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Pacific Soaring Council, Inc. is a non-profit volunteer organization serving glider pilots in Northern California & Nevada.
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2017 50th Annual Safety Seminar and Awards Banquet A Success

It Started in 1967

Fifty years ago group of soaring pilots who loved the sport were trying create an organization that would inspire others to pursue soaring and make it safe and fun, hence "Pacific Soaring Council, Inc." was born.

The original corporation papers stated that the purpose of the corporation is to "To provide education, communication, and related activities with others who have a common interest in soaring". Over the past 50 years the members and officers of Pacific Soaring Council, Inc. have endeavored to pursue this mission to support our soaring community. Thank you to all those who have spent many, many hours ( days, weeks, years) giving and sharing with others to make our organization a success so we can continue to support soaring with this goal in mind.


2017 PASCO seminar well attended

Great Turn Out

PASCO 2017 Seminar & Banquet Recap

This year the Pacific Soaring Council celebrated its 50th Birthday at the Sequoia Yacht Club in Redwood City, CA with our annual Safety Seminar and Awards Banquet.  Nearly 100 fellow pilots and friends attended the event which included a variety of topics from a firsthand account of a glider crash into a mountain to the effects aging have on our mental performance, the intricacies of weather forecasting, and an examination of speed-to-fly theory. 

There was a special guest speaker from the Soaring Safety Foundation who helped us understand the most risky areas of flight and how to deal with them safely and an update from our local FBOs at Williams, Soaring NV and TTSA.  Of note is the annual wave camp at Minden, the TTSA Aim Higher cross country mentoring program and the excellent glider repair facility operation at Williams.  Check out their web sites for more information.  There was also a brainstorming session where everyone shared their ideas on how to grow our sport and bring in new pilots.  More on that in a future communication.

Jay McDaniel, SSA Region 11 Director, presents SSA Exceptional Service award to Duncan Eddy and Todd Walterof Stanford University for their efforts in calibration technology that facilitated the record breaking attempts of the Perlan 2 glider  2017-11-04
Jay McDaniel - Duncan Eddy - Todd Walker

The evening session included a special presentation by Jay McDaniel (SSA Region 11 Director) of the SSA Exceptional Service Award to Duncan Eddy and Todd Walter of Stanford University for their efforts in calibration technology that facilitated the record breaking attempts of the Perlan 2 glider. 


Jacke and Jim Payne from the Perlan Project
Jackie and Jim Payne - Perlan Project

This was followed by our two keynote speakers, Jim and Jackie Payne, who gave us an update on the Perlan Projectand their record breaking flight to nearly 52,000 feet in South America. (Note: attend the SSA Convention and learn more about the Perlan Project).

Read more on the Perlan Project website

There was a vote for the PASCO board and officers at the meeting and all nominees were confirmed.


At the end of the evening we handed out the PASCO awards for personal flight achievements in 2017.

The award winners were:


  • Les Arnold lifetime service Trophy – Richard Pearl
    • Awarded for many years of service to the local soaring community: Instructor at NCSA, Thermal Camps at ASI, and more recently serving as Mr Truckee, shepherding the organization into its' present incarnation as TTSA.

  • Longest Distance trophy – Uwe Kleinhempel – 613 miles

    2017 PASCO Longest Distance Award, Uwe Kleinhempel, 613 miles

  • Longest Out and Return trophy – Morgan Hall– 595 miles

    2017 PASCO Longest Out & Return, Morgan Hall, 595 miles

  • Sawyer Award trophy – Thomas Greenhill
  • Most Improved XC Pilot 2017 – Thomas Greenhill

    2017 PASCO Sawyer Award and Most Improved XC Pilot Award, Thomas Greenhill

  • Longest Straight Out – 356 Miles
    1. PILOT: David Anisman; CREW: Noy, Hadas, Oz Anisman
    2. PILOT: Matt Gillis; CREW: Danica Vocansek-Cerne
    2017 PASCO Longest Straight Out Flight 356 sm, Matt Gillis, David Anisman

  • Longest Silver Distance - Philip Lee – 133 Miles

    2017 PASCO Longest Silver Distance, Philip Lee 133 miles

  • Exceptional Service Award – Region 11 RASP providers
    • Valentin Mayamsin,   Ace Lewis,   Bart Klusek,   Dmitry Chichkov

  • Most commercial rides given – Stefan Valentin – 93 rides

We want to send a special thanks to our speakers who made this seminar a success.

  • Dan Colton – My Crash On the Whites
  • Key Dismukes – What’s Age Got to do With It
  • Thomas Johnson - Soaring Safety Foundation
  • Kempton Izuno – Weather: Soaring goals and forecasting
  • John Cochrane – MacCready flying from Kindergarten to PhD
  • Jim & Jackie Payne - Perlan Project Update


The presentations are now available on the PASCO web site at:

If you are not yet a member of PASCO please consider joining using this link:"Join PASCO". 
At only $25/year it is one of the cheapest flying benefits packages around.  To quote Peter Kelly in his recounting of the event, “You wouldn't get that much useful, practical and important info even if you attended a private ground school with an instructor for three, four or even five hours (at a cost of over ten times the cost of your annual PASCO membership).”

I am already looking forward to 2018.

Best Wishes,

Dan Colton

President, PASCO