Soaring high at Benalla

By October 27, 2018Uncategorized
One of our ASK21 gliders

Have you ever wanted to fly?

Gliding is an amazing way to fly. In a glider, you can soar for hours. Ever seen an eagle soaring around in circles? Like birds, gliders also use thermals to get higher and higher – no engine required.

MGO recently visited the Gliding Club of Victoria at Benalla, one of many such clubs across the state.

The Piper Pawnee e-Tug lining up.

Our instructor Vivienne clearly explained everything we needed to know about gliding, before we donned parachutes and settled into our glider’s cosy cockpit. Nobody at the club has ever needed to use a chute, but the aviation community takes safety seriously.

Then, the gliders were towed into the air – a few bumps along the grass runway before we took flight and everything was smooth flying from there.

Soooo much fun!

At around 4500ft, we pulled the release. Once you release from the tow plane, the only sound is the quiet rush of the air past your glider. Not having an engine also makes gliding a more affordable way to learn to fly. Soooo much fun!

The view from that altitude is amazing – we could see all the way to Mt Buffalo and other mountains of Victoria’s high country.

And after reviewing the controls, I was flying. Through my three flights, Vivienne began to teach me the basics of flying a glider, we even found a thermal and managed to climb a little.

Gliders can do aerobatics too – on the last flight we did a loop-the-loop. After diving to gain speed, Vivienne took the the glider swiftly around the loop. At the top of the loop, I looked “up” and saw the ground!

It was truly a remarkable experience.

Once you’ve flown solo and gained enough experience you can set out cross country (the club records distance achievements, people have flown over 1000km!), learn aerobatics (they can pull serious G!) or compete in each of these locally and internationally.

Join Melbourne Girls Outside and the Gliding Club of Victoria on December 1-2 for a weekend of flying, hiking, cheese and wine at Benalla. Keep an eye out for the details on Meetup.

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