Tracy Knauss, longtime publisher of Glider Rider, which became Light Sport and Ultralight Flying magazine, has helped knit together the small community of hang glider and ultralight pilots with the publication he started in 1976. Photographer, artist, space buff, photo restorer, genealogist, magician, husband, and father — the list of Tracy’s roles is long and varied, but the one that started him down the path to international recognition was magazine publisher.
When Tracy discovered hang gliding in 1976, he saw the need for a publication that informed pilots about news, warnings, new products, flying tips, and, yes, even gossip. He formed a company called Glider Rider and started a magazine by the same name. It was immediately successful, and quickly became the go-to publication for hang glider pilots in the United States as well as in more than 60 other countries. “There is a commonality in flying that transcends language differences,” Tracy observed.
As the sport evolved and pilots started putting engines on their hang gliders, Tracy followed the trend, changing the magazine’s title to Ultralight Flying, and began including coverage of motorized ultralights. In its 40th year of publication, and now titled Light Sport and Ultralight Flying, the magazine covered hang gliders and ultralights of all kinds, both powered and unpowered.