The Soaring Center
The Soaring Center
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

6 reviews
Very good

Ellen H
Henderson8 contributions
I believe these folks to be dishonest and possibly unsafe. I have 25 years of flying and teaching experience and have observed many training/flying programs. I purchased their Introductory Flight Training Package for my son who was entering the Air Force in a month. My credit card was promptly charged $299 and a flight scheduled one week out. What happened after was one series of delays after another. Their communication stinks (probably on purpose) and many of the cancelled flights were not forwarded to me until late at night via text, the night before.
Finally, the day came and when we showed up, we were told that their tow plane was still down but they had contracted out with another tow plane pilot. Michael, the owner/pilot did a "test" run in the single seat glider behind the 150 Horse Power Decathalon and deemed it good to go for pulling the bigger 3 person glider--something wrong with their 2 seater so had to take the 3 seater. The launch went OK but they had to break off from the Decathalon and return early due to overheating of the Decathalon and inability to gain altitude. It didn't smell right from the beginning and I, unfortunately allowed it to happen--assumed they knew what they were doing.
Despite that, we tried several other dates afterwards (with a properly powered tow plane) to get my son his training and each was delayed for one reason or another. I finally got hold of them and asked for a refund. I was told I would get a full refund via text message but of course, that never materialized. My calls, texts, e-mails now go unanswered and I have had to work through VISA to try to recoup my funds. I guess if that doesn't work--small claims court will be next. Save yourself the hassle of dealing with these folks.
Written July 11, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Las Vegas, NV174 contributions
May 2016 • Solo
My experience with this company seems to be a reiteration of what others have already said in their reviews. My wife purchased a gift certificate in order for me to have lessons ultimately leading to certification with their instructor, Michael. Multiple visits to the airfield yielded little in the way of meaningful ground lessons and/or flights. Several times I found myself simply waiting for literally hours at the airfield for someone to show up to operate either the winch, or the tow plane in order to get up in the air. The tow plane seemed to constantly be under maintenance, or pilots weren't available, and the winch typically took three attempts to get airborne due to broken tow cables. In all of my visits, all of which were during appropriate weather conditions, I experienced only three flights that never lasted more than ten minutes. While Michael may be a nice guy, he's certainly not organized and doesn't meet the definition of a professional, and the people he would hastily arrange to operate the winch was either his wife on break from her actual job, or another student which made the entire experience seem awkward due to the lengthy wait times, excessive excuses, and lack of real professionalism. Realizing that the substantial amount of money my wife paid towards the certificate was not going to be placed to good use, I politely requested a partial refund that both parties could agree to and find fair. After multiple emails, Michael's wife replied that we would work something out, but after multiple emails and phone calls afterwards I haven't heard anything since. As per the consistent history provided by these reviews, this company takes your money and runs with it, producing mediocre services, if any at all are even given. If you're like me and would like to learn to be a sailplane pilot, I highly encourage you to seek lessons and training elsewhere although it may be a lengthy drive, but at least you'll be getting credible, reliable training in exchange for your funds instead of wasting your time and money. Soaring Nevada in Minden, NV is an excellent alternative, but there are also the Southern California Soaring Academy outside LA, and Arizona Soaring outside of Phoenix.
Written April 9, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Washington DC, DC14 contributions
Feb 2015 • Solo
Micheal and his staff were excellent. I was a bit put off by the comments I found on this site but I found Micheal and staff to be very professional and pleasant. I had set up my flight last minute before visiting Las Vegas. Micheal and his wife did a excellent job on touching base with me about being able to honor my request. They went out of their way to make my experience a pleasant one. I couldn't be happier. I would highly recommend to anyone that has the desire to go up in a glider to visit their business.
Written February 11, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Tucson, AZ1 contribution
Dec 2014 • Couples
Booked and prepaid for two glider flights in mid December 2014 ... perfectly good weather ... no delays on our part ... the soaring center rescheduled us three times ... nothing but excuses and delays until well after our week in Las Vegas was over ... cracked canopy ... certification issues ... tow plane down for maintenance with a hydraulic leak ... multiple refund requests ... no response ... total rip off ... no flight ... no refund ... stay away from this company ...
Written April 24, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Carol M
Bellshill, Scotland, United Kingdom3 contributions
Dec 2014 • Couples
Booked this flight for a surprise for my Husband. I was the one surprised when I called the night before to check if all was good to go to be told it had been cancelled. So when was I going to be told, I wondered? Whilst standing outside waiting for our pick up? Now we are back in the UK fighting for our refund. Was refunded $100 dollars only as a good will gesture.. No, a Goodwill gesture is refunding over the amount for inconvenience, not refunding the amount owed. Stay away from this company. I will not give up until the full $350 dollars is refunded in full.
Written January 19, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Las Vegas, NV2 contributions
Nov 2013 • Solo
Last year (2013) I was given a birthday gift of soaring by my other half. In previous years I was gifted flights in a helicopter (Schweizer 300c) and an airplane (Cessna 172). Both times before I was able to take controls and appreciate the joy of flying these awesome machines myself.

