I've always wanted to go in a glider. Living in Boulder and driving by the airport nearly every day, I see them take off behind the tow planes quite often, and it's always seemed romantic to be able to fly miles above with just the sound of the wind over the cockpit. Some fortunate circumstances came about and I found myself meeting my pilot Dave at 9am this morning to help de-ice the wings of the glider we'd be riding up to 12,000 feet.
I sat in the front of the cockpit while Dave the pilot got everything hooked up and our tow pilot got the tow plane situated. Next thing I knew the hatch was closed and we were being towed up several hundred feet per minute.
We made our way up and past the 180MW coal power plant in Boulder.
Your author, piloting the glider
My house is in the North-West corner of the intersection in the photo on the top right.
The pilot asked if I’d rather have a longer flight or a more exciting flight. I opted for the latter and he immediately dove into some aerobatic moves that made my stomach turn just a bit.
This is a screen grab of a short video doing a figure 8/∞.
Before I knew it we had to land as we were losing altitude. We landed on the unpaved auxiliary runway at Boulder Municipal that's reserved just for gliders (and isn't quite paved in a straight line).