What are your favorite soaring clubs and flying sites?

Bill Elliott (WE)

With this post, we introduce a new category at the Soaring Cafe -- Clubs and Sites.  We often hear about interesting sites all over the world and wonder just how great they really are.  We would like for you to provide us your thoughts about your favorite site or just write something about your local club.

SoaringCafe has an international audience, so we want to hear from soaring pilots and soaring site operators from around the globe.  Our readers may hear about your site for the first time or simply be reminded of the great sites around the world.  Also, it is always interesting to just see what the average site looks like and compare it to where you fly.

There are so many great sites and we would love to have posts for all of them.  Here a few that I have had the pleasure of flying above (in no particular order):

  • Soar Minden, Minden, NV
  • Uvalde, TX
  • Szeged, Hungary
  • Gliding & Soaring, Omarama, NZ
  • Hobbs, NM
  • Ephrata, WA
  • Chilhowee Gliderport, Benton, TN
  • The Pennsylvania Ridges, Mifflin Co. Airport, PA
  • Sequatchie Soaring, Sequatchie Valley, TN
  • Perry International Airport, Perry, SC
  • Seminole-Lake Gliderport, Clermont, FL
  • Blue Ridge Soaring Society, New Castle, VA
  • White Sands Soaring Association, Alamogordo, NM
  • Sundance Aviation, Moriarty, NM
  • Mile High Gliding, Boulder, CO

I'll try to write up some of my experiences at these wonderful sites.

So, please login (register if you have not done so) and create a post about your favorite site.  Give it a try, creating a post is fun.

Rand and I enjoy several sites in the Southeastern US, but we call home the Huntsville Soaring Club which is located at Moontown Airport in north central Alabama just east of Huntsville, Alabama -- the Rocket City.  More about our club in the next post.

  9 comments for “What are your favorite soaring clubs and flying sites?

  1. William R. McElwee
    January 2, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    My favorite site, where I have flown for 30 years, is Blairstown, New Jersey, home of Yard's Creek Soaring and the Aero Club Albatross, reputedly one of the oldest, if not the oldest, continually operating glider clubs in the country.

    The 1300 foot high ridge which forms the northwest boundary of the state of New Jersey is just to the north of the gliderport. We tow over the mountain on northwest days. Any day there is a northwest wind above 15 mph you can easily travel 45 miles to the southwest with no difficulty at all. Glass ships routinely travel hundreds of miles both ways on the ridge, with diamond distance a possibility even in the 1-26. Glass ships make that trip a number of times each year. Top pilots fly here, including at least one multi year national champion. There is a commercial glider operation closely related to the club, where instruction and rentals are available.

    I am an old guy who flies club equipment and no longer attempts cross country flights, but I love to get high over the ridge and valley and sit there playing hawk man. It is a long drive from my home, so I fly my little Ercoupe there in less than an hour, go soaring, and then fly home. There are other sites, good ones, that are closer, but I just love the mountain and the valley and the camaraderie.

    Bill McElwee

    • Rolo McPherson
      December 14, 2011 at 7:25 am

      I had a strange idea for small truckable gliders or a mountain with a glider lift – 99 year lease. It might be cool to “Ford” it, costwise, for more people to enjoy.

      Once you build a million dollar factory you get one cent aspirins.

    • Brian E Evans
      June 3, 2012 at 7:52 pm

      I flew there with the Aeroclub Albatross from 1970 until 1975,
      I own a Slingsby T53b one serial number ahead of the one Aeroclub Albatross used to own, and did my gold distance/diamond goal down the ridge in the clubs 1-23h15, after trying it a couple of times and not getting it in the Ka8 that I used to own with Art Zimmerman.
      I am most likely showing my age when I mention the crew I used to Hang out with,Doc Solt, Karl, Bob Neumann, john delliker, Tony Benson.

      Brian Evans.

  2. MP
    January 2, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    Eagleville Soaring Club aka Eagleville Sailplanes and G Pack School of natural flight. Was founded by Garland Pack, 1930's barnstormer and aviation legend who had his pilot license signed by Wilbur Wright, after WWII with some old Army Surplus TG-3's. Garland ran the site at Puckett Field in Eagleville, TN until 1982 when Bill McFarlane bought the operation and he ran it til 2009.

    Eagleville Soaring Club was formed in late 2009 to carry on the tradition. 17 pilots who were the old regulars founded the club. We pretty much doubled our membership in our first year of operations 2010 and most importantly had a SAFE first year.

    The Maule was purchased and fully overhauled. We have an ASK 21 and ASK 23 as club ships. We are the soaring site for Middle Tenn and lots of old timers have learned to fly, or have flown at Eagleville, which hasn't changed much since the 1950's.

    http://www.eaglevillesoaring.org http://www.eaglevillesailplanes.com

  3. NN
    January 2, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    Hi Bill,

    Thanks for your post about the Blairstown Gliderport. I was there in 1976 with fellow members of the M.I.T. Soaring Association. We entered our club 1-26 as a team in the Little Guys Meet. I won the 3rd place trophy for my 2.8 mile "cross country." It was my first outlanding. Although it was hot and hazy and the soaring weather was mediocre that weekend, I thoroughly enjoyed the airfield, the people, and the hospitality.

    Rand Baldwin, LS-8, "NN"

  4. Enrique Mertins
    January 3, 2011 at 4:28 am

    If you happen to go to the west coast, Sky Sailing at Warner Springs is the place you don't want to miss!… The Willat family professionally runs this wonderful site!.

    I am definitively biased since I started my soaring life there… but how can I forget it such experience and site!

  5. Paul Weeden
    January 5, 2011 at 5:55 am

    this spring, at Mifflin Co air port, at the may contest, all will be treated to a brand new glider clubhouse, under construction as we speak..pic's on "glider-guiders" face-book..for those of you familuar with mifflin, it sits just to the east of the picnic pavilon. KS has spearheaded this effort, with the help of the "mifflin crew" and we're all looking forward to sharing it and the club that will form around it, with the soaring community at large..Paul

  6. Frauke Elber
    February 6, 2011 at 10:01 am

    Air Sailing, north of Reno, NV is a great soaring site. Last year we had the WSPA seminar there and had some fantastic flights. It was one of the biggest seminars ever with 65 registered participants Check this web page
    http://www.photoshow.com/watch/JM5in8Ed (2010 seminar)

    Another great soaring site is in Lesce/Bled Slovenia. (The Condor fliers are familiar with that site). It provides for great alpine soaring. WSPA had its 2009 Seminar there, the first ever held outside the US. 21 of the 48 participants came from the US.
    http://www.photoshow.com/watch/fu8Uj8jJ Frauke

  7. Frauke Elber
    February 23, 2011 at 8:06 am

    A very active club is the Tidewater Soaring Society which was founded in 1965. The club owns its own field, Garner Gliderport.

    In 2006/07 members built a club house. How they did it can been seen here

    http://www.photoshow.com/watch/dt5YC6Vk
    Frauke Elber

Comments are closed.