WNYT.com

Vets and kids go soaring

Posted at: 10/14/2012 11:04 AM
By: Cadence Acquaviva

Veterans and children with disabilities took flight today at the Saratoga County Airport. The flying club, Adirondack Soaring, says the annual event is designed to give those who would normally never be able to fly the experience of a lifetime. Dan Bazile has the story.

They say it's similar to taking to the skies like a bird, using a craft with no engine to soar for hours. Don White wanted to know what that felt like. 

"Anything that levels the playing field, I'm all for," he said before boarding the glider.    

Leveling the playing field for people with disabilities, like himself. The Ballston Spa man is confined to a wheelchair. This is his first flight as part of a program by the flying club Adirondack Soaring. It's the forth year the organization has partnered with Freedom Wings International at Saratoga County airport to give free glider soaring experience to vets and kids with disabilities.

“For them it's the thrill of a lifetime to have an opportunity to experience soaring flight," Richard Fucci, Freedom Wings International

"We love to do it. We love working with Freedom Wings. It's the pleasure we get out of seeing the smiles on the faces of these individuals," Juergen Klingenberg, Adirondack Soaring Club

White was smiling as he got into the glider and was strapped in.

"I'm ready to go," White

And off he went into perfect blue skies and sunshine. My photographer, Alex Clarey, tagged along on a different glider. From the vantage point of an eagle and a clear day, it didn't matter where he pointed the camera, you almost see forever.

"It's just amazing peace because in a glider there's very little noise when you get up there," Klingengerg

They were cruising at about 2,500 feet, and traveling pretty fast. Eventually they had to come back to earth. White says it was even better than he expected.

"It's very addicting... I definitely want to do it again," White

In Ballston Spa, Dan Bazile, Newschannel 13.