Long Ridge Gliding Club
Case study by Shirley Johnston
The Long Ridge Gliding Club is based at an old military airfield on the crest of a ridge some 1200 feet above sea level. A bar and catering services are provided and inexpensive bunkrooms are available for members who may need to stay overnight. The Club has a current membership of approximately 300 who range in flying ability from novice to expert. The club has two different types of customers: club members and casual flyers who come for one-off trial flights, holiday courses and corporate events etc. The Club has six employees: a full-time flying manager, a steward, two part-time office administrators, a part-time mechanic and a cleaner. In the summer months the club employs winch driver (for launching the gliders) and two flying instructors. Throughout the year, essential tasks such as getting the club’s gliders out of the hangar, working the winches, bringing back gliders and providing look-out cover are undertaken on a voluntary basis by club members. It takes at least five experienced club members to launch one glider. The club’s five qualified instructors, two of whom are the paid instructors in the summer, provide instruction in two-seater gliders for club members and casual flyers. The club charges £70.00 for each trial flight and the average duration is 10 minutes but because of weather conditions, it may be as low as 2 minutes. When club members fly, they are expected to arrive by 0930hrs and be prepared to stay all day to help other club members and any casual flyers to launch whilst they await their turn to fly. On a typical summer’s day there might be ten club members and four casual flyers. Club members would each expect to have three flights during a normal day with durations of 2 to 40 minutes per flight depending on weather conditions. They are quite understanding when weather conditions change and they are not able to fly. Last year there were 180 days when flying took place, 140 in the...
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