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Lloyd P. Hunter's Final Glide

Lloyd Hunter took his first glider ride as the solo occupant of a primary glider in Wooster, Ohio in 1931. This bungee lauch experience was a reward for having pitched in to help build the machine. The hook was set.

Fast forward 26 years past the establishment of a successful career as a research physicist and electrical engineer and commitment to a wife and five children to 1958 when Lloyd was a principal in establishing the Hudson Valley Soaring Society in Poughkeepsie, New York. Getting ûbackû to gliding proved to be the recreational love of his life. For essentially every weekend for the next 40 years Lloyd flew his beloved gliders.

Lloyd was not one to quickly move up the performance scale and owned four gliders for an average of ten years each. A 1-23D was followed by a 1-23G, then on to a Diamant-15, and finally a PIK. Lloyd principally enjoyed recreational soaring on Saturdays and Sundays. However, he became active in regional and national competitions in the 1960s. His first national contest was in 1964 at McCook competing in his 1-23. He entered national competitions on a frequent basis through the 1970s, usually placing about two-thirds of the way down the list. Although he enjoyed the competition, he never saw himself as a really serious contender as he was unwilling invest in the latest equipment or push his comfort zone too far such as with low saves or even thermaling in over-crowded gaggles.

Lloyd was a regular at Wurtzboro in the early 1960s; spent a year flying out of Livermore in 1962-1963, and then landed in Rochester (NY) where he was an active member of that Club (flying out of Dansville) until retiring from flying in his 80s. Lloyd was for decades an active CFIG and also took his
turn as tow pilot. He regularly gave glider rides to friends and
colleagues and was an enthusiastic promoter of the joys soaring. Lloyd also enjoyed glider aerobatics and many times gave demonstrations at local airshows.

Most of Lloyd's badge legs were achieved in New York, although he found that diamonds were best mined in California, Odessa, or Minden. He counted himself lucky to have flown out of most of the best known soaring sites in the US.

He was a long time member and contributor to the SSA. He had several items published in Soaring, and wrote a theoretical and technical description of sailplane distance and speed flying appearing in Physics Today in 1984.

Lloyd died on October 23, 2004 after a long bout with Alzheimers. Of the 200 people who came to pay their respects, soaring friends from years gone by were expecially appreciated.

Posted: 12/1/2004

Final Glide 

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