Soaring over Lake Tahoe
This post was originally featured on www.PlanMyGetaway.com and is reprinted here with permission.
I'm not going to call myself a daredevil. Although, sometimes I wish I was one. My vacation stories are usually pretty light on the action, heavy on the hammocks. Do I wish I had gone zip-lining in Jamaica? Yes. Would I like to rappel down a wall and inner tube through caves in Belize? Definitely. Have I? No.
Needless to say, I was a little nervous when my publisher told me I would be going aloft in an aircraft with no engine. At first blush, flying in a glider seemed like an activity only for the adventurous in spirit or brave of heart. Yet after just a few minutes with the professional glider pilots at SoaringNV in Minden, Nevada, I knew I was in good hands.
Soaring is the purest form of flying and is also the most environmentally friendly. The glider has no engine and no propeller—to get up into the air, the glider is towed by a tow plane. At the right altitude, the pilot pulls a cord and separates the plane from the glider. From there, it’s pure aerodynamics, wind energy and enjoyment.
The professionals at SoaringNV really took their time getting me comfortable with my safety equipment, the glider itself and what I would be experiencing before I took off. Even though I would be sitting in front, Jeffrey Hazlegrove, an FAA-certified glider pilot instructor with over 10,000 glider flights in his stack of log books, would literally have my back, piloting the plane from the back seat. Suited up with the first parachute I have worn in my life, I was excited and ready to go. Jeffrey explained the controls to me like I was a pilot in training. Even though I was just along for the ride, I felt more knowledgeable about the glider than I ever have been about a commercial airliner. The excitement mounted as the tow plane pilot attached the tow line to the glider, started his own engine and began to take off.
When the plane took off, the glider followed with ease. At the right moment, Jeffrey let me pull the knob to release the tow line. He told me I could have any kind of flight I wanted. We could take it nice and easy around Lake Tahoe. If conditions were right, he could let me maneuver the glider. Or if I wanted a little adrenaline, we could do some tricks. I felt completely in control. For awhile, I just sat and marveled at the crystalline blue of Lake Tahoe and enjoyed it from an angle that few people get to experience. I smiled at the tourists at Heavenly. I knew, as we flew by them, it was a slim chance that they were having as much fun as I was. My whole flight could have stayed this relaxing. But then something happened, something great. I got this amazing burst of confidence and courage. I flew the glider on my own! Then, I told Jeffrey I was ready to do some tricks. How many people can say they flew upside down over Lake Tahoe? Well, at least one. In one flight, I went from the girl who doesn’t venture to the woman who does and loves it.
If you are seeking relaxation or even a little adventure, you should take a glider ride at SoaringNV. Anyone can put you in a glider, but SoaringNV gives you an experience you will never forget. Give them a call at 775-782-9595 or check out their Web site at www.soaringnv.com. Tell them Diane from GETAWAY sent you!
1138 Airport Road
Minden, Nevada 89423