cockpit updates , exterior glider care, Flarm, and even chat about the new 360 camera that he just started using for his flights on his Feyance Soaring Youtube channel. You can find the link below. Chris is a big promotor of cross country soaring as well . Stick around after our chat with Chris because Sergio The soaring master has another great segment for us and this time its about effective thermaling. So Join us now as we bring you episode 115 here on Soaring The Sky!


114: Sailplanes, Hang Gliders & Ultralights: Ian Brubaker Interview

March 14th, 2022

Ian Brubaker started his aviation journey in 2006, first flying powered in Cessnas, then sailplanes, and then moving on to hang gliders. Hang gliding has been his primary form of aviation for the past several years and he has been teaching it since 2015, holding a basic instructor and tandem rating. Ian also holds a B.S. in Space Physics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Ian's passion and expertise is to make flying easy to understand and fun to learn by leveraging both his practical and theoretical background of aviation. Ian Joins our Producer Mitch to chat about his adventures flying Sailplanes, Hang Gliders and what he enjoys about each one and what we can learn from flying different types of aircraft. 

Later on the podcast our friend Sergio, The Soaring Master brings us another segment and this one talks about the 5 ways we can improve our soaring. Join us now for episode 114 of Soaring The Sky, a glider pilot's podcast.


113: The Soaring Kings Of YouTube: World Premiere, Bruno Vassel Interviews Stefan Langer

February 28th, 2022

This episode’s guest host is glider pilot and YouTuber extraordinaire – the one and only Bruno Vassel!  Bruno joins us from Utah, and even in the small world of soaring, this will be his first time to ever connect with the legendary Stefan Langer.  Together their gliding videos already have over 85 million views, and they have inspired countless thousands of people to take up or at least try flying in a glider. In this episode, they share their journeys and the various adventures they’ve experienced along the way.  You don’t want to miss this one!


Later on this episode, Sergio The Soaring Master brings us another one of his feature segments., where he talks about the importance of flying new types of sailplanes, and how it can help us be better glider pilots.



112: Project AK-X The Flying Wing: Dominic Poppe Interview

February 14th, 2022

We are excited to have glider pilot and project manager of the AK-X flying wing, Dominic Poppe with us. Join Tom Coussens, our guest host, as he gets the full story from Dominic behind the scenes at Akaflieg Karlsruhe in Germany. What does it take to design and build such an amazing aircraft? 

Later on the podcast Sergio The Soaring Master will join us to talk cross country soaring and turn points. Join us now for another soaring adventure now on episode 112 of Soaring The Sky.




111: Behind The Lens Of A Glider Pilot: An Interview With Tobias Barth

January 31st, 2022

On this episode we chat with world famous aviation photographer and glider pilot Tobias Barth! Many of you have seen his incredible images taken all over the World.  Since 2019 the "Aviation Calendar", Soaring edition has exclusively used his pictures. His work has also been featured in Magazines and other media. What does it take to get all those amazing shots while flying sometimes only a wingspan apart from the other aircraft? Tobi started flying gliders at the age of 13 and never looked back. He continues to enjoy soaring and many of those flights you will find him with camera in hand looking for that next great shot. You can find thousands of images on his website. (see show notes for link)  

(01:05) Sergio The Soaring Master brings us another great segment and this one is titled "Flying Old Timers" Everyone, if given the opportunity should take a flight in these amazing time machines. What can we learn from these vintage aircraft?




110: Show Me A Sine: Making Waves In The Sierra Mountains

January 17th, 2022

On this episode our friend Tom Coussens catches up with Zach Yamauchi who just had a 1039 Kilometer Flight in
mountain wave in the Sierraas. Zach takes us along on this flight so we can see and feel what it's like to experience this amazing flight and what it takes to fly in wave. Stay tuned after Tom & Zach because we have another new segment from Sergio The Soaring Master and this one is titled "Flaps" All this and more on episode 110 of Soaring The Sky!



109: Crash Landings & Mid Air Collisions

January 3rd, 2022

On this episode we bring you several short soaring stories from glider pilots all over the globe & celebrate another exciting year here on the podcast. From Crash landing in the Frence Alps to bailing out after a mid air collision. These are just some of the stories you will hear now on this episode of Soaring the sky.


108: A Soaring Fix From The Gliding Junkie

December 20th, 2021

On this episode we bring you a guest host and a guest pilot! Barbora, AKA The Gliding Junkie on Instagram is a member of the Czech National Gliding Team, Flight Instructor and comes from a family of Aviators with both her parents being pilots. Any free time she has you will find her in the cockpit of her LS8. Barbora chats with our producer Mitch about her recent adventures flying at Wave Camp and other interesting flights she has had. We will also bring you a fun new segment where we chat with our guest pilot about some crazy scary soaring Youutube videos and what we can learn from them. You can find links to those videos below. So join us now and get your soaring fix with Barbora, The Gliding Junkie.




Bonus Episode: A Bird‘s Eye View With Stefan Langer

December 13th, 2021

Hello Soaring community and welcome back to the podcast! This is our second bonus episode from some of our most played interviews and this time we bring you our chat with Stefan Langer! So grab your favorite beverage and enjoy our chat with Stefan.


107: Nixus Fly-By-Wire Project & Long Cross Country Flights: Zach Yamauchi Interview

December 7th, 2021

Our guest today is Zach Yamauchi a 23 year old glider pilot and Aerospace Engineer currently  working for a company foccused on unmanned aircraft. Zach learned how to fly gliders while attending Cal Poly. He also had the oppertunity to work on the Nixus project, The first general aviation project using a 28 meter wingspan glider using fly-by-wire technology. Zach will share with us more on this project as well as other soaring adventures he has had.

