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SW Aviator Feb/Mar 2001
SW Aviator Magazine is available in print free at FBOs and aviation-related businesses throughout the Southwest or by subscription.
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On the Cover - Grob 103A
Sundance Aviation
This Grob 103A Twin II Acro is the pride of Sundance Aviation, who offer glider rides and lessons year-round in the beautiful New Mexico high desert. The German built Grob 103A is used for high performance and acrobatic flights. With a 36 to 1 glide ratio, this sleek, two-place fiberglass glider easily takes its pilot to where the eagles soar. The 30-minute Aerobatic Flight is one of Sundances’ most popular packages, giving customers a G-filled half hour adrenaline rush – including loops, rolls, and thrilling, silent, low-level flight.

More sedate flights are also available. The clear New Mexico skies provide visiting pilots or passengers with spectacular hundred-mile views from the cockpit as the Grob soars high above the prairies and the beautiful Sandia and Manzano mountains. Hawks, falcons, and the occasional eagle are often spotted riding the same thermals as the glider. All of Sundance Aviation’s passengers will have the opportunity to try the controls, and these flights can be logged as Dual Flight Instruction.

The New Mexican desert terrain, prominent mountain ranges, and dry, sunny climate combine to create some of the best year-round soaring conditions in the world. Thermals (strong rising air currents) can propel this sleek glider thousands of feet above the earth. Climbs to 18,000 feet and flights more than 300 miles are commonplace, necessitating an onboard oxygen system for the Grob. Thermals peak May through September, though they can occur throughout the year. In the winter, New Mexico enjoys another form of lift called mountain lee wave, or just wave lift. Oscillating rivers of air create standing waves east of the Sandia and Manzano mountains, which the Grob uses to fly to spectacular heights (the New Mexico state record is 36,000 feet). Because this wave is usually very gentle and smooth, catching the wave in a glider can be a very serene experience.

Sundance Aviation Inc. is located 30 minutes east of Albuquerque at the Moriarty Municipal Airport. The Southwest Soaring Museum is also located at the airport. Open by appointment, the Soaring Museum is devoted to preserving the history of soaring in the western United States, and has several interesting gliders on display, including a 1954 Hummingbird motorglider and a pair of TG-1 Cinema and TG-4A Laister/Kauffmann W.W.II training gliders built in 1942. Call 505-832-0755 for an appointment to visit the museum.

Sundance Aviation’s hours of operation are 9 to 5, seven days a week from April through December, and five days a week January through March (Wednesday through Sunday), or by appointment. Call 505-832-2222 or visit for more information.
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The material in this publication is for advisory information only and should not be relied upon for navigation, maintenance or flight techniques. SW Regional Publications and the staff neither assume any responsibility for the accuracy of this publication's content nor any liability arising fom it
SW Aviator Magazine • 3909 Central NE • Albuquerque, NM 87108
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©2001 Southwest Regional Publishing, Inc.