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Photo #14306 | 35th WGC Czech Rep






Bob Fletcher - 18 Meter Class

Photo #14307 | Bob Fletcher

Bob started flying in Doncaster, UK before university. At university he joined Phil Gaisford on the Nottingham University committee and was instrumental in starting the annual Inter University Task Week" flying the first two in a K-13 with other students in the front seat. Since college  Bob has focused more on racing than instructing, flying many standard class national competitions in the US, Canada and the UK, winning the Standard Class Kubly Trophy in 2006 at Uvalde. He enjoys flying in the western US mountains especially the area between Salt Lake City, UT and Bozeman, MT. Bob practices at Greater Boston Soaring which offers a tremendous diversity of conditions and many skilled racers to fly with.  Bob looks forward to team flying with Phil Gaisford again in Lithuania which looks very similar to South Carolina with its dark forestation and agriculture. When not gliding Bob is racking up the frequent flying miles leading the sales team of an Internet start-up. Earlier in his career he worked with the FAI award winning Cambridge Aero team on the first GPS flight recorders, he negotiated and co-wrote the original IGC file format with the other GPS manufacturers.


Erik Nelson - 18m Class

Photo #14308 | Erik Nelson

Raised around airplanes, Erik started flying gliders in 1986 and won his first regional contest at age 16.  He flew on the U.S. Junior Soaring Team in 1989, 1991, and 1993, then took a hiatus from contest flying during medical school and residency.  Since returning to the sport in his thirties, he has won several regional contests, and achieved multiple podium finishes at the Nationals.  He finished second in 15-meter at the Pan-American championships in 2015, and flew his first World Championships at Benalla, Australia in 2017.  Currently, he flies a Ventus 3 with the Mid-Atlantic Soaring Association in Fairfield, PA and edits the club newsletter.  He works as a musculoskeletal radiologist in Virginia, where he lives with wife Sarah (crew chief) and daughter Tenley (crewton). 


 Mike Robison - Open Class

Photo #14309 | Mike RobisonMike soloed in gliders in 1997 from Ridge Soaring Gliderport at the age of 18. A Kolstad award winner, he holds a Gold badge with two Diamonds. Mike began competition soaring in 1999, in the Penn State Soaring Club's Blanik L-13. In 2001 he competed in the Club Class at the Junior World Gliding Championships in Issodun, France. Mike placed second in the US Open Class Nationals in 2012 and 2014, flying a Nimbus 3DM with copilot Tom Stepleton.  Mike also competed in the 2015 Open Class Nationals, flying an Arcus M with Larry Timpson. Mike most recently competed in the 20 Meter 2-Seater class at the 2016 World Gliding Championships in Pociunai, Lithuania, with Larry. Mike will be flying solo in the cockpit this time in N1K, a JS1-Cj, in Australia. He is employed as an instructor at the Pennsylvania College of Technology, and teaches FAA Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic courses. He lives in State College, PA, with his wife, Becky, and children, Lucas and Eva.


Dave Coggins - Open Class

Photo #14310 | Dave CogginsDavid Coggins – was introduced to soaring in December 1981 and joined the Greater Houston Soaring Association (formerly Houston Soaring Association) and the SSA in January 1982.  After receiving his commercial glider rating he began flying competitions in 1986 and has since flown in numerous National contests in the Sports, 15M, 18M and Open classes with one National Championship. He also volunteered at the 2012 WGC held in Uvalde, TX as the Ground Operations Chief.  In addition, has severed as President of the Greater Houston Soaring Association, Region 10 Director, received the Charlie Spratt award, currently the SSA Texas State Governor and member of the SSA Rules Committee.



Heinz Weissenbuehler - 20 Meter 2-place Class

Photo #14311 | Heinz Weissenbuehler

Heinz Weissenbuehler (57) started flying gliders at the age of 14 as a Junior on Harris Hill, Elmira, NY. Since then, he has accumulated more than 5000 hrs in gliders and has flown many contests, including 25 Nationals. In 2008, Heinz competed in the Open Class at the 30th FAI World Championship in Germany, and in 2014 Heinz & Karin represented the US in the first two-seat 20 M class World Championship held in Finland.

Heinz is a pilot for American Airlines, flying 777, and has been a member of the Harris Hill Soaring Corp. (HHSC) for 43 years. In his earlier USAF life, he flew the most amazing Open Class glider ever, the U-2, and more recently was entrusted with Dick Butler’s Eta Biter which he flew in national contests. In the Czech Republic Heinz will be competing in the 20 M class with his wife Karin Schlösser as his co-pilot and Bryan Riegal as their crew. Karin, a lawyer, started flying in the Netherlands and, like Heinz, comes from a background where aviation is a true family affair. Heinz and Karin met and live on Harris Hill. They have been flying together since 1997.


Pete Alexander - US Team Captain

Photo #14312 | Pete AlexanderPete Alexander - a retired Silicon Valley refugee started flying gliders at the age of 14 at Sky Sailing in Fremont, CA where he flew his first solo flight in a SGS 2-33. Since then he has accumulated about 5100 hours in gliders including a 6.5 year sting as a full time glider flight instructor at Sky Sailing while in college.  He started flying competitions in 1986 and has since flown in numerous Regional and National contests on the East and West coasts.  He had the privilege to be a crew member for Rick Walters (3R) on the 1995 US Team at Omarama, New Zealand.  He was also a volunteer at the 2012 WGC at Uvalde, TX as a sniffer and photographer. US Team member in the 18m Class at the 2014 WGC in Leszno, Poland flying his ASG-29. His home field is the Williams Soaring Center in Williams, CA.


Posted: 2/10/2016

US Team 

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