(01:11) Listener logbook. Christopher Stevenson returns with a new listener logbook as he chats with some west coast pilots about some recent winter flights they had.

(01:13:50) Sergio the soaring master is back with us with a brand new segment called, should I stay or should I go. All this and more now on episode 107 of Soaring the sky!



Bonus Episode: Perlan Project

November 28th, 2021

Miguel Iturmendi, one of the pilots from the Perlan project as he answers your questions and shares his adventures flying super high altitudes and what it’s like soaring in the only pressurized glider in the world. Is it possible to fly the Perlan Ship on Mars? You may be surprised when you hear the answer. Miguel is also a test pilot and will also tell us about a very famous solar motor glider he has been flying most recently.

106: World‘s Most Interesting Man: Gavin McClurg

November 20th, 2021

Gavin McClurg is an, author, adventurer, public speaker and host of the podcast Cloudbase Mayhem. He has flown in Alaska being the first person to traverse the full length of the Alaska range by foot and paraglider. He became the first American to complete the toughest adventure race on earth the X-Alps. Gavin shares his amazing journey with us now.

Later Sergio The Soaring Master joins us for another segment about cloud flying. All this and more now on episode 106 of Soaring the sky!

Instagram @gavinmcclurg



105: Rock Polishing, Low Saves & Launch Pads: Tom Coussens Interview

November 9th, 2021

Our episode today includes stories about getting caught in dust devils, low saves and Space X? Our guest Tom Coussens has experienced all that and more! Tom's aviation journey starts when his Dad spots a P-51 Mustang back in the mid 50's and then learns to fly so he can buy one! After his first solo in a Citabria at 16 Tom received his private powered license at 18. He later starts a career as an aerospace engineer and ends up working with Space X. 

(17:43) In 1986 Tom finds his way to gliders and the soaring adventures begin! Being a powered pilot already, Tom also starts towing gliders as well. He currently has over 3,400 tows! Sit back and enjoy this amazing journey as we soar into episode 105 on Soaring The Sky. 








104: American Flying A JS3 The Alps: Howie Bohl Interview

October 26th, 2021

On this episode of the podcast we head just outside of L.A and join our Co Producer Mitch! He is going to share with you his interview with Glider Pilot Howie Bohl, Howie comes from a long line of aviators starting with his great grandfather who started flying in the 1920s with the Army ROTC and eventually flying for United Airlines. His Grandfather was also an Airline pilot as well as his father. Howie started flying at age 13 in gliders and soloed on his 14th Birthday. He then started flying Powered and soloed at 16. He later became a tow pilot and continued to fly gliders and then he himself started flying with the airlines. Howie has flown all over the world and not just for the Airlines but also in gliders. Today he shares with us some of those adventures.

Also on the podcast today Sergio the Soaring Master is back with some advice on Blue Days! All that and more now on soaring The Sky!


103: 1st Virtual Sailplane Grand Prix Champion: Ben Fest Interview

October 11th, 2021

We are honored and happy to bring you our Interview with German pilot Ben Fest! He has made history by becoming the first ever World Champion of an eSport contest in any aeronautical discipline! Ben joins us to share his adventures and journey not only in virtual soaring but in real gliders that he loves to fly as well. He started flying gliders in the real world when he was just 13 years old but had already been flying Condor a year before that. When Ben's schedule does not allow him to get into the real glider he stays connected with the soaring world through Condor wearing his VR glasses where he can fly anytime day or night. Join us now to hear Ben's aviation journey and adventures now on soaring the sky.


102: Soaring The World‘s In Montlucon France: Daniel Sazhin Interview

September 28th, 2021

Today on this episode we head to the 36th World gliding Championship in Montlucon France as Chuck interviews one of the Pilots who competed in this years event. All eyes were on France since the Worlds in Germany was canceled. Our guest Daniel Sazhin shares his journey that starts in New Jersey as he heads across the Atlantic to fly in one of the biggest contest of his souring career and what it's like flying with the best in the World! 

Flying Simon also returns for another segment as he returns from the National Junior Competition in the netherlands.  He has been there before but this time as a coach. Join us now for this and so much more!


101: Pure Gliding Over New Zealand: Tim Bromhead Interview

September 14th, 2021

Today on this episode we have a guest host and guest pilot! Chuck hands the microphone over to Clemens Ceipek as he interviews glider pilot Tim Bromhead of the famous youtube channel Pure Glide! Tim is an active contest pilot and Flies out of Piako Gliding Club in the north island of New Zealand.  The site is also close to the famous Hobbiton where Lord Of The Rings was filmed. How did Tim got hooked on gliders?  What is it like flying in one of the most amazing soaring sites on the planet? All this and some great stories Tim shares with us as well. 

(44:38) Flying Simon brings us another Simon Says segment and some stories about some gliders you probably never knew existed  and the people that flew them. 

(48:45) Sergio The Soaring Master shares a lesson in cross country and checkpoints. 



100: 100th Episode celebration With Bruno Vassel

August 31st, 2021

Join us now for our 100th episode celebration! Bruno Vassel helps Chuck & The Team Celebrate this podcast milestone! We will have some laughs, hear some great stories and even hear from some of our previous guest pilots from all over the globe. 

(56:30) Our Listener Logbook returns with a story from the famous Harris Hill about a young passenger who accidently releases the tow rope way too early. 

(01:02) Sergio The Soaring Master is back to give us some advice on buying a sailplane.


99: Racing In Nephi: 18 Meter Nationals

August 17th, 2021

On this epidsode we had the priviledge to catch up with Clemens Ceipek, Competition Glider Pilot, Blogger & Youtuber to chat about his recent experience competing at the 18 Meter Nationals in Nephi! He talked about the crazy terrain transitions & strong thermals and dealing with a wild fire in the area during  the contest. Nephi is a majestic place to fly. So Get ready for big thermals, big sink and some tough competition! 

