Perhaps we could get some more people from NZ gliding contributing here which might interest people in giving a dying sport a go? Glider pilots are an odd bunch (I should know being one) they don’t seem to be able to attract more people to learn;
Because they come across as being a closed group. When you visit a glider field everyone is busy doing their thing, noone seems to have the time to chat, and you sit around for hours waiting for a flight. Just my experience, and I was younger when I did go out for a look. Maybe a public information stand on the field, and an information boadr at the entrance to a field or on a main road nearby may be a good idea? The stand could have one or two people manning it to answer questions, provide pamphlets, organise trial flights etc. The problem would be finding volunteers to man it. Also there seems to be no advertising that is apparent. No point in advertising in aviation magazines really, but a Gliding association ad on the radio with a website to look for the local club might attract the kinds of people you are after. Once you have them there, the club needs to ensure they are treated right and looked after, and made to feel welcome.
Having said all that, the Thames lot seem to be rather busy, and have a few young students learning there. Maybe Thames has fewer private fliers and is more focussed on club flying and training?
I know there's a lot of money in aviation because I put it there.
Great to see the website expanding Dave - excellent work!
I was interested in the comment about gliding clubs appearing as a closed group. Unfortunately this is sometimes (but not always) the case with a few clubs. The bottom line is that gliding clubs are run by well-meaning and hard-working volunteers who come from all walks of life. Their main passion is flying and not administration, but because they provide time free of charge, they can keep the cost of training low. For this low cost however, the trade-off is you have to help out too if a member. For this you need plenty of time. For those interested in glider trial flights, by phoning 0800 GLIDING, you will automatically be put through to your local club. For this first flight, some clubs are able to book you in for a specific time.
At the other end of the scale, you can also learn to fly through a commercial organisation. The cost is higher due to staff needing to be paid but the training is thorough and you can fly at a time that suits you. As the Chief Flying Instructor for Southern Soaring at Omarama, I can recommend our Learn-to-Fly Course. This course lasts a minimum of seven days but can be extended as required. Last season, one of our students went solo on his 30th flight. For the theory side of the training our biggest plus is that we have a dedicated teaching facility and we use PowerPoint presentations to explain things clearly. At Omarama, you also have the advantage of exploring the local mountains while training. This means more time in the air (and more fun!) for a specific number of flights. For further information about our courses (including our Mountain Soaring Course) please check out our website at: www.soaring.co.nz or you can contact us on 0800 SOARING. Our season runs from mid-September through to mid-April. Whatever way you choose to fly, enjoy it! Gliding is a great sport. Cheers, Chris Rudge.
For anyone interested, this is the first page of a three page article written in Sept 2011 by Peter Wooley for South African Soaring on the new J-5 designed by Fritz Johl, Fritz is a member of our family and an exceptional aircraft and glider designer I should also mention that he has recently turned 90 years old and still designing Fritz recently published a technical paper on the J-5 for anyone interested.
Some gliding photos from a rather waterlogged Waikato just to show that winter and less than ideal weather do not mean no soaring! Pictures were taken on Wednesday 1 August 2012 by Bill Mace from the backseat of GPK. There was a moderate easterly wind over the Kaimai ranges (mean elevation 2500') with the easterly wave a little rough, but working well. The glider was able to maintain between 5000' and 6300' for an hour and a half. The township visible is Te Aroha, the Waihou River is a bit flooded. In some of the photos the instruments show 70 knots IAS and a rate of climb of 5 knots (500 feet per minute.) To see the pictures follow the link www.dropbox.com/sh/ykqxkf5s425gboo/lAlSo_DcYV
Post by silentflyer on Jun 19, 2016 6:41:04 GMT 12
Glider pilots can at times appear to be rather self absorbed, as in the air it is very much a loners game. It is however a fantastic form of flying and just as challenging flying as say a big jet (for very different reasons). Discussion forums tend to be focussed on established glider based forums, so it is of no surprise that this forum isn't the hotbed of conversation that the creators hoped. Maybe its simply a case of like minded people sharing their passion with others that have the same passions on other forums? Also gliding has always been very much in the shadow of powered aviation (yet has pioneered a huge amount of technology that is taken for granted in modern aircraft and thought as 'new'. Boeing's new generation of blended wing....been around on gliders for decades, winglets, same again, wing-fillets, largely a result of drag reduction work by the likes of Lippish etc during the late 20s, early 30's, high aspect ratio wings, developed in the early 20's by glider pilots etc, etc, etc). Many within gliding have had the feeling as though they are looked upon as somehow 2nd best to power, from the public eye right up to those within powered flying, but in truth its a far more intellectual game than just opening a throttle and develops an intimate knowledge and observations of both nature and whats going on in the air around you. As for unfriendliness at clubs, then this is something that all clubs should address if they want to grow. Gliding, despite being a very much team effort on the ground, it is fair to say that over the past, has had a reputation for neglecting new faces to the sport(at their own cost), with the constant stream of orders from all in sundry, through to what people view as unacceptable long waits. For most clubs however, the lessons are being learnt and some of those factors have been addressed. If they are not, then it will be to the detriment of the clubs future membership.