Booker Gliding Club
Wycombe Air Park
t; 01494 442501
|Booker Gliding Club - Gliding Activities|
About our Gliding activities
Gliding offers a range of sporting activities that can take pilots way beyond the expecations that most have when they start learning to glide. Every flight presents a new challenge. These challenges can be as extreme as you like, anything from learning how to judge your circuit and landing, right up to soaring cliffs and using your skills to cross mountain ranges and fly to great heights.
The first target for most people is that momentous first solo, but just like learning to drive there is still a lot to learn. Your first qualification will be the Bronze badge, attainment of which shows your knowledge of theory as well as practice and includes a flying test to demonstrate your skills. The club offers structured courses and a winter lecture programme to help members achieve this level.
With the Bronze badge you can move on to flying cross country, for which you will have training in navigation and in how to carry out a safe field landing. We have a motorglider for this purpose. We also have a high performance two seater so that you can fly with top class cross country pilots and learn how to read the sky and make the most of the energy Nature provides for free.
From Bronze you can move on to Silver, Gold and Diamond which measure how far and how high you can fly - the Diamond Height requires a height gain of 5000m (over 3 miles), and the Diamond distance is a flight of 750km. And all without an engine.
Along the way you can try your hand at aerobatics, learning more about the 'flight envelope' - the limits on what each glider can do - and honing your flying skills. Throughout the winter we run aerobatics courses and each year the club's Easter Egg Cup competition offers a fun way to measure your achievements.
The sport of gliding has racing competitions at many levels, the club has produced several national and world champions. At a local level, the club organises a competition each year and also more informal task weeks where members fly the same task and share learning in a post-flight debrief.
Flying at other sites in other conditions is not only a great way to improve your skills, it also makes for an excellent holiday where you can get to know your fellow club members. We have several expeditions in the calendar, including Aboyne in Aberdeenshire for those seeking Gold and Diamond Height badges, and Talgarth in Powys for ridge flying excitement. We also go to French and Spanish mountain sites to learn the skills and judgment required for mountain flying.
Most of the instruction at the club is undertaken by fully qualified club members who instruct for pleasure. Once you have your Silver badge and a reasonable level of experience you may be invited to train to be a Trial Lesson instructor, imparting your enthusiasm for the sport to those who come along to see what it's all about. Your progess will be carefully monitored and you may move on to be an Assistant or Full instructor, training people like yourself who are just starting on their adventure in flight.