CAP representatives, Stead Airport management, tenant representatives and an FAASafety Team representative met at Stead this week to discuss the possibility of the CAP’s glider operation moving to the Reno-Stead Airport.
The CAP provides aviation orientation flights to CAP cadets and senior members as a means of garnering interest in aviation careers. The CAP unit has several gliders based in the area, most at the Minden-Tahoe Airport where they conduct glider tow operations providing longer flights and the ability to obtain a glider pilot certificate.
The operation that the CAP desires to move to Stead involves winch-launching a single glider from a spot on the airport where the glider can then enter a normal traffic pattern for landing.
The CAP’s winch-launch operation is currently conducted at the Silver Springs Airport. The desire to move to Stead is driven by the desire to conduct more flights and to better support the North Valleys High School Junior ROTC program affiliated with the CAP. It is felt that the closer proximity to Reno would attract more CAP cadets to the glider operation.
Two test flights were conducted using Taxiway C as the launch point to a northerly direction. After release the glider made a left turn onto downwind for runway 8, landed and turned off of the runway to the north onto taxiway C without ground crew intervention.
Another possible launch/recovery location is in the ‘grassy’ area to the east of runway 14/32 outside the runway safety area. Launch and recovery could be conducted in that location without using the runway or taxiway paved surfaces.
These negotiations are in the preliminary stage with several questions still remaining to be answered.