Rich Carlson began his aviation career in 1978 learning to fly gliders. In 1979 he earned his commercial pilot certificate and he became a flight instructor in the summer of 1980. He was an active flight instructor from 1980 thru 1994, working part time for a glider FBO (Windy City Soaring). During this period he conducted over 2,000 instructional flights including primary instruction, advanced instruction, Flight reviews, spring check-outs, and field orientation flights.
For the past 14 years he has been an active instructor in the Soaring Safety Foundation FIRC program. In 2003 he was elected as a trustee of the Soaring Society of America’s Soaring Safety Foundation and became chairman of that foundation in 2004. From 2003 thru 2007, Mr. Carlson was the assistant chief instructor for the SSF FIRC program. In 2008, he assumed the responsibilities as the chief instructor for that FIRC program. ACR designation from the Baltimore FSDO to allow the SSF to process CFI renewals.