Some Common Myths About Gliding

You can't fly if it's calm.

A glider flies through a parcel of air, slowly losing height as it does so.  If the air is moving relative to the ground, then the speed of the glider over the ground will change - that's all.  If the air's perfectly still then the glider still flies through it quite happily.

You can't fly if it's windy.

Actually there's no problem flying through air which is itself moving along at high speed, for the same reasons as described above.  However we usually restrict flying for days where the wind is blowing at 30 knots or less - it makes the gliders easier to manage on the ground.

Gliders can't travel very far.

How far an individual glider pilot can fly is determined by the weather, their glider, their skill and some luck.  On days when there's a lot of rising air, it's not uncommon for gliders based at Drury to fly to Taupo and back.  The distance record in New Zealand for a glider flight is about 2500km, a flight which took 15 hours.

Gliders can't travel very fast.

You'd be surprised ! Our PW6 two-seater glider, which we use for training and trial flights, has a maximum speed of 260 km/h (160 mph) ! - although usually we tend to fly somewhat slower, at around 100 km/h or so.

You need to be super-fit, super-strong, have perfect eyesight etc.

Actually no. The medical requirements for gliding are roughly comparable to those required for driving. If you can safely drive a car, you can probably fly !

You need the use of your legs to fly.

Not necessarily. One of our gliders (the ASK-21) can be fitted with hand controls, so those without full use of their legs can control the glider too. For more details see the Glide Freedom website.

Flying a glider is expensive.

It's certainly not free, but gliding is certainly good value for money!  Once you're qualified, hiring a glider costs about $60 per hour.  Hiring a single-engined aircraft costs at least 4 times this.  Check out our prices and compare them to the costs of powered flying - you'll be pleasantly surprised.  Many people learn to fly first in gliders and then use these skills to shorten their powered-flight tuition time.