Why Fathers Get Ulcers
My first trip to Black Forest was in 1970 when I had less than ten hours in a glider and a new "Glider" endorsement on my license. I got my diamond altitude in a 47 minute flight.
A year or two later when we had the 1-26 N51Y, my 15 year old son, Steve and I went up there to fly the wave. He and Char Detwiler from Phoenix were both in the wave when upslope clouds began to form over the Springs and move toward us. Ted Bahnson was towing and told them they had better head back. The ship he had on tow released and returned but by the time they got back, it was already overcast at about 400 feet with light snow. There was talk of sending them to the farm with the blue roofs just off Highway 83 north of the trees but Ted said he was orbiting over a hole about half a mile north of the gliderport over Thomas Road, which they could follow directly to the field.
Char was the first one to go down through the hole and barely got onto the airport. Ted told Steve to carry all the speed he could as he had a long way to fly level with a headwind. Then he added, "If you have to go into the trees, pick two and put the nose between them."
"I'm on my way," came back from Steve.
We heard him coming before we saw him, then he came into sight through the snow, really moving on, fast enough to fly to the south end, do a one-eighty and land north. I asked him later how fast he was going and he said, "I put both hands on the stick and the needle on the redline and hung on."
Here's a photo that I took later that day after it cleared up.
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Copyright © 2007 by Jim Foreman