Gliding in West Sussex can be enjoyed at the South Downs Gliding Club in Cootham.
Gliding on the Downs dates back to June 1909, when 16 year old Gordon England flew from Amberley Mount, a few miles away from the current site.
Southdown Gliding Club started in 1930, so is one of the oldest in the UK. It is also one of the largest and best equipped voluntary clubs.
The club is closely affiliated to the British Gliding Association, which controls all aspects of the sport. Their location close to the South Downs allows them to soar on the up-draughts or lee waves from the Downs, ride the sea-breeze fronts, or soar in thermals.
Their fleet consists of 3 modern two seat training gliders, 3 single seat gliders, and one motor glider, along with tug aircraft for aero tows.
Members keep over forty privately owned gliders at the airfield. While many members enjoy local flying, some regularly make cross-country flights of 300km or more. Others participate in competitions.
Gliding in West Sussex: Courses
Courses on all aspects of gliding take place throughout the year. Lessons are usually available all year round on a Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.
After a ground briefing you are first aero-towed to 2,500 feet. Next the instructor explains the action of the controls and guides you through some simple manoeuvres for a flight lasting approximately 20 – 30 minutes. You will receive a signed certificate to commemorate your flight!
Visits to other gliding clubs both in Britain and overseas are another popular activity.
More details about the Southdown Gliding Club
If you would like to stay locally why not spend a few days at Rosebud Cottage in Steyning … a 20 minute drive from Cootham.