Finger Lakes Soaring Club
Contact: Rick Lafford
Finger Lakes Soaring (FLS) is a non-profit flight school, formed to teach and promote the art and science of motorless flight (soaring). We offer flight instruction and glider rides to the general public on weekends and holidays from April through November.
The club operates from the Dansville Airport, which approximately 50 miles south of Rochester. Weather permitting, flight operations (lessons and rides) occur on weekends and holidays during these months, with non-schedule operations on weekdays. Individual and group soaring experiences can be arranged by prior request.
Flight has a Junior Pilot program open to young adults between the ages of 14 and 18. All instruction is provided by volunteer Certified Flight Instructors at very low cost to the students. Young pilots can qualify to fly gliders as young as 14 and can gain their federal pilots license at 16.
FLS is also associated with the Soaring Society of American (www.ssa.org) and hosts the semi-annual Region 3 Soaring Competition in August during which pilots from the Northeast and Canada arrive in Dansville to race. This speed and distance competition determines who will be the Region 3 Champion for the year and is an excellent opportunity for the public to see and learn about high-performance soaring. Racers begin around 1pm and arrive home 2-3 hours later.
The club was founded in 1949 by 10 pilots living in Rochester, NY. Five years later the club moved to Batavia to provide better accessibilty to Buffalo-based members. In 1963 the club moved to its current location in Dansville, NY and changed its name to Finger Lakes Soaring. We now have a fleet of 6 gliders and two towing aircraft, along with about a dozen privately-owned aircraft. Members range in experience from beginning students to nationally-ranked competition pilots. Membership is open to anyone interested in soaring and willing to participate in the volunteer operation of the club.
Discounts: To Genesee Community College Dansville Campus students. Short Term memberships for college students at half the price of regular membership. They offer a Junior program in which students age 14-18 inclusive can learn to fly in exchange for working at the soaring school. For each 4 hours of work the students gets on flight at a substantially reduced rate. Based on the maturity of the student, we have started students as young as 11 years old. Students can legally pilot a glider alone at 14 and can apply for a license at 16. There is also a Chamber Member to Member discount, free introductory flight, contact Rick Lafford for more details.