Meet our Staff
Noelle Mayes - Office Manager - Private Pilot SEL & Glider & Tow Pilot
Noelle Mayes 1991-Present
Noelle starting working for what is now Williams Soaring Center in 1991. Aviation has always been a part of her life. She is a 3rd Generation female pilot. Noelle started flying while still in high school where she worked at a local FBO in return for flight time. She earned her private SEL rating in 1990. She starting working for the Mayes family at Lagoon Valley in 1991 where she met the love of her life and owner of Lagoon Valley Soaring, Rex Mayes. She and Rex were married in 1993 and have 2 sons, Ben (1994 model) and Nick (1997 model).
Noelle enjoys running the office, towing and the social atmosphere of the gliderport. She handles the merchandise, scheduling, and accounting.
Rex Mayes- CFIG, DPE, Commercial SEL, Glider, Pvt MEL, A&P, IA, Repair Station Chief Inspector
Rex Mayes 1984-Present
Rex took over managing Lagoon Valley Soaring in Vacaville, CA the summer of 1984 in a temporary capacity while on break from Sacramento State University. He and his twin brother ran the family business until 1993 when the business moved to Williams, CA. Rex and his wife Noelle along with their two sons own and run the full service gliderport.
Rex is a DPE for Gliders, Chief Inspector for the FAA Repair Station, A&P and IA, tow pilot, and co-owner of Sage Variometers that is located on the airport. Rex strives to create an environment for pilots to enjoy all aspects of soaring.
Ed Skuzinski - CFIG
My fascination with flight started at an early age (see photo). But I quickly realized that I would have to shed the prop and streamline the airframe if I wanted to thermal with any efficiency.
It was a trip by Sky Sailing Gliderport in Fremont where I first saw sailplanes in action and I just had to stop! Within 5 minutes I had plunked down my money and took a 15 minutes. " Intro Lesson". and that's all it took. It took me a full year, on a college student's income, to earn my Private Pilot ticket but it was worth the sacrifice. ( 2 part time jobs and many meals of Mac & cheese). My aviation career started with a summer job at what was Vacaville Gliders at the time where I worked for flight time plus all the tow rope I could eat! By the end of the summer I qualified for the Commercial Certificate and worked through the next spring as a ride pilot while studying for the Instructor rating. I instructed at Vacaville until Feb. 1980 when I moved to Calistoga to polish my ridge soaring skills. And there I stayed until the next owner of the airport closed it down in the late 1999. I appreciate the opportunity here at Williams Soaring Center to return to the sport that I love.
Jeffrey Hazlegrove - CFIG
Started my career as a line boy doing odd maintenance jobs at the airport; spending two wonderful, educational years caring for gliders, contest crewing, retrievals, and flight line operations. Soloed at age 14, private pilot at 16, commercial license at 18, and instructor at 19 from Turf Soaring School in Phoenix, Arizona.
Currently an S.S.A. Master Flight Instructor with 12,000 glider flights and over 400+ soloed pilots, aircraft check-outs, and flight reviews. Private, Commercial, and Instructor recommended and passed to become licensed glider pilots.
It is still a great joy and thrill to my heart and soul each time I take a passenger on their first glider flight, send a student out for their first solo, and shake a student's hand when they receive their license.
I pride myself in providing safe, fun, and complete glider training. I look forward to flying with you soon.
Todd Robinson - Private Glider, Solo SEL, Shop Tech
Todd starting flying hang gliders in the mid 1980’s and transitioned to gliders in 2003. In short order he had earned his private glider rating. He thinks that sailplanes are beautiful and refined pieces of equipment and made a career change to come to work as a shop technician at Williams in early 2005. He takes great pride in making sailplanes beautiful. Todd can be found working in the shop most weekdays…stop by and say Hi.
Pete King - Commercial SEL & Glider. Mechanic: Airframe & Power plant
As a boy, my hand was always out the car window simulating an airplane wing.
I started my flying at Lagoon Valley Soaring in January 1991. Not long after starting, I found myself helping out with the various tasks involved in a busy operation. Through the years, I have become a Commercial pilot, Airframe and Power plant mechanic, flown lots of rides and given over 1500 tows. In 1993, my first cross country flight from our Vaca Dixon location resulted in a landout at our present location in Williams. Since then, I have enjoyed many memorable cross country flights in various locations.
I retired as a Fire Captain/Paramedic in 2006 and now have a new career and lifestyle in the soaring community.
Richard Beardsley - Commercial Pilot Glider, CFIG, ++
I started flying in 1976 getting my glider rating at Sky Sailing Airport in Fremont, California.
I continued my ratings through Flight Instructor, Gliders, and instructed at Sky Sailing for about 1,000 hours. At that time I continued to get my power ratings and went on to flying for the airlines. I flew for the airlines for 30 years, amassing about 23,000 hours of flight time. I flew numerous aircraft and was type-rated in the Metro-Liner and DC8 Jet. During my airline years I occasionally flew and instructed in gliders until retiring at age 60.
I am now returning to my roots instructing at Williams Soaring Center.
~by: Richard Beardsley
Kenny Price - CFIG, CFI SEL & SES, Instrument
Kenny starting flying gliders at Lagoon Valley Soaring in 1990. He took his first lesson with Rex in an ASK-21 and fell in love with gliders on his first flight. Kenny earned his private glider rating at Crazy Creek Soaring, while Lagoon Valley was relocating, and soon obtained his Commercial and CFIG. He began instructing in 1994 and joined the Williams Soaring Center staff where he became a full time instructor.
