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Sports Development

Whether you want to take up gliding as a serious hobby or just experience it once, we'd love to get you flying! As a university club, we enjoy cheaper rates than regular glider pilots, making this a great time to learn to fly. We fly from Shalbourne on most weekends when the weather is right.

A summary of our club activities!

We go gliding at Shalbourne gliding club (which is about 1 hour drive) from Southampton and it is only realistically accessible by car. Currently a few of us have cars and can take up to 4 additional people on a given day. In addition some of the Shalbourne club members, that live in Southampton, have kindly agreed to drive us on the days they go.

Days and Weather:
Shalbourne Gliding Club is open on Wednesdays and during the weekend. We normally go gliding on the weekend, usually keeping an eye on the weather before we send a confirmation email on Thursday or Friday inviting our members to join us.

On the day:
Gliding is a whole day event. We leave Southampton at 7.45am and get there for around 8.45am. Usually the first two hours is spent prepping the field and checking the gliders. Then we can go gliding, which could last until 7:00pm (if the weather is good). During the day we retrieve the gliders and generally help out running the airfield.
Normally pre-solo members would get up to 3 flights on the day (depending on how busy it is), with each flight lasting about 10 minutes. Although, on a good day, a flight could last up to 1 hour. Finally, the last hour is spent putting the gliders and airfield equipment away.

Gliding in general has a very good safety record when compared to other extreme sports. As a club, we would like to maintain this safety record so please consider the following before you come flying with us:
- Alcohol: Please do not any drink alcohol at least 10 hours before you are due to fly.
- Weight: For safety all gliders have lower and upper limits for the allowable mass of the pilot. While it is easy to add ballast for lighter pilots, unfortunately those of you weighing above 103kg will not be able to fly.
- Airfield: Please remember that this is active airfield and be aware of your surroundings. Most importantly always check with somebody before walking or driving across the airfield.

We offer a set "Trial Lesson" gliding package for people interested in experiencing gliding. The trial lesson will include one flight of up to 30min (or 2 launches if the 30min duration is not possible) and will cost a total of £30.
For those of you that wish to join directly (or after your trial lesson), our annual membership is £30, which goes towards covering the club's annual membership that we pay directly to our host club Shalbourne. In addition members pay towards any of their flying they do during the day. These are £6.60 per launch (with the 3rd launch on the day free) and 24p/min for any airtime (which includes the cost of the instructor). With this option you also get a free gliding logbook to log your flights as you continue to progress to solo and beyond.
Regardless of which option you pick, we ask attendees to contribute £5 towards the fuel costs of the driver.
*If any of you are over the age of 26, you flying costs will be slightly higher. This is because Shalbourne and the British Gliding Association classes anyone under the age of 26 as a Junior, for which they benefit from cheaper rates. In your case membership will be the same, but the rates will be: £8.80 per launch and 32p/min for any airtime.

If you have any questions don't hesitate to email us at: gliding@soton.ac.uk
or find us on facebook at: www.facebook.com/groups/sotongliding

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Membership Information

These are the current membership plans offered by Gliding, although many groups offer a free period for new members to try out their group.

  • Annual Membership (£30)
    Access to the airfield for 1 year and a BGA log book for you to legally record your flights so you can work towards flying levels.
  • One time Trial Day (£30)
    One 30min flight or 2 flights if the 30min flight is not possible. Please note that this is not a membership as such, but an all inclusive (cheaper) option that allows students to give gliding a go before deciding if it is for them.

This Years Committee

All student groups within the Students' Union are run entirely by students. The student committee for Gliding this year are:

  • Nickolay Jelev
  • Avery Swarthout
  • Alexander James
  • Stanislas Bory
    Vice Captain
  • Alan Ramirez Gilliland

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