Frequently Asked Questions
Where is The Gliding Centre?
The Gliding Centre is based at Husbands Bosworth Airfield. Please see our Contact Us page for address and other contact details. If you are new to the airfield, please read the Guidance For Visitors page, which contains useful information about coming on to the airfield.
When is The Gliding Centre open?
The Gliding Centre is open seven days a week between May and October. We typically operate from 10am till 5.30pm every day, and continue to fly until dusk on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
During the winter months, we operate at weekends and on Wednesdays.
Subject to weather limitations (see FAQ below) and other booking commitments we can usually schedule your Trial Flight or Training Course at a time convenient to you. See Trial Flights for details on how to buy and book your flight.
How do I book a Trial Flight or Training Course?
You can buy your Trial Flight, One Day or Five Day Training Course through this website. Alternatively, you can book by calling the office on 01858 880521 during our office hours.
Can I buy a Trial Flight or Training Course as a gift?
Certainly you can. Many people buy Vouchers for trial flights and courses as birthday or Christmas gifts for friends or family. If you let us know when booking, we can send the voucher to the person of your choice. Why not consider also treating yourself to a Trial Flight or Training Course at the same time?
Can I book Trial Flights or Training Coursed for a group of friends or colleagues?
Absolutely! Gliding is a great activity for groups. As well as experiencing flying, we can also provide barbeque, restaurant, bar and accommodation by prior arrangement. For large groups we can also offer a discount on our normal pricing.
Call the office on 01858 880521 between 9.30 and 5.30 seven days per week to arrange.
Are there any weather limitations that might prevent the trial flight or course from happening?
We fly all year round but there are certain weather conditions that are unsuitable for gliding, typically related to very strong winds, low cloud base, poor visibility or rain. It's a good idea to contact us before setting out for a trial lesson to make sure that the conditions are suitable.
If you've booked a trial lesson, or course and the weather prevents us from flying then we will schedule an alternative day / time for you.
Can anyone take a Trial Flight or Training Course?
Within certain height, weight and age limits, gliding is a sport for all.
People over 1.9m (6ft 3ins) may not have sufficient headroom but it is usually fine if sitting height is 98cm or less. You are welcome to come to the airfield and try a glider for size.
There is an absolute maximum passenger weight of 110kg, including you, your clothes, a parachute (7kg) and anything else you have on your person. If there is any doubt we have scales at the airfield and typically weigh all passengers to make sure that we remain within safe operating limits.
We fly and train passengers and students from young to old. Provided you can understand and comply with safety instructions and physically able to get in and out of the glider – which is very similar to getting into and out of a bath, we’ll be delighted to fly with you!
Can I fly with my friend?
Gliders have a maximum of two seats, one of which is used by the instructor, and the other by the passenger.
Can I become a member?
Yes, we'd be delighted if you did! The Gliding Centre is a members club comprised of people from a wide range of backgrounds and irrespective of age, gender or prior experience. For more details see our Join The Gliding Centre page
Will I get to fly the glider during my flight?
Our gliders have dual controls. On Trial Flights, subject to safety considerations, we aim to give you the chance to use the controls at appropriate points, so that you get a feel of how the glider flies, always under the guidance of your capable and experienced instructor.
On Training Courses, we quickly progress to you doing as much of the flying as possible, again under the guidance of your instructor.
What should I bring anything with me on the day?
It's a good idea to wear layers of clothing so that you can easily adjust according to temperature, as airfields can be cold places due to their open nature. It’s also good to bring sunglasses and a brimless hat. Trousers are easier to manage than skirts or dresses, and flat shoes are recommended.
Its fine to bring camera / small video camera, as long as these can be physically attached to you with a strap.
How difficult is it to fly the glider?
Basic use of the flying controls requires a similar level of dexterity to riding a bicycle. Getting to the level of capability to fly solo is about as difficult as learning to drive a car.
However, gliding has huge scope for advancement and no one ever stops learning. There are always challenges even for the most experienced pilots. One of the great things about gliding is the ability for pilots to continually improve their skills through their entire flying careers.
Why not start out on your own journey and learn to fly with us?
Do I have to be fit to fly a glider?
Taking a Trial Flight with us does not require a high level of physical fitness. Provided you're physically able to get in and out of the glider – which is similar to getting into and out of a bath, we’ll be delighted to fly with you!
If you have any pre-existing medical conditions (for example heart conditions or epilepsy) that could possibly lead to a difficult or dangerous situation in flight, please let us know at the time of booking and on arrival at the airfield and we will discuss it with you confidentially.
Learning to fly does require a basic level of medical fitness. But basically, if you're fit enough to drive a car then you're fit enough to train and fly solo.
Is gliding safe?
Gliding is an adventure sport that offers great enjoyment and exhilaration to those taking part. Like all adventure sports, gliding does involve an element of risk.
Here at The Gliding Centre we place the very highest priority on safety and we work hard to minimise the risks in our sport.
All of our instructors are qualified by the British Gliding Association and are subject to regular revalidation checks. Our aircraft are checked each day before flying and are subject to thorough annual inspections.
Should you have any concerns about the risk involved in gliding, or want more information, we would be pleased to discuss it with you. Please contact us, and ask to be put in touch with one of our instructors.
How high and fast will we go?
After launching from the winch to typically 1000-1500 feet or by aerotow to 2500 feet, we try to climb using local thermals, to make the most of the flight. Gliders climbing in thermals normally stop at cloud base, which can typically be anything from 2000 - 6000 ft. in the UK.
Modern gliders can fly at over 150 mph although more often we fly between 50 - 90mph depending on the phase of flight.
How long will my flight last?
Competent glider pilots can stay up all day long if weather conditions permit. Flights of over 5 hours are very common.
During trial flights you can expect to be in the air for anywhere between five minutes and half an hour, depending on the type of launch, and the weather conditions on the day.
How much does it cost to learn to glide?
Full details of our fees and charges are detailed here. Trial flights, courses and Fixed Price to Solo courses include all launch fees, soaring fees and instructor costs.
If you are join us as a full flying member your costs will include
Launch fees for each flight you take,
Soaring fees for flights in club gliders up to a maximum of three hours in each flight
Speed and cost of progression through training varies depending on how quickly you are able to learn the necessary skills. As a rough rule of thumb, an average of around 60 winch launches or 30 aerotow launches is needed for you to learn all of the skills required to fly solo, but this does vary quite a lot dependent on your aptitude and prior experience.
Some of our students have found it helpful for budgeting purposes to sign up for our fixed price to solo packages which includes one year’s membership and all flying fees up to the point of solo.
Once you have gone solo and acquired further experience in the club single seat gliders you may decide to buy your own glider. This can cost anything from a few hundred pounds for an older glider to many tens of thousands for a state of the art high performance glider. An entry-level glider of reasonable performance can be bought for less than £10,000. To reduce costs many gliders are shared in a syndicate of 2 or 3 people.
Where can I stay nearby?
Full details of our accomodation options are shown on the About Us page. We have a number of simple and comfortable bedrooms where linen is included (but please bring your own towels). Its advisable to book your room through our office early as demand is high. We also have camping facilities. If you prefer, please contact us and we'll let you know about other local accomodation options.