Welcome to Ross Briegleb’s website

pitts 12

I’m flying the Pitts model 12 here, it was the last kit plane I built which ultimately was sold to a couple of British pilots. The airplane was disassembled and shipped to England where it was flown.

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27 Responses to Welcome to Ross Briegleb’s website


    How are you doing Ross, its been along time, remember the Pratt Reed you were the one that gave me my first solo flight, since then I’ve flown everything from King Airs to helicopters. Hope all is well, miss your family, we should get together sometime.


  2. Phil Harvey says:

    My first sailplane ride was 1968/69 with you with my soon-to-be 50 year old son in the arms of his mother watching………Your dad in the open cockpit tow plane (I think it was white) and did he have an old leather WWII flyers cap on?……..I remember diving over the Joshua’s and pulling up into a wing over and then gently putting it on the runway…..A great flight…………Thanks for the great memories…..

  3. Bob Wiley says:

    In the early 1970’s Ross and my dad operated a small glider port just outside of Las Vegas. Lucky turn of events for Ross, that’s where he met his lovely wife Sherry…Both Ross and my dad taught me to fly and turned me lose on my 14th birthday to solo an old Schweitzer 232.

    I venture to say that few 14 year olds experienced life as I did with Ross, Dan F. and a few others. The flying was great, the social life was even better. Do you remember sitting around your living room listening to Yes on the stereo?

    We lost touch after you left Vegas and returned to El Mirage. The good news is that all the bad influences really turned out to be exceptional object lessons. Life has been overly kind to me and in many ways and you and Sherry had a meaningful influence. Hope all is well, Bob (Bobby)

    By the way, after all these years, I’ve began flying again…can you get me a good deal on a DG 1000

    • Doc says:

      The forum is a brhtegir place thanks to your posts. Thanks!

    • sildenafil says:

      Claudio scrive:E’ bellissimo, ero pronto a giurare fosse il nuovo disco di Tori Amos (e ti assicuro che Tori Amos la conosco molto bene), quando ho scoperto che non lo era ci sono rimasto secco. Complimenti, e spero di trovarlo presto disponibile da qualche parte. Ciao

    • Gregory Chakerian says:

      I remember your dad. He would pick me up at McCarran. I would fly the towplane on Sat & Sun then fly back to SFO. I flew for the airlines. Moved to Hollister CA. Retired in 2018. They have me towing gliders with a Pawnee.

  4. Sherry Briegleb says:

    Hi Bobby (Bob)
    guess you will always be Bobby to us. So good hearing from you. Those early days of Ross and I’s adventure together was so much fun and adventurous. Yes, I remember sitting in our living room listening to “YES” and many other groups of the late sixties early seventies.
    Ross is now building a bearhawk power plane for Dave Fletcher (remember him) he
    lives in Tuscan now. Please give our regards to your Dad and next time we go to Vegas we will look him up.

  5. Kim Beadle says:

    Hi Ross and Sherry,

    What memories from El Mirage as Jack and Judy Beadle’s daughter.
    I have been going through old pictures and I have a few!

    Mom and dad are just fine! I hope all is well with you! I am in the Seattle area now!

    I loved hanging out there as a kid!

  6. Phil Anderson says:

    WOW, Brings back many good times flying the BG12 out of EM, or as you sometimes it “El Morose”. I remember when I was pretty new to the BG, Gus towed me in the PT and hooked into a 2K/min. about 3oo ft. I hung on out of desperation and got of about 1500 agl., topped out about 12K and headed for Red Mountain, and landed!!!
    Good to hear you’re still building. I built a Zenith 601, but sold it. Not much glider stuff in AR. My Son Steve ran across your site. He’s working for Boeing in Everett.

  7. Wayne Suttkus says:

    Hello. My father Hazen Suttkus was a member of the Douglas Dust Devils back in the 1950’s. I went with him on many glider flights which were towed into the air by our 1948 Oldsmobile Woodie Wagon. I have a 1953 W.C. Soaring Contest plaque awarded to the Douglas Soaring Club Club Championship S.C.S.A.
    My question is do you know if the Douglas Soaring Club still exists and if the green and white sail plane they owned still exists?

  8. David Morris says:

    I spent time at El Mirage in or around 1957 – 58? Was visiting my brother Rchard Morris ( Dick ) for the summer.I remember sleeping in the bunck house.I hocked up sailplanes and your dad lost his hat over scrubes and after dropping the rope and landing told me to get in the tow plane and we landed in the dessert and i got out and retrived his hat.
    My brother was a frequent flyer and i remember him getting his goal and return and at another time got to 29,000 feet. He passed away several years ago.
    I also remember a Favial flying wing and a sailplane called the Prue 2.
    I am now 73, and as you can see that summer i etched in my memory.
    Hope your still flyong.
    Dave Morris

  9. Hi Ross,
    I am Linda Tompkins Briggs. You knew my father Arthur.
    My father passed away in 1991. I know he loved it when he lived out there near you guys.
    I found a picture that was taken at your Dad’s house of a bunch of people around the table. I also have an old 16 mm movie of some glider competition and Dad’s original poster he made. I have been trying to find a way to get the movie on DVD but being 16 mm not easy.
    I hope this finds you and Kenny well. I think about El Mirage often.


