Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to spend 3 days (Sunday – Tuesday) enjoying the activities at the 2021 International Vintage Sailplane Meet (IVSM) being held at the Harris Hill Soaring Site in Elmira, New York. IVSM is a week-long gathering of some of the world’s most significant and beautiful vintage and classic sailplanes. This year was the 26th anniversary of the first IVSM organized in 1995 by Jan Scott and Paul A. Schweizer.
During my time at the event, flight activities were greatly curtailed by several days of generally lousy flying weather. Fog and rain socked in the airstrip for significant portions of each flying day. Monday (July 12) saw the most flight activity during my stay. The morning did not look good with fog socking in the airstrip and rain forecasted throughout the day. However, after lunch, the weather broke for several hours and the airstrip, which had been devoid of activity, became a hornets nest of tow planes and sailplanes going up and down as quickly as they could to get in as many flights as possible before the rain came back by suppertime.
Even though the weather put a crimp in the flying activities, the pilots were able to attend a presentation each morning of the ‘Sailplane of the Day’. And the weather did afford for plenty of time to check out the sailplanes stored in the Glider Hanger as well as those on display at the National Soaring Museum which was one of the event sponsors. It also gave the pilots a bit of a chance to view the various model plane and glider kits for sale by the FlyBoyz Store!
One thing that personally pleased me was to see that there was a significantly sized cadre of teenaged Soaring Society of America Juniors in attendance at the event. Many of these Juniors were from the local Elmira area. They helped out in all aspects of flight line operations and were rewarded with training flights in several of the sailplanes. They were a very enthusiastic group who gave much hope to the older pilots for the future of the aviation sport.
In addition to enjoying all the flight activities when the runway was active, one of the other aspects of this event that I really enjoyed were all the great conversations that I was able to have during lunch and dinner as well as throughout the day with all the pilots in attendance. I talked with pilots from around the nation and we all swapped stories of our lifetime of experiences in aviation. We all approached and interacted in aviation in different ways during our lifetimes, but the common thread through it all was our love of aviation. It was a refreshing and fun time!
What follows is a string of photos, and a video, that I took while at the event. All the flight activity photos were taken during that break in the weather on Monday afternoon.
(Click on photos to zoom in on them)
(P.S. If you are interested in a beautiful laser cut kit of this famous glider, there is one available here in the FlyBoyz Store: Göppingen Gö-3 Minimoa Glider Kit )
I took a lot of video during my time at the event, however, my shaky hands on the camera made the videos totally unwatchable. I am very sorry for that as I wanted to share the flight action with all my FlyBoyz readers. There was one video that was barely watchable and that was of the Minimoa flight. So I am presenting that FlyBoyz video to you here with my apologies for the shaky video quality. Hopefully, it’ll give you a sense of the type of action that went on throughout the week at IVSM. Enjoy the video!
All in all, I had a throughly enjoyable experience during my time at IVSM. For the better part of three straight days, I was totally immersed in aviation and especially in an aspect of it that was both new and exciting for me. Also, before I end, I would like to offer my ‘Thanks!’ to all the staff at the National Soaring Museum for their hospitality in hosting me and the FlyBoyz Store during my visit to IVSM!