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Womens World Team

Sarah Kelly Arnold

Photo #12793 | Sarah Kelley ArnoldSarah Kelly Arnold was raised on a farm in British Columbia. When she was 13, Sarah learned to fly in a single seat Quicksilver ultralight. Instantly she was captivated with flying. Her heart found a home in the sky, where it lives to this day.

In November 2002 Sarah became enthralled with a gliderport in Tennessee named Chilhowee. She quickly became a tow pilot and soon began soaring for herself. A year and a half later, at the age of 24, Sarah found herself the youngest owner-operator of any commercial gliderport. Under her management Chilhowee Soaring Association, Inc. has grown and shared the joy of soaring with many satisfied customers and has become a vacation point of destination for glider pilots from around the country.

Mrs. Arnold has accumulated over 2200 hours of glider time and holds CFI, CFIG, A&P Mechanic with IA, and CFII Ground ratings. She runs Chilhowee with her husband and devoted crew, Jason Arnold and looks forward to representing the United States in Issoudun.

Feminine Class Background

As part of the International Gliding Commission's (IGC) strategy to build participation in the sport new classes have been recently sanctioned to participate in World Soaring Championships. The feminine class was created in 2001. The first World Women's Gliding Championship took place in the same year.

Photo #12794 | 01 W2The 2001 1st Feminine World Soaring Championships was held in Pociunai, Lithuania. Twelve countries were represented fielding 41 participating pilots. There were three classes in this event, 15-Meter, Standard, and Club. Gillian Spreckley (GBR) won the World Champion title in the 15m Class, while Sarah Steinbeck (GBR) finished first in the Standard class and Tamara Sviridova (RUS) in the Club class.

Photo #12795 | 01 W4In the USA the Woman's Soaring Pilots Association (WSPA) was founded in 1986. The charter meeting was the result of a year's effort and input by the pilots who attended the 1985 Women's Soaring Seminar at Airsailing near Reno, NV. Current membership exceeds 170 pilots including several  International pilots.

See the Woman's Soaring Pilots Association (WSPA) Web Site here.


Posted: 6/1/2010

US Team 

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