The joy of flying
Gliding is a recreational activity and competitive air sport in which pilots fly unpowered aircraft -gliders - using naturally occurring currents of rising air in the atmosphere.
The club currently has pilots in the age range 15 to 80, all of whom fly solo! This is a wonderful sport for those looking for a little more excitement and diversity in their activities.
Great people, amazing views, and a sense of freedom that only flight can give you.
Anyone over 15 can fly solo, after training of course. It is possible to do your training while you are 14 and go solo on or after your 15th birthday, as a number of people at the club have done. If you are a visitor you will be able to fly in the front seat of one of our two seat gliders. A qualified instructor will give you an Air Experience Flight (AEF). This will give you your first taste of gliding.
The Gliding Club operates on Wednesdays and Saturdays depending on the weather. The middle of the day is the best time to go flying however, on a busy day it’s first come first served. If it’s raining or very overcast then there will probably be no gliding on that day. It is better to call in advance so that we can schedule your flight to minimise waiting time. It is also possible to arrange a flight on another day of the week (call Chief Flying Instructor, Trevor Burke, on 0400 348 711).
A good time to arrive is about 8:00 - 9:00am, at this time you will be able to see the gliders being inspected and prepared for the days flying. Gliding usually finishes in the afternoon when the heat starts to die off, though this time changes throughout summer and winter.
Aerotow with our Cessna
We mostly use AEROTOW which is being towed up to your selected altitude by our Cessna tow plane, to a drop off point chosen by the glider pilot, hopefully in an area of lift, so that further climb can be conducted by rising currents of air (thermals).
The second launch method is the winch launch. A powerful high speed winch is situated at the opposite end of the runway (1,500m away) and the glider is connected by a cable. The glider is then pulled along and up over the winch, at which point it disconnects and flies away, searching for a thermal.
The video below shows a winch launch into some peaceful soaring.