an almost magical quality for most people. The thought of flight
without an engine seems to stretch the limits of imagination.
Effortlessly soaring through the sky in silent flight unencumbered
by an engine makes the sport a compelling endeavor. There is no more
challenging or rewarding aviation activity. Soaring pilots routinely
climb thousands of feet in altitudes, soar hundreds of miles and stay up for
hours using only their knowledge of nature’s hidden forces and the
refined technology of their craft.
soaring is a nexus of technology, art, nature and drama. High
performance sailplanes are typically constructed using advanced
composite materials and utilize highly refined aerodynamics and
While sophisticated instrumentation can track a
soaring pilot’s progress around a course and make it possible to use
nature’s forces efficiently, it is an understanding of natures hidden
atmospheric forces and the skill to exploit them that separate sailplane pilots from other pilots.
soaring is the highest expression of the sport. Every year soaring
pilots from around the nation come together to compete for the titles
of Regional and National Champion. These
events are tough, with all the human drama, intrigue and competitive challenge of more
widely recognized sporting events. The best pilots are selected by the
Soaring Society of America to represent the United States at World
Soaring Championships are international events that
stand as the
highest expression of competitive soaring with
pilots from around the world racing to determine a champion
From relaxed local club
soaring on a summer afternoon to the aggressive and often hart
breaking quest to become world or national champion the sport of
soaring has something for everyone.
Please see the Background section for a full description of the