Kempton Izuno

Mentoring Cross Country Soaring


My personal goal is to have as many long, interesting flights as I can in my life, and now giving back to the sport by cementing early XC pilot’s commitment to the sport.

Looking back on 45 years of soaring, it’s interesting how my goals and priorities changed.

  • From soloing at age 14 to about 35, my focus was to own a glider and achieve goals recognized by others, such as badges, records, etc.
  • From 35 to 50 it was about flying long distance flights, the longer the better.
  • In the last 10 years it’s been about mentoring other pilots and doing interesting flights, so I’d like to talk about those topics.


First came to mind during a 2 week stay at the CNVV, France.  It’s a standard technique there to fly a Duo or similar with 2-3 other single seaters on a task in the French Alps.  I wrote an article about that in a 2002 soaring issue.

When I bought a share in an ASH-25 based in Williams, at first I focused on long flights but after a couple years I came to enjoy and focus on taking pilots who were just starting on their soaring career and exposing them to longer flights so that they could truly believe how long cross-country flight is possible. By first hand experience of a long flight, the belief is deeply set so they truly believe that this cross-country stuff is quite doable, and that they themselves could do it.