Did you know… Gliders go the distance from Truckee Tahoe Airport? | SierraSun.com

Did you know… Gliders go the distance from Truckee Tahoe Airport?

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun

Court Leve/Sierra Sun file photo"It's a very satisfying thing to be able to use the wind and the air to your advantage," glider pilot Steve Ashcer said. "It's a miraculous thing to be able to fly hundreds of miles and hours with no motor."

In engineless aircraft, pilots out of Truckee have flown thermal winds above the Sierra over 620 miles, setting state and national distance records, said Joe Silvestri, manager of Soar Truckee.

“Gliders have made it past Bishop, as far as Darwin (a small town near Death Valley) through the Inyos and the White Mountains,” Silvestri said.

Long trips ranging from about 200 miles out to the 600 mile range generally go south, he said, but occasionally pilots work their way north along the Sierra, getting to Crater Lake and back.

Pilots achieve these distances because of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Silvestri said.

“We have a perfect confluence of conditions in the Sierra ” we have lots of sunshine, which drives the thermals, a lot of westward slopes to get sun exposure, winds out of the west, and uneven heating of the Earth’s surface,” he said.

Glider rides available to the public generally stay closer to home, he said, sticking to the Mount Rose/North Shore area.

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To take a ride or find out more, call SOAR Truckee at 587-6702.