Christina Larson – Commercial Glider Milestone

Christina Larson – Commercial Glider Milestone

Congratulations to Christina Larson, EAA 1214108, who passed her commercial glider checkride on July 9, only a year and two days after her first glider solo.

Chris said although she grew up around aviation, gliders weren’t even on her radar until she was gifted a glider flight for her birthday two years ago.

Christina Larson, new commercial glider pilot; Don Ingraham, proud CFIG and the owner/operator of Cross Country Soaring; Jackson Kranz, towpilot.

“Dad loves airplanes and would take my sister and me to airports and air shows whenever the opportunity arose,” she said. “I loved watching aerobatics, but flying military jets or aerobatic maneuvers seemed out of reach for me. I’d ridden in small planes as a child but their speed and comfort for travel paled next to the commercial jets I’d flown in. It wasn’t until I had experienced flight in a glider that I found a means of flying that was both within reach and sheer fun — steep turns! Thermalling for altitude! Chandelles and wingovers!”

Chris said she absolutely loves to share the joy and magic of flight with others, and she plans to continue introducing friends and family to soaring flight, in addition to working toward her CFI.

“I have formally instructed in many settings, from martial arts to veterinary medicine, because I love seeing people light up when they figure something out for themselves,” she said. “Becoming a certified flight instructor with a glider rating, of course, is my ultimate plan, to combine two of my favorite ways to give my service to others.”

Soaring is such an important part of her life that Chris even writes an occasional poem to illustrate its magic, and shared one example with EAA:

~Lifted Heart~

Nose up, a skip sidelong,
And then free of Earth. 
In front, the hot towplane 
Seeks the sky as its berth. 

Crab out, hug the centerline,
Climb behind to the left. 
Rise up, head to windward,
See the rope does have heft.

Look right, drop the towrope,
Your lead spirals down fast. 
Silence falls, curves around,
The twinned dance doesn’t last. 

Lifted heart, play your tune
With those clouds up ahead.
All too soon, with the gloaming,
The bright wings need to bed.

Set the trim, check the air brakes,
Clear the sightlines below.
Make the turns, ride the rails,
Close with tar swift yet slow. 

Nose up, roll to Bravo, 
Keep flying the wings.
Be prompt, clear the active,
Bound by gravity’s strings. 

Debrief, of a peace
Known to pilots all kin. 
It’s for sure, true as breathing,
You’ll seek the skies once again. 

Congratulations again, Christina, and good luck from EAA as you continue working to share The Spirit of Aviation with others!

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Megan, EAA 1171719, is EAA’s staff writer, regularly contributing to both print and digital publications. She’s an aspiring pilot, a passionate aviation enthusiast, and an avid learner of just about everything. E-mail Megan at mesau@eaa.org.