How is gliding different from flying in light aircraft? Gliding is an adventure sport. It compares with powered flying in the same way that sailing compares with power boating. Gliding not only requires the skills to fly these specialised aircraft but also an understanding of how to utilise the air and the weather to prolong your flight and maximise the distances flown, the speeds attained and the heights achieved. Licenced power pilots cannot legally fly gliders just as glider pilots cannot legally fly power planes unless either are specifically licenced to do so. Many commercial and private power pilots fly gliders for recreation and for the personal challenge.
Is a motor glider a real glider? Absolutely! Our Dimona motor glider soars beautifully and handles just like a conventional glider, unlike many other modern motor gliders. We have achieved pure gliding flights in excess of 300km with the motor switched off. A motor glider offers the versatility to launch independently without the need for a tow plane and ground handling personnel. The pilot chooses where to go and how high to go and simply shuts the motor down and ‘feathers’ the propellor. The majority of the flight is then pure gliding, completed by landing as a conventional glider would. Of course it has the added attribute of being able to restart the motor in flight and climb away as required. Another excellent attribute of our motor glider is that it offers side by seat seating which allows for excellent demonstration and communication between instructor and trainee.
Am I in Safe Hands? Our team of instructors is among the most experienced in Australia. Each has an outstanding individual safety record as does Sydney Motor Glider Flight Group as a flying training organisation. Safety is our number one priority as you will see from the moment you arrive. Gliding, as with all adventure sports does have an element of risk. SMGFG carefully manages and minimises that risk.
What about thermals? Thermals are the rising columns of warmer air that soaring birds like eagles use to extend their flights, as do glider pilots. While experienced glider pilots seek out thermals, introductory flights are best taken when there is limited thermal activity. Smoother air is more comfortable and makes for clearer demonstrations of how to fly the glider by your instructor. It also assists you in monitoring your own control of the glider. A big benefit of a motor glider over a conventional glider is that we can extend the flight at any time by simply restarting the motor even when there are no thermals
How far towards obtaining a glider licence can I proceed with Sydney Motor Glider Flight Group? A glider licence in Australia is called the GFA Glider Pilot’s Certificate. SMGFG offers training in almost all aspects of the GPC syllabus including a number of specialised post solo skills. Our primary aim however is to provide high quality introductory and intermediate training that best supports ongoing participation in this exciting and challenging sport. Our goal is to prepare you for solo in conventional gliders with any of the many Australian gliding clubs. Our instructors have each spent decades flying conventional gliders and know that initial training in motor gliders provides an outstanding and expedient path to this goal.
Are they any health or physical limits? Participants need only be at that level of health required to drive a car. Gliders must comply with maximum weight and balance requirements as do all aircraft. Our motor glider has a manufacturer’s seat limit of 110kg. Participants up to around 6’3″ (188cm) tall can be comfortably accommodated. Some mobility is required for stepping up into the glider and down for exit. **** We support access to sport for people with disabilities. Please feel free to inquire.****