Gliding is many different things to many different people. For some, it is just a casual hobby, and a way to meet new people. For others, it is an inexpensive way to get airborne. For many, it is even the cutting edge sport of either racing or aerobatics.
Imagine getting into a glider and being towed to 2000ft. Do you think you have the skills to stay up for hours at a time, find some rising air to take you even higher? We can train you to 'read' the skies like a bird, to find where those 'thermals' are (rising columns of air) to take you higher and see the breathtaking scenery of Sussex, the South Downs and the coast.
'Ridge Soaring' happens when a northerly wind blows and we can soar the updraught of the wind on the South Downs. Imagine racing along the South Downs at 80-100 mph just a few hundred feet above it and waving to all the walkers from the comfort of your cockpit. ..... but failure to find 'lift' means you could be landing within 15-20 minutes but that's the great challenge and lure of our sport.
Cross Country Flying
So you can soar locally for several hours...the next step is fly cross country, which is the same as soaring locally but taking your home airfield with you. Looking several kilometers ahead can you spot the next column of rising air? Can you look out for fields to land in if you don't make it to the next thermal? Can you navigate around airspace restrictions?
Can you fly the full length of the South Downs when the northerlies are blowing? Over 50 miles of flying just above the Downs - to Eastbourne in East Sussex, turn round, then race to near Petersfield in Hampshire, then back to our airfield at Storrington.