Southern California Soaring Academy, Glider Flight School, The Best Soaring Site in Los Angeles County

Southern California Soaring Academy, Glider Flight School, The best soaring site in Los Angeles County

The best soaring site in Los Angeles County

Fri. Sat. Sun.    9am-5pm    Book a ride: 866.945.0240

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Southern California Soaring Academy is the premier glider flight school in Southern California and is located at Crystalaire airport (46CN) in the high desert of Los Angeles, just over 1 hour driving time from L.A.

At Crystalaire nearly everyday is flyable. Tucked against the north side of the San Gabriel mountains the best year round soaring in the U.S. is found here.

232 Glider on Tow at Southern California Soaring Academy


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Introductory Lesson $265

A 45 minute instructional flight, plus ground school prior to the flight.

Plan on at least one hour total time.

Online Schedule (Not to be used for your first visit)

(for students and rated pilots only)

We use an online scheduling system provided by "Schedule Pointe" to make it easy and convenient for our students and pilots to schedule instructor and glider times for lessons.

If this is your first lesson (or if you are a ride customer) please call the office or e-mail to schedule your first appointment and receive instructions pertaining to our schedule parameters. PLEASE contact us PRIOR to signing up for an account. Thank You.

To use The ONLINE service you must first register.

Before registering, view our YouTube Videos for instructions on how to register and use the Schedule Pointe system.

  1. How To Register & Create Account Video
  2. How To Use Schedule Pointe Video

Once you view the videos, please click the 'REGISTER' link below and register using the secure form.

If you have questions about the service, please contact our office.


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LEARN TO FLY - by learning to SOAR

Pilots who know agree that early glider training is the best way to begin any serious flying career, but the main reason to come soaring is for the always safe, and frequently amazing FUN .

There are no age limits as to when you can begin training to become a glider pilot. However, students will not be able to fly solo until they are at least 14 years old.Everyone enjoys learning to fly at Southern California Soaring Academy

To obtain your private pilot certificate with a glider rating you must:

  1. Be at least 16 years old
  2. Have no medical conditions that would prevent you from safely piloting a glider
    (a medical certificate is not required for glider pilots)
  3. Have a minimum of 20 glider flights
  4. Have received a minimum of 10 hours flight instruction
  5. Have performed a minimum of 10 solo flights
  6. Have a minimum of 2 hours of solo flight time
  7. Pass the FAA knowledge test
  8. Pass the oral and flight test with an FAA examiner

GLIDER RATING ADD-ON - for previously rated pilots

For power pilots, glider training greatly enhances stick-&-rudder skills, as well as understanding of atmospheric dynamics. (But it's not about the rating, it's about the FUN).

If you have a valid FAA airplane license with a minimum of 40 hours as pilot-in-command
(FAR 61.109 f 2) you'll need:

  1. Minimum of 3 hours of flight with an instructor, including:
  2. A minimum of 10 training flights;
  3. A minimum of 10 solo flights to qualify to take the glider flight exam;
  4. A minimum of 3 training flights in preparation for the practical exam.

Time to solo is approximately 10-20 flights.

No written exam is required of Glider Add-On Rating.

  • For further information regarding a Add-On rating, please contact our office directly:
    • Email:


Soaring Academy recently acquired two factory new Schleicher ASK-21 gliders, each fitted with adaptive hand controls and high tech instrumentation. These exciting new gliders allowed Soaring Academy's first paraplegic pilot to fly solo. With the adaptive controls installed, the rudder is actuated by an additional lever on the left side of the cockpit. This allows full control of the glider.


ADVANCED SOARING - of several kinds

First Solo at Southern California Soaring AcademyEmergency training, weather, mountain flying, and even MORE FUN.

Learning does not stop when you get your license.

Mountain Flying

Mountain FlyingSoaring Academy will familiarize you with the complex yet rewarding activity of mountain flying. Our airport is located only a short tow from the north side of the towering San Gabriel Mountains. Lift such as strong thermals, ridge lift, convergence, wave and bow wave are found here year round, some during the same flight.

If you are from out of state and want to learn more about mountain soaring then come visit us for a weekend. The neighboring country club has lodges available for a reasonable price. Call or e-mail us for more details.


Emergency Maneuvers - Coming Soon


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Renters Insurance

Marie taking Flight Training at Southern California Soaring AcademyWhen you fly solo while renting our gliders or act as pilot in command you must have a current renters insurance policy with a minimum of $20,000 hull coverage--inquire with office for the DG-505 hull coverage. If you do not have renters insurance an instructor will be required to fly as your safety pilot at the reduced instructor rate of $48/hour.


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Training Program

Training is divided into two parts; knowledge and flight. Knowledge includes aerodynamics, weather, regulations and airspace. Flight includes takeoff, flying the aerotow, maneuvers, soaring and landing.

"Student pilots enjoy training in gliders because it teaches the fundamentals of flight with unparalleled clarity."

Flight TrainingFlight Training Lesson at Southern California Soaring Academy

A flight training session with an instructor is typically scheduled for a minimum of two hours. Your instructor will assign you reading and review questions from the textbooks, and will review the material with you before your flights. You will then practice the maneuvers that you have studied. At the end of your flights, your instructor will review the lessons, and assign you material to complete before your next session.

Knowledge Training

This training is mostly self-study, with you reading the FAA Glider Flying Handbook on your own. Your instructor will then answer questions you may have and resolve issues. Any required tests will also be reviewed by your instructor and any misunderstood content will be reviewed to confirm that you understand the material.

Flight Simulator

We maintain a "flight simulator" that can be used to practice some maneuvers. The cost of the simulator is only $10 per hour.


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Training Cost

The price of each lesson varies based on the glider used, time in the air, time with instructor and tow altitude.

Flight and Ground Instruction $60/hour
Aero Tow first 1,500 feet $48
Aero Tow each additional 1,000 feet $24

Call us for further information.


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Southern California
Soaring Academy


Contact the office if you have questions about rides, lessons, scheduling & reservations, or merchandise.


Friday, Saturday, Sunday, & Monday 9am-5am.

You can call during office hours: 866.945.0240


Email our office:


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