My name is Michael Keller and I am an extremely dedicated 16 year old glider pilot.
My goal is to compete in the Australian Junior Gliding Championships -Joeyglide- in December 2017.
Gliding is the sport in which unpowered composite aircraft are raced around set cross-country tasks in the goal of flying as far and as fast as possible. There are a number of different competition classes and many different types tasks that can be set over hundreds of kilometres.
Juniors are an important part of gliding and embody the future of the sport.
One of the ways in which the Gliding Federation of Australia (GFA) encourages juniors is through Joeyglide -a mutual coaching week and competition held annually in the Eastern States. This event really gives Juniors a taste of proper competition flying and sets up valuable connections for a future in Gliding.
Joeyglide will be held in December 2017 at Temora, NSW.
There is also something extremely aesthetic about gliding somehow -whether it be seeing the beautiful slender-white aircraft nestled in the grass, wet with the morning's dew. Or as a dark cloud base overhead rushes by at hundreds of kilometres per hour before opening up in a great dawning of light to an infinite expanse of purest blue. Or as the world falls away below you, the giants of mundane life reduced to nothing. You are both powerful yet insignificant in the depths of the blue yonder.
Since my introduction to gliding in 2013 I have been hooked on these feelings. It comes with a great sense of achievement after returning from a 3.5 hour flight knowing that you are the reason you stayed up there. There also comes a great feeling of camaraderie as you work together with fellow pilots and crew to launch the aircraft. A great deal of teamwork and cooperation is required for the successful execution of operations which builds a special bond between pilots that transcends all notions of language and nationality.