West Michigan Soaring Society


The West Michigan Soaring Society is a low key group of RC pilots with a passion for all forms of RC soaring. Whether your interests lie in winch, high start or electric launch, hand launch or aerotow, have never flown, or are an experienced contest flyer, WMSS has a spot for you. Our members come from all walks of life, from young to old, and we all enjoy the challenge of finding lift and soaring. Come join us to fly, learn, or just watch. We are open to anyone with an interest in soaring, and even if you’ve never flown anything before, we can let you safely try your hand at flying. If you find yourself daydreaming in the clouds and marvel at hawks and eagles mastering the rising air currents, come join us at WMSS. Spread your wings and soar!!!

New Years Day flying

Our place will be open for flying New Years Day starting at 11:00. Maybe John will do his 15 minute flight while the rest of us hide out in the shop…
Our address is
9774 Hastings Rd
Clarksville, MI  48815
42° 50.857′, -85° 17.530′

Home phone 616-693-2480 cell 616-558-0007

We have some ideas for friendly competition if actual soaring is out of the question.
Again, just let us know if you’re coming and how many. Feel free to bring family.
So far we have on the list:
Tom Sheets (confirming by phone)
Francois (if granted kitchen pass)
Paul Gess (My Dad – treasurer now for Walter’s RC club in Saranac. We might be able to discuss with him the ideas for competitions during the year.)
Cliff Browneye and his friend Carolyn.

Fall Flying at WMSS

Saturday was a better than expected day for flying. Temps warm, few clouds, modest wind at 5-10 mph (we expected 10 – 15 mph). We started at 10:30 AM and found some ridge lift from the trees early, then the wind calmed down and thermals started popping. They seemed to be moving pretty fast so you had to stick with them downwind. Naturally John Winstanley did well downwind and got a 1/2 hr. flight with his Xantipa. Katie, Larry Jeffery, Cliff and Francois all got in some great flying. I flew my Shadow and the Cross Tail Duck. It was a great day to fly.


Katie with sailplane in the distance.



A Great First RC Glider

This is a great video put together by John Winstanley a WMSS. Thank you John!

Great Flying Last Saturday

Here’s a photo of some of us out at the AAA Sod Farm last Saturday. Ed Whyte was also there but left earlier.

The weather was the best all year with temps in the 70’s, 4 mph winds, lots of sun and monster lift.


Breaking News:

The 2017 Woody Contest is coming soon, Saturday, June 24 and Sunday June 25! This year  the contest will be held at Walter’s RC Park – 8548 Morrison Lake Rd, Saranac, MI 48881 is located about 1 mile north, as the crow flies of our regular Clarksville sod farm. The field location was changed because Walter’s has all the facilities we need for the contest, parking, free short term camping, porta potty and other amenities to make the event more comfortable for the entrants. We love our sod farm but this venue makes more sense for the contest.

DATES: June 24-25, a two day event with each day a separate contest

LOCATION: Walter RC Park, Home field of the Ionia County Model Club, which is easy to find and very close to the I96 exit
59. Field website: walterrcpark.com

TASKS: 3-5 Minute Ladder (we’ll decide at pilot’s meeting), Longest flight (pilot decides attempt), 25 point in or out LSF level
1 landing

AIRCRAFT: Built up wood wing/tail, glass fuselage fine, winch, bungee, or motor assist launch (motor runs emulate winch 

AWARDS: 1st, 2nd, 3rd plus Junior/Senior Ladder, Longest flight

ENTRY FEE: Adults $10 Junior/Senior $5

CAMPING: FREE, Big rigs or tents near entry gate East side of complex, food, water, his and her’s porta johns on site. Come
Friday, leave Sunday or Monday

FREQUENCY: Pins are available for 72/75 MHz but you may have to share, 2.4 GHz works best for this type of event.

PILOTS MEETING: 9:30 AM, event start 10 AM, last launch 3:00 PM. When last competitor lands field opens to general

QUESTIONS: Call or email, John Winstanley CD, 734-516-6213johnw5734@aol.com  

Keep your eyes here for more formal flying information.

Visitors are always welcome.