  10. Rex Carr says:

    Hi Ross,
    Just wanted to let you know that my dad, Jim Carr, just celebrated his 90th birthday in Port Royal, Virginia.
    He’s living alone at home since mom passed away, and has hospice people coming every other day or so to look after him and to take care of his needs.
    Hi to the family for me. 🙂

  11. Ed Richardson says:

    Greetings to Ross and Kenny. My name is Ed Richardson…a faint memory in the distant past, I’m sure. I spent the summer – I believe – of 1952 there at El Mirage, learning the basics of glider flying, repairing small bits and pieces of aircraft, and playing a lot of fun games with you two. I recall hitting a barbed wire fence in the dark running full speed at night in one of those hide and seekers. A full flip! Bunked in the bunk house got to know Einar Enevoldson that summer. Recall you two quite well; was a great experience for a young 15 1/2 year old! Be blessed.

  12. Bill Berle says:

    I got to fly at El Mirage only a few times near the end of its days as a gliderport, but I’m honored to have been there even for a short time.

    Hearing the stories about El Mirage in the glory days, and walking on the runways, I got to feel a little of the history and “soul” of this place. Made enough of an impression on me that when the gliderport was closing some months later I sat down one night and wrote a poem about it:

    I’m glad that thehistory of El Mirage has a home on the internet.

    Bill / VB

  13. Jeff Stephenson says:

    My twin bro’ & I began taking flt. Lessons from Ross Briegleb when freshmen in college in 1963. The Brieglebs were a awesome & wonderful family – Ross was a terrific instructor. Ross’s brother set the record ‘then’ of ‘inverted’ altitude gain! Gus was always in the Hangar when we were there & wonerful wife fixed our lunches? Great family, Great fun & Great memories. My brother & I continued our interest in sailplanes, got Power Licenses, & formed “Aloft” , a Hot Air Balloon company w 2 A/C providing rides & lessons in early 70’s —- ALL started from the enthusiasm & training from the Briegleeb family – THANKS!!! Jeff Stephenson

  14. Ric Frasse says:

    Hi Ross,
    I hope you and family are well. My mom Toni Frasse used to take us out to El Mirage in the late 60s and 70s with our friends Stu Northam and Ed Harold. I recall seeing Stu’s J2 when it was just buckets of bolts in an old hangar there and later flew it with him up in Davis. Don’t recall if Ed flew his Pitts at El Mirage. Many fond memories hanging around the airport as a kid, driving on the dry lake and having dinner at the 2 cafes nearby with your and Kenny’s families. Thanks for the memories!

  15. Vicky Durand says:

    My mother, Betty Pembroke crashed one of Gus’s gliders at the old Los Angeles airport in 1934-5.
    I am writing a book about her adventures and would LOVE a picture of the glider type she crashed. Apparently Gus was able to fix the plane and they parted as friends.
    Vicky Durand
    808 754-6210

  16. Frank Harris says:

    Stationed in Vietnam 1969, saw an article about soaring at El Mirage . Decided I wanted to learn to SOAR, Picked George AFB on my Dream sheet, got lucky and was assigned to George. First glider flight TG-3A with Ralph Kolstad 5/31/1970. Passed Glider private 8/30/1970 by Gus. 17 June 1972 Commercial check ride with Karl J. ` There will never be another El Mirage!

  17. Chuck Laird says:

    Our aviation family enjoyed the Briegleb family beginning 1951. Schooled together with Ross and Kenny in Adelanto and Victorville. Ross instructed me in a TG3 ? In 1959. Ross has remained a “go to guy” for airplane support/building activity. He is an outstanding airplane builder.

  18. Bob Storck says:

    Memories of being towed in a Cinema by a PT-23

  19. Lloyd Roberts says:

    Hi, Ross. I’m Lloyd Roberts. Your family taught me to fly in 54318 starting on Mar. 20,1955. I’m almost 97 now and went on from gliders to fly everything I could, and do aerobatics in all of the planes rated for it. I am instrument and seaplane rated and have flown Citabria, Pitts, T-6, Starduster Too, P-51 Crazy Horse, L-39, and B-25. Owned a wonderful Piper Comanche. Lost my medical but still fly in Redlands. I have fun teaching instructors how to fly. And it all rests on the solid foundation of you and Ken and Gus teaching me to fly gliders. I have many happy memories of El Mirage & great appreciation for it.

  20. Lloyd Roberts says:

    Lloyd again w/ a short flying story. You were instructing me one cold, windy, liftless day. We even tried the little hill west of the airport for some slope soaring – to no avail.
    When I arrived at the end of a bizarre left downwind we were going about 90, 10 feet off the ground. You said the most beautiful words I ever heard – “I’ve got it.” You whipped it up in a very steep, hard left turn and leveled the wings and we touched down. We missed the runway, and made a 12 foot long path in the dirt with the wheel. It was on a 45 degree angle from the runway, but perfectly smooth and even. We got out and put the plane away. You da man!

  21. Lewis Duncan says:

    Hello Ross This is Lewis Duncan you started me in my flying I got my lic in Carson City I had the privilege of having breakfast with your Mom and when they drove through I live in Grove Oklahoma now be 85 my flying days are behind me. Looking at your website reminds me of the the time we went to Texas to the internationals 1956. also when they were making a movie and your brother was guarding props I believe Dennis was also there

  22. Ronald Bork says:

    Hello Ross;
    I was just coming out of the Dermatologist office as you both were coming in. When your wife said your name to the receptionist, I just had to step back in, and find out if you were the one that gave my Brother and I our first flights in a sail plane back in the 1960s?
    Was your plane named Blue Bird?
    What a pleasure to get to meet you after all those years.
    Years later I got certified at Crystal Air.
    Sad what time does us.
    Interestingly, Google states that scientists estimate our brains can hold 4.7 billion books. Obviously if we were meant to live forever on this beautiful planet as the Bible teaches, we would have to have brains with an unlimited storage capacity. Psalm 37:29, Ecclesiastes 3:11 John 3:16
    Thank you again for the introduction to the joy of soaring!
    Wishing you both the very best!

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