Images tagged "air-corps"

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  1. Mell says:

    And Happy New Year!

  2. Jack Arkovich says:

    Well done website looking forward to viewing future posts on the history of El Mirage Field and the “People that made it happen there”
    I soloed from the “Briegleb School of Soaring” in 9/12/1960 earned my three diamond soaring badge in 2 years after soloing, all three diamonds were made out of El Mirage Field flying a Briegleb BG12!.

    Jack Arkovich

  3. angela says:

    Greetings, look forward to seeing this site grow and grow. Love to you and Sherry – and the animals.

  4. Rob Howarth says:

    Well, well Mr Breigleb aren’t ‘we’ getting techno – your own website! You’ll be appearing on Facebook soon!

    I hope you’re well Ross. Would be great to catch up again. I may be making Reno this year with Cally so perhaps you and Sherry could make it out?

    Cheers, Rob

  5. Ray Zinkowski says:

    Nice webpage. I had my first glider ride from Ross in 1969. I still remember it as we raced down to beat the tow plane, landing first with the tow plane going around. My dad, Raymond, learned to fly sailplanes from Ross and and became active in Glider clubs. I still remember staying in the “bunk house” on weekends. Great memories of the field and the friendly family that ran it.

  6. Jack Gravance says:


    I have enjoyed getting re-connected with you and the Briegleb family.

    Jack Gravance

  7. Ron Knutsen says:

    I learned how to fly at El Mirage. I started taking lessons from Ross and other instructors at the field in September of 1966 in a TG-3 and later graduated to a 2-32 and 1-26.
    I took my FAA fight test with Gus on Nov 19, 1968 and passed! I continued flying there on weekends until 1970 when I moved to Northern California. I have a lot of great memories of those years, including post-flight gatherings at the “Lazy 3”.

  8. Walter Klemperer says:


    I am momentarily back in Minden for a week end CFIG revalidation clinic with Tom and Doris Knauff. We had a big Bask dinner after first day and I sat across from a doctor whose name I can’t recall. He had flown at El Mirage and Gus gave him a check ride. He then told me about your web site. I came back to our diggs and had to check it out. I watched the video a couple of times and had to call Eleanor to share it. She will email me back once she has seen it.

    All I can say is that it is an honor to see that pic of us on the pop selling trailer. Thank you!

    I think it would be most appropriate that you find your way to Reno for Convention and we get some video of us as a pair of old codgers to compliment what you have. I am pretty certain that I can furnish you with a place to stay if you can make it.

    Thanks again, Walt


  9. Walter Klemperer says:

    Congratulations, Ross! This is fascinating reading! Keep up the good work.

    Walt K.

  10. Bob Bledsoe says:

    My memories of Ross go back so far I’m not sure even Ross would remember them.
    Bassett St in Van Nuys. Around the end of WW2.
    We used to play in the hulk of a glider that sat outside the building where Gus worked his magic. We were maybe 6-7 years old ?
    This website gets the memory juices flowing for sure.

  11. Richard Van Kesteren says:

    Nice web page! There are many memories here. I met Gus just after he got the L2 Taylorcraft home on Bassett St. in Van Nuys. I remember running around Rosamond Dry Lake in the ground trainer with Gus on the running board of his 37 Plymoth yelling instructions. Gus gave me my first glider ride in the BG8 at Cuddeback Dry Lake on 07-07-1945. I took my private flight exam at El Mirage airport in the TG1A “Anne”. Later it was destroyed in a storm on the Dry Lake. I tried to hold it down but I dropped off into the back of the Dusenberg.

  12. Einar Enevoldson says:

    More, more!


  13. Bob Bledsoe says:

    Richard, Wayne is living in Washington state now. Retired from the air force. Flew F-101 Voodoos in Nam and other smelly liquid powered flying machines. Talked to him on the phone and relayed your posts and some other stuff on the site. His memory seems sharp concerning those days and he remembered all of it. Talked about you guys doping fabric on wings for Gus etc. Talked about your brother Jack also. It’s a shame he doesn’t mess around with computers, I know he would really enjoy this site. He said say “Hello” to you guys.

  14. Keith Williams says:

    Hi Ross,
    Interesting reading. Looking at all the old pictures in slideshow brings back a lot of memories back in 1950-52 when I was hanging around El Mirage as a teenager. Would like to get with you again for some conversation when you have time. Told my brothers Phil and Dan about having lunch with you a few months ago. They had been wondering about you and yours. I’ll point them to this website. Give me a call when you get a chance.


  15. Dave Patterson says:

    I was recently given the link to your website by an old friend, Stuart Ondek. I was really happy to see all your great pictures of El Mirage. They really brought back a lot of memories. Your Dad, Gus, saved my life multiple times by teaching me to LOOK before starting a turn. My first training in aviation was at El Mirage and the two years I spent there as tow pilot contain many fond memories. I have quite a few pictures of my time there and would be happy to send them to you. Hope both you, Kenney and families are doing well……………….Your (now very old) tow pilot, Dave Patterson

    • Steve Slaughter says:


      You are one of those people I always wanted to know “what ever happened” to.

