East Sussex Gliding Club is one of Britain's friendliest Clubs
set in the heart of East Sussex. Primarily a
thermal soaring site, East Sussex Gliding Club rises to the
occasion as no other gliding club can. I visited the club
on Sunday 11th July 2005. It was a warm day ideal for a
picnic. My girlfriend treated me to this flight as a
birthday present. Thanks babe.
sizing up the trainer
club is largely manned by volunteers. They welcome new
members and visitors alike. I was also pleased that they
went out of their way to make sure newcomers got value for
money. I was made to feel right at home from the moment I
stepped onto the airfield. By the way, if walking to one
end or the other, be sure to keep to the edges and look out for
incoming flights. There
was a brief safety talk, we checked our all up weight was within
the limits, then we pushed the trainer plane into
position, heading up the runway, which is actually a grass
field. A parachute was brandished then buckled on.
It is important to fit this bit of equipment tight - in the
unlikely event you may need it. We went through a cockpit familiarization talk and
tried the canopy release mechanism. My instructor, Bjorn,
checked out the controls, all the while explaining how they
worked. As an engineer, I was particularly keen on this
part and although I am familiar with aircraft design principles,
there's nothing quite like seeing it for yourself.
the canopy was shut for real. Bjorn asked the winch
operators to begin and off we went. I'd seen one previous
flight take off and we all thought the ascent was pretty
harsh. I can say that in fact it feels quite smooth and I
don't like fairground rides much, except the Log and Vampire rides.
I was unlucky, in that we could find no thermal draft to climb.
I could tell Bjorn was expert in the task and felt 100%
confident. Unfortunately, I was suffering from hayfever on
top of a summer cold. With one ear blocked the inevitable
happened. I started to feel airsick. I haven't had
this feeling since the 70's, and I've flown many times across
the Atlantic since then. Although it was hot in the
cockpit, I hadn't noticed it that much. That was because
the view is stunning. The whole experience demands your
fullest attention to the point of oblivion. At first I
looked about the countryside. Then it dawned how peaceful
it was - almost surreal. We were in a machine without an
engine that could stay aloft with complete control.
we go - and yes that is steep
any lift to carry us up, we thus rapidly reached the safety ceiling
of 500 feet, below which there is little option but to
land. Sitting in the front, I thought this part would be a
bit hair raising. You'll notice I've not much on top to
raise, hence my concern. Then again, this part was
surprisingly less scary than I thought. In fact it was
rather good and as smooth a landing as one could wish for -
thanks Bjorn. Once again on terra firma I could relax and
get over the airsickness, which soon passed. I do apologize
if my antics caused any concern. All in all, it was a
jolly good laugh and I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a
bit of adventure. A bit further to the south, there is
Firle Beacon. This is a Mecca for paragliders who can get
airborne on the side of the Downs, without any machinery.
is the view from the air - breathtaking
Broyle is the postal name for the B2192 which runs between
Ringmer and Halland. Click
the link below to obtain a map. When driving along the B2192,
East Sussex Gliding Club is clearly signed on the south side of
the road approximately half way between Ringmer and Shortgate
and almost opposite Raystede animal rescue centre..
in to land
Club invites you to take
the chance to see Sussex from the air as you glide or soar over
an area of outstanding natural beauty - where the South Downs
meet the sea. Sit in the front seat of one of the modern two-seat
training gliders, or try out a side-by-side motorised glider.
You will not be disappointed.
SUMMER EVENING WITH A DIFFERENCE!
You can have the airfield to yourselves with group bookings for Trial
Lessons. Two gliders and two Instructors can take up to 16
people flying for only £18 each, refundable if you decide to
join the Club. Suitable for Youth Groups, Corporate Events, or simply groups of
friends (subject to a minimum of 8 people). Phone Maurice
Hinton to book on 01892 654194.
Give that special person a Trial
Gliding Lesson! (click to follow link for details and
Terrific Value, experience floating silently over the Sussex
countryside. Vouchers cost £65 for an aerotow to 2,500 ft
- Valid for a year. The whole cost refunded if you join!
Official Postal Address is: East Sussex Gliding Club Ltd.,
Kitson Field, The Broyle, Ringmer, East Sussex, BN8 5AP
here for a Mulitmap map
21 Greenfield Drive, Ridgewood, UCKFIELD, East Sussex, TN22 5SF
and smoothly down
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