(58:35) Also in this episode Sergio The Soaring Master is back with another lesson to be learned. This one is focused  on the mental battle we go through before landing out. All this and more now on Soaring The Sky.


98: Sucked Into A Thunderstorm, 20 meter Two Seater Nationals & Soaring In The Olympics?

August 3rd, 2021

Kempton Izuno is back from the 20 Meter 2 Seater Nationals  in Montague California and will share his experiences flying a contest with another pilot in the cockpit.  He will also share some super interesting experiences he has had in the cockpit. Like the time he actually was sucked up into a Thunderstorm and flying blind for two and a half minutes! 


(52:00) Sergio The Soaring Master is back with a unique story about soaring in the Olympics? 

(59:25) Christopher Stevenson, our on the road soaring reporter heads to the Soar Safari in Lone Pine California and interviews some of the pilots about their flights. 



97: Reaching The Turn Point, Vegas & Crossing The Andes: Henrique Navarro 8X Brazilian Champion

July 20th, 2021

8x Brazilian Champion Henrique Navarro, Glider competition pilot, Instructor, Aerobatic instructor and author joins us today. He also has competed several times in the World Gliding Championships in (France 2006, Argentina 2012, Finland 2014, Lithuania 2016, Czech Republic 2018) Henrique has broken 33 national records in Brazil has over 5,000 hours in gliders, over 500 in airplanes (mostly towing gliders) & has flown 64 different glider types He is also a Sales agent for Schempp-Hirth gliders. 

(43:35) Sergio shares a story about a glider pilot crossing The Andes in 1964 with no working Radio in The cockpit! Join Sergio The Soaring Master as he tells this amazing true story about the first successful crossing of the Ades in a glider. All this and much more on episode 97 of Soaring The Sky! 


96: Final Glides, Pulling G’s & Dolphin Flying

July 6th, 2021

Tony Condon has recently won The Club Class Nationals in Tennessee! He will take us with him in the cockpit as we experience what it's like from start to finish and what it takes to soar all the way to the podium. Tony has competed in many National gliding competitions as well as the 13.5 Meter World Gliding Championships.  When he is not competing he is teaching others how to Soar! 

(44:00) What is Dolphin Flight? We find out on this episode as we head to Brazil to hear from Sergio as he explains it in our new soaring master segment titled Soaring With Sergio the Soaring Master.

(50:00) Flying Simon joins us from the Netherlands with some soaring advice about landing out and how his crew found him near a small German village enjoying a beer with the locals after one of his landouts. Hear his new segment that we like to call Simon says! All this and more now on Soaring the sky.




95 Winglets, War Stories & Dust Devils : Dave Reilly Interview

June 22nd, 2021

Contest Flying, scary landouts, hangar stories, Waco gliders & world war II and more! Our featured guest pilot today is Dave Reilly joining us from Merlan Soaring center in Virginia. 

Like many of us From the time he was a kid he wanted to fly. Dave discovered gliding in 2005 and progressed from the 2-33 to the 1-26 and on. He now enjoys flying in is very own LS8-18 Dave shares some great stories with us like the time he was not sure if he was going to make it back to the glider port but remembered he had been in this situation before in the same area during simulation flying in Condor what happens next may surprise you? 

In mid May Dave did a 240 mile flight that completed the altitude and distance requirements for his Silver Badge, as well as the requirements for his Gold Distance and the Diamond Goal. On a fun note, he recently flew a 114 mile run to the North west ridges and retrieved the Boomerang plaque from the Front Royal club after they landed at Merlin and claimed it on 5/15. He will better explain the Boomerang during our chat.   

Dave's only regret? he wishes he would have discovered this amazing sport earlier! 

We will then head to the Netherlands for our new segment "Simon Says" as Flying Simon talks about one of his favorite soaring activities...flying contest. 

Our Listener logbook is back today as we head to the Hangars in Tehachapi California and dust off the pages of some vintage glider logbooks that hold some amazing stories from World War II and more.  Christopher Stevenson chats with Doug Fronius a vintage glider owner and enthusiast.   

Have you ever been bored in the Cockpit while in the air? Is that even possible? Dale Masters will  bring us another soaring Tale and this one is titled Stir Crazy!  All that and much more now on episode 95!



94: Mastering Gliding In Brazil : Sergio Lousada

June 8th, 2021

On this episode we head to Brazil to chat with Sergio Lousada, he is 35 years old and is a Soaring Pilot, Cross country Coach, and Flight Test Engineer.  Sergio has been flying sailplanes since 2007, but for as long as he can remember he has been addicted to aviation. Interesting enough, soaring made it possible to fulfill his dreams.
As his gliding activity was decisive when he was selected to become a flight test engineer of military aircraft and he got to fly a good number of them! What he learned in the flight test environment he found to be very useful to soaring. And What is the Soaring Master Project? we will soon find out!
Sergio has flown in many parts of the world (Andes, Alps, and Brazil and since 2018 has been acting as coach for the Brazilian AF soaring team! So many great stories like the time he depended on his motor glider engine to start while he was getting dangerously low! 

(52:40) Dale Masters Brings us another Soaring Tales With Dale, and this one is titled A Half Second Later Is A Second Too Late!

(55:40) We are excited to bring you a new segment on this episode called Simon says.  One of our previous gust Flying Simon has a brand new story and some very important advice from a flight he experienced early in his soaring journey. All that and more now on Soaring The sky! 