      If you’re ever out in the area, give a shout. I’m a few decades overdue to visit Ross myself.

      qedqed at verizon dot net

  16. david chapman says:

    Thanks Ross, very nicely done.
    I remember once, I was maybe 13, I headed out with Gus in his old truck to get something from somebody and we got stuck in the sand out on some portion of old Sheep Creek road. We had no shovel so I’m the guy under the wheels scooping out burning hot sand with my hands and he’s collecting the brush to put under the real wheels. Finally, with me standing on the rear bumper for extra weight, he get’s it out of the ruts. I climbed in and he said to me “don’t ever get stuck up Sheep Creek without a shovel”.

  17. Avon Hansen says:

    I found your website while doing Briegleb family research. I am Phil Briegleb’s granddaughter. As well, I am in contact with the Brieglebs in Germany, including Walter. Thank you for sharing your family story.

    Avon Hansen

  18. Tom Fleming says:

    Ross, your name was given to me by Gordon Boettger. I bought his Kestrel, ON, this summer and have been operating it out of Crystal since the end of July. My question is whether either you or someone you could point me to does any glass work. I have a couple small places on the Kestrel that need attention, namely, the turtle deck and the customized winglets. The winglets I managed to screw up this last Saturday on landing and scraped off most of the right skid that is built into it. I guess I’d better learn to land with the wings level 😉

    Thanks for any help that you can provide,

    Tom Fleming

  19. Bob Storck says:

    Hello Ross –

    We’ve crossed paths many times across the country since 1959, and I’m delighted to find you again. We first met changing a couple PT-23 cylinders out in the sun, and you let me pull the lower one … which earned me a hot oil bath! That task was to earn me a flight in one of the Cinemas, and though I had rinsed my shirt, the odor of sweat and oil made me queasy enough to keep my flight to just over an hour … despite booming conditions!
    Thank you and Ken for keeping El Mirage history alive through sharing your photos.

    Cheers, Bob
    Now Kansas City, MO

  20. ken briegleb says:

    Great pictures Kenny! Ross Good on you keeping theBriegleb gliders alive. I remember the times I flew our BG6 43 years ago . I still remember the sounds it made. Keep up the good work. KB

    • Minerva says:

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  21. Hi,

    My brother and I had lots of fun at El Mirage as kids.

    Collin Gyenes


  22. Tom Manzer says:

    50+ years ago in El Mirage, you, Ken, Gus and Annie and all who came and went and laughed and played, allowed two brothers named Bob and Tom to share your life, work the alfalfa fields, run wing, clean up and grow up. You were our heros.
    You have never been forgotten.
    Thank you.

  23. GEORGE UVEGES says:

    many decades of fond memories at the best soaring site in the west


  24. EDWARD FORISCH says:

    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.


  25. Chuck Francis says:

    Graduated Victor Valley 1960 with Ken / lived in Lucerne Valley 1949 -1960

  26. Laurie Colton says:

    Ross, Wonderful website. Brought up many memories of time spent ‘crewing’ at El Mirage during my formative years. I’ll show it to my Mom, Sylvia. She will enjoy it. Hope you continue posting more.

  27. eric molinari says:

    site evokes many memories hope all is well with you and yours

  28. 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…..

  29. Raul Blacksten says:

    I JUS

  30. Raul Blacksten says:

    Very nice. I just found this by accident

  31. Toodie Perl-Marshall says:

    I know your Dad would be proud as well as your Mom! Wonderful pictures too Ross, good job on the web site, I’ve visited it since I saw you at the SSA convention in Reno a few years ago…………
    Hope all is well with you and Sherry.

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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!

  35. 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.

  36. 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?

  37. Todd Greenwood says:

    I’ve enjoyed reading this. I would like to know if any of your grandfather’s writings have been preserved. Journals, sermons, sh… anything at all. He seems like the sort of man who would have recorded his opinions, views comments and the like.

    I’ve looked for records of these in publication but don’t find anything on the internet.

    I’m not interested in anything that names people or embarrasses anyone in anyway but rather in the substance of the sort of issues that he cared about and the language he used. Supposedly he was a gifted and passionate orator who dealt with some of the most important social and political issues of his day which were at the time repressed by the now fairly infamous Los Angeles press of that era through the Depression years.

  38. 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

  39. Nikki says:

    That’s a crkraecjack answer to an interesting question

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  42. http://www./ says:

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  47. 8 ball says:

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  49. Thomas Finelli says:

    Are building plans available for the BG-6

  50. 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.


  51. 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. 🙂

  52. Whats up are using WordPress for your site platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and create my own. Do you need any html coding knowledge to make your own blog? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  53. 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.

  54. Bill Berle says:

    Congratulations to Ross and Trip for getting this website up and running, and for creating an online home for all of this important history. RB you were always the coolest guy i n the room, now you’re the coolest guy on the internet 🙂

  55. 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

  56. 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

  57. 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!

  58. RobertUtind says:

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  59. 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

  60. 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!

  61. 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.

  62. Bob Storck says:

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

  63. 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.

  64. 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!

  65. 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

  66. 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!

  67. Sorry to hear that Ross died. I had a lot of fun phone conversations with him circa 2015 about his grandpop.