A select few from the Griffith University Soaring Society (GUSS) had the opportunity to visit the Darling Downs Soaring club on the weekend (17/18 May). There was a range of experience among us; some who had never flown before and others who had accomplished several hours or even reached their solos, and we were all keen to get started. The weekend wasn’t just about flying, I noticed, but also gave us an insight on how the ground operations work and how to look after and maintain the gliders. It put some of the aviation theory into practise.

The only person who wasn’t studying aviation who attended the camp was me, though I have had previous experience in the Australian Air Force Cadets and studied a bit of aviation in my senior high school years. It was a full-on educational experience for all of us and there was a gliding pilot to suit our abilities when we had our flights.

On one of my flights I was placed with a great instructor who explained to me techniques and a bit of theory when he had control of the glider, which was only when we were taking off, doing the circuit for landing and the actual landing itself, as well as when he was demonstrating a steep turn and stalling. He also taught me how to find and take thermals, and I ended up getting the glider around 1000ft higher than when we first started. I was also able to practise my turns as well as straight and level flight.

After my flight and towing the glider back to the hangar as I was the last person to fly in that particular glider, I was given constructive criticism as well as being told what I did well. The constructive criticism was very helpful because it was also explained to me how to fix my mistakes. It was definitely worth the money and travelling two and a half hours. I would love to do my solo course at the Darling Downs Soaring Club because all the members were very friendly and made the experience very enjoyable.

On behalf of all the Griffith University students who attended the gliding camp over the weekend, I would like to thank the volunteers of the Darling Downs Soaring Club for everything; the flights, the food, the fire and the accommodation. We all had an amazing time and you can expect to see us again in the near future.


By Madison McDaniel

Griffith University Soaring Society (GUSS)