93: Monkeys, Coconuts, Field Fires & John Denver: An Interview With Don Ingraham

May 25th, 2021

Don Ingraham was living in Minneapolis when he was bitten by the soaring bug in 1993 at age 39. Thanks to the tutelage of Bob Wander, by age 40 he had soloed, earned a PPG certificate and purchased a Jantar Standard.
Over the next couple of years he flew the Jantar to more than a dozen MN State Soaring records and kept busy during the winters refinishing it in gelcoat (with much phone advice from George Applebay). Don started flying contests in it in 1996 and moved up to a Discus in 1999. His wife, Kathy, was always willing to track him down, trailer in tow, when he couldn’t make it home from a XC flight. He won the Hilton Cup in 1999 and got to make a dream come true - meeting top pilots and flying different gliders from the Hilton Ranch for ten days straight.

A few years later, in 2003, he asked Kathy what she thought about the idea of going into business running a commercial glider operation. He explained the six-figure salary would be gone and there was a very steep and potentially perilous learning curve. And it would take a big chunk of money. And he had no idea how to do it. And they had two toddlers, Chase (2) and Ali (4). Kathy paused for a moment, then asked how he would feel, years from now, looking back,
if he went back to the stable-yet-now-soul-crushing computer world and never tried to start his own business.  Don said he’d feel like a frumpy cowardly wimpy loser. Kathy said she didn’t want to be married to that guy, so game on! Don and Kathy built a website, bought a tow plane (Socata Rallye 235E) and a glider (Grob 103 Twin II) and opened the doors of Cross Country Soaring in Faribault Minnesota in 2004. They now operate a second Grob 103 and a have a winch.  He is beginning his 17th year in operation. Check it out

Bob Wander was a key factor in Don’s success in pursuit of life in the sky and they have remained good friends. Bob asked Don to write a book based on a talk he delivered at the Sport’s Aviation Conference in Minneapolis in 1996.
That book is now available at for a song! It is called, “The Final Four Minutes - Landing Out”. Bob wrote the second half.

(57:02) Soaring Tales With Dale, Dale Masters brings us another soaring Adventure and this one is titled "Totemic Polemic"


92: Soaring On Mars Club Class Nationals & The Perlan Project

May 11th, 2021

On this episode we first talk with Miguel Iturmendi, one of the pilots from the Perlan project as he answers your questions and shares his adventures flying super high altitudes and what it's like soaring in the only pressurized glider in the world. Is it possible to fly the Perlan Ship on Mars? You may be surprised when you hear the answer. Miguel is also a test pilot and will also tell us about a very famous solar motor glider he has been flying most recently.   

(52:52) Dale Masters is back and has another Soaring Tales With Dale and this one is titled Eagle Eyes.

(56:58) Contestants David Hart and Daniel Sazhin chat with us on location at Chilhowee Gliderport in Benton Tennessee as they get ready to compete with others in the Club Class Nationals! What is it like flying a contest? How is the course? All this and more now on episode 92 of Soaring The Sky!


91: Open Cockpits & Vintage Flying Machines: An Interview with Flying Simon

April 27th, 2021

Flying Simon is a glider pilot joining us from the Netherlands and a few years ago he started his YouTube channel 'Flying Simon'. He has captured some of his amazing flights. Simons goal is to share the excitement and the wonderful perspective of gliding and this year he hopes to share adventures all over Europe from flights in new gliders to the Junior European Championships in Lithuania! Simon chats with us today on the podcast and shares some of his aviation adventures including the story about one of his YouTube adventures in an open canopy Vintage glider!

Staying on the theme of vintage gliders we will join Bob Armstrong for our Tips & Techniques segment in his hanger where he keeps a 1946 Schweitzer SGU 1-19 that has been flown over Oshkosh! Dale Masters brings us another soaring Tales with Dale and this one is titled "Feathered Avatars"  We will bring another Soaring Safety Segment as well as our Brand new Listener logbook Segment where you get to share your soaring stories! Click The link below now to record your soaring story and hear it on an upcoming episode! All this and more now on episode 91 of Soaring The Sky, a glider pilot's podcast. 



90: Tow Planes Gliders & Birds Of Prey

April 13th, 2021

Today our featured guest flies out of southern California. Casey Scholz is a 650 hour commercial pilot flying in airplanes and gliders. His ratings include, multi-engine land, single engine sea and land, instrument rating, as well as AGI/IGI ratings. He is currently Working towards his CFI-A and CFI-G. He has approximately 200 hours in tow planes and has about 1,000 tows in the Tow-plane. Casey shares some great stories and also some lessons he has learned flying both ends of the rope that have helped him to become a better and safer powered and glider pilot. 

(1:10:30) We then head to the Czech Republic For our Soaring Safety Segment and catch up with Barbora Moravcova.  You may know her as the Gliding Junkie on Instagram. She currently flies with The Czech National gliding Team. She will bring us some great safety tips and talk about what she has been up to since we last spoke to her. She also has some pretty cool stories she will share with us.
(1:43) Dale Masters, author and glider pilot will be bringing us another Soaring Tale with dale and this one is Titled "We Hadn't The Foggiest"

(1:44:45) We are then going to head over to Blairstown NJ to catch up with Daniel Sazhin, He brings us our Tips & technics segment on this episode. He has been up in the air and most recently had some super interesting flights with Bald and Golden Eagles. You can click on the link in the show notes to his blog to check out some awesome shots his girlfriend took from the glider. He will share that story from that flight with us as well. 

This is our first episode with our brand new segment where we hear from you the soaring community! Chris Stevenson shares one of his soaring adventures about landing out. To share your soaring adventure just click the link below and click on the microphone near the bottom of the page. We want to share your soaring adventure on the next Soaring The Sky, a glider pilot's podcast.

