I would imagine that the majority of people who take part in the hobby have a “bucket list” of sorts. It could be aircraft that you want to build and fly, an event you want to attend, or a special place you’ve always wanted to fly.
In my case, I was finally able to satisfy the latter with a fantastic Slope Soaring experience at the Torrey Pines Gliderport in La Jolla, California. The triumphant feat was two years in the making because my last visit to Torrey Pines provided air so calm that no flying was possible. Fortunately, just being there to take in the beautiful landscape and long history helped make up for the lack of flying because of the calm conditions—certainly a first for me!
This time, however, I would not be denied the opportunity to soar above the Pacific Ocean with the subtle sounds of waves cascading below. Having no aircraft to fly and never having had the pleasure of throwing a perfectly good aircraft off a cliff, I enlisted the help of Marty Dine, the president of the Torrey Pines Gulls. He provided all the pertinent safety information and some tips on how best not to lose my borrowed glider.
The airplanes, a Multiplex Solius glider and a Hitec Aurora 9X, were on loan from Shawn Spiker of Hitec who was also in attendance. I’m happy to report that I was able to gain and maintain altitude, without need of anything but Mother Nature, for my entire time at the sticks. Thanks, Marty and Shawn, for such a memorable experience!
If you have never tried Slope Soaring or visited Torrey Pines, I highly recommend it.
This year’s AMA Expo was held January 10-12 at the Ontario Convention Center in Ontario, California. The event was graced with good weather and great attendance by exhibitors and spectators.
Our complete event coverage—including interviews with manufacturers and distributors and a look at the aircraft on display—can be viewed on our website at www.ModelAviation.com/amaexpo2014. This month’s digital edition will also carry a write up of the event and links to all of the videos.