I called The Soaring Center the day before my flight and confirmed that I will be able to go up in the sky the next day. Everything was good, so we scheduled an appointment for the next day.

I arrived at Jean 1/2 hour before just to be sure. Although there was nobody at the office, I called the main number and learned that Michael (pilot & owner) was already out on the field readying the glider. There was some delay as the plane had to get fueled up and warmed up, but that allowed me time to drive to the launch area on the other side of the airfield.

There I met the Michael and the tow pilot Dale. Both guys were very friendly, knowledgeable, and personable and had so much to share about their life and the joy of flying. Since I expressed so much interest in the glider (Schleicher ASK 21, a 2-seater), Michael and I did a pre-flight check and walk-around. I then helped push the glider into the launch position and got inside. We did the brake and hook release tests and the glider was hooked up to the tow plane, now sitting on the runway.

The lauch was a blast - we were in the air in no time. The airfield quickly disappeared behind and even though i was trying to pay attention to the launch process it all seemed such a blur and we were steadily gaining altitude.

Although Michael had the controls, he let me keep my hands and feet on the controls as well the whole time. I truly felt like taking off myself, with him being my backup. He then relinquished controls, so I can have my chance to follow the tow plane. This proved to be challenging, as you have to match the tow plane's speed, heading and bank angles in front of you exactly. It was a true art of formation flying.

The tow lasted about 5 minutes and then came the time to release the rope (which I was again allowed to do myself). Then the fun really began. The glider seemed to just hang there for a few seconds, like at the top of a roller coaster, but then we were back in business.

Since it's all downhill from there, we did a few large sweeping turns trying to find any thermal activity in the area. We were lucky enough to find a few, even though it was a cold November day with lots of wind. Again, i was allowed to do the turns and really feel what it's like to pilot the glider. Without the usual engine noise it's really feels like it's just you and the sky and the earth below. I was able to maintain a conversation in a normal tone, without needing any headphone gear.

The pinnacle of the flight came on the way to the airfield - while noticing another thermal not too far away from our landing zone. We came back around and were greeting by a red-tailed hawk, who apparently thought we were a threat. While circling the thermal, he followed the glider closely and even extended his talons in an attempt to chase us off his territory. I learned from Micheal that this doesn't happen very often, so I was thrilled at my luck. It was simply amazing to be soaring high out there and pretend for a moment what it'd be like to be a bird!

The landing again was a blur - the best part being air brake deployment, which kills the lift and makes the glider descend rapidly. In seconds, we were rolling on the pavement and I could really appreciate the hydraulic disk brakes, which stopped the glider in no time.

All in all, it was a fantastic experience, so much so that I had done it again. That time we took to the sky in a 3-seater, as the tire on the ASK21 had gone flat. That was a whole different ride as that glider is heavier and is made of metal instead of fiberglass. Again, I was allowed to pilot it on multiple occasions throughout the short flight (we didn't find many thermals that day).

Needless to say I'm hooked, and will be going back again this summer to feel the difference between the winter & summer flying.
Written April 3, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

The Soaring Center (Jean) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go