Soaring Tigers, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the development and promotion of safe motorless flight, and to the training and instruction of its members in the art, science and sport of soaring. The major focus of the club is on flight instruction for new pilots. While flight instruction is limited to active members, the club extends to the broader community opportunities to learn of motorless flight through lectures, soaring meetings, and subsidized demonstration flights.

Safety, both in the air and on the ground, is of paramount importance to the club. To that end, Soaring Tigers not only promotes safe practices in general, but requires its members to comply with all Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs), to maintain a level of training and proficiency beyond the minimum required by the FARs, to expand their knowledge through participation in the FAASTeam's WINGS program and membership in the Soaring Society of America, and to evaluate his or her own 'fitness to fly' through use of the "IMSAFE" protocol. (See additional information under the Member Info tab.)

Member Responsibilities

The Soaring Tigers club offers greatly reduced dues by having all members contribute time for the benefit of the club. Members are required to help with different tasks (e.g., owner-authorized ship maintenance, washing, assembly, disassembly, recruiting, web-site maintenance, etc.).

All members must sign a statement that they have read and will comply with the applicable Federal Aviation Regulations, club insurance policies, airport rules and procedures, relevant flight manuals/Pilot Operating Handbooks, and the latest version of all club policies, operations procedures, and rules as set forth in this and any updated documents or other forms of communication. In addition, each member must, on an annual basis, review and sign a Release From Liability form as provided by the club.

More fundamentally, each member must conduct himself or herself in a manner that is consistent with the club’s focus on safety, training, education, and proficiency.

Published Articles about Soaring Tigers

Click here to view the AOPA article "Soaring Tigers: Gliders offer an affordable entry into aviation...and space".
Click here to view the "Wild Blue Yonder" article.

Prominent Past Members

Click the pictures below to learn more about our prominent members.

Steve Sliwa
President Embry-Riddle Univ.
Founder/CEO Insitu  
        Wally Hayes
        Princeton Univ. Professor
        Mech./Aerospace Eng.
Brian Binnie
SpaceShipOne X Prize Winner
    Winner FAA's Astronaut Wings
Dan Barry
NASA Shuttle Astronaut

Here are two pics taken of Dan Barry's first Space Shuttle flight:

Brian Binnie atop SpaceShipOne $10 million Ansari X Prize Winner for 1 of 2 suborbital flights in a reusable aircraft to the
altitude of the International Space Station (ISS) to earn the FAA's Civilian Astronaut Wings:

Membership Types and Fees

High school / college students: $500/year dues.
Glider student pilot membership:
(for new and power transition glider pilots)
$750 non-refundable initiation fee and $750 annual dues until solo with pro rata refund for unused portion in the first year if the member leaves the club. Upon solo the annual membership rate is then immediately adjusted to the full standard membership fee on a pro rata basis for that season and for all future seasons.
Standard membership: $1,500/year dues for all club members. Standard members have access dual instruction and use of Soaring Tigers' complete fleet of aircraft, subject to appropriate logbook endorsement from a club CFIG. Standard members who own, insure, and actively fly their own glider are eligible to receive a 25% discount on their membership dues.
Recurrent training member: $200 for ground instruction and up to six flights with a club CFIG in our SGS 2-33A (no solo flights). This membership level allows licensed glider pilots, private or commercial, to accomplish their recurrent training needs. Recurrent training members can complete a Flight Review, safely practice emergency procedures, complete WINGS Pilot Proficiency Program flight tasks, or other training goals as mutually agreed by the CFIG and member. All applicants must first complete an interview with a Soaring Tigers CFIG to ensure this membership level is appropriate to help them meet their goals. Recurrent training members can upgrade their membership, within the same flying season, to Standard Membership and receive credit for their already paid $200 dues.
Family membership:
1/2 standard membership dues for additional family members when one is already a standard Soaring Tigers club member.
Club instructors: No fee for active CFIGs providing instruction to members on a regularly scheduled basis eight or more days annually. When a glider commercial pilot gets the CFIG rating from the FAA, and the new CFIG begins instructing regularly for our club, the Soaring Tigers will then reimburse the new CFIG their current year's dues on a pro rata basis.
Board and/or officer: Soaring Tigers elected board members and/or officers with voting rights must either be active dues paying members or a non-dues paying board/officer member. This non-dues paying category of membership does not, by itself, enable that person to have any club dual or PIC flight privileges.
Scholarships: Available and considered on an application basis.

Flight Charges

The club does not currently charge members for the hourly rental of club ships or for flight instruction, both of which are free of charge to members.

In addition, all club members are fully responsible for the cost of their tows. Tow fees are paid directly to the Fixed Base Operator (FBO) at Van Sant airport in Erwinna, PA. A current tow fee schedule is available from the FBO. Tow costs as of March 2023 (NOT including tax) are:

Release Altitude
Airport Fee
Simulated Rope Break $40.00
1000' AGL $45.00
1500' AGL $50.00
2000' AGL $52.00
2500' AGL $55.00
3000' AGL $60.00
3500' AGL $65.00
4000' AGL $75.00
4500' AGL $90.00
5000' AGL $95.00

Members are personally responsible for PAYING FOR THEIR TOWS TO THE VAN SANT FBO BEFORE LEAVING THE FIELD EACH DAY. Members are also responsible for ENTERING DETAILS FOR EACH OF THEIR FLIGHTS IN THE FORM THE FBO PROVIDES ON A SMALL CLIPBOARD WITH THE 2-33A. Members must enter the date of their flight(s), the ship that they flew, and the duration of the flight. This information is used to update the ship's logbook.

Sign-Up and Scheduling Procedures

Van Sant airport is also open from Wednesday to Sunday each week for Soaring Tigers FAA licensed private and commercial glider pilots to reserve our ships and to schedule tows for glider flights on days when the weather is suitable. Soaring Tigers members have sign-up rights each week for scheduling the ship for instruction, solo flight and flight reviews.

On each Tuesday afternoon, our club CFIGs will notify all members via email which days in the coming weekend they will be available to provide instruction, supervise solo flights, provide check rides, and conduct flight reviews (previously called BFR for Bi-annual Flight Reviews).

Active club members should then call Bird of Paradise (610) 847-1119 or e-mail BarAndDannie@866mustfly.com to schedule your flights.

You may sign up for:

  SGS 2-33A: 1.5 hour/weekend morning and afternoons (plus selected weekday afternoons by appointment)
  SGS 1-26B: Any available time
  SGS 1-34: Any available time

Members with their Private or Commercial Glider Ratings may also fly at any other available times either on weekends or on weekdays. Please call (610) 847-1119 or e-mail BarAndDannie@866mustfly.com at The Bird of Paradise to confirm and schedule tow plane availability.