Williams Soaring Staff

Meet our Staff

Noelle MayesNoelle Mayes - Office Manager/Tow Pilot - Private Pilot SEL & Glider

Noelle Mayes 1991-Present

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. Noelle 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 a few years later and have 2 sons, Ben and Nick.

Noelle enjoys running the office, towing and the social atmosphere of the gliderport.
Email Noelle

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Rex MayesRex 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. Email Rex

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Ben MayesBen Mayes - CFIG - 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, Commercial, and CFI ratings in Gliders and his Private SEL.  He has been the official scorer at three National Contests and crewed at many US Regional and National competitions. In 2014 Ben crewed for Team USA at the World Gliding Championships in Poland. Ben continues to fine tune his soaring skills flying the ASW-24, ASG-32Mi, SGS-232 and FOX. He enjoys instructing in gliders and is working towards his next goal of earning his commercial SEL rating. Ben is currently working full time at the gliderport. Ben's spare time is spent as a Lieutenant with the Williams Volunteer Fire Department. Email Ben


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Nick MayesNick Mayes - Tow Pilot, Shop Tech, Private Pilot Glider and SEL

Nick soloed on a ASK-23 on his 14th Birthday and has worked his way up to Private pilot glider and SEL. He is involved with all aspects of running the gliderport and enjoys crewing for pilots at Regional and National soaring events. Nick can be found in the shop where he is apprenticing to become an A&P or in the Pawnee towing gliders. In his spare time, Nick loves to fly his Super Cub, the family Staggerwing and C-182 along with the rest of the WSC sailplane fleet including the ASK21, ASK23, ASW24, ASG32Mi, and SGS 2-32. Nick is also a volunteer with the Williams Fire Department. Email Nick 

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Pablo Saso-PerkinsPablo Saso-Perkins - CFIG

Pablo started flying gliders at Soar Truckee in the Sierras in 2015, a short 3 seasons later he obtained his commercial glider rating. The following year Pablo earned his CFIG. Currently in his spare time, he is working on his power ticket and looks forward to becoming a tow pilot. Pablo's future goals include becoming a corporate pilot, and flying out of cool smaller airports with less passengers than you might find in the airlines. Pablo rarely flies by himself, as he loves sharing the sport with others. Constantly wanting to expand his horizons, he now joins us at Williams Soaring Center in an instructor position.


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Lucien NiccoreLucien Niccore -Tow Pilot, Shop Tech, Private Pilot Glider & SEL w/Instrument

Lucien Niccore has always been fascinated with aviation, and one could say rightfully so. His father was a private pilot, which as Lucien says, "one of his first memories". Lucien was an avid r/c pilot as a boy and as a young man, he joined a flying club and pursued hid dream to be a pilot. Hang gliding for the last eight years, Lucien sought to add a glider rating here with us at Williams Soaring Center during the summer of 2019. Lucien now is certified as a Private Pilot in Gliders and holds certificates for SEL Instrument, with tail wheel and high-performance endorsements. Lucien has become a fixture as well as his two dogs Roxy (chihuahua) semi- friendly and Dixie (JR), lover to all.


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Marty GuiterrezMarty Guiterrez - CFIG, ATP, Tow Pilot

Marty knew at a very young age what he wanted to do.  He wanted to fly airplanes.  This desire was instilled in him by listening to his father tell stories of flying B-24’s during WWII.  Just about every weekend growing up was spent following his dad on his hands and knees doing yard work and listening to these seemingly magical anecdotes.  Marty’s dreams came true when he was commissioned as an officer in the Air Force and attended pilot training.  Marty spend nearly 23 years as a pilot in the Air Force and 31 years as a pilot for a major airline.  He’s mostly retired now but scratches his itch for flying by hanging out at the glider port and occasionally flying seaplanes.  He even jumps out of airplanes at his advanced age.  Give him a shout out when you see him. Email Marty

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Kenny PriceKenny Price - ATP, 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.

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Tony KoualczukTony Koualczuk - Tow Pilot, Glider Pilot

I became interested in flying at a young age and shortly thereafter, started building and flying RC airplanes. I took some local flights in a few GA aircraft during that time. After graduating from high school, I enlisted in the Air Force as a C-5A crew chief in December 1982. I served at Travis AFB from March 1983- September 1988. During that time, I started taking flying lessons at the Travis AFB Aero Club. I ultimately finished my training at the Nut Tree Airport, earning my SEL in 1984. I currently fly as a glider pilot and mainly as a tow pilot, towing weekly on Mondays and Thursdays here at Williams Soaring Center. I want to thank Rex and Noelle for the opportunities afforded to me.


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Kerry RobersonKerry 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.

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Mark MillerMark 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

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Cora KnowlesCora 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

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Hugh TylerHugh Tyler - Private Pilot Glider and SEL, Tow Pilot

I was introduced to flying on my birthday in 1986 when I was given a surprise aerobatic ride in an open cockpit biplane.  The following week I was taking flying lessons. Fast forward one birthday. I was given a ride in a sailplane and true to form,  I started work on a  glider rating the following week.  I flew sailplanes exclusively for the next several years in a   club that was run by a bunch of ‘old’ guys,  most of them WWII Army Air Corp vets.  I am not sure if I wore the old guys down  or gained their trust but they eventually agreed to let me tow gliders contingent on earning a tail wheel endorsement from Courtenay.  Courtenay was a life time flight instructor and the  pilot who flew Willy Messerschmitt out of Germany at the end of WWII.  Towing renewed my love affair with powered aircraft, especially  tail draggers and antiques.   I took a 5 year hiatus from flying while constructing a Vans RV-7 kit plane which I still fly and use to commute to WSC. When I applied for the tow pilot position at WSC, Rex conducted the interview in a sailplane. I remember thinking, “I am going to like this place” and I really do.

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Kevin AshKevin Ash - Private Pilot Glider and SEL, Tow Pilot

My interest in aviation started in my early teens while working on my family's farm, watching crop dusters do their dance in the sky, back and forth, up and down. After dreaming of flying for several years years, fortunately for me an Air Explorer troop was formed. They began by working on the ground school portion of a flying license. When the troop had completed most of the ground school, many of us began flying lessons in high school. Four years later, I earned my Private Pilot Certificate; and four years after that, I went to work for the Department of Agriculture as a aerial photographer, covering the state of California.

Springing forward about thirty years, to 2006, I moved back to the area of my youth. As luck would have it, Williams Soaring was located in the tiny community where I had settled. I soon began my glider training and eventually obtained my rating. After four year of flying gliders, I was asked if I wanted to tow gliders. An immediate yes came out of my mouth, and I've been living the dream ever since.

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Kevin AshAdam Coupal - Private Pilot Glider and SEL, Tow Pilot

Adam started his journey in aviation in 2017 when he decided to quit his job after getting fed up with sitting behind a desk all day. Eight months later he earned his private pilot’s license and shortly thereafter started pursuing his glider license. He started towing to build hours for his commercial license, but had so much fun doing it that he quickly passed the 250-hour requirement and kept on flying! Adam recently started aerobatic training with his glider instructor, Ben, and is excited to keep flying upside-down.  


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We are located at: (for map see location page)

2668 Husted Road
Williams, CA 95987
Phone: 530-473-5600

Email: info@williamssoaring.com

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