Walking on Air has been established for over ten years to bring the enjoyment of flying gliders to disabled people of all ages. The success achieved to date is demonstrated by the fact that some ten disabled pilots have now qualified to fly solo and one has become a fully qualified gliding instructor. This individual is a paraplegic wheelchair user. A specially adapted modern Schleicher K21 glider with hand controls is used exclusively by the charity.
I want to join
Why not come for a trial lesson first to see if you enjoy the sport, but be warned - it can become addictive! If you do decide to come we will first check that your disability will not in any way prevent you from gliding safely - this will be done either over the telephone, or at the club, in an informal way. The sport is just as suitable for either sex - no particular technical ability or strength is needed to fly a glider. Medical requirements are modest - broadly speaking, if you are fit enough to drive a car you will normally be allowed to fly a glider solo after training.
How do I learn?
Walking on Air operates all year round, as long as the weather is suitable. Training days are operated every Friday when
volunteer instructors and helpers (to assist members who may find it difficult to get in and out of the glider) are available.
If necessary a sling and hoist is available to lift pupils from wheelchairs and into and out of the glider.
Pupils will fly with a fully qualified instructor at all times, who will initially teach the effects of the controls in the air and then progress on to teaching take off and landing. Take off will usually be by winch, which rapidly lifts the glider to some 1,000', if there is little or no wind a tug power aircraft may be used to tow the glider to a greater height - but also at a greater cost!
How much will it cost?
The tariff page is currently being updated. Because Walking on Air is a charity which is supported by grants and donations and which enjoys the use of volunteers for all instructing, maintenance and helpers it is able to offer disabled people substantial reductions on the costs charged by normal gliding clubs. The fees charged therefore broadly only cover the cost of launching, maintaining and insuring the glider. Broadly speaking the more you fly the more you pay!