Lovers of soaring like eagles,
The current interest in gliding, truly soaring, in Tasmania is clearly very strong. The fantastic new site thanks to the Gardner family, is very stimulating and invigorating with its meteorological challenges and stunning landscape beauty. The facilities are also very impressive and constantly being refined and are a great reflection of all the very hard work and donations of members over the last few, very tough, years.
But now we are able to celebrate with the success born of this great effort with the soloing of three pilots in gliders in the space of one month, two of whom achieved the milestone on the very same day, one proving his metal by achieving a one-hour first solo flight, quite the soaring pilot. I congratulate you all on your efforts and persistence and I am pleased to say the immense help to others you have provided along the way, gliding is truly a team sport.
We also have attracted many new and capable members, ex-commercial pilots, instructors, military pilots, air cadets, and more. And yet more exciting news is the growth in gliding in Tasmania is now supported further with the purchase of a second two-seater club glider thanks to the generous loan of funds by a long-term member and the scouting and negotiation skills by a former member in Victoria.
So we can continue to grow and provide the only glider pilot training operation in Tasmania, which now will include a spinnable training glider The key challenge now is to grow our flight crew. While we have grown in tow pilot numbers we will need to work hard, in collaboration with the Gliding Federation of Australia, to build our team of instructors and air experience instructors. This is critical to meet the demands of training pilots and the interested public in the sport of soaring flight in Tasmania.
But everyone lets take a breath and celebrate three new Tasmanian glider pilots; Ian Dummett, David Gibbs (had 1-hour first solo), Pat Humphries (also completed A, B and C certificates, GPC and aerotowing endorsement) and all those instructors, duty pilots, timekeepers, tow pilots, and members who helped it all happen.
I am proud to be your Chief Flying Instructor, well-done everyone. Stay safe, fly safe and look out for each other at all times.