89: Soaring In The Philippines with Rolf Dunder

March 30th, 2021

On this episode of the podcast we first head to the Philippines and talk with Rolf Dunder, He originally learned to fly in Hamm-Lippewiesen Germany but is currently the only glider pilot soaring in the Philippines. Rolf started soaring in 1979, soloed in 1980 at the age of 15. He received his PPL in gliders in 1982 and his CFIG in 1989. In 2000 he picked up his Ultralight rating and in 2001 his Paraglider as well as his single engine in 2002. In 2008 he moved to the Philippines where he started glider operations Nampicuan and now Tuy. Rolf has flown many gliders including the 
ASK-13, Ka-8, Ka-6, K-7, Twin III, ASK-21, DG-505, ASW-15b, ASW-19b, LS-4, Standard Libelle, IS-28,
Schweitzer 2-33, Puchatek, Duo Discus, SZD-55,  and the Nimbus 4DM.

Rolf has also experienced soaring all over the world and will share some of those exciting adventures with us. He has flown in Japan, France, Australia, Italy, Spain, The United sates and even had the pleasure to be a guest on a 985 km triangle flight in a Nimbus 4DM in Kuruman South Africa. Ralf has logged over 900 hours in gliders that includes over 2,500 
flights. He also has over 100 hours in Single engine aircraft with 300 hours in ultralights and 100
hours in paragliding. 

(45:45) Also on this episode we will hear another exciting soaring adventure from Dale Masters on Soaring Tales With dale and this one is titled "Go Fly A Kite" 

(49:45) For our Soaring safety segment CFIG Ben Mayes joins us from Williams Soaring Center in Williams California for some great advice and some interesting soaring stories.  

(1:15) Our Tips and technics segment Monette Beers joins us to share her experience attending the recent Seniors Soaring Championship in Seminole Lake Florida. 

All this and more now on episode 89 of Soaring The Sky 

88: A Gift Of Soaring & Soaring Across America: Bill Palmer & Eric Carden Interviews

March 16th, 2021

Bill Palmer is our first guest pilot we will hear from on this episode. 
Bills soaring journey started in 1991 when his wife gave him a glider flight for his Birthday . It was with the now famous Bob Wander in Minnesota. Bill had recently qualified as an A320 captain with Northwest Airlines at the time, but had not flown gliders before nor had any exposure. He started with The 2-33 northeast of the Twin Cities. With the private check ride approaching squashed by winter, he picked up the following May (as Minnesota melted) and decided to simply push for the commercial, which he then completed.

He continued to fly with the Minnesota Soaring club until 1995 where he flew an ASK 21, ASK 7, K8, & an SGS 1-23. Some pilots would do cross country trips with their own gliders, mostly downwind dashes with
a crew to follow in a trailer. Not having access to a crew, Bill put that out of his mind and enjoyed taking friends for rides and working through the A through Bronze badges, and completed the silver 5 hour
duration and 1000 meter gain flights. Bill would have to wait 23 years to complete the silver distance.

Bill moved to San Diego California in 1995 and didn’t seek out soaring there until 2012, after a couple of moves he realized that Sky Sailing was only about 40 minutes away. He checked out in their Grob 103,
102, and SGS1-26 and 1-36 and had a fun time being able to climb to 12,000 feet and play the how-
long-can-I stay-up game, while stretching his goals all within gliding distance of the airport. 

Bill is also the author of the book "Understanding Air France 447" Its About An A-330 that crashed into the Atlantic North of Brazil in 2012.   

His Soaring goals are to Learn to use the water ballast in his ASG29, for longer and faster cross country flights and hopefully a 750K. Bill also wants to continue to share his enthusiasm to 
current and future soaring pilots to fan their aviation flames and ambitions.

(38:00) Soaring Tales with Dale. Dale brings us a story on this episode about bow wave. Have you ever experienced this?

(41:30) We also have a very special Tips & Techniques segment for you on this episode!
Eric Carden has an exciting journey ahead of him this coming summer as he attempts to cross the the entire United States in a glider! Eric started flying hang gliders in 1993 while a sophomore in college, he briefly flew paragliders, and started flying sailplanes in 2015. 
He also owned and operated a powered ultralight business for several years, flying and teaching in weight-shift and three-axis aircraft. He has taught others how to fly hang gliders and powered ultralights. In 2011, he started giving beginner to advanced coaching of paraglider, 
hang glider, and sailplane pilots in thermaling and cross-country (XC) flying. He has created a free online thermaling and XC course and He's passionate about soaring (especially cross-country)... and about helping others have more fun soaring! 
To pay for his fun, he works as a mechanical/aerospace engineer. 

For our Safety soaring Segment we go back to Oshkosh 2019 Where we interviewed Riley Speidel live on location under the wing of her aircraft for the 50th Anniversary Celebration. All this and more now on Soaring The Sky!

87: Spins & Whirlwinds: An interview with Dr. Daniel L. Johnson

March 2nd, 2021

Dan Johnson is a retired AME and internist, living on the west coast of
Wisconsin, close to the airport from which he flies sailplanes and airplanes.

He's flown airplanes since his father bought a Cessna 150 with observer doors
in 1962, and has flown gliders since 1986. He's been speaking and writing on aviation physiology for 30 years and is also the medical advisor for the Perlan Project. Today he will share with us his journey as well as chatting with us about his most recent article in the February issue of soaring magazine titled "Secret Whirlwinds"  

Also on the podcast Dale Masters, author and glider pilot brings us another Soaring Tale with Dale and this one is titled "OMG" 

For our tips and techniques s segment We will hear from Kempton Izuno who has been flying gliders for over 45 years.

Jim Zombakis joins us for our Soaring Safety Segment. All this and more now on Soaring The sky episode 87.



