What do all of the following famous people have in common?
- Neil Armstrong - Astronaut, first man to walk on the moon
- Steve Fossett - First solo non-stop round the world baloon flight, adventurer, sailor
- Christopher Reeve - Actor, 'Superman'
- The Wright Brothers - First powered flights in 1903
- Andy Green - Driver of 'Thrust SSC', first supersonic car & holder of the world land speed record
- David Jason - Actor
- Matthew Fox - Actor, 'Lost'
- Barbara Cartland - English author
- John Kerry - 2004 US Democratic Presidential Candidate
- Richie McCaw - Captain of the New Zealand rugby team
- Barron Hilton - Co-chairman of Hilton Hotels & grandfather of Paris Hilton
- Lembit Öpik - Liberal Democrat MP, spokesman for housing
The answer is that at all of them have been (or still are) qualified glider pilots, and enjoyed the fantasic array of different experiences the sport has to offer.
Whether it is flying like a bird above the countryside, soaring up to the clouds on a summers day, using mountain wave to gain thousands of feet in height, racing around the countryside on a cross country task, using the lift generated by the hills in Scotland to stay up for hours at a time, or flying as precisely as you can on an aerobatic flight, everyone gets something different out of flying gliders.
This section of the website aims to answer a lot of the questions you might have about the sport, and a bit about why we do it. It also has some information on the measures taken to ensure gliding is safe, links to other clubs and relevant websites, and a list of frequently asked questions and common gliding terms.
So why do we do it? Neil Armstrong has a good answer to this, from an interview with CBS News:
The man who once rode a 160-million horsepower rocket now flies a glider, a plane with no engine.
"Gliders, sail planes, they're wonderful flying machines. It's the closet you can come to being a bird", says Armstrong.
What does Armstrong get out of gliding? "Oh, it is self satisfaction. A sense of accomplishment. At trying to do a little better than you think you possibly can," he says.