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About:

The Blue Ridge Soaring Society (BRSS) is a 501(c)(3) that supports the sport of soaring through public outreach, training, and racing. BRSS is located in New Castle, Virginia in the scenic Craig County.

The mountain ridges running through the area provide great ridge flights for long cross country flights.  When weather conditions permit, wave flights are also possible.

Every September, the BRSS hosts the Region 4 South contest. One of the most notable contests was in 1990, when 17 of the 25 pilots completed a 1000 km task, covering ridges in 4 states.

Contest Cover

What is Soaring?:

Soaring is like sailing in the sky. It is enjoyed by pilots for the views, the serenity, and the challenge. It is a sport of sustaining flight of engine-less aircraft by locating and flying in updrafts. Observing soaring birds, such as hawks and pelicans, provides a good example of soaring in action in nature. Sailplanes, handgliders, and paragliders exploit the same updrafts as birds do but can glide more efficiently. A modern sailplane can glide about 2 to 6 times further than a hawk without the benefit of an updraft before another updraft source is needed. This permits flights that can last hours and cover over a hundred miles and sometimes hundreds of miles.

Since most sailplanes do not have engines they must be launched/towed before soaring can begin. They are typically launched by being towed by a powered airplane, a winch, or a car.

For more info on soaring, visit the Soaring Society of America:

To see what a sailplane winch launch and ridge soaring looks like: Youtube – Playing in the North Wind

Visitor Info:

BRSS has long welcomed visitors to the field and does orientation flights for those interested. Guest memberships are available for those interested in exploring flight training. Also, guest pilots (rated glider pilots) may receive tows through a guest membership. For details visit our info page.

Aircraft:

Our sailplane fleet includes one L-23 Super Blanik, one L-33 Blanik Solo, two ASK-21, two LS-4, and an LS-6b. Our tow planes are a CallAire and a 235hp Pawnee. In addition, about 20 privately owned sailplanes are based out of New Castle International Gliderport.

The LS6

Facilities:

Ground facilities include a club house with full kitchen, great room, and dining room. There is a large campground with utility hookups and a shower house. Most social activities are centered around a large, covered picnic pavilion and bon fire ring.

The hangars

Annual Region 4 South Contest:

Every September, the BRSS hosts the Region 4 South contest. One of the most notable contests was in 1990, when 17 of the 25 pilots completed a 1000 km task, covering ridges in 4 states.

The field from the air