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As a soaring pilot I highly recommend getting your soaring rating. There are a couple of places that I would recommend in New York State. The first is Knauf's place, Ridge Soaring (now Keystone), and the Harris Hill Soaring club. Both are big, year round operations, soaring knows no season. Now if you want to take a couple of weeks (or a month off) come down to Florida to Seminole Lake Glider Port (http://www.soarfl.com), we also fly all year long, and are the biggest commerical operation on the East coast. Also one motor glider that I would recommend is the DG series of sail planes, excellent sail planes that are self-launching. But don't force yourself into a motor glider. Also join the SSA, and use thier website to find the soaring sites near you.