2016 Mar.

Mitch Polinsky – Record flights in the Great Nevada and Utah Basin

Top Achievements with the ASH 31 Mi

Mitch Polinsky and his ASH 31 Mi

Mitch Polinsky and his ASH 31 Mi

High performance soaring pilot Mitch Polinsky has been noted for spectacular cross-country soaring flight for several years now.  The Stanford University professor began soaring in 1979.  He started participating in the OLC soaring competition in 2007, initially with a DG 400 and since 2008 with his ASH 26 E.

Mitch Polinsky near Ely

Mitch Polinsky near Ely

His dream had always been to someday complete a declared 1000 km triangle. He completed his first 1000 km flight with the ASH 26 E on July 15, 2011 but it was not a triangle. Additional 1000 km flights followed in 2012, but now with his new ASH 31 Mi. Among these were two undeclared 1000 km triangles.

By this time the airport at Ely, Nevada, had become his soaring home base. Its central location in the Great Basin of Nevada and Utah permitted him to make long flights in almost all directions, depending on the existing weather conditions.

Ten Flights with more than 1000 km

mitch polinsky - OLC 2013 06 29In the summer of 2013 he was able to make ten 1000 km flight with the ASH 31 Mi, among them eight triangles. The longest flight was 1244 km at an average speed of  138 km/hr on 29 June 2013.  This also counted as a 1,157.3 km triangle at an average speed of 128.8 km/hr.


In total, he set eight new American records in the category “single-seat motorglider” over a period of six weeks:

29.06.2013: Free triangle distance: 1157.2 km

02.07.2013: Triangle speed 1000 km: 133.77 km/h [surpassed on 7-18-13]

18.07.2013: Distance up to 3 TPs: 1070.3 km

18.07.2013: Triangle distance: 1070.3 km

18.07.2013: Triangle speed 1000 km: 139.01 km/h

20.07.2013: Triangle speed 750 km: 150.66 km/h

06.08.2013: Triangle speed 500 km: 156.63 km/h

06.08.2013: Triangle speed 300 km: 156.63 km/h

14.08.2013: Out-and-return speed 500 km: 155.91 km/h

Further 11 Records

This extremely successful season motivated him to chase records in his “wonderful ASH 31 Mi” again the following season. In that summer he was able to break eleven American records, three of which he had set himself the previous year:

03.05.2014: 300 km out-and-return speed: 193.80 kph

12.06.2014: Straight distance to a goal: 770.17 km

03.07.2014: Triangle speed 1,250 km: 138.32 kph;

and at the same time… Triangle distance: 1,254.05 km;

and at the same time… Free triangle distance: 1,255.56 km;

and at the same time… Distance up to Three Turnpoints: 1,261.08 km

25.07.2014: Free distance: 1,103.11 km

15.08.2014: Out and return distance: 1,031.46 km;

and at the same time… Free out and return distance: 1,032.69 km;

and at the same time… Out and return speed 1,000 km: 118.9 kph

17.08.2014: Out and return speed 750 km: 141.73 kph

Two Open class records in 2015

In 2015 he flew his first two North American Continental records in the category “open class”:

27.06.2014: Triangle speed 300 km: 163.16 kph;

and at the same time… Triangle speed 500 km: 163.16 kph

Unusual and Likeable

Mitch Polinsky at the 2015 AERO exhibition

Mitch Polinsky at the 2015 AERO exhibition

So far, two extensive articles have appeared in the American “Soaring” magazine in which he describes his inspiration, his meticulous and concentrated flight preparations and the flights themselves in detail:

Soaring – March 2014

Soaring – July 2015

Based on our many contacts with him and his visit to our stand at the 2015 Aero, we have found Mitch Polinsky to be one of the most unusual, interesting and approachable American soaring pilots. We wish him continued success and happiness with our sailplanes.