Saturday 01 Sep 2007 10:30

I'm always up for trying something new so this year I went out gliding at a local airfield near where I live. It was a relatively cheap and fun day out.

I arrived at the airfield about 9am. Gliders take some time to get ready which is kind of a relief when you consider you're about to go up in the air in one. There's numerous checks to made and I was sometime before the bus took us down the field ready to launch. One glider was launched via a winch so far away you could hardly see it and another was towed up by a Land Rover.

The winch (which I took) is by far the the fastest way to get into the air (as fast as a jet fighter initially). The tow rope is elasticated in certain sections and it actually makes for quite a smooth, although incredibly fast, take-off. I was in a dual control glider with an instructor behind me. Part way through the flight I was allowed to take the controls and fly which was some experience.

The cost for joining the flight school was only about £35 and included my first flight. Further flights if I came subsequently would be much cheaper. Had I decided to take up gliding, I could continue to log my flight hours and progess.

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