I've been very lucky to fly the DG-1000 sailplane for many years, but even though Ma had been flying a lot with me in our Piper Warrior, and had flown in sailplanes with me in the past, we had never been able to coordinate an opportunity for her to check out the awesome DG-1000.
Lynn Weller had often offered his great DG-1000, and Ma, Lynn's DG-1000 and I were finally able to coordinate our schedules on the first of May. Ma and I flew up to the Skagit Valley tulip fields in our Warrior, and then landed at Arlington after checking out the colors from the air.
The weather was gorgeous on this early May day, a pleasant change from the steady rains for the past few months. After landing at Arlington, we checked in with Lynn, who had one student flight in his DG-1000, and then it was ours. We had an enjoyable lunch at the airport restaurant, and returned just as Lynn was landing. Ma and I suited up in our parachutes, which doubled both as a safety device and as a comfortable cushion in the deep DG-1000 seat pan. I strapped Ma in the front seat with an added cushion for height, explained the flight controls and instruments, and jumped in the back for our launch.
Ma and I went through our launch checklist, closed our canopies and quickly lifted off behind our powerful Pawnee towplane.
We climbed to the north of Arlington, where Ma released from tow and we worked some lift by the river area northwest of the town of Arlington, over a large greenhouse nursery. Ma did very well in thermaling turns. We joined up with one of the Evergreen L-33s east of the field near the foothills, and snagged a decent thermal, allowing us to climb above our initial release altitude.
Since Ma was enjoying the thermaling and our ability to climb and cruise out, we began checking out bits of lift over some of the nearby thermal sources, such as the chicken coops and the high school, and were rewarded with more free energy. Ma's always had an amazing capability to pick out objects in the air, which I rely on a lot when we're flying our Warrior together. Today Ma used her great vision to pick out two hawks, allowing us to join them in lift before we entered the traffic pattern. Ma enjoyed the smoothness of the DG-1000 as we flew a nice approach and a greaser landing back at Arlington. A big thanks to Lynn Weller for letting us borrow your beautiful sailplane!
In Ma's own words: "Lynn, I just wanted to say thank you for letting Stan and me fly in your lovely DG-1000. I really enjoyed seeing the mountains up close and experiencing lift over the lowlands. What fun! A great Big Thank You, again!"