86: Cross Country Soaring In the Canadian Rockies: An Interview With Patrick McMahon

February 16th, 2021

Today our featured guest pilot is Patrick McMahon, Patrick is a Canadian cross country soaring pilot and flight instructor located in Alberta Canada. Today he flies at The Cu Nim Gliding Club, having learned to fly with the Royal Canadian Air Cadet Program, and learned to soar in southern Ontario at York Soaring Association.

During the week Patrick manages various energy efficiency programs across Canada, with an emphasis on residential retrofits. Soaring is an extension of this work as he considers it "energy efficiency as a sport". 

He is an advocate for the sport in Canada, maintaining the social media properties of the Soaring Association of Canada, has served for over a decade on the volunteer boards of his respective gliding clubs, and is a co-founder of the Proving Grounds - an automated task scoring and ranking platform intended to turn glider pilots to soaring pilots in 3 simple steps.

Patrick co-owns an LS6-b "EH", but will fly anything he can when the weather is pleasant and there's a willing tow pilot!

Later on this episode we hear another great Soaring tale from author and glider pilot Dale Masters. 

We than head to Blairstown New Jersey for our Tips & Technics segment and catch up with blogger and CFIG Daniel Sazhin. Today we will talk about the importance of being trained on how to handle landing out and one of his recent interesting experiences when he had to do just that. 

We then wrap up the podcast with our soaring safety segment with Gary Kemp. Gary has flown gliders for over 40 years and has logged more then 4,000 hours in the cockpit. He will share with us some personal experiences that he has learned from that can help you stay safe to fly another day. All this now on episode 86 of Soaring the sky.






85: Soaring With Prince Charles: An Interview with George Lee Triple Gliding World Champion

February 2nd, 2021

Honored to have Triple Gliding World Champion George Lee MBE with us on the podcast today. George was Born in Dublin in 1945. Joined the Royal Air Force in 1962 as a technical apprentice. He then Became a pilot and flew primarily the F4 Phantom. He Joined Cathay
Pacific Airways in 1984 where he flew 747s for fifteen years before retiring to Australia.
George Started gliding in 1963, became an instructor and gained all three diamonds.
Started contest flying in 1970, and flew in five World Championships (all Open Class),
winning the first three (Finland, France and Germany), being the first person in
history to win three consecutive world titles. He also Flew in the Smirnoff Derby in 1977,
and flew in two Hitachi Masters in Arizona and Florida). George Instructed Prince Charles
for his first and only flights in a glider. Received numerous awards, including the
Lilienthal Medal, the Royal Aero Club Gold Medal, the Britannia Trophy and the
Air League Founders Medal.
George Ran advanced coaching courses for primarily experienced junior pilots in
Australia, the students coming from Australia, the UK, the USA, Austria and South
Africa. All this and more as we hear his amazing soaring journey.

(47:23) Dale Masters, author and glider pilot brings us another Soaring Tale and this one is called "Ballad From Button Bay" 

(50:22) Glider Pilot, Powered Pilot and YouTuber Pilot Bambi for our Soaring Safety Segment. 

(52:18) To finish up the episode we head to sunny Florida for our Tips & technics segment to talk to Bruce Patton. All this and more now on Soaring The Sky. 




84: Hypoxia and Soaring: An Interview with Scott Ashton

January 19th, 2021

Scott E. Ashton is President and CEO of Aerox Aviation Oxygen Systems, based in Bonita Springs, FL. Scott is an aerospace industry executive with more than 25 years of experience working in engineering, sales and marketing, and executive roles. He has extensive experience in aircraft sales, operating business aircraft and helicopter charter operations, and MRO operations. He has served as President of the Connecticut Soaring Association and also as President of the New England Air Museum, based in Hartford, Connecticut. Scott also currently serves on the Board of Patient Airlift Services, a charitable organization that arranges private air transportation at no cost for individuals requiring medical diagnosis, treatment or follow-up, and for humanitarian purposes. Mr. Ashton is an ATP rated pilot with ratings for airplanes, gliders, and helicopters, and is a Certificated Flight
Instructor with more than 2,700 hours of flight time. Scotts education includes a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, a Masters in Engineering from the University of Hartford, and an MBA from the Lally School of Business at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Scott and his wife have three grown children and live in Naples, Florida. 

(34:16) Author and glider pilot Dale Masters joins us for another Short story on "Soaring Tales with Dale" this one is titled "Space Walk" A story that teaches us the importance of securing the cockpit before our flight. 

(37:10) For our Just Soaring Tips & Technics segment we catch up with Glider pilot Dennis Linnekin as he shares with us what it's like flying the ridges of the Appalachians to big thermals west of the Mississippi and mountain wave and convergence in California. 

(40:36) For our Soaring safety segment we hear form Glider pilot Keith Schwab about incident and accident reports. All this and more now on episode 84 of Soaring the sky. 




83: Rocky Mountain High & Desert Skies

January 5th, 2021

On this episode of the podcast we first head to The Prescott Soaring Club in Coyote Springs Arizona, just north east of Prescott Valley as we speak with glider pilot and instructor Peter Steinmetz. Peter is a research neurologist and computational neuroscientist. He was fascinated by flight and space from an early age but a busy career deferred his pilot training until 2015. Since then he has completed his instrument rating and is a certified flight instructor in both gliders and single engine airplanes, as well as an advanced ground instructor. He purchased a 1969 Cessna Cardinal prior to his solo and enjoys flying it over the wild spaces of Arizona. He currently flies with the Prescott Soaring Association and at Estrella Sailport. He lives in Tempe, AZ with his wife, son, and 4 cats. Peter will share his soaring adventures and what its like being winch launched and landing out in the desert.

