Introductory Flights are a great way to experience the joy of gliding, especially if you’re considering taking it up as a hobby. They also make ideal gifts for friends or loved ones, offering a truly memorable and unique experience.
Camphill, in the heart of the Peak District National Park, is the perfect location for Introductory Flights. Even before you get airborne you’re taking in stunning scenery, but as you soar into the sky you start to truly appreciate the beautiful area that has been home to the club for over 85 years.
During the Introductory Flight, subject to the weather at the time, you will be able to see many major landmarks, both geological and man-made.
To the north is Mam Tor, with the Great Ridge running east to Lose Hill, and Win Hill opposite. Edale and the Ladybower Reservoirs lie beyond (where 617 Squadron, the Dambusters, trained during WW2). Looking south you will first see the Hope Valley, perhaps catching a glimpse of Hathersage before crossing Abney Moor flying southwards towards Eyam, the historic plague village, nestled against the bottom of our south ridge. A little further away is Bakewell, sitting in the Wye valley, which catches the eye along Millers Dale all the way to Buxton. On a good day, or with a setting sun, you can pick out Chatsworth, the magnificent estate and ancestral home of the Dukes of Devonshire, with its golden window frames glinting in the sunshine. Closer to home is Tideswell, home of 14th Century St John the Baptist church, the “Cathedral of the Peak”.
A fully qualified and experienced instructor conducts the pre-flight briefing before taking you to your two-seat glider.
You will be shown around it, perhaps taking a few photographs, while the instructor explains how it works and what the various bits are.
Then it will be time to don a parachute, and be settled into the glider – another good opportunity for some souvenir photos. The instructor will make sure you are comfortable and safely strapped in, before describing the important cockpit instruments and controls to you – not that you are expected to fly the glider, but so that you can better understand and enjoy the experience. The recipients are always in the front seat, which provides near 360-degree views across the landscape below.
Once settled in, and “checks complete”, the glider will be “hooked on” and is ready to launch.
The wings will be leveled, and seconds later the powerful winch at the far end of the airfield will accelerate you and the glider to 60mph or so. After a brief rumble over the grass, you will swiftly be airborne, before the pilot in command gently eases the stick back, causing the glider’s nose to rise and direct you skyward. After a minute or so, you will have climbed to a thousand feet or more above the airfield, the rush of air will have turned to silence, and the panorma will be before and all around you.
At this point the instructor will be looking for some lift to sustain your flight.
Our aim is to keep you flying for around ten minutes. Your flight could be thermaling upwards under a cloud, or drifting along one of our ridges. If you haven’t done so already, ask the instructor if you can use your camera (and ideally have it securely strapped to your wrist, to enable this), or simply enjoy the serenity of the occasion.
As you walk back to the launch point with the glider, you’ll be asking how you can join the club, or reminiscing about the highlights of your flight. Once returned to your guests, there’ll be another “photo-op” as you are presented with your flight certificate.
Please note: the Introductory Flights are subject to a number of essential criteria (listed opposite).
If the purchaser or the prospective recipient of the gift doesn’t meet all of our critera for flying, please contact the Office to discuss whether we can meet your requirements.
BEFORE PROCEEDING WITH THE PURCHASE OF THE INTRODUCTORY FLIGHT IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU SATISFY THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA:
☑️ Height (between 1.52-1.88m)
☑️ Weight (maximum 95kg when dressed for flying)
☑️ Agility (able to get in & out a bath unaided)
☑️ General health (you should be physically fit & well)
☑️ Overall health (you must be able to hear & follow instructions)
If you proceed to purchase an Introductory Flight you are acknowledging that you are eligible and satisfy all our criteria for flying.
If, having made the purchase, you do not satisfy all our requirements you will not be able to fly and will not be eligible for a refund.