Thread: Learn to glide?
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Old 7th Nov 2018, 21:01
  #72 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Hampshire
Posts: 2
Get Gliding!

Much like Jazzer83 I always wanted to fly but finances were an issue. Having been in the military I was fortunate to get a number of 'exciting' flights in all manner of fixed and rotary aircraft which made the urge stronger! I had numerous flights in PA28's and C42's etc but again costs precluded actually being able to afford regular lessons. Then of course what do you do when you're solo? Realistically I was not going to be able to afford a plane of my own, hangar it, maintain it and fuel it whilst getting signifcant use of it. Ultimately it'll be fun to take friends about for a bit till they get bored, then you're paying for all the flying. Of course syndicating is an option to make things affordable but that possibly presents its own problems. Are you flying to visit places or just flying to fly?

Cue Gliding.....

So I was in a position where I was fortunately within shouting distance of 5 gliding clubs. Having had a trial flight I was hooked and took advantage of a 30 day membership enabling me to fly at members rates.

Firstly I would say it takes a lot of commitment BUT if you're that interested it will be fun as you're indulging your passion. I generally try for a day a weekend. Most clubs rely on volunteers to function effectively, we have no paid members at my club! This enables costs to kept to a minimum.

So you'll pay an annual membership which is no more than a gym membership and you'll pay to fly. In most cases you'll pay a fee to launch and then pay per minute in the air. Instruction is free! I solo'd in a year and then migrated onto the club single seaters, I can then fly for 20 an hour! This year I achieved my silver duration which was a 5 hour plus flight. Of course its the norm for experienced hot ship pilots to exceed this regularly whilst task flying.

And I now own a 3rd share in an aircraft.......... yes a syndicate. Fortunately most gliding syndicates tend to work pretty well, members will grab an hour or two on a flying day or agree amongst themselves if one pilot is going to take the aircraft for a task. Fortunately this can be semi planned as there are specific forecasts which can give indicators as to what the 'day' will be like. A glider syndicate can be run very cheaply, ours will cost each of us circa 350 for the year not including launch fees. A winch launch can be had for a less 10 depending on the specific club.

If you really want to fly and want to challenge yourself try gliding, without a fan on the front to drag you around it really is you and nature!
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