Chance to take silently to the skies and glide over the Fens

Gliding Scholarship trainee Beth Aston prepares for her first solo, a big step in every pilot's flyi

Gliding Scholarship trainee Beth Aston prepares for her first solo, a big step in every pilot's flying career. - Credit: Archant

Fancy the thrill of flying in a glider? Then the Nene Valley Gliding Club’s (NVGC) annual Open Weekend on September 5 and 6 is the place for you.

One of the club members takes off in his own glider

One of the club members takes off in his own glider - Credit: Archant

The weekend gives visitors the opportunity to experience the thrill of a flight in a two-seat glider and to see what flying without an engine is like. On each of the two days flying will begin at 9am and finish at 5pm.

The NVGC is based on the old RAF station at Upwood near Ramsey, with access to the club gained from the southern end of the site near Upwood village by following the signs. Post code for a sat nav is PE26 2QD.

At the NVGC the gliders are launched by a powerful winch which takes them to a height of over 1000ft and from there they can often stay aloft by soaring on the thermals of warm air which rise from the ground.

NVGC is a thriving club and two years ago a gliding scholarship scheme was started in conjunction with Abbey College, Ramsey.


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Under this unique scheme a number of Abbey College students aged from 14 to 17 were taught for fly up to and including flying a glider solo. This is an on-going scheme and there are currently six students undergoing training. The age profile of NVGC is therefore the youngest in the UK. This is something the club is rightly proud of.

Gliding is, however, a sport for people of all ages and so long as you are medically fit to hold a driving licence there is no reason why you cannot learn to fly a glider.

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Many of the club’s members have gone from an initial introductory flight on an open day or as a result of having a flight voucher bought for them to become expert glider pilots.

During the Open Weekend the club will be offering flights to visitors in one of three two-seater gliders which includes a vintage training glider of the type once used by the RAF to train air cadets.

Refreshments will be available all weekend in the club-house and each visitor who takes a flight will receive a flight certificate.

So why not pop along, take a flight and, who knows, maybe you will be ‘bitten by the flying bug’ and decide to become a glider pilot yourself. It is an inexpensive sport where you will make many new friends. An initial flight will cost £30 with a second flight available at £15.

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