Cross Country Soaring

Caracole Soaring is one of the few soaring sites that offers cross-country flight training and rental ships for cross-country flying.

X-C Training

Cross Country Soaring offers significant challenge and reward in simply expanding pilot skills and weather analysis to be able to soar locally for a given period of time. Some pilots wish to expand their skills beyond local soaring to fly to adjoining airports or destinations.  Our soaring weather allows ample opportunity for X-C flight, with limitations due to the geological and botanical diversity of our terrain.

The desert is DIFFERENT from the rest of the settled and cultivated world. A pilot cannot land out in the native terrain and hope to do less than destroy the glider.   It would be likely to suffer major injury from an outlanding in the brush.

Hence, our training curriculum requires that you demonstrate mental assessment of accurate location and calculation of glide performance to safe, known landing positions at all times. This training takes place in the AS-K 21 two-seater. You fly with an experienced X-C pilot and practice and demonstrate your skills at thermaling, navigation, performance calculation, and radio communications.  You must also demonstrate accuracy landing skills in the rental aircraft (touch and stop in 500 ft. or less) without abuse to the glider. When your check pilot feels that you will maintain composure and responsibility, you are granted X-C solo privileges. 

The use of data loggers in the training process offers post flight review of thermaling technique, course selection and glide performance.  Often the post flight review is more beneficial than the cockpit time for thermal centering training!

Map Preparation

Rental pilots are expected to carry current charts marked with our known safe landing fields.  Some places are aero-retrievable, some are only trailer retrievable.   Landing spots can vary in suitability from season to season, so we do not publish a list of these coordinates.

We do have a collection of photographs from prior flights that illustrate known sites in various seasons and from various ranges and azimuth to assist your ability to locate these sites while in flight.  We often have a group of pilots coordinate a flight in our 182 along their intended badge course, to aid in landing site identification and bolster confidence during their soaring badge attempts.

While electronic nav-aids are a workload reducing factor, GPS does not absolve a pilot from a chart carrying requirement, nor from the responsibility to use pilotage.

Contest Training

xc-2.jpg (13150 bytes) Over the past ten years, we have used the ASKs in training in contest and X-C flying via a student-du-jour strategy in usually a spring and late summer Sports Class event(s). This offers the X-C pilot an entrée into contests without the pressure or embarrassment of solo operations.  Many current Southern California private owners have flown a day or two in our ASKs before entering an event on their own. 

They are all pleased with the benefits of this training opportunity.   Learning X-C or contesting does not have to be a  "buy it to fly it"   proposition.

Aerobatic Training

We train in aerobatic flying, either for pleasure or for situational awareness emergency-recovery training.  The ASK-21s are fully aerobatic in positive maneuvers.  Customers may demonstrate competence in any maneuvers to receive privileges to fly those maneuvers as PIC. Laminar mountain wave lift is a great place to train in aerobatics.