Spice up your weekend by partaking in the exciting activities of Howick Flying Club. Enjoy a thrilling gliding experience, where you can soar above the beautiful scenery that encompasses the Natal Midlands.
For those who don’t know, gliding is a unique sport wherein one takes flight in a powerless aircraft that stays aloft by using the rising air currents, in the form of thermals, and other meteorological phenomena.
It is a simple and enjoyable form of flying, and offers both young and old the unique experience of flight in a tranquil setting. Gliding is a sport where one takes flight in a powerless aircraft and stays aloft by using the rising air currents, in the form of thermals, or a variety of other meteorological phenomena which give rise to lifting air. There are two common types of launching, these being aero tow and winching (less common include auto tow and bungie). Aero tow is when the glider is towed up behind a powered aircraft, much like towing a car but in three dimensions. A winch launch is the type used at Howick, and includes the aircraft being towed up much like a kite, by a large winch. The Howick Flying Club (HFC) is made up of a power chapter and a gliding chapter. The power chapter includes micro light pilots and a few powered aircraft which are hangered at Howick. The gliding chapter is for powerless aircraft which stay aloft by using the rising air currents. This currently comprises of five club owned aircraft (one K-7’s, two K-13’s and a G102 for more advanced pilots) and a number of privately owned aircraft operating out of the Howick airfield
The Howick Flying Club (HFC) has an active membership of about 30 members, and has a number of away camps each year. The club offer flips to all ages, and while booking is not generally necessary, contacting the club to ensure we are aviating is advised. Flying days generally end with club members merrily convening in the club house.
To introduce people to the sport, HFC offer air experience flights at R350.00 and a motorglider at R600.00. This fee covers a joining fee for the day, the cost of ones launch, the flight and insurance. After this initial fee, any further flights will be at club rates. For those interested in learning to fly, HFC also offer an introductory lessons package at R500.00 for five lessons.
One has no guarantee of duration as gliding is reliant 100% on the conditions at the time, therefore flights range from seven or eight minutes to half an hour or more. At one’s request, one can do an assortment of aerobatics from steep turns through to a loop (the only restrictions on passengers is that they must weigh under 100kg’s). Aspiring aviators can go solo from the age of seventeen (joining significantly younger is not advised as one will be ready to go solo before reaching legal age and may well become disenchanted).
All in all gliding is a relatively inexpensive and highly diverse form of recreational flight with a niche place for everybody. It is one of the simplest forms of flight and also one of the most enjoyable.