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New to Gliding

Whether as a one time visitor or a new trainee, the initial experience reported by almost everyone who comes to Caboolture Gliding Club is one of a warm and friendly welcome. We’re the club with something for everyone. Our members range in age from teenage to over 80, all flying as part of a crew which values fun and camaraderie as much as we value a safe and disciplined approach to our sport. Gliding is recreational flying pure and simple, and Caboolture club members enjoy a cooperative atmosphere where the tasks required to make a flying day are shared between junior and senior alike.

Book an Air Experience Flight

The best way to see if this is the right atmosphere to help you achieve your flying goals is to visit the club on a flying day. Book a prepaid air experience flight and stay for a chat with the crew at the flight line for a more complete club experience, or browse through the frequently asked questions below book now

Start your training

If you are confident in your desire to fly, take the bigger step to sign up for full membership and train at member rates from your very first flight. You will pay the same glider hire and aerotow launch rates as every other member. Your instructors time is provided at NO cost to you!.

Membership and flying fees

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Are there any medical restrictions?

Are there any medical restrictions?

To fly, you need to be generally healthy - you must not suffer from conditions such as epilepsy, fits, severe head injury, recurrent fainting, giddiness, blackouts, and other conditions detailed in Appendix 1 of the GFA Operational Regulations. Pilots who are free of these conditions can self-declare and fly without a medical certificate. Pilots who have suffered these conditions and all pilots flying as instructors must provide a medical certificate from their GP declaring their fitness to the same standards as Austroads requirements for driving a private vehicle.
Can I do aerobatics?

Can I do aerobatics?

We would not normally perform aerobatics on the first Air Experience Flight, until we had time to assess your reaction to the flight. If one of our experienced instructors was satisfied there would be no problems, then aerobatics could be performed. The gliders in our Club fleet are all capable of various aerobatic manoeuvers, such as loops and chandelles (like a wing-over). Naturally, without an engine, and with such large wingspans (15m to 20m), there is a limit to the aerobatic manoeuvres we can fly in our gliders.
Do I need a license?

Do I need a license?

Unlike power flying or driving a car, there is no government licence issued to glider pilots. The equivalent qualification is a Glider Pilot Certificate issued by the Gliding Federation of Australia to pilots who have satisfied the requirements of the training curriculum. Pilots are allowed to fly solo before achieving GPC, subject to demonstrated competence, and achieve several levels of internationally recognised badges as they progress towards the GPC.
How do gliders stay up ?

How do gliders stay up ?

Gliders can stay aloft by a number of means. By far the most common is called thermalling. When the ground is heated by the sun, periodically a parcel of heated air ascends, often to many thousands of feet, as the temperature of the air close to the ground becomes higher that its surroundings. If a glider is flown to stay in that column of rising air, by circling, the glider will also be swept aloft. After the pilot reaches the top of the thermal, they fly off, gradually losing height, until they reach the next one.
How does the glider get into the air ?

How does the glider get into the air ?

Our gliders are launched by aerotow using our high powered Piper Pawnee tug. The glider is attached to the tug by a rope, and the glider pilot follows the tug as they are pulled up to the release height when the glider pilot releases the rope.
How far can a glider fly ?

How far can a glider fly ?

Above Australia’s inland plains, flights of hundreds of kilometres are commonplace. The world record for a flight in a straight line is over 3,000 kilometres.
How fast can a glider fly?

How fast can a glider fly?

Gliders can fly as slowly as 35 knots (65kmh) to approx 135 knots (250kmh). Our club gliders generally soar at speeds between 45 and 50 knots.
How high can a glider fly?

How high can a glider fly?

Thermals can go as high as 14,000 ft or more. The world height record is 52,172 feet.
How long can I stay up?

How long can I stay up?

Gliders can remain flying as long as there is lift available. Using thermals, this is about 8 hours. By using prevailing winds blowing up a slope, a glider can be flown for as long as the wind is blowing. The world record once stood at around 56 hours before it was recognised that these ever lengthening flights were dangerous, and recognition for duration flights was abolished
How long will it take to go solo?

How long will it take to go solo?

This largely depends upon your aptitude and the frequency of your flying. You could typically expect to go solo after between 25 and 50 flights. People with some power flying experience will generally take less time to learn than someone with no flying experience at all.
How long will my flight last?

How long will my flight last?

Gliding is a weather dependent sport. In the absence of thermals, which gliders use to stay in the air, an average flight to 3000ft will last approximately 20 minutes. When learning to fly, you will be taught how to find & stay in thermals, and a thermalling flight is much longer.
How much will it cost?

How much will it cost?

See our page about Air Experience Flights for the cost of taking your first flight in a glider. To learn to fly a glider, the costs are largely dependent upon the aptitude of the student and how frequently you come flying - obviously if you are able to come to the airfield each weekend for a few consecutive weeks, you will learn faster than if you were to come flying only one day a month. An average student will be ready for their first solo flight after approximately 25 to 50 flights at a cost starting from around $2000.
How old must I be to fly a glider ?

How old must I be to fly a glider ?

The lower age limit to fly solo is 15, and there is no upper limit provided you are healthy, and suffer no medical conditions that may impede your ability to fly. To be a passenger in a glider you can be almost any age at all. For practical purposes, our Air Experience Flights are not recommended for children under the age of 12 years, because they often can't see outside the aircraft, and if they become upset for any reason it is difficult to calm them down again
Is gliding safe?

Is gliding safe?

While any form of aviation carries an element of risk, gliding is relatively safe. Gliders are very strongly built, and there is no engine to fail. In the unlikely event of an accident occuring, there is no fuel to burn.
Is there a weight limit?

Is there a weight limit?

The practical passenger or co-pilot weight limit for our gliders is 100 kg. The maximum legal weight is 110kg, but this depends on having a light enough instructor in the other seat. Booking a flight for a passenger above 100kg therefore requires special conditions and advanced planning to ensure we have such an instructor available.
What happens when the lift stops?

What happens when the lift stops?

When the thermals stop working, the glider will gradually descend. A glider can fly about 10 km for each 1000 feet of height, so part of the pilot’s flight management is ensuring there is a safe landing spot within gliding distance to allow for the loss of lift.
What happens when the wind stops?

What happens when the wind stops?

Nothing! Gliders are not dependent upon the wind to stay aloft. When circling in thermals, gliders are drifted along by the wind, but otherwise are unaffected by the wind.

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