(36:45) Later on the podcast, author and glider pilot and author Dale Masters joins us for another Short story on "Soaring Tales with Dale" this one is titled "Don't Back Down, Back up!"

(39:00) For our Tips & Technics segment we catch up with Glider pilot and author of the blog Chess in the air Clemens Ceipek to find out if 2020 was a pandemic write off? Clemens shares with us his transition to flapped gliders in his new Ventus 2cx T which also has a sustainer and he will explain the benefits of having that. He also talks about his adventures soaring in Nephi Utah with Bruno Vassel as well as doing more soaring over the rocky mountains in Colorado. We will also see how he did this year in the OLC speed league and find out how your club can compete in that league.

(1:15:15) To finish our episode it's our Soaring Safety segment as we get some great advice from Czech National Women's gliding team member Hana Treslova as she talks about the importance of learning from our mistakes as well as others. All of this now on episode 83 of soaring the sky.

@hanickatreslova on instagram





82: Stefan Langer

December 22nd, 2020

On this episode we bring you our interview with World famous Glider Pilot Stefan Langer! Stefan is a successful cross-country and competition pilot who loves to share his adventures on YouTube. His YouTube channel was the first pure gliding channel and now has over 100,000 subscribers. Stefan's passion is to see the world from a birds eye view and capture these moments on camera to show the excitement of our sport to others. Stefan also enjoys competing and has earned the German Junior Champion in club Class, German champion in club class, 3 time junior worlds club class and 3 time German 18 meter and open class. He also recently came in first at the pre WGC this year. later on the this episode for our Soaring Safety segment Stefan has some great advice for us.

Dale masters will also join us for another great story on Soaring tales with Dale. We will then catch up with Barbora Moravcova Czech Woman's Gliding team member to find out how her 2020 Soaring Season went flying the LS8 and chatting about the competitions she was able to fly this year, as well as attending the E2 Glide. She has our Soaring Tips and Technics segment. All this and more right now on Soaring The sky! 



81: UK’s Youngest Pilot: Jack Jenner-Hall

December 15th, 2020

On this episode of the podcast we first talk with Jack Jenner hall, Jack is currently UK's Youngest Pilot! He started learning to fly gliders at age 11. Jack Recently flew his first solo flight in a glider on his 14th birthday. He is currently working towards his bronze exam while also learning glider aerobatics. One of his goals is to get more young people like himself into aviation and show them that there are many affordable ways to get into flying. Join us as Jack shares his aviation journey.

(29:00) Later on the podcast Dale Masters, Author and Glider pilot will share a new story with us called "Communication Takedown"

(33:00) Our next guest James Aleggio soaring from the Hawaiian islands . He joins us for our  soaring safety segment as he talks about the importance of communication during a winch launch.

(33:50) We than close the show with Ulrich Beinert from Central Germany reminding us how our feathered friends can help with our soaring adventures. All this on episode 81 of soaring the sky.


80: Cross Country Sports Class & Stratospheric Wave

December 1st, 2020

On this episode of the podcast we first talk with Pete Appleby, Pete is a soaring pilot with the Merlin Soaring Association club in Virginia. He has been flying gliders since 2012 and discovered sailplanes through building and flying R/C model planes. He has participated in wave and XC soaring camps as well as finishing 5th in the sports class for his first regional contest in Perry South Carolina in 2018. Pete is currently flying a 1980 DG 200 and just finished his Gold Badge in May of this year. Today he shares his aviation journey and talks about the importance of trailer maintenance and shares with us a scary incident he was involved in while transporting his glider on a busy highway. Later we will hear another Soaring tale from Dale masters, author and glider pilot and this one is called "Too Late To Rush Too Soon To Quit" For our Tips and technics segment today its Miguel Inturmendi from the Perlan Project talking about soaring in stratospheric wave. 
We will then wrap up the show with our soaring safety Segment as Ben Mayes talks about aerobatic training and how it can make us better and safer pilots. All this and more now on this episode of Soaring the sky.

79: Veterans Soar

November 17th, 2020

On this special Veterans episode we first speak with Julie Bennett of the soaring academy in Los Angeles County about their Warriors Soar program and getting Veterans in the cockpit of the glider. We will hear from some of those Veterans about their experiences soaring and what it has meant to them. Later on this episode we have another Soaring Tale with Dale, (30:16) called "Class A Experience".  Also, Daniel Sazhin (32:20) joins us to talk about his latest blog and his recent experience getting his CFI-G rating and how different it was then his private. We also chat about Carbon fiber and auto flaps. All this and more on this episode of Soaring The Sky. 


78: Soaring In Sweden & Critical Phases Of Flight

November 3rd, 2020

On this episode of the podcast we first head to the west coast of Sweden to find glider pilot David Holmen soaring at the Gothenburg Soaring Club. David got his enthusiasm for aviation from his fighter pilot father, after seeing his Dad in the cockpit he soon started flying himself at the age of 15. David would later introduce his father to a type of flying he had never done, soaring. 

Next on the episode we hear a new story from glider pilot and author Dale Masters on our "Soaring Tales with Dale" (36:00) This one is titled "God's Own Thermal" Propane on the runway!

We then hear from aviator flight instructor  Mary Rust (38:38) about Winch launches and her experience and how different it is then aerotow. 

Scott Manley CFI-G (41:18) also will join us for our Soaring Safety Segment as we catch up with him to find out some great ways we can stay in the glider and continue to soar even in the off season and with little to no cost to us. All this and more on this episode of Soaring The Sky.





