My first gliding experience

At our December Christmas party my workplace gave each employee a $100 voucher for Red Balloon Days. We were under instructions to use it and report back on what exciting or luxury experience we treated ourselves to.

I used mine yesterday to do an introductory glider flight with the Sydney Gliding Club.

I’ve never been gliding before; I’ve never been in anything smaller than a Dash-8 commuter plane. But yesterday morning – on a great, sunny day – my mate V and I drove down to Camden Airport for me to give it a go.

The guys in the club are great: friendly, chatty, and more than happy to explain whatever you’d like to know. Their current gliders are motorised with a propellor in front: they can take off without a tow plane. Once at altitude they turn off the motor and just start gliding. The cockpit has two seats beside each other, not in front of each other, which gives everyone a good view (and makes it easier to teach).

We got up to about 2500 feet (762 m) and started gliding. I could see from the Sydney skyline to the Blue Mountains. We swooped and soared all over the incredibly green fields and clustered towns. They let me take the stick for a while and do some banks left and right, then level out. It was pretty cool. The flight experience lasted about 20 minutes in all.

The down side: I don’t know what you call the aerial equivalent of sea legs, but whatever they are I didn’t have them yesterday. I was pretty woozy by the end of it, and would not have wanted the banking and diving and swooping to have gone on for much longer, thanks. I don’t think I’ll be doing it again.

But that’s okay. That’s the point of these vouchers, and what my employer wanted: for us to try things and see how they went. I’ve thought about gliding for a long time: I’ve now had the opportunity to try it at no cost to me, I learned a lot about gliding, I had a great view from on high, and I now know it’s A380s and nothing else for me. That’s a proper experience.

Click here for a few pics.


1 Response to “My first gliding experience”

  1. 1 Andrew_D
    February 28, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Very cool bro. Nice pics and nice adventure.

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