Flying-M Ranch

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Coordinates: 38°36′13″N 119°00′11″W / 38.60361°N 119.00306°W / 38.60361; -119.00306

Schempp-Hirth Duo Discus gliding above the Flying-M Ranch.

The Flying-M Ranch is a ranch located about 60 mi (100 km) south of Reno, Nevada, United States, it contains an airfield which is the base for many gliding competitions including the biennial Barron Hilton Cup invitational soaring encampment. The surrounding desert offers good thermal soaring conditions. A hangar on the airfield contains about a dozen historic aircraft, which are still airworthy. The runway is 5,500 by 50 feet (1,676 m × 15 m). The Ranch covers about 850 square miles (2,200 km2) of surface area in Nevada and California.

In 2016, the ranch was sold to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The purchase price was $19.4 million. The land was acquired for water rights to supply water to Walker Lake.[1]

The Flying-M Ranch was owned by hotel magnate Barron Hilton in unincorporated Lyon County, Nevada. The ranch was named the Flying-M by its previous owner, Stanfield Murphy. Mr. Hilton said he did not change the name because his wife, who died in 2004, was named Marilyn.[2]

On September 3, 2007, aviator and adventurer Steve Fossett took off alone from the Flying-M Ranch in a Bellanca Super Decathlon, a single-engine two-seater airplane and never returned. An extensive search was launched but nothing was found for almost one year. A hiker found Fossett's identification cards on September 29, 2008 at a height of 10,100 feet (3,100 m) near Mammoth Mountain in the Ansel Adams Wilderness, Madera County, California. The identification cards led to discovery of the airplane wreckage and human remains, and Fossett's remains were subsequently identified by DNA analysis.


  1. ^ Spillman, Benjamin (2016-08-26). "Conservation group nabs Nevada's iconic 'Hilton ranch'". Reno Gazette-Journal. Retrieved 2017-08-14.
  2. ^ Friess, Steve (2007-08-07). "Aviator Was Visiting Haven for Fliers and Celebrities". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-09-07.

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