What to expect

While every effort is made to accommodate visitors, it must be understood that MGC is a club, and as such, the folks on duty as timekeepers, launch marshals and instructor pilots, are volunteers. We cannot plan for a massive influx of visitors, but we will go out of our way to ensure your experience is a memorable one.

Gliding by nature, is subject to the cooperation of the weather (amongst many other factors). The exact time of launch, or duration of the flight cannot be determined beforehand, and an understanding of this will help to alleviate possible frustration at having to wait around for hours. The daily “Flight List” is drawn up on a first-come-first-served basis at the morning student briefing. (09h00 in summer, and 10h00 in winter). Be there if you want to fly.

All dressed up and nowhere to go. Some days the weather just doesn’t cooperate.

Hey, where’s the engine?

Just how does an aircraft having no means of propulsion, stay airborne?

Well there’s a lot to that question, but probably the most important aspect of soaring flight is energy management. Potential energy (height) is traded for kinetic energy (forward motion), and then replenished by circling or slowing down in rising air currents (Thermal or ridge lift). A glider is an extremely aerodynamic and efficient machine, and can travel a very long way while using up only a small amount of height. Typically, a modern glider can expect to achieve a distance of at least 30 meters along for every meter that it descends (called a glide ratio of 30:1). In contrast, a Cessna 172 for example, would only expect to achieve a glide ratio of about 8 or 10 to 1. (Assuming the engine had failed).
Some gliders have attained a massive 60:1 glide ratio!

Current distance record attempts are approaching the 3000 km mark and the current world record for absolute altitude stands at an awesome 49 010 feet above mean sea level. (That’s higher than most commercial airliners fly!)