, McMinnville

, Oregon

, United States

Posted on
2020-02-19 13:26:46
“I am a competition sailplane pilot and have been since 1972. While serving 27 years in the military my dream became to travel our country to compete in model sailplane contests. Since retiring in 2001 I have been actively involved in doing just that. With the help of my Therapist it has also become a huge part of my ongoing PTSD therapy. The competitions provide a controlled amount of stress while also providing distraction from triggers, peace and focus on everything that is going on in the world of nature around me. Things like gentle changes in wind direction, flying bugs, birds, temperature shifts, even sounds that give clues to where thermal lift may be found to keep my sailplane in the air. Having gained a large knowledge of aerodynamics in the process has also allowed me to be a guest speaker in numerous school classrooms as well as putting on flight demonstrations for those students in their own schoolyards. The awe and comments of seeing a sailplane launch to 450ft or more and then rise in thermals to sometimes over 1000ft without an engine is such an inspiration to them and myself. Family, military service, flying sailplane are the most rewarding things in my life.”