Juan Mandelbaum got his power license in his native Argentina in 1972.
When fuel prices got prohibitive he found gliders. His first demo ride was in a beat up 2-22 towing behind a Stearman biplane. Knowing he was a pilot, the instructor let Juan do the tow, but didn’t explain any particular technique. After thrashing about low in the Stearman propwash (akin to a nasty rotor) the release was a huge relief. Enough to motivate him to get his glider license.
After moving to the US he kept current and in 1986 bought his first glider, a 1964 Oberlerchner MG23-SL.
Juan started flying contests in Vermont in Region 1 and has since participated in many regional and national contests.
Juan got his three diamonds in New England and likes to explore soaring in other parts of the world. He has flown in South Africa, France and Tunisia (!) and twice has gone wave flying in the majestic Andes mountains.
He represented Argentina in the 1st Panamerican Gliding Championship in Chilhowee and was Region 1 champion in 2016.
He flies a Ventus 2CX with the Greater Boston Soaring Club and is a partner in a Duo Discus (which he used to make “A Fine Week of Soaring”, starring Karl Striedieck).
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!