North Florida Soaring Society
Soaring the skies of Jacksonville since 1966
NFSS History

The North Florida Soaring Society (NFSS) was originally organized in 1966 by six Jacksonville soaring enthusiasts, and was first located at Fernandina Airport in Florida. At that time, the club was flying a Schweizer SGS 2-8, and all launches were accomplished by auto tow. As related by one of the early club members, there was little actual soaring being accomplished, as many launches resulted in gliding back to the airport shortly after release from tow.

In 1967 NFSS relocated to Herlong Airport and purchased a Schweizer SGS 2-33 to replace the original SGS 2-8 used in Fernandina. The 2-33 reportedly earned its keep for over 34 years by transforming many ab initio students and power transition pilots into fledgling soaring pilots. The club adopted aero tow as the preferred method of launch after relocating to Herlong. Tows were made using a 65 hp Piper J-3 Cub which was privately owned by two NFSS members.

Across the St. Johns River at Craig Airport in 1967, another group of Jacksonville sailplane enthusiasts formed Sailplanes Inc. (SI). This club flew a Schweizer SGS 1-26 and a Laister-Kauffman LK-10, both launched with aero tow by a Piper Super Cruiser privately owned by two SI members.

In 1968 the two clubs agreed to merge. Sailplanes Inc. relocated its operation and equipment from Craig Airport to Herlong. Thus was formed the North Florida Soaring Society as it is today. Some of the original members of both the North Florida Soaring Society and Sailplanes Inc. are still active with the club and in soaring.

 


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Inquiries regarding sightseeing flights, club operations, and membership opportunities should be emailed to: nflsoaring@gmail.com