Jim Stark Blog

Final Chapter – Part One

Day One I had decided to go back to New Mexico to get my glider pilot add-on rating. It would just be a brief return. The Sundance Aviation owner In New Mexico, Rick Kohler, offered to do some refresher flights on one day and the check ride the next. Just in case there might be […]


When my oldest son, Eric, turned 50, Chris, his younger brother told him he was buying the two of them a skydiving experience to celebrate. It would be one of those tandem-jump affairs where the instructor is strapped to your back and controls the freefall, chute opening, and landing. I wasn’t concerned for their safety […]

Glider Flying in Moriarty, New Mexico, Part Three

Day Five This week has not been all fun and games. I’ve felt challenged and tested and that old feeling of college finals week tinged with anxiety returned. First it was getting comfortable and confident with the glider. Then it was getting approved for solo. Next was passing the oral test on systems, technology, and […]

Glider Flying in Moriarty, New Mexico, Day Three and Four

Day Three This day I flew with Rick Kohler, the owner of Sundance Aviation. Rick is a nitpicker, demanding precise performance from his students. But that’s the kind of instruction I want. Let me know what I’m doing correctly but also tell me how to improve. The first two landings were in calm air and […]

Glider Flying in Moriarty, New Mexico, Part One

So here I am 1300 miles from Bloomington for a week of sailplane flying in New Mexico. I’m training for my Private Glider Pilot Certification to add to my Single-Engine, Multi-Engine, Instrument, and Commercial Power Pilot ratings. “What the hell do you want to do that for?” my incredulous friends ask. Well, it’s challenging, thrilling, […]