Earning his Commercial SEL in 1995, Kenny expanded his professional flying and began providing tows for the operation. In 1997 Kenny was awarded the SSA most Active Instructor in the USA. He received this award several times in the following years. Kenny semi-retired from full time status to a part time guest instructor in 2008. He has over 10,000 hours in gliders and 4,000 hours in powered aircraft. In his spare time Kenny enjoys flying his Super Cub and providing glider pilots with landout site tours.
Kerry Roberson - Tow Pilot, Glider Pilot, A&P
Kerry has been a part of the soaring community for over 40 years. He started his flying career in SGS 2-22's and earned his Private Pilot rating in 1968 while attending college in Florida. During his college years he flew a SGS 1-26 "a bunch" and added his Commercial Single Engine Land and Multi-Engine Instrument to his license. He graduated from the University of Florida in 1973.
He turned his love for flying into a successful career with the US Air Force. During Officer Candidate School he continued to fly gliders giving Cadets rides. He became a navigator in the Air Force aboard C130's and C5's. He was first to land a C-5 on the ice shelf in McMurdo, Antarctica. He retired from the Air Force in 1994.
He started towing at Williams Soaring Center in 1995 and has accumulated over 3000 tows and more than 13,000 hours flight time. Kerry flies most of the fiberglass fleet at WSC but still considers himself a 1-26 pilot at heart.
Mark Miller - CFI, CFIG, Commercial SEL & MEL, Glider, Instrument, Seaplane
I started flying on New Year’s Day in 1984. Flying power planes first with single and multi engine, instrument, sea plane and CFI. I started flying gliders in 1990 at the old Lagoon Valley Gliderport and added commercial glider and CFIG. Soon after I started doing glider rides every weekend. And after a few years started towing as well. Currently I am enjoying very much splitting my time between flying the tow plane and various gliders.
During that time at Lagoon Valley, I also started flying aerobatics in Citabrias, Decathalons, and eventually moved up to co owning a Pitts S2B aerobatic biplane, which I enjoyed flying in aerobatic competitions and just for the fun of it. Flying aerobatics in a glider I found is just as much fun, and a much quieter experience.
I have personally found that the people and staff at WSC truly make it a great place to fly.
~by: Mark Miller
Ben Mayes - Private Pilot Glider & SEL, Tow Pilot
Ben took his first glider flight in a Grob 109B when he was just two weeks old. He soloed a glider years later on his 14th Birthday and over the course of a few years earned his Private Pilot Glider and SEL ratings. He has been the official scorer at three National Contests and continues to fine tune his soaring skills flying the ASW-24, SGS-232 and ASW27. Ben enjoys giving friends and family rides while he works towards his commercial SEL and glider ratings. He is currently a Freshman at Butte Community College and is working towards a degree in Fire Science. Ben's spare time is spent as a Cadet with the Williams Volunteer Fire Department.
Nick Mayes - Line Boy, Shop Assistant, Student Glider and Power Pilot
Nick soloed on his 14th Birthday. He has lived his whole life on our airport. Nick assists with the glider operations, running line, rigging gliders and is apprenticing to become a mechanic. Nick loves to fly the Super Cub and C-180 with his Dad and has soloed the ASK21,ASK23, and ASW24. On his 16th Birday he solo'd the Super Cub and is working on finetuning his skills and knowledge to earn his Private ratings. He is looking forward to flying his way through our fleet. Nick is a Sophomore at Williams High School.
Brian Arnet - Tow Pilot, CFIG, CFII SEL & MEL
Brian is a very enthusiastic young glider flight instructor and new tow pilot. He has over 1500 hours flight experience and shows great promise as a valuable addition to our staff. Brian will be at WSC on weekends mostly but you may find him here during the week some times. Additional Bio Soon.
Cora Knowles - Weekend Office Receptionist
I never thought I'd manage the office of a gliderport on my weekends, but here I am and loving it! My first day on the job, November 2008, Noelle asked me if I wanted to go up for a flight. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity! It was unbelievably AWESOME!!! I very much enjoy my job here and am fascinated by the "Inner Workings" of the soaring world. The accounting skills, computer skills, and people skills I brought with me have been augmented by the things I learn and do here every day. On weekends, I also get to feast on the enthusiasm of the passengers taking glider rides, tasks flown by private owners and share the milestones of the students working on their ratings. Weekdays I continue to work with the kids in Williams Middle School in the after school program, tutoring, supervising homework, fostering creativity in artwork and drama. What's next? I'm contemplating my next flight with enthusiasm... complete with barrel roll! by Cora Knowles
Hugh Tyler - Private Pilot Glider and SEL
Mark Haffer - CFIH, Commercial SEL & Glider
Mark had almost completed his PHD in Cell Biology at UC Davis and needed a little stress relief so he stopped in at our old gliderport in Vacaville for a flight. It was love at first flight.
He started flying gliders 2 days a week, powered planes 2 other days a week and helicopters the remaining 3 days a week. In 1992 Mark purchased a Pitts S2B and began aerobatic training. He quickly earned ratings in gliders, airplanes and helicopters. The spring of 1992 Mark began giving glider rides at our old location in Vacaville. As a natural pilot he soon transitioned into towing. Also during that year Mark's passion for aerobatic flying lead him to the sport of skydiving. He has over 1500 skydives to date.
Mark truly enjoys towing and giving aerobatic glider rides.
We are located at: (for map see location page)
2668 Husted Road
Williams, CA 95987