I recently went to fly a couple planes at a new field I had heard about. I arrived at what appeared to be a large hangar with a gravel runway and an “Official AMA Airfield” sign. I was the only one there so I enjoyed flying a couple batteries through my Extra 300. As I was packing up to leave a man arrived and began opening the hangar doors. To my amazement there were 2 tow planes and about 6 free flight gliders, all of which appeared to be fully operational. I went to help open the hangar doors and the man offered me a ride in the ASK-21 if I would help him and the instructor for the day. I gladly accepted his offer and after a few hours of moving planes around I got to go up in the ASK-21.
We got a tow to about 2000 feet and headed straight for the nearest thermal. It was easy to tell when we hit it because the plane would quickly jump in elevation, also you can watch the altimeter as it shows you how many feet per minute you are rising. At one point we were able to maintain a 600 feet per minute ascent! After telling me the basic controls the instructor let me fly the plane around for about 10 minutes. I was able to fly into different thermals and gain altitude on my own (or at least attempt to). Eventually the pilot took back the controls and asked if I was ready for a wingover, I said sure and he went into a mild dive then pulled back on the elevator with a slight mix of left aileron. The plane did a nice 4G wingover and I have to say it was a pretty intense amount of force! Next the pilot did what he calls a “Zoomie”, we hit about 110 knots flying low at about 500 feet over the private runway! Needless to say this was one of favorite flying experiences of all time! To see some of the R/C sailplanes and gliders that Hobby Lobby sales click here.