LVSC History in a Nutshell
LVSC History in a Nutshell
The Las Vegas Soaring Club was born in 1991. With around eight members flying sailplanes it wasn't long before they were obliged to move to a better location. For the next few years flying was done in a detention basin before it was time to move to another location.
One of the members was also a member of the Desert Sportsman Rifle and Pistol Club (DSRCP) on the west side of the city. After considerable negotiations the DSRCP granted LVSC the free use of 21 acres directly across Highway 159. A small piece of carpet was laid down in the desert sands and soaring continued.
Before long improvements in electric powered aircraft prompted the club to relocate the runway and up size it to accommodate more complex and varied aircraft. With the cooperation of the DSRCP tractor the new field improvements were completed, adding a better driveway, a new locking gate and a winch/retriever system for the soaring planes.
The carpet lasted about four years, by which time the club had grown to about 65 members during 2010.
By 2013 it was decided to extend the runway to 250 feet. This required a better substrate and a smoother sub-grade. To help with costs an AMA Flying Site Development/Improvement Grant of $452 was awarded to the club to help defray rising costs.
2016 and 2017 brought more changes and enhancement to the facility, including a larger parking lot, driveway improvements, better pit tables, pea stone in the pit areas and the installation of a new helicopter/quad and DLG pad separate from the runway. By this time the club membership had grown to around 135 members from all walks of life and locations. Additionally, the Bob Pickens Junior Pilot Program was created to bring younger members into the hobby. Community support was overwhelming and donations of money, aircraft and supplies continue to this day. One of the first Junior Pilots was recently featured in Model Aviation Magazine District X news and is now pursuing a career in aviation.
During the next years of 2019 and 2020 the club purchased and installed a commercial weather station on DSRCP property. DSRCP has been the largest club benefactor over the years and charges no rent for use of the 21 acres. The station has performed impeccably and is regularly used by both the LVSC and DSRCP members (weatherlink.com). It is just a small return for the superior support and relationship between the two clubs. LVSC pays a yearly fee for the cellular service that the station uses in transmitting data every few minutes.
Club membership continues to grow and is currently around 145, a fairly steady number in the last few years and making LVSC the largest club in Southern Nevada. Members proactively participate in community events and charitable organizations. Club events afford the club the opportunity to financially help other clubs, such as the Western Carolina Radio Club Sky Hawks. LVSC is also home to the Las Vegas Red Rock Search and Rescue Drone Unit ass a training facility. Gold Leader Club status brought more community recognition in the form of Mayoral Proclamations.
Prior to the Covid-19 Pandemic the club was active in co sponsoring events with other clubs, offered regular Swap Meets, trained and conducted classes and flight training with the Civil Air Patrol, local schools, Boy Scout troops and other organizations. Many members are also stationed at Nellis Air Force Base and the club has held static displays at their air show and talked to several thousand members of the pubic about the hobby, AMA and the joys of RC building and flying.
The current Pandemic has posed many challenges for all the clubs and in every facet of “normal” life. We look forward to being ready to roll when restrictions are finally lifted and the LVSC can get back to the business of being a community namesake, a beacon that attracts new and younger members and a contributor and supporter of the AMA and the many charities of the past and future.