The Minden Soaring Club (MSC) at Minden Tahoe Airport is #3 in the world standings, out of 1,111 clubs. MSC is only 12 points out of first place in the world, club officials said.
Club officials said they will be getting the word out to their members to go for speed flights that qualify for more points. The points are based on a pilot’s speed during a consecutive 2.5 hours of flight, so long flights aren’t necessary, officials explain. The pilot must start within 15 km of the takeoff airport, or come back to within 15 km after release from tow or engine shutdown on self-launching gliders.
As shown in this list of the top 20, MSC is only nine points or perhaps less than four flights from second place.
Individual pilot scoring is done differently than club scoring and Jim Payne, a local resident and airport tenant, is the individual leader by more than 3,300 points. Mitch Polinsky and Keith Essex, also area locals and airport tenants, are also in the top 25 individual pilot listings.
MSC has been very successful in recent years awarding scholarships to the area youth for glider lessons with SoaringNV, the local soaring commercial operator owned by Laurie Harden, club officials added.