Join the Steamboat Springs Soaring Association
Just imagine the possibilities: Soaring high above Mt. Werner, you hook into the cloud street and cruise up and down the range, flying into Wyoming and down south, past Kremmling, Silverthorne and back again. Our soaring association will enable local pilots to do this routinely for minimal costs.
Steamboat Springs Soaring Association is a non-profit corporation based in the Yampa Valley serving the public through aviation related education and opportunities. Pilots will explore the development of successful techniques and meteorological information that combine to sustain motor-less flight across Northwest Colorado and beyond. We will publish articles advancing the utilization of our equipment and environment. Soaring Eagle airstrip will be our home base.
SSSA will begin operations with two excellent single-place gliders and a tow winch. The winch assures a solid and economical foundation for our club. The early 2014 soaring season will focus on winching out of Selby Field, and learning to use the lift patterns that will stair step us into the major lift sources nearby.
We will work to also provide aero tow capacity. Aero tow improves our initial ability to explore the soaring strengths of our area along with that of each airstrip we use.
Once we establish aero tow practices locally, other soaring clubs will likely bring their own tow planes and sailplanes to our area, often for multi-day soaring "camps". These camps are common across the U.S. as pilots seek out new and better soaring. Steamboat Springs offers a rare combination of world class soaring along with high quality amenities for soaring families to enjoy. We have interest in Steamboat camps from soaring clubs on the front range, and as far away as South Carolina.
SSSA is also looking to purchase a high performance 2-seater for tandem flights. These trainers provide an ideal platform for pilot students to obtain the necessary experience to eventually pilot their own single seat glider. Currently trainers are in very short supply in the U.S. and expensive. We will reach out to our contacts list to facilitate that purchasing decision. Please signup to include your goals in our decision. Your membership or interest in participating in the club will get us there.
Supporting the SSSA
With operations set to begin in mid-May, the full range of equipment for a smooth operation are not yet in our budget. Loans of a few items would be greatly appreciated, and outright donations are tax deductible:
- A small ATV for winch line payout and glider staging.
- A trailer for equipment, tools, and a work bench. An old camper trailer will work too. This will serve as our airfield office.
- 1 parachute
Texas Trip, April 5-8, 2014
Several SSSA members were recently in Texas as Permian Soaring Association donated their Grob 102's and winch to our club. Thank you PSA!! Craig Freeman of PSA (and builder of the winch) put many hours into a seamless transition. Also donated by PSA, a Phoebus B with a classic balsa wood frame remains in Odessa for potential sale. The winch is top notch and now parked in Steamboat Springs. The 2 Grobs are with aviation mechanic Robert Mudd in Moriarty, New Mexico, getting new harnesses, new tow hooks and wing spar upgrades.
What's does our association offer?
SSSA has two Grob 102 single-seater sailplanes. The generous folks at Permian Soaring Association in Odessa, TX, contributed these ships and a tow winch. Thank you Permian Soaring Association!
With these club ships our members holding glider ratings will be on their way to exploring the
excellent soaring already proven in our area.
Our tow winch will provide an economical means for getting our ships aloft. Operator training, tie down fees, annual inspection fees, maintenance, engine overhaul expenses are significantly reduced or outright eliminated in a winch operation.
Ray Selbe has generously offered our club access to his beautiful 4,200 ft Eagle Soaring grass strip located 4 miles West of Steamboat Springs. This field will be excellent for winch operations and more. Thanks Ray!
We have a one member working toward his CFIG instructors license. Other CFIGs have offered to come up and teach as well. These capable fellows enable the club to provide you with guidance, training, annual refreshers, and generally be there as needed to help you learn the joy of soaring flight.
SSSA will spend the summer months reaching out to potential student pilots to establish our best trajectory for getting them in a club trainer. With the successful acquisition of a trainer many new soaring careers will be on their way right here in the Yampa Valley. Until that trainer purchase we will facilitate student instruction through soaring clubs on the front range, where 3 of our members trained for and received their own glider ratings.
When we have a trainer we will offer mentoring of the skills of cross-country flight, known as flying XC. Among our members we already have a substantial level of XC experience and success, with reports of superb XC potential of this region.
- April 11, 2014