Cross Country

Area Tour - Up CloseView from the Super Cub during an Area Tour

Williams Soaring ConditionsFlying North, looking at St. John, on a great soaring day

The above photo was taken looking northeast from above Snow Mt.

Going North Photo and "SeeYou" trace below are from May 17, 2008.

Williams Soaring's Famous Mendocino Shearline in view to the north

When the Mendocino shear sets up you can follow the cloud streets for over a hundred miles, then turn around and follow it home.

SeeYou trace of Flight North & Return

The flight above was from Williams Soaring to Hayfork and return.

Proven Cross Country Potential

Many long flights have originated from Williams Soaring Center.

We are located near the Southern edge of the Mendocino Mountains, well known for fantastic summer and fall cross country flying. Also, the airport's valley situation creates favorable conditions for spring and early summer adventures.

Mountain Wave is also encountered when the "westerlies" blow, usually post-frontal in winter and early spring. And finally the famous Maxwell shear is a phenomenon in the summer. This intrusion of marine air into the heated Sacramento Valley air mass is known for creating great soaring conditions and you'll find it right on our doorstep.

Crater Lake Flight Photo by Kempton Izuno
Photo by Kempton Izuno

Flights have been made to:

  • Montague, California and return the next day.
  • Crater Lake, Oregon and return to Williams, CA in one flight (see Kempton Izuno's photo above).
  • Minden, Nevada; and back to Williams the next day.
  • Reno, Nevada and return the same day.
  • Near Santa Cruz (Boulder Creek), California, back to Byron, California.
  • Wave flights to over 23,000 ft. (Williams Soaring has a Wave Window).
  • Many 300k, and 500k flights both north and south.
  • Flights west to over the Pacific Ocean and return to Williams
  • And more...

New to Cross Country Flying?

We have great training programs to assist the new pilot in their quest to learn more. Ask about our SSA badge and XC training. We have several two place ships capable of cross country flying.

View of Antelope Valley looking south, taken during an Area Tour in a Super Cub
Can you find the Antelope Valley runway? Take the tour!

Learn your way around, see the area up close. Take a tour in our piper cub with one of our senior pilots to view the XC routes and many areas that are available if you have to landout - for those rare times it is needed.

Our rental fleet gliders are all late model glass ships.

NOTE: Please read the Pilot Information sections. If you land-out, the Retrieval method is at the discretion of Williams Soaring Center and will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

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Valley Soaring Association (VSA) - The local soaring club

Valley Soaring is a great club. Almost everyone who flies out of Williams belongs to VSA. The club is home based at Williams Soaring Center (WSC) and has has many activities for its members:

  • Barbecues, dinners, and social events
    • After flying we stay and have a nice BBQ, and take time to discuss the flights of the day.
  • Seminars
    • The Winter Seminar Series - Monthly social and instruction programs that usually run November through March to keep the pilots involved and keeping their skills sharp.
  • Summer Racing Series
    • The Race Series is designed for new and experienced pilots - a bi-weekly weekend race that runs throughout the summer months.
  • Mentoring Program
    • The experienced club members help the new pilots learn how to leave the nest and improve their skills.
  • newTurnpoint Maps on Google Earth.
    • What is this? VSA MAPS - A FANTASTIC way to learn the area. VSA's Peter Kelly has spent a lot of time creating a Google maps rendition of the Turnpoints list.
    • Visit www.valleysoaring.net to view their website and great weather links too.

Turnpoints Exchange

You will need the latest turnpoints and rather than keep the file local, the latest files can be found on the Soaring Exchange

Go to the Soaring Exchange Turnpoints website for Williams Soaring Files.

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