On Sunday 15th May, Pager Power Director, Danny Scrivener took to the skies for a trial gliding lesson at the local Essex and Suffolk Gliding Club. The gliding experience, a gift from Danny’s family for his birthday, was two years in the making due to Covid restrictions. Danny wanted to share a brief overview of the day so that readers who might be interested could get a brief insight into the experience.
Danny took part in two short gliding flights totalling approximately 18 minutes and reaching an altitude of between 1,000 and 2,000ft. Danny enjoyed the view of the local landscape including, views towards Mersea, off the Essex coast, and back towards the Pager Power office in Sudbury. Danny was informed that on a clear day, sights as far as London could be seen, some 50 miles away.
Following an initial preparation meeting, in which Danny was informed he would be required to wear a parachute, a short trip to the gliders was taken where Danny was shown around the glider and its controls.
With the briefing completed, Danny climbed aboard the glider with the instructor and began take-off preparations. Following a check that all of the controls were working, the glider was given the go-head to take-off, and this was achieved via a winch system attached to a V8 engine located some 1000 metres down the runway. The cable quickly pulled the glider up into the air within seconds, as can be seen in the video below. Within a minute or two, the glider was at the appropriate altitude to release the winch and with a big ‘thud’, the lever was pulled inside the cockpit to release the glider from the tow cable. With nothing but physics on their side and the sound of the wind, the glider soared above the local landscape, making turns to take in the sights. A few quick minutes later, the instructor turned the glider back onto the runway 09 left-hand circuit, joining on the downwind leg. The glider then flew back round and landed close to the take-off location.
On the second flight, Danny was given the controls to get a feel for the glider and how it flew. Whilst the left to right movements (controlled by the ailerons) was much more sedate, requiring large movements of the control stick, the vertical movements (controlled by the elevators) were much more sensitive and crisp much to Danny’s surprise. Due to the limited flight time available because of weather conditions, the glider was soon back to earth for a second time. Whilst the weather was overcast and not ideal for the gliding purist, Danny was happy (or relieved) to have completed his first gliding experience, which was thoroughly enjoyable. Eventually, and as per a typical British summer, the rain eventually stopped play, however Danny is keen to go back and have another go and would recommend it to anyone interested in taking to the skies.
The video below shows the winch launch, with Danny sitting in the front of the glider and his instructor in the back.
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