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Gliding in Kent has a very long and proud history, with hundreds getting airborne to soar over of the Garden of England through the years. Located on the crest of the North Downs between Charing and Challock, this lively and energetic club in Kent is a great place to learn the graceful art of gliding.
This Kentish club is is in fact believed to have been the first gliding club to be formed in England on the 4th January 1930. Of course, there was no time for leisurely pursuits such as gliding during the second world war, but the enthusiasts got together again and reformed in 1956 with a renewed zest and vigour. The club has migrated all over the county, but gliding in Kent finally settled at its current location in 1961, continuously developing and upgrading the facilities and fleet to remain up to date and modern.
A very dynamic club, it has an excellent club house and briefing room for budding glider pilots and for the 150 active members, has seven twin seat gliders and around 30 BGA approved gliding instructors. There are 20 tug pilots on the books to keep the club gliding seven days a week in summer and every Wednesday and at weekends in winter too. With the mild climate of Kent it's perfectly possible to glide all year round.
Many have said that gliding offers the best views of Kent and the coastline. In fact, on a clear day you can look out of one side of the cockpit and see the Thames Estuary, Whitstable and into Essex, whilst from the other side of your glider it's the views of Ashford, the Kent coastline and perhaps even France that'll have you utterly enthralled as you take a slow, graceful 360 degree turn to take it all in.
We are offering introductory taster sessions, half days or one day courses in gliding at this Kent club. If you opt for the taster, you will enjoy one aerotow flight, being pulled into the air by a Piper Pawnee tug plane, leaving you to soar high above the cliffs like a giant seagull and your ride back to the grass runway. The half day experience gives you two flights and lets you try both aerotow and winch launch methods.
On the full day session you will become part of the Kent gliding family for a day. See the 'log cabin' that gets towed out to the launch area (and acts as mission control on flying days), meet the members, have a chat and generally immerse yourself in the world of gliding. Your intensive day gives you an aerotow and three winch launches, where you are hooked up to the cable, the winch takes up the slack and you're away rumbling and bouncing over the grass for what feels like just milliseconds before you suddenly lift away and everything goes quiet…save for the sound of the wind whistling.
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