Gliding is perhaps the most elegant way that humans can be airborne and soaring high above Alford, gliders are a familiar sight – often seen dramatically climbing up into the air or silently swooping down for landing.
Lincolnshire Glider Club can be traced back to 1966 when a group of members flying at Swinderby set up a new club at Bardney. When the airfield closed in 1978 these founders moved to Strubby, becoming known as the Lincolnshire Gliding Club in 1992.
The club operates on a “self help” basis, with no employees, using the skills and knowledge from within its membership on a voluntary basis. This keeps costs down but also promotes a friendly and co-operative atmosphere, which is sometimes lacking in bigger, more commercially operated clubs.
Gliders are efficient aircraft that are capable of covering great distances (the world record is 2,463 km and flights of several hundred kilometres are regularly recorded in the UK) and reaching great heights (again the world record is nearly 50,000 feet). Remember, this is done in aircraft that have no engine!
The challenge for the glider pilot then is to be able to understand, locate, and utilise natural sources of energy in the atmosphere in order to achieve the goals of distance, height, or simply duration that they have set themselves.
Flying from Strubby (near Alford) you will be able to enjoy the grace of powerless flight and be able to see along the coast and inland across to the Wolds.
Flying takes place each Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday throughout the year, subject to weather conditions. In the summer, a flying week is arranged and also some evenings for groups of visitors.
The club has both two seater and single seater gliders plus other gliders privately owned by club members. A team of members prepare, inspect and check equipment before flying and of course things have to be put away at the end of the flying.
All flying instruction and trial flights are conducted by experienced and qualified instructors, following a common flying training syllabus as determined by the British Gliding Association, under the watchful eye of the Civil Aviation Authority and the European Aviation Safety Agency. Gliding is an adventure sport but has an excellent safety record.
Virtually anyone who is able to learn to drive a car can learn to fly a glider. It normally takes 50 to 150 launches and circuits to reach a standard to be able to fly solo, depending on aptitude, age and how regularly you fly. No great physical requirements are needed, just reasonable fitness. Age is no barrier; some learn to fly in retirement, though the minimum age for solo flight is just 14. Once able to fly solo more advanced training can lead to structured practice and experience leading to internationally recognised awards.
Gliding is a very affordable way of learning to fly and a full break down of costs and other information can be found on the club’s website (below) which includes details on the purchase of vouchers for trial flights which make fantastic birthday and Christmas presents whether for a one off memorable experience or as the first step of learning to fly a glider.
Lincolnshire Glider Club operates form Strubby Airfield, near Alfordon on the B1373, close to Woodthorpe Hall and Woodthorpe Garden Centre – look out for the Gliding Club signs. Visitors are very welcome.
For further information please telephone 07546 104676 or visit the website at: www.lincsglidingclub.co.uk