First Flight

Want to try flying the real way…?! Well, come along on one of our many trips to Lasham!! Membership is only £49 and includes a free winch launch! We’d suggest you take an aerotow on your first flight though to give you plenty of time to enjoy the view and try the controls.

Is it for me?

Your instructor will make sure your first flight gives you a real taste of the sport of gliding! Don’t worry if you can’t tell your ailerons from your elevator, no prior knowledge is assumed! Those who try gliding, and those who take it up, come from all walks of life and all personalities: they’re not all fearless adrenaline junkies! Gliding is serene, quiet, and very pleasant: with the best view in the house!!

An Aerotow

An Aerotow

Ok, I’m convinced! What does the flight consist of?

Firstly, you will be introduced to your instructor for the flight. The instructors all have many hundreds of launches in gliders, and have gone through rigourous training and testing: in short, you’re in very safe hands!

The instructor will show you the aircraft, and tell you everything you need to know about it: what all the controls do; what to do in an emergency; how we fly the glider; etc. You’ll get in and get comfortable in your new environment, with the instructor sitting in the seat behind you. You’ll be wearing a parachute, just like you would wear a life jacket whilst sailing.

The glider is launched by a tow from a powered aircraft: this is a very gentle experience, and the instructor will handle this part of the flight. For now, just relax and enjoy the view as the world appears to descend slowly beneath you.

Once off tow, at over a third of a mile above the ground, your instructor will show you how we fly the glider. He (or she) will demonstrate each control, and you will be able to get a feel for flying the aircraft yourself. Gradually with each exercise you will learn more about what each control does, until you are turning the glider all by yourself using all the controls together! Don’t worry if that sounds daunting: flying is a lot easier than driving a car, and you always have your instructor to help you!

At around 600 feet above the ground, and with a massive smile on your face, your instructor will take control of the glider and bring it in for a nice and smooth safe landing back on the airfield: this is another chance to get the camera out and enjoy the view!

Back on the ground you can get into the spirit of gliding by helping other people get airborne, have a soft drink in the bar(!), or even continue your training and enjoyment with some more flights that very day!

A trial flight in 496

A trial flight in 496

Have you done this before?

Yes, all instructors have done it before many hundreds of times and have been put through a rigourous selection and training process to ensure that you are kept perfectly safe (and have fun!). Our aircraft is stressed to higher levels than an airliner, and you get a better view and more legroom (though no on-board bar or in-flight movie, sorry!).

How do I get there?

icGC arranges return transport from South Kensington to the airfield for £10 on most weekends during the academic year.

icGC’s organised trips to Lasham operate most weekends during the academic year (and can be arranged outside of it), weather permitting. Limited availability, so book early! icGC leaves London at 7:30am (its best to meet at around 7:15, but details will be sent out to you after you have signed up), glides, and returns around 6-7pm (depending on when the sun sets), so expect to be at the airfield pretty much all day.

Ok, you’ve convinced me! How do I book?

Just turn up to one of our meetings during term-time, or send us an e-mail.

Cool! So what shall I bring with me?! The following would be useful:

  • Loose fitting, comfortable, warm clothing (skirts not a good idea girls (or guys)!);
  • Comfy footwear: trainers are ideal;
  • Hat and sunglasses if it is going to be nice weather;
  • Packed lunch, if you don’t want to pay £5 for a cooked lunch at Lasham;
  • Cash: £35 for the flight and transport (which you can pay by credit card if you prefer); £5 for lunch (if you don’t bring a packed one);
  • Camera!;

See you there!!

“When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” — Leonardo Da Vinci