77: Water Ballast Wave & Cloud Streets

October 20th, 2020

This episode is packed full of great soaring content with five guest pilots! First we will be checking in on some of our previous guest pilots and find out what they have been up to and what they are doing at their club. (3:25) Wendy Carson a school teacher, blogger, yoga instructor, model and glider pilot soaring in New Mexico. She chats with us about her future plans and what we can learn about ground school and what she has found helpful from a teachers point of view. Later on the show author and glider pilot (16:45) Dale Masters joins us for a brand new segment "Soaring Tales with Dale" then For your soaring Tips and Technics segment (19:28) Markus Voelter, Pilot and podcaster joins us from southern Germany to explain the benefits of water ballast. Our Soaring Safety segment (23:33) John Pickard from England explains the importance of scanning the skies while we fly! Our final guest pilot today will be (24:05) Chris Snyder From Merlin soaring near Richmond Virginia as we chat about Soaring in wave, flying cross country and glider maintenance all this now on Soaring the sky!

76: Mountains Mishaps & Milestones

October 6th, 2020

Our guest pilot today, Mitch Thomson, started his soaring journey 15 years ago picking up RC gliders after years of flying powered RC planes and building scale airplane models, he realized quickly that he wanted to scale up from RC into his own glider when the opportunity presented itself.   Soaring in his own glider was something he put on his bucket list for over a decade, and culminated in an orientation flight at Warner Springs California back in 2018 where his first flight took him up into winter wave and so much altitude that he and his instructor in the backseat got to do some fun aerobatic maneuvers on the way back to the field. At that point he was hooked.  After they landed, he signed up on the FAA website for his student certificate and then started a rigorous training regimen at the Soaring Academy, finally taking his glider solo flight in Oct 2019. After a Covid virus delay in the Spring of this year, he took his checkride and got his glider private certificate in May.   Mitch is now soaring out of Crystal Airport, Charlie November 46 on the Los Angeles Sectional, located in the high desert of Southern California just Northeast of Los Angeles, and is enjoying his days flying his ASG29 in the San Gabriel mountains. Today he will share some interesting stories about his learning journey, mountain soaring, and a couple of mishaps and learning experiences that happened along the way!

For Our Saftey Soaring Segment segment today we are joined by Aerobatic pilot & World Champion Luca Bertossio from Italy.

For Our Soaring Tips and technics segment today we are joined by Barbora mariftava from the czech republic as she discribes soaring in wave

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75: Badges Diplomas And Finding Your Own Cross Country Adventure: Kempton Izun

September 22nd, 2020

Kempton Izuno has been soaring since he was 14. With 45 years of soaring gliders he has a lot to share. Today he shares his story and also how he is contributing to this great sport. Included below are some links he shared of some great soaring content he has written for soaring magazine as well. Don't miss his amazing journey!

Later on this episode we join blogger and glider pilot Clemens Ceipek as he shares with us his journey to get his 750k Diploma and how he finely achieved his goal and what we can learn from it. All this and more now on Soaring The Sky episode 75!





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74: A Tale Of Two Air Masses & Gliding In Australia: Daniel Sazhin & Todd Chapman

September 8th, 2020

Today on the podcast we first chat with Daniel Sazhin about his blog, The Soaring Economist. Daniel talks about his most recent flight soaring in two air masses and what he learned from it. (2:22) Then it's our Soaring Safety segment with Enis Englehardt from Berlin Germany. Also on this episode Todd Chapman a glider pilot at Central Coast Soaring Club north of Sydney Australia talks with us. (29:20)Todd will share his adventures in the air and how he thinks soaring could get a big boost during this time of uncertainty. All this and more on this episode of Soaring The Sky! 


73: Downwind Dashes & Grand Prix: Tony Condon 13.5 meter World Championship Competition Glider Pilot

August 25th, 2020

Our guest pilot on this episode of the podcast is Tony Condon. Tony learned to soar in central Iowa while attending Iowa State University. He is the President of the Kansas Soaring Association and lives in Wichita, KS with his wife Leah. He works as a charter pilot and is a Designated Pilot Examiner. Today Tony will share his story and some amazing adventures he has had along the way. In 2015 and 2017 he represented the USA in the 13.5 Meter World Championships. He also shares some stories about flying downwind dashes and grand prix flying in different parts of the World. 

(26:35) Also on this episode Walt Rogers gives us some advice on our soaring safety segment as he talks about staying current in the off season. 

(38:35) Stephen Nesser flying with Minnesota Soaring  joins us for our tips & Techniques segment to talk about slipping to land. All this and more on this episode of soaring the sky! 


72: Dirty Looks From A Bald Eagle: Rob Cluxton 777 Pilot and Cross Country Glider Pilot

August 11th, 2020

Rob Cluxton currently flies a triple seven with the Airlines but his adventure started at the age of 19 at Caesar Creek Soaring Club. Rob will share his adventures not only soaring in the United States but other spectacular places as well. Rob has flown 20 different types of gliders and owned or shared 6 different types. 

Later Daniel Sazhin joins us for our Soaring Safety Segment. And we will be bringing you some Soaring Tips and Techniques with another guest pilot Scott Manley as he talks about the advantages training with Condor and VR. All this and more now on soaring the sky. 



71: From The Appalachians To The Alps : JP Stewart 2021 U.S Club Class World Team Member

July 28th, 2020

JP Stewart 2021 U.S Club Class World Team Member and SSA chairman of the Youth/Junior Committee loves soaring sailplanes and just about anything that flies. At an early age he flew RC but soon discovered gliders. This year alone he has flown two 1000km, two 750km and two 500km flights. 

His career has also given him a chance to fly in some amazing places. One story he shares with us today is a flying high over the Swiss Alps in a Paraglider! Don't miss his adventures on this episode.

Later We join Paul Schweizer on our Soaring Safety Segment as he talks about one of the safest gliders in the world. On this episode we will also be talking with David Hart on our Soaring Tips & Techniques segment.  All this and more now! on soaring The Sky!

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