Learning to fly

At the moment I'm about a year away from where you are now!!! All my life I've always wanted to learn to fly. It has always seemed too expensive, too difficult or just unobtainable. Last year my girlfriend (now wife) bought me a gliding experience flight at Sutton bank. If you would like to buy one click on the link on the right!.

This lead me to learn to fly a glider! In the following pages I hope to explain how a glider flies and to give you an insight to what to expect when you join a club.

I am about to point out one of the most important considerations when learning to fly a glider so please read carefully!

Most glider clubs are run by volunteers, who do all the work launching gliders. This has its good points and bad points. The good points are as follows!

  1. Learning to fly is cheap
  2. They are generally friendly

The bad points

  1. You are either expeted to help get the gliders out at the beginning or return them to the hangers at the end of the day. In-between you help every body else fly as well.
  2. You could spend a long day at the club and only fly for as little as 20mins - until you go solo.
  3. The punters who book glider experience flights turn up fly and leave (however there revenue keeps the club running)

I have had a complaint about this page (it has to be said that I was showing a red rag to a bull) The e-mail is as follows.

'. .... That may be how some of the more 'traditional' clubs operate but does not fairly represent the operaton at a number of more enlightened clubs.

At Booker GC (http://www.bookergliding.co.uk/) it's recognised that we need to offer value for time as well as value for money. Whilst we positively encourage the fostering of a 'club spirit' with our members helping out there isn't an obligation to spend the whole day on the airfield in return for a single flight. If that's your experience of gliding clubs then I'd suggest that you invest a day with us at Booker. Weather permitting, I'm sure we can offer a much better return on the time that you actually spend flying.

It's true that we appreciate members coming along and helping out for perhaps half a day (e.g. come early in the morning, help get the gliders out and then fly, or fly and then help put the gliders away). We also have a number of members who help out dawn 'till dusk but they do it to help the smooth running of their club and the help is appreciated but not mandatory.

'The punters who book glider experience flights turn up fly and leave (however there revenue keeps the club running)'. Every trial flight pupil is a potential glider pilot and prospective member and needs to be treated as such. If they're on the airfield and show some willingness to help and general enthusiasm we'll encourage them to help out as it's all part of the 'gliding experience'. Those who are genuinely interested enjoy participating and it provides them with a more realistic veiw of what gliding involves - if they want to pay, turn up, fly and leave, we can point them to several power flying clubs at our airfield that provide that sort of 'experience'.

Yours sincerley
Gary Nuttall
Booker GC

My club are now offering bookable 1 hour sesions The Wolds Gliding Club

If you have not been put off learning to fly, please click on the links to the left and discover the fantastic world of powerless flight!



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