Soaring Field Olten
The small airfield in Olten is located a few waling minutes outside of the city. It is operated by the Segelfluggruppe Olten (Soaring group Olten) and so it isn't surprising the main traffic consists of gliders. Unfortunately take offs and landings of motorized aircrafts, such as Cessna's are restricted and only tolerated after written consent of the city administration.
The airport has a 830 meters long and 30 meters width grass runway, two hangars and a small restaurant which is only opened during active flight training. Active flight operations exists only on summer weekend's with good weather conditions, infrequent there are also some flights on Wednesday evening. This is the reason why we only have rare flight operations in Olten. If all those conditions satisfy an old winching vehicle tows' the gliders into the air. Mostly these are the Schleicher ASK-21 "HB-1589" and the Schempp-Hirth Duo Discus "HB-3166" which are used for pilot training.
In the thirties the story of the sail airfield Olten begann. Back then, some dedicated men founded the "Segelflieger Mittelland" society. Only a few years later, in 1934 the club was rebuilt because of the crisis years. The remaining people renewed the name to Segelfluggruppe Olten, which still exists today. In the following years, until the eighties the group growed and new aircrafts could be bought. 1972 the Aero Club organized a flight demonstration. Highlights of this event were the fly by of a Swissair DC-6 in low altitude and the Patrouille Suisse, back then still with the Hawker Hunters! In 1987 the motor flight in Olten was severely restricted. Therefore, the Motorfluggruppe Olten (Motor flying group Olten) which was founded in 1956 left the small airfield, and parked their aircrafts in Grenchen. Since 1987 also the towing with a motorized aircraft was not possible anymore. Nevertheless the airfield Olten can educate you glider pilots with their available means. In 2007 the Segelfluggruppe invited again for a airshow on the Olten airfield and the restriction for motorized flight was cancelled for this weekend. Crowds of people followed invitation to see the Junkers JU-52, the Patrouille Suisse and as special highlight the German Grob G.109 test aircraft. Since then no other occasion of this size was carried out.
The Segelfluggruppe Olten operates a total of seven training aircrafts. This includes three Rolladen-Schneider LS-8, one Schempp-Hirth Duo Discus and one Schleicher ASK-23 and ASK-21 each. The ASK-21 acts as most used sail plane at Olten. The sail group still operates one motorized towing aircraft of the type Robin DR400, "HB-EUV". It can be seen around five to ten times at it's native airfield.
Olten airfield, with the ICAO code "LSPO" lies at an altitude of 1366ft above sea level and has one grass runway, 05/23. The runway is crossed by serval roads. Therefore those roads are closed for public traffic during flight operations. Only one road is open in general, but has to been closed during landings on runway 23. The airfield is located right behind a large gravel pit. In the past, also a large cement factory was close to the approach path. Nowadays the only risk are tall building cranes. The operators own one winching vehicle of Ford and two tow trucks to move the gliders and take off the ropes.