Your First Flight?

On your first visit to Stratford-on-Avon Gliding Club, there are a few things you might like to know about your flight, the airfield, and the Club. We hope that we can make your visit as enjoyable as possible, and you come and visit us again.

When you fly, you will be in the front seat of a two-seater dual-control training glider, with a qualified instructor in the back seat. The controls and instruments are quite simple, and your instructor will give you a full explanation before you fly. You may meet them when you arrive, although on busy days, they may be flying with other visitors.

During your Gliding Experience flight, your instructor will demonstrate the controls of the glider, and then will let you do as much or as little of the flying as you like. Some people are more interested in flying, others prefer to have a good look around the Warwickshire countryside, and most people like to do a bit of both. There are maps of the area in the Clubhouse,  including a map of the airfield when it was an RAF training airfield in the mid 1940s. You can still see the layout of the old airfield quite clearly from the air, even though it’s been farmed for seventy years.

On a clear day, you can see the Cotswolds, the Malverns, and the Lickey Hills, the centre of Birmingham stands out very clearly, as do all the nearby towns of Stratford, Warwick, Leamington, Redditch, and Coventry. You get a completely different perspective on the world when you see it from 1500 feet. Sometimes, though, high atmospheric pressure makes the air hazy, which makes it difficult to see off into the distance – the skies are clear and blue, but they’re not the best conditions for flying.

While you are waiting for your flight, please be patient. We can never predict just how long any of our gliders will stay airborne, so we can never be quite sure when your turn will come, or how long your flight will be. We’ll do our best for you, but there may be other visitors waiting. Please talk to any of the Club members, and use any of our facilities, but if you go out to the launch point, make sure you are accompanied by a Club member because there are gliders taking off and landing all the time.

Some of the gliders that you will see taking off are Club members setting off on cross-country flights in single-seaters, others are training in two-seaters. All pilots at Stratford undergo rigorous training, and you may see some of the training gliders behaving most oddly at times. It is just the instructors checking out the students, and is all part of a typical day at Snitterfield.

So, all in all, there’s plenty to see and do at Stratford on Avon Gliding Club, apart from flying which is of course the point of your visit, and we hope that you’ll take advantage of it all to make the most of an enjoyable day with us.