Gliding Trial Lesson FAQs

What is a Trial Lesson ?

A Trial Lesson is just that. Your Instructor will brief you before the flight on what to expect while in the air. Once airborne  your instructor will show you how the basic controls work and will give you a chance to handle them yourself. The take-off and landing will be performed by your instructor.

If you prefer not to take control then you can sit back and enjoy your flight over the South Downs National Park and the Sussex Weald.

(For compliance with legal requirements, we are obliged to provide some form of instruction during your Trial Lesson)

What is the difference between an Aerotow and a Winched launch ?

An Aerotow launch is where your glider is towed behind our tug aircraft, once airborne you will gently climb to your chosen altitude where your instructor will release the tow cable.

A Winched launch is where glider is attached to cable that is approximately 1 km long, the other end is attached to our powerful winch. When the launch crew give the 'all out' signal the winch will accelerate you to around 50 knots in a few seconds, once airborne your instructor will rotate the glider into a steep climb, as you approach the top of the climb the glider will begin to level off. Eventually the winch cable will automatically release. Depending on the wind direction and speed you can expect to be at an altitude of 1,000 ft or more.

Follow this link to see a graphical explaination

How long will my flight last ?

The duration of your flight will depend on the weather conditions prevailing at the time. The times shown below are typical and cannot be guarented 

On a thermic day your flight maybe extended.

How do I book a flight ?

The easiest way to book a Trial Lesson is complete the form on the Trial Lesson page of this website.

  • On completing the form you will be taken to PayPal to make the payment

    • You do not need to set up a PayPal account to make a credit or debit card payment

  • Once we receive your request and payment we will post a voucher pack to you within 5 working days

  • When you are ready book the actual flight, phone us during office hours (see below) and we will look at available lessons slots and agree a date and time with you.

  • On the day please arrive 15 to 20 minutes before your scheduled flight time. Please be aware that your flight may be delayed for operational reasons

  • If the weather on the day is not suitable to conduct your flight we will arrange an alternate date and time.

How will my voucher be delivered?

Once we have received your payment, we will post your voucher pack to you which should reach you within five working days.

For those of you who have purchased your Trial Lesson as a gift, the voucher pack is unmarked and sent to the person purchasing the Trial Lesson. The voucher will be in the name of the lesson/flight recipient.

Can I bring friends and family to watch on the day ?

Yes, but we expect that you follow instructions given to you by club members with regard to your safety, please remember that this is an active airfield.

Children must be supervised at all times

Dogs may be brought to the field but must remain on a lead at all times.

Are there any limitations as to who can fly?

Yes anyone not meeting the following may not be able fly.

  • Anyone over 14 can fly with us subject to the following conditions.


  • There is a maximum weight limit of 16 stones (224lbs or 102kgs). Contact us if your height is over 6ft 2in (1.88m) or if your weight is less than 7.5 stone (105lbs or 48kgs)

  • You must not fly if you are suffering from any serious medical condition (including epilepsy, fits, severe head injury, high blood pressure or heart condition) or have recently undergone surgery, unless you have a certificate of fitness to fly from your doctor.


  • You must tell us about any disability or health problem that might affect your or our personal safety.

    • We are not qualified to express an opinion about your fitness to fly.

Click here to see our full terms and conditions 

What happens if my flight is cancelled?

Gliding is weather dependent so we may be forced to postpone your flight. If the weather conditions are not suitable for flying on the day we will re-book your flight for another day.  The voucher pack includes a contact phone number so you can check with us before leaving home.

We may also cancel your trail lesson for operational reasons where we are constrained by crewing levels or aircraft serviceability. 

Please remember your voucher is valid for one year.

At our discretion, we may extend the one year period if we have cancelled your flight for operational reasons

Please read our full Terms and Conditions