B COPING with Covid, Stanfield 1.jpg

A simulator gives the impression of flying over Mount Hood in a sailplane. 

I’m a CFI/CFIG (Certified Flight Instructor, Power and Glider) with Hood River Soaring and I have been learning about Sailplane Racing also called Contest Soaring. I’ve been using an inexpensive software ($70) called Condor Soaring using the Cascades Scenery (see Screen Shots of Mount Hood, I included one of me flying the simulator).
Mike Bamberg of Hillsboro, who is also a Hood River Soaring member, has been mentoring a lot of Oregonian Soaring Pilots towards our first real Soaring Contest using this simulator program. On most Wednesdays, we have been logging in at 7 p.m. with our virtual sail plane and racing triangular courses over Ephrata, Wash. and Montague, Calif. These two locations are where real week-long soaring competitions are held. Most of us have a portable or back up flight program on our smart phone that links into the simulator so the learning and decisions you need to make in the simulator translates to real flying. Race points are given by GPS Coordinates, but are usually over airports or land-able fields in case you run out of energy and have to do a “land-out.” 
Mike has taught us so much about soaring and racing along with encouraging us to read books from World Champion Soaring Pilots.  Winning II, by Gorge Moffat is great read, even for the non-pilot. I have also kept busy helping prep Hood River Soaring’s Youth Member, Ian Wiekbe, 15, for his FAA Private Pilot Glider Checkride doing Ground School via FaceTime.
Mark Stanfield lives in Hood River.

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