Al Simmons grew up in a flying family and earned his own powered license at age 18.
He has always been intrigued by non-powered racing.
Al and his wife, Susan, met 30 years ago at a Windsurfing Contest. They competed in hundreds of races for over two decades, earning many victories and National Championship status several times. Piloting made travel to races much easier. Susan is a pilot herself. In 2010, Susan and Al earned glider ratings and added a Touring Motorglider to their small fleet of aircraft.
That was the first year they flew to the ASA (Aux-Powered Sailplane Assn.) camp in Parowan, UT, and soared the scenic mountains. They have gone every June ever since.
This past summer Al and Susan won the ASA Stevenson Trophy based on OLC scoring at the event.
Al’s first real contest was the 2012 Open Nationals in NV, flying a Duo under the guidance of instructor Russell Holtz. Al then ordered an Arcus M and continued to train in motorgliders and rented sailplanes. The Arcus finally came in 2014.
Al races it with team mate, Ryszard Krolikowski. They have placed well together, most notably getting second at Sports Nationals in 2016 and fifth at Seniors in 2017. Their goal in the beginning was to make it to the US Team and compete at a Worlds.
Flying on the Team in the 2017 Argentina Pan-Am Championship is an honor and a giant step in that direction.
Melanie is strictly ground crew (N1K), but is an avid lover of the sport. She is the ussoaringteams.org web master and loves new ideas so feel free to ask questions, offer suggestions, and give her additional content!