Trophy Flight by Bill Maxwell

The trophy is an idea conceived by Bill Schieman, a member of Caesar Creek Soaring Club near Waynesville, Ohio, to prod us lazy type glider fliers who aimlessly circle near our home field and need a prod to inspire us to go cross country. Schieman proposed and composed a challenge to Central Ohio Soaring Association that if they dared to fly from their home field at Marion, Ohio, to our CCSC Gliderport near Waynesville, Ohio, a distance under 100 miles, they would win temporary custody of the trophy till we flew up to get it. Schieman procured a down sized replica of the Eagle trophy that was presented at the World Championships at Hobbs, New Mexico, and it decorated the mantle at the CCSC Clubhouse for nearly a year. On Saturday, July 7, 1984, with very blue sky and lots of thermal clouds, Larry Kirkbride flew from COSA at Marion, Ohio, in his Cirrus to claim the trophy. About an hour later Wayne Catto arrived in his “Pegasus” to make it a double claim.

Pat DeNaples was up at 7:00 AM the next day, Sunday, July 8th, getting his 1-26 #305 ready to go get the trophy back. I happened to be up and about early also so I started fixing up Redwing’s 1-26 #322 so I could go with him. The first thing Redwing needed was a bath so I got out the hose and towels so she would feel presentable enough to go visiting. Pat was ready and said he was going and I said I would be along in a little while. I got a tow about 20 minutes after Pat and released at 2500 ft. AGL due north of the CCSC Gliderport and proceeded along US 42 hopping from cloud to cloud on silent wings, just like our information sheet says that we do it. I saw Pat about a thousand feet above me south of Xenia, Ohio, and he followed Route 68 north toward Springfield, Ohio, while I was taking Route 42 to London, Ohio. My cloud hopping kept working and I never got below 2500 ft AGL but I seldom got over 4500 ft either. From London I followed Route 38 north to Marysville, Ohio, and Route 4 from Marysville, Ohio, toward Marion, Ohio, when I caught sight of Pat, who had picked up Route 4 at Springfield. I could see Marion, Ohio, in the distance but I could not see the airport. I was in a good thermal and climbing well but Pat was flying a bee line. I decided to follow his track as be obviously was on his final glide. I had to hold my speed at redline just to keep up with him. As we neared the airport Pat did a “zoomie” to get their attention and landed right next to their Operations Van. i rolled past him and pulled off to the side. I could hear Pat Holler “I’ve come for the trophy, where is it?” Mark Savage of COSA remarked that it took COSA a year to get two fiberglass gliders to go get the trophy and the next day they come up in a pair of 1-26’s to get it back. – Bill Maxwell