You will be first be briefed on what to expect, aircraft instruments and control functions, and safety features. You will be helped into the sailplane (the terms glider and sailplane are used interchangeably), the towplane will pull up and its towrope will be attached to the glider.
When the signal is given the excitement begins as you accelerate down the runway and into the air. You follow the towplane up to your release altitude, then release. The towplane dives away to the left and back to the field. Your sailplane slows, it becomes quieter and it is as if you are floating through the air. The huge canopy allows a fabulous view, and on a very clear day the New York City skyline can be seen.
Every day you are looking at the Mamakating Valley, the Shawangunk Ridge, the Hudson Valley and Catskill Mountains. As the air currents gently nudge the sailplane to and fro they are explained and interpreted by your pilot. These are the currents and updrafts that are used to soar. On a still day the glider is sinking at about 2 mph, the speed of a slow walk, while your forward speed is about 50 mph. If air currents are favorable they are rising at a rate greater than you are descending and you gain altitude; this is what we call soaring.
Whether you soar or not, you will slowly glide back to the airport, all the while enjoying the view and learning about the joy of flying as explained by your pilot. The pilot will also be pointing out landmarks. It is quiet enough to speak in a normal voice.
When you return to the airfield the pilot will fly a pattern around the runway and land. After touching down the glider will roll up to within feet of where your glider experience started.
You have a choice of two different gliders for your ride. We offer two options for duration of flight in the Schweizer 2-33 and the Schleicher ASK-21. Our introductory flight is 15-20 minutes, and is recommended for first time flyers.
You may want to consider a soaring flight in either glider. This flight is only possible when there are good soaring conditions and it will last 35-40 minutes. The soaring flight is twice as long (conditions permitting) as the intro ride and will give you a better idea of what it is like to soar like a bird.
All rides are with an FAA Certified Commercial Glider Pilot. You should visit our FAQ page if you are interested in taking a ride.
Gift Certificates are available for all of our ride options, just give us a call and give the gift of flight today!