View Full Version : Gliding club in the midlands?
13th Mar 2009, 16:56
Can anyone recommend a good gliding club to join in the midlands? I am looking to try my hand at a bit of conventional gliding and just wondered if anyone had any recommendations.
13th Mar 2009, 18:12
Husbands Bosworth, east of Birmingham The Gliding Centre - Home (http://www.theglidingcentre.co.uk/)
13th Mar 2009, 18:18
Depends where in "The Midlands".
Start with British Gliding Association - UK Map (http://www.gliding.co.uk/findaclub/ukmap.htm). When you select an area you can click on the individual clubs and it will pop-up more details - including web site.
If you haven't been around gliding clubs before then it may come as a bit of a suprise - it's not a "show up for your slot and leave" environment. It works on a flying list basis - you add your name to the end of the list and, once you've had your go (usually 2-3 flights if you are pre-solo and it's a winch site) add your name to the bottom of the list again. Generally those who pitch up early (well 9ish) and help setup the airfield (get the winch out etc.) get more flying.
At the end of the day people those left pack everything away and retire to the bar.
Before committing to joining a club you want to make sure it's one for you. Differences include:
Some clubs only operate at weekends (or 1 weekday and 1 weekend)
Some are winch or aerotow only.
Some are "more friendly"
Some run "full time" courses during the week. (As a ppl holder you should be able to get solo on a 5 day course).
One "trick" is that many clubs will give you 3 months free membership with a trial lesson - find out details on their web-site.
I learnt to glide at Shenington (http://www.shenington-gliding.co.uk) which was a great friendly place with both winch and aerotow, a bar, 7 day a week operation, bunk house, friendly folks, ... - though check the web-site as I haven't been there for a couple of years (so some of that could have changed).
I took a slightly different approach from some and spent a small amount extra for 1-on-1 tuition from Bruno Brown. His web-site has some good general info. on learning to glide: glidetrain.com (http://www.glidetrain.com).
13th Mar 2009, 20:37
Shenington is a 7 day a week club, friendly, like a family. Monday through Friday Kath runs the winch, Derek or Dick are the professional instructors.
Saturday and Sunday club members run the show, by rota.
Costs £230 a year, and a winch launch is £7. Aerotows at the moment are £28 to 2,000 but that may go down. If petrol doesn't go up again!
There are nearby B&B's, or you can stay in the bunkhouse for £5 a night, but it is rather basic. Or you can camp on the airfield.
There is no parachute club on site. Basically, it is a dedicated gliding site, with 2 hard runways running aprox NS and EW, and a large grass runway with extensions, so plenty of places to land.
There is also a ridge, which works in a NW wind very nicely. One dedicated chap did his 5 hours in February on our ridge.
It is also convenient for X-country soaring, few airspace problems. Lots of thermals.
If you Google Shenington Gliding Club you can access the website.
We have about 120 members. And a bar.
And we are running a regional competition from 4th July through l2th.
13th Mar 2009, 21:58
I found Long Mynd to be really good. Near the Shropshire/Wales border. As has been mentioned before, it depends where in the Midlands you are based - it's a huge area!
Small Rodent Driver
13th Mar 2009, 22:31
Echo Champair's sentiments.
Midland Gliding Club at Long Mynd. Spectacular place to fly from.
14th Mar 2009, 10:27
Gliding club operates out of Snitterfield near Stratford upon Avon. Saw them in the distance last time I went into Wellesbourne Mountford. No idea on size of the club number of machines and whether or not its winch or aerotow I'm afraid
14th Mar 2009, 18:16
I guess the midlands is a big area isn't it!...
I have checked the BGA website and have found the the Midlands Gliding Club, Wrekin GSA and Staffordshire Gliding club are the closest. Any ideas or experiences of these?
Thanks for the replies. Sherignton looks good, especially as its 7 days a week but a little too far for me unfortunately.
15th Mar 2009, 02:09
Going back almost two decades, but Husbands Bosworth was always fun + nice thermals off the M1 in mid-Summer! Think it was called Coventry Gliding Club at that time.
Wouldn't surprise me if they still have their old Chipmunks and 2-seater Bocians around somewhere.
15th Mar 2009, 10:58
Hus Bos, still have their Supermunks x3 & a 4 drum winch. The Bocians went years ago. Now 2x K21 2x Puchacz & a Duo Discus. The single seater fleet; 2x Junior 2x Discus. A Rotax falke for NPPL training & field landing practice.
It has the best stocked bar in the Midlands.:ok:
15th Mar 2009, 14:58
I have checked the BGA website and have found the the Midlands Gliding Club, Wrekin GSA and Staffordshire Gliding club are the closest.
I'm pretty sure Wrekin is a Services club, and thus civilan membership is likely to be by invitation only.
I've not flown at Staffordshire, but believe it to be a normal-sized gliding club (my guess would be 2 or 3 2-seaters, 2 single-seaters).
Midland at Long Mynd is much larger, with palatial clubhouse and a fleet at least twice the size. More expensive I'm sure, but 7 day a week operation in summer.
The obvious thing is to visit each of them, to find out how you like the feeling of the club and whether there are major travelling differences. Some people like the small group of mates atmosphere of a standard-sized club, whilst others prefer the more organised/professional operation at a larger club.
16th Mar 2009, 21:35
the wrekin is an rafgsa club but it is open to civilians as long as they are prepared to contribute to the club
google their website for further info
I'm not a member, but I've done about 6 courses at the Mynd in the past 4 years. Highly recommend - great flying all year round and an exciting site to fly from.
Nice facilities on site and friendly staff.
Their beginning and end of season courses are good value. Usually get a combination of ridge and thermal. Not had any luck with wave their yet though.
29th Jul 2009, 08:36
Long Mynd, Long Mynd,Long Mynd,Long Mynd, Long Mynd,Long Mynd,Long Mynd,Long Mynd,Long Mynd,Long Mynd,Long Mynd,Long Mynd,Long Mynd,Long Mynd,Long Mynd,Long Mynd,Long Mynd,Long Mynd,Long Mynd,Long Mynd,Long Mynd,Long Mynd,Long Mynd,Long Mynd,Long Mynd,Long Mynd,Long Mynd,Long Mynd,Long Mynd,Long Mynd,Long Mynd,
Did I mention Long Mynd ??
Just the best.
I flew with Staffordshire Gliding club for a season about 6 years ago having learned to glide at Poklington in the 1980’s. It was very friendly and the site is very “safe”, but it is quite a small outfit. I would recommend them.
29th Jul 2009, 21:50
Do take a look at Bidford Gliding Club. (http://www.bidfordgliding.co.uk/)
Lovely location, uncontrolled airspace, nice friendly club. :ok:
Ian the Aviator
30th Jul 2009, 04:59
I'm not a glider driver but I've heard good things about the Coventry Gliding Club based at Husbands Bosworth.