What is Soaring?

_MG_8786Soaring is the sport of flying like the birds.  Pilots, flying craft known as gliders or sailplanes take to the air by being towed or launched from the ground.  Once at altitude they release from the tow plane and from then on rely on the power of the atmosphere to remain aloft.  Just like the birds circling on a warm summer day, a glider pilot uses the energy provided by the sun through the heating of the earth to climb in rising columns of air.

Soaring provides a unique experience.  A soaring pilot has the opportunity to put many skills to use.  Truly a combination of art and science, flying a sailplane is an exercise in efficiency and calculation.  While constantly taking in the environment a soaring pilot is able to stay aloft for many hours and cover great distances under ideal conditions.  In modern high performance sailplanes the pilot has GPS and computers in the cockpit to help complete a competition task as efficiently and as quickly as possible.

On the other side of the spectrum many enjoy flying sailplanes for the pure simplicity.  Classic gliders offer a look back at the history of flight – remember the Wright Brothers started with gliders!  You can strap in to a glider and step away from the modern world for a few minutes and just enjoy the sights and sounds of nature.  The same sights and sounds seen and heard by the birds you’re sharing the sky with.

The Omaha Soaring Club offers members the opportunity to enjoy all aspects of soaring.  Many club pilots strive for achievement in the cockpit – higher, further, faster.  While others in the club enjoy the community aspects of meeting at the airport and sharing their love of aviation.  Training and safety are always a focus with the club.  Annual safety meetings are held with quizzes covering FAA and club rules.  Each pilot in the club must undergo a safety flight with a club instructor on an annual basis as a minimum, a practice that exceeds the FAA’s safety requirements.  But for the members of the Omaha Soaring Club safety and education come first.

If this sounds like fun we’d love to have you join us.  Contact us via the web site, or just stop by Blair Airport on a Saturday afternoon and introduce yourself.  We are a group that enjoys flying and enjoys the comradery that comes along with it.  Everyone is welcome – the more the merrier!

“Learning To Fly”

Lyrics from Pink Floyd

Into the distance, a ribbon of black
Stretched to the point of no turning back
A flight of fancy on a windswept field
Standing alone my senses reeled
A fatal attraction is holding me fast,
How can I escape this irresistible grasp?

Can’t keep my eyes from the circling skies
Tongue-tied and twisted, just an earth-bound misfit, I

Ice is forming on the tips of my wings
Unheeded warnings, I thought, I thought of everything
No navigator to find my way home
Unladened, empty and turned to stone
A soul in tension — that’s learning to fly
Condition grounded but determined to try

Can’t keep my eyes from the circling skies
Tongue-tied and twisted just an earth-bound misfit, I

Above the planet on a wing and a prayer,
My grubby halo, a vapour trail in the empty air,
Across the clouds I see my shadow fly
Out of the corner of my watering eye
A dream unthreatened by the morning light
Could blow this soul right through the roof of the night

There’s no sensation to compare with this
Suspended animation, a state of bliss

Can’t keep my mind from the circling skies
Tongue-tied and twisted just an earth-bound misfit, I