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Gliding over Easter

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Gliding over Easter

Old 12th Jan 2015, 14:30
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: May 2014
Location: London
Posts: 140
Gliding over Easter

Hi all,

My teenage daughter has taken an SEP trial lesson and was quite smitten , but I don't think I really want to send her off on a (N/LA)PPL yet - she has other interests as well.
However, I would like to take her on a multi-day gliding course, for instance over Easter. (Also gives me a chance to hone my low-hour PPL skills... )

I'm not quite sure what to expect to be able to achieve over a short week with maybe 2-3 flights a day on average if we're lucky? Solo? Maybe me as existing SEP PPL, but her as a complete novice? Some short dual XC as a function of weather?

Does anyone have any thoughts about the best place to go for this? I would prefer a place a bit away from the home counties where we can stay at/close to the airfield during the days the course lasts (week?).
Although we are in London, there are no real constraints on where we can go - so any suggestions are welcomed.

Thanks in advance

B.
Baikonour is offline  
Old 12th Jan 2015, 15:12
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Kent
Age: 57
Posts: 500
I would suggest Shenington

Early in your gliding career you are concentrating on launching and circuit planning - as opposed to soaring, so Easter is fine (as long as it doesn't rain).

Depending on your aptitude it's quite possible to get solo by the end of a 5 day course - which will include 40 flights.

Take a look at: Learning to Fly at Shenington

OC619
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Old 12th Jan 2015, 15:23
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: UK
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Holiday in the Cotswolds and try Aston Down or Nympsfield
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Old 12th Jan 2015, 19:22
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: N/W London
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Whilst Shennington are not my gliding club, we can only offer weekend flying (the Queen wants it Mon-Fri!), I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them - a great like minded bunch as my club and you'll have a great time there. Mary a regular contributor on here flies there.
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Old 12th Jan 2015, 19:27
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Bristol
Age: 33
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That sounds like a wonderful idea. Getting a solo gliding ticket is a great way into flying in general I think. I did mine with the Fleet Air Arm at Culdrose when I was 16. There were quite a few of us on the course and the vast majority of us went solo in a week, so it's definitely achievable! Not to mention brilliant fun and very rewarding.
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Old 12th Jan 2015, 19:36
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 25
Does anyone have any thoughts about the best place to go for this? I would prefer a place a bit away from the home counties where we can stay at/close to the airfield during the days the course lasts (week?).
Although we are in London, there are no real constraints on where we can go - so any suggestions are welcomed.
Most of the (well established / larger) Gliding Clubs have some form of accommodation attached to the Club on the airfield. A lot of these Gliding Clubs with accommodation are also away from large population centers.

Gliding Club accommodation will never win any stars but is usually adequate.

Depending on your tastes - you could go for star level accommodation in a nearby town and commute a little or you could stay on-airfield which may be an option if you wish to get away from the rat-race and connect with family.

The two Gliding Clubs that I have personally flown at with accommodation are Lasham (near Alton, Hampshire) & Long Mynd (near Church Stretton, Shropshire).
Midland Gliding Club on the Long Mynd
Lasham Gliding Society: The home of gliding and sailplanes in the south East of England.

The accommodation at Long Mynd is a few multi-bunk rooms and some single rooms. It was bring your own sheets/blankets/sleeping bags last time I used it. The Long Mynd Club members ran the kitchen for lunch/dinner and the bar was run via honesty. Church Stretton to the airfield is only about a 10min drive if you wish to stay in town and commute. The sunset/sunrise views from the Long Mynd club house can be spectacular. Also a great place for country walks if so inclined.

The accommodation at Lasham is quite a few small single rooms, double rooms and (I think) one family room. Bed linen was supplied last time I used it. The on-site bar and restaurant are professionally run and there are three very good pubs & restaurants close by. Basingstoke is about a 10min drive away and Alton is about a 10min drive away if you wish to stay in town and commute. The airfield is largish and has a unique mix of occasional large jets and gliders. Shopping/entertainment can be found in Basingstoke and Alton when rain stops play.

Shenington, Aston Down or Nympsfield I have not personally flown from - although I suspect that their members will be able to provide the relevant detail either on here or if you ring them.

I'm not quite sure what to expect to be able to achieve over a short week with maybe 2-3 flights a day on average if we're lucky? Solo? Maybe me as existing SEP PPL, but her as a complete novice? Some short dual XC as a function of weather?
This was a reply I wrote some time ago regarding my experience which may answer your question.
http://www.pprune.org/private-flying...ml#post8140520

Last edited by Heady1977; 12th Jan 2015 at 19:56. Reason: Added PPRUNE link.
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Old 12th Jan 2015, 19:54
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Oxford, UK
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Hello Baikonour Dad and Daughter...

