WAYNESBURG – This spring, the county welcomes a new activity to the area as the Pittsburgh Soaring Association becomes a new tenant at the Greene County Airport. Since March 1964, soaring enthusiasts have been flying gliders at the Pittsburgh Soaring Association. The soaring season is historically from April through October. The association has approximately 40 members who maintain and share a small fleet of aircraft which previously operated from Bandel Airport in Glyde, PA., about 20 miles South of Pittsburgh.
Glider operations will increase both aviation activity and the diversity of aircraft at the airport. The Pittsburgh Soaring Association provides educational opportunities, orientation flights, flight instruction and solo student supervision. An advantage to younger interested students is earlier qualifications in gliders verses traditional aircraft. Student pilots may solo in a glider at a minimum age of 14 with a student certificate endorsed for solo flight at the discretion of a FAA-Certified Flight Instructor for Gliders (CFIG). After solo, student pilots may qualify as a Private Pilot-Glider provided they are at least 16 years of age.
The Greene County Airport is also the home of Support Our Aviation Resources (S.O.A.R.) and the Greene County Flying Club. Both local organizations are designated non-profits and provide educational and operational flight experience in traditional powered aircraft from the Greene County Airport.
S.O.A.R. believes that the airport is a valuable asset to Greene County and its communities and advocate for ways of working together to make the airport economically viable and to find solutions relating to airport issues and concerns. S.O.A.R. focuses on the historical aspects of the airport, its present condition, and our vision for the future of the airport and its place in our region. S.O.A.R. is also the host of Greene County Aviation Days which highlights, over an August weekend, opportunities in aviation, familiarization flights and presents aircraft on static display. http://www.soarofgreenecounty.org/main.html
The Greene County Flying Club was started by S.O.A.R. in 2017. Founded by a group of pilots and aviation enthusiasts several years ago, S.O.A.R. wanted to preserve operations at our little airport. The Greene County Flying Club’s mission is to provide access to safe and affordable flight and flight training to club members and to promote and support experimentation in all forms of aviation including drones, electric aircraft, ultra-lights and alternative airborne vehicles. Last year, even restricted by COVID, the club had 13 student pilots complete ground school training and currently has three aircraft in its fleet and several Certified Flight Instructors available for student training. https://www.aopa.org/destinations/flyingclub/35160.
Along with its tenant organizations, the Greene County Airport also has Strope’s Aircraft Maintenance offering aircraft maintenance and service and 100LL fuel is available via self-service pumps.
Finally, significant and complicated issues with post-fire repairs to the Airport Restaurant have been settled and work will begin in earnest this week toward reopening the restaurant and magistrate’s office.
As spring approaches and the weather gets better, look for increased aviation activity at the airport. Interested individuals are welcome to get involved in S.O.A.R or the Greene County Flying Club and everyone is encouraged to participate in Aviation Days in August.
Additional information can be obtained on the Greene County Commissioners’ Facebook page or by calling (724) 852-5210.