Weekend Planner: Regional glider competition tops off activities
Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 23, 2002
Glider pilots from across the country begin practice this Saturday and Sunday at the Albert Lea Airport for a six-day soaring competition. The contest officially begins about noon Monday and runs through June 1.
The regional competition, one of only 10 in the country, will test amateur pilots’ ability to soar up to 10,000 feet above southern Minnesota farm country in a race against time, distance and gravity.
A glider is a non-motorized, fixed-wing aircraft that is towed to 2,000 feet above the ground by a powered airplane. The glider then releases to glide using only rising currents of warm air called “thermals.” Pilots rely on their flying skills and knowledge of weather to gain altitude and stay aloft – often for hours at a time.
Email newsletter signup
A recent participant in a contest at Albert Lea flew around a prescribed course of just over 270 miles at an average speed of 87.34 mph. The flight took just over three hours.
Public spectators are welcome. The best time to watch is the take off, at about noon, or the finish at about 4 p.m. The actual time is dependent on weather conditions. Glider rides and introductory demonstration flights will be available for a fee all day starting about 10 a.m.
In other area events this weekend:
Friday, May 24
– The Sweere family art show continues at the Albert Lea Art Center from noon-4 p.m. There is no charge to attend, but freewill donations will be accepted to help defray Art Center expenses.
Saturday, May 25
– The Albert Lea Farmers Market will open at 9 a.m. in the parking lot at Broadway Avenue and Water Street.
– The Sweere family art show continues at the Albert Lea Art Center from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. There is no charge to attend, but freewill donations will be accepted to help defray Art Center expenses.
– Trinity Lutheran Church Youth going to the Boundary Waters this summer will be having an &uot;all you can eat&uot; fish fry from 4:45 to 7:45 p.m. at the American Legion, 142 N. Broadway Ave. The meal will include fish, baked potato, vegetable, cole slaw and coffee. The cost is $7 per person.
Tickets can be purchased at the door.