Any gliding club would be delighted to have you both, I am sure. But be warned, despite your pre-existing PPL, your daughter may progress even more quickly than you! The age for solo is now 14. Kids learn fast.

Going solo is only the beginning, of course. The skill learned early is never forgotten; Captain Sullenberger used to be a glider pilot.

Wherever you decide, have fun, and if you decide on my club, say hello.

Mary
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Old 12th Jan 2015, 22:20
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: N/W London
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Sutton Bank in North Yorkshire national park is stunning but the weather can be a factor there being a ridge site on top of a (beautiful) hill! Yorkshire Gliding Club for info in the search engine of your choosing!
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Old 12th Jan 2015, 22:22
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: N/W London
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Sorry should say the BGA website (Welcome to the British Gliding Association) is the best source for club info initially - pick the area you like and there'l probably be a club not too far away!
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Old 13th Jan 2015, 10:17
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Join Date: May 2014
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Gents and Gals,

thanks for food for thought . Will get in touch with the various places and see what can be arranged - looking forward to it

B.
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Old 13th Jan 2015, 10:20
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Oxford, UK
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Top or bottom? Best site for a gliding club?

Now here's a question for glider pilots. Is it better to put your club at the bottom of the hill, like Dunstable (London Gliding Club) or at the top of the hill, like Sutton Bank or the Long mynd (that's Midlands, or Yorkshire). A hill, or better, a line of hills as in ridge, is useful for soaring when the wind blows against the hill. Can get crowded on a hill, makes me nervous, especially when the flying tablecloths (hang gliders) are there as well, you have to keep a VERY VERY VERY good lookout when soaring a hill. But a hill is good for popping off thermals, now that's the way to go places, from cu to cu. My longest flight in the UK was 511 kilometers, took 8 hours and 53 minutes - in thermals. These tend to die down at the end of the day.
Wave is good, go to Scotland for wave. Can be rough.

Shenington is at the top of the hill, and that has its moments! Sunday week, there was FOG, FOG, FOG....Oxford where I live was about 50 yards viz on the road all the way to the gliding club. So they got out a glider anyway, and the winch, and were ready for a clearing...if and when. And lo, the clouds indeed rolled back and the sun came out. So they managed to do 7 or eight winch launches....before the wind came round a few degrees, and the orographic mist began to creep up the hill again....the very very experienced instructor who took the last launch with a friend of mine, couldn't be seen from the ground, but he was keeping a sharp eye, and the easterly end of the runway still there. So landed safely. And then the fog rolled over the glider safely on the ground, we figured out where it had to be, and put the toys away. Absolutely SPIFFING, chaps!

I've done that game, at the Black Mountains Gliding Club, Talgarth, in Wales.
All airtow. Was messing around in their glider, a Junior, on the hillside, watching that cloud in the valley, slowly creeping up the hill...and just before it lapped over the edge of the landing area, I landed! to get told off by the locals.... I WAS watching it carefully, I insisted, but they were worried about me.

So which is better, chaps? top or bottom? I tell you what I think, and that is NOT being so close to London and Luton and LHR and Gatwick, that the cross country possibilities are limited. This is something not always considered when chosing a club.

My own preference as to the hill site, would be half way up, like Talgarth.
Amazing place to fly gliders, Wales. When it stops raining.
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Old 13th Jan 2015, 12:02
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Join Date: Mar 2004
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Many decades ago, I enjoyed a residential course at Nympsfield. At that time it was excellent local food, comfortable accommodation in recently refurbished bedrooms on site, and good instruction/flying.
As has been stated, don't expect 5 star luxury, but there is a lot to be said for rolling into bed out of the Club Bar, rather than living off site.
And yes - a hill site (top or bottom) is a good place to gain early experience. When you eventually go cross country, almost any field you choose will be better!
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Old 13th Jan 2015, 17:47
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: England
Posts: 1,387
If you take an aero tow from a field at the top of the hill which height do you pay for? Is it cheaper if you release over the hill :-)
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Old 13th Jan 2015, 18:20
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Inverness-shire
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Going back to the OP - does anyone have statistics on Easter weather? My memories tell me it's usually rubbish! Hopefully it's just my memory. Any chance you could defer your gliding to a bit later in the year?
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Old 13th Jan 2015, 21:49
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Join Date: Oct 2014
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Get her to see if she's eligible for any of the Air League or GAPAN powered and gliding scholarships
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