On a good soaring day glider pilots stay in the air for many hours at a time, and fly distances of many hundred kilometres, before returning back “home” from where they started.
Sometimes flights can last as long as 9 or more hours! A few hundred km is normal, but here in Alice distances of more than 1,200 km have been flown – and many national and international records have been broken right here.
Competition pilots battle it out every summer in many state and national gliding competitions, regatta’s and other “glider races”, reaching average speeds of 150 km/hr and much faster…. There is a serious, but firendly rivalry between clubs and pilots all over Australia, and indeed the world.
Leisure pilots take to the sky and climb to heights of more than 10,000 ft and soar a few hours locally with the eagles – all without engine noise, getting lifted up high by thermals, air heated up by the sun. Some pilots travel on “safari’s”, flying to a new and further away airfield every day, other chase long distance flights or try breaking records.
Gliding is not just aviation – it’s so much more than flying; it’s a true sport, versatile like no other and as a glider pilot you will become part of a truly unique community which will give you friendships for life. So are you a glider pilot? Yes you are – anyone can do it and you’ll find all sorts of people gliding, all driven by the same passion for free flight. Get the gliding bug!