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Kent Gliding Club (UK)



 
 
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  #1  
Old June 27th 05, 03:35 PM
Justin Fielding
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Default Kent Gliding Club (UK)

Hi guys, I have been thinking about starting to fly gliders (I have
previously flown R/C and Paragliders). I am based in the Southern
London suburbs, Kenley is only about 15 mins from me, but they do not
fly over the weekends from what I can tell, so for a person who works
Mon-Fri this makes it pretty much useless. It seems that the next
closest club is the Kent Gliding Club. This is quite a distance, I went
down to take a look at the location on Sunday, it took about 75 mins
(with no traffic) which is not too bad, although factoring in the cost
of petrol it will pretty much double the cost of flying and I am not
sure I can stretch that far.

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone knew of a closer club (I'm sure there
isn't one, but it doesn't hurt to ask)?

Also just a few questions that I think anyone will be able to answer...

How much commitment is expected from a club member? I saw on the KGC
website mention of duty rosters etc??? What participation level is
expected, can I simply go along to learn to fly, or does one have to be
fully involved in all activites? I am very limited on the time so I am
not sure how much I can commit!?!

I have been thinking about taking a 1 day course, and then if I like the
club/people etc join up. Any members of the KGC on here?

Also can someone recommend an introductory book on the subject? I have
a good grounding in soaring (well I think so anyway, from R/C and a
little Paragliding), but not in this area.

Thanks,

Justin.
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  #2  
Old June 27th 05, 05:09 PM
nimbusgb
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Default

Hi Justin

Kenley mob are an OK bunch, pity about their weekend grounding.

How about getting out to Southdown GC for some of the best flying in
the Southheast? The drive from where you are to Storrington is not too
bad. I can do Epsom to the club in an hour after work in the summer.
Motorway a lot of the way ( I can let you know where the cameras are
) Acording to Autoroute the distance is actually considerably
shorter to SGC than to Challock and KGC.

Another option is East Sussex GC 5 miles more than Storrington from
Kenley. SGC has the advantage of all winter flying on the Southdowns
ridge.

Some level of commitment is required in all clubs but at the moment SGC
demands very little from its members. Help is always appreciated
however. SGC runs a 3 day intro course I think.

Ian

  #3  
Old June 27th 05, 07:30 PM
Malcolm Austin
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Default

Hi,
I'm sure you will find that the R/C stuff will help you "understand"
gliding quite a bit better than those coming in cold. I've flown at
Challock,
(1970!!) but from here in sunny (read wet) Bolton, it's a tad too far!

The distance to the club is not the only consideration you will have to
make. Try spending a day at each of them first to see how it works,
how friendly they are and whether it's for you. You should also try the
excellent BGA site on www.gliding.co.uk which has a really good
"clickable" map of all of the clubs in the UK.

Other thoughts are what the local costs are, and local conditions. Being in
the middle of the country can be great for thermals in summer, but not
too helpful in winter unless you have wave lift available (but you need a
higher
rating than just "solo" to get aerotowed to it) Other sites may have a local
ridge which will give good ridge lift in winter and stronger wind
conditions.

On the book front, there are a number of written tests to go through a year
or so after going solo. I wouldn't bother too much with the books until you
are well into the sport. Getting solo is enough to concentrate upon in the
early
days, and your instructors will tell/show/instruct most other things in the
early days.

On the duty issue; Most clubs expect you to help out running the club when
you are there. In the early days there isn't too much to do apart from
pulling
gliders back to the launch and helping to get them in the air again (putting
winch/aero cables on or holding a wing for the launch) Later on (often
post solo)
you would be expected to be Duty Pilot which entails running the launch end
of the
field. Other jobs are as Winch Man, which means you get to sit on a big
diesel engine
and tow the gliders into the sky. Usually your expected to have quite a bit
of experience
prior to getting these jobs. At the most you can expect 1 day per month of
duty. It varies
with site, and some sites with a high member list may just have you on 1/2
day per
month. This is an area to look at when you visit each club.

Hope that helps?

Malcolm...




"Justin Fielding" wrote in
message news:[email protected] eranews...
Hi guys, I have been thinking about starting to fly gliders (I have
previously flown R/C and Paragliders). I am based in the Southern
London suburbs, Kenley is only about 15 mins from me, but they do not
fly over the weekends from what I can tell, so for a person who works
Mon-Fri this makes it pretty much useless. It seems that the next
closest club is the Kent Gliding Club. This is quite a distance, I went
down to take a look at the location on Sunday, it took about 75 mins (with
no traffic) which is not too bad, although factoring in the cost of petrol
it will pretty much double the cost of flying and I am not sure I can
stretch that far.

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone knew of a closer club (I'm sure there
isn't one, but it doesn't hurt to ask)?

Also just a few questions that I think anyone will be able to answer...

How much commitment is expected from a club member? I saw on the KGC
website mention of duty rosters etc??? What participation level is
expected, can I simply go along to learn to fly, or does one have to be
fully involved in all activites? I am very limited on the time so I am
not sure how much I can commit!?!

I have been thinking about taking a 1 day course, and then if I like the
club/people etc join up. Any members of the KGC on here?

Also can someone recommend an introductory book on the subject? I have
a good grounding in soaring (well I think so anyway, from R/C and a
little Paragliding), but not in this area.

Thanks,

Justin.



 




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