Michael Marshall has been flying gliders for over a decade and racing gliders since 2012.
He soloed on his 14th birthday at Chilhowee, TN under the instruction of Sarah Kelly Arnold. He then earned his private pilot – glider certificate on his 16th birthday in the soaring paradise of Minden, NV, the same day he soloed an airplane for the first time. He is currently a commercial glider pilot and flight instructor with private pilot privileges in airplanes. His first competition was the 2012 Sports Class Nationals in Parowan, UT where he flew a Duo Discus under the mentorship of Boyd Willat. He has since placed in the top four at two US national soaring championships. He was the 2017 Junior National Champion for his third place finish at the 2017 Club Class Nationals. Michael currently flies an ASW-20 from Warner Springs. He has a bachelor of science in aerospace engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. When not soaring, Michael is a NASA research fellow and aerospace engineering PhD student at the California Institute of Technology studying spacecraft dynamics and controls.
- What are your training and preparation plans (i.e. flying the pre-WGC, conference calls, studying flights from Szeged, etc…) before attending the upcoming 2019 Jr. WWGC?
“My preparations included flying two competitions – the Seniors Soaring Championship at Seminole Lake Gliderport near Orlando, FL in March and the Region 5 North contest at Perry International Airport in SC in April – while being coached by an all-star roster of soaring pilots in challenging East Coast conditions. I have also been practicing with a Discus-2 since I’ll be racing one in Hungary.”
- If you have participated in a previous WGC and/or pre-WGC what is the biggest insight you came away which you plan to apply to this Jr. WGC?
“I have not participated in a previous WGC or pre-WGC.”
- Why do you want to fly for the US Team?
“I want to fly for the US Team to represent both the soaring community and the USA, to help energize the next wave of junior soaring pilots, and to bring back knowledge to share with the soaring community at large.”
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!