Tidewater Soaring Society’s Elber Visits Civil Air Patrol
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (Nov 15, 2020) – Frauke Elber of the Tidewater Soaring Society (TSS) was a guest lecturer for the Newport News Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol’s (CAP) Virginia Wing on October 20th.
Aerospace education is one of the three primary missions of CAP and Elber kept the 45 cadets and senior members in attendance entranced with stories from her 62-year involvement with sailplanes. From detailing her first flying lessons, to learning how to balance a glider that her instructor had parked facing into the wind, to “landing out” at a nearby military airfield (and the resulting security detachment response), and assisting at national and international level sailplane competitions—for the first time in a long while, talk of flying without a motor was greeted with enthusiasm by all in attendance. She showed an amazing video of a young woman performing her first solo flight and sparked excitement in several cadets who had previously considered pursuing only powered aircraft ratings.
Frauke and her husband Wolfe were some of the earliest members of TSS and helped grow the organization over their 50 years of membership into what it is today, the largest sailplane activity in southeastern Virginia. TSS already plays a big part in the lives of several CAP member including two senior members who are currently pursuing their glider transition rating at TSS and four cadets who have been awarded scholarships for instructional flight (through solo) in a 2-33 at nearby Garner Field. Two of these student pilots recently solo’d in the TSS 2-33 and were awarded silver wings that the cadets are allowed to wear on their CAP uniforms. They helped Frauke present in their role as the squadron’s cadet aerospace education officer and chief pilot.
Frauke is now the longest serving member of TSS and one of the two hangers at Garner is named the “Elber Hanger” in honor of Frauke and Wolfe’s contributions to the organization.
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1st Lt Tamara Munger, CAP