SYLACAUGA, Ala. – The Central Alabama Soaring Association, which combines the Birmingham & Sylacauga Soaring Societies, will help Lee Merkel Field in Sylacauga gain national attention for its record-setting glider program.

The group of nearly 40 glider enthusiasts and its collection of expensive, high-performance gliders have the data to back up something that has started to puzzle counterparts across the country – the ability to fly for distances unheard of over non-mountainous terrain. Now, they are looking to create a “Glider Event” at the Sylacauga Airport to find out the “how’s & why’s” of what our local gliders are doing.

Details are are in the early phases for a glider event in Sylacauga expected to draw 30-40 pilots – a few each from more than a dozen organizations. They will pack up and head to the Marble City in Spring 2017, along with their support personnel, fans, and fellow gliding society members.

Along with this week-long event, they will likely have a three-day pre-event to study the local terrain and wind conditions before taking to the air.

“This event will obviously have a positive impact for our local motels and restaurants,” explained Sylacauga Airport Authority Chairman Tommy Dobson. “And this could easily lead to more and bigger glider meets. The Authority has been working with City Councilman Tom Roberts since last Spring to make this happen, along with several mini-events between now and the spring.”

“Although I’m perfectly content to stay on firm ground, I thoroughly love catching the gliders soaring across our skies on most weekends. And when I learned that our local glider society was putting in record-setting flights, it seemed only natural for it to grow into something truly noteworthy,” said District 3 city councilman Tom Roberts.

Tom Roberts for | © 2016, City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.


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