Glider aircraft - close up and personal

If we're going to talk about low emission vehicles, let's talk about glider aircraft. Yes, gliders require a "tow" from an emission-bearing aircraft in order to get started. And yes, some gliders have an engine. But generally gliders coast.  They ride air currents like hawks, eagles and other soaring birds.

I encountered a glider in flight recently. Intimately.  I was walking on a mountain path at the time, over 5000 feet (or 1500 meters) in the air.  Something was coming towards me at eye level it was hard to comprehend what it was. It looked like an airplane but... different somehow...  it all happened very fast.

Luckily the camera was ready to go because that hiking trail is so stunning anyhow.

As the aircraft slid by I realized what was so unique: no noise.  A whoosh without the "wh" or the "sh."  Just suspension and silence. There was something very beautiful about this, a cross between easy serenity and sheer power. General excellence.

See the plane coming?
But you hear only silence.
It moves quickly towards you while you try to understand it.
A young man steps up to get video.  We're not sure of what.
Later, this young man promises to post his video on YouTube, so I can link to it from my blog. (Weeks go by and he doesn't do so.  Too bad!  Would've been nice to have video.)

Meanwhile, the glider flies close by. He's no more than 50 yards away.  Floating, silent.
Nice hat, pilot!
Then he slips by..
 Into what appears to be heaven...
And around the peak of Mount Lincoln...
And he's gone.

Later he flies back, and scares us silly, but we just laugh. Thank you, pilot.  Whoever you are.

What a beautiful experience to have. Quality. 

Kathleen Hurley