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Glider Rides

M-ASA is a great place for your first glider flight. You’ll fly with an FAA-licensed commercial glider pilot in one of our two place gliders.

We typically have flight operations Saturday and Sunday from mid-March through the end of November weather permitting. Read on for information on how to schedule a ride,  the costs and restrictions, and frequently asked questions.

How to Schedule a Ride
Please schedule your flight in advance by contacting the Guest Ride Coordinator at guestrides@midatlanticsoaring.orgEmail is the best way for contacting us, rather than calling us since we typically fly the weekends, and there is no one to answer the phone during the week.

M-ASA Introductory Glider Flight

Cost: $150. M-ASA accepts personal checks, PayPal or Zelle. If you are our neighbor living in Zip 17320, or if you are a youth less than 18 years old, the ride costs $99. No cash is accepted.  Depending on weather conditions, a typical flight last about 20-30 minutes.

Prospective Guest Riders must fully complete and sign a M-ASA agreement form M-ASA_Guest_Waiver_2021_11_07.   If the passenger is less than eighteen years of age then a parent or legal guardian must also sign the waiver.

Please read this Guest Ride Waiver agreement before you schedule your ride, you will be asked to fully complete and sign it when you come to the field.

Once you have scheduled your ride, you will arrive at the airfield at the agreed upon time.  If it appears that the ride is still feasible given weather conditions and other unforeseen conditions, you will be asked to pay for the ride.  Payment will be accepted via check , PayPal, or Zelle. If paying  with PayPal, please send your payment to as the recipient. If your financial institution offers Zelle then you can use it to send your payment to  By making this payment you acknowledge that you have read and accepted the Guest Ride Waiver. All purchases are final and are non-refundable.

Again, please do not pay in advance, pay only upon arrival at the airfield.

Note: If you join Mid Atlantic Soaring Association within 6 months of your ride, we will give you a credit of $75 to your account

Soaring Society of America FAST Certificate

The Soaring Society of America sponsors an introductory flight program called “Fly a Sailplane Today” (FAST).  This program has been advertised in many national publications and, as an SSA Chapter, we will honor these certificates if you have purchased one.  However, our introductory flights are normally provided by flight instructors so each flight can be tailored to the desires of the individual.  Therefore, it is not necessary to purchase a FAST Certificate to make your flight an introductory lesson.

For more information on this more extensive first flight program and to purchase a FAST voucher please visit the Soaring Society of America’s webpage at:

Note: If you join Mid Atlantic Soaring Association within 6 months of your ride, we will give you a credit of $75 to your account.

Minimum Physical Requirements:

For your comfort and safety, you will need to meet certain weight and height requirements. Passengers can be up to around 6’5″ tall and weigh no more than 240 lbs.  Small passengers and children will be evaluated for their comfort and ability to see out of the glider.  Safety is our primary goal.

Questions and Answers

What is it like to fly? Flying in a sailplane is nothing at all like flying in an airliner. The difference is perhaps something like that between a bus and a bicycle. You will sit in a small, close fitting cockpit. There will likely be many turns, what appear to be steep angles of bank, and turbulence. You will probably be in the front seat, so the view is superb, and the response to the pilot’s control inputs is almost immediate.  It is quiet in the cockpit so you can comfortably converse with the pilot when not involved in takeoff, tow, or landing.

Will I get airsick? Most people do not get airsick on short glider flights. However if you do start feeling uncomfortable, it is best not to be a hero about it. Tell the pilot and ask them if they can smooth out the flight and/or bring you back down.


What will I do during the flight? Relax and enjoy the view. Take photos if you have a camera. Be sure to keep hands off the control stick and feet off the rudder pedals. Many pilots like to talk and answer questions, but be sure to be quiet during the takeoff and the approach and landing, when all of the pilot’s concentration must be on the task at hand.

How many passengers can go up? Only one on a flight. There are no three-place sailplanes at M-ASA. Among our limited number of two-place planes, there is room only for a pilot and one passenger.

Are there weight limits? Yes. All sailplanes have weight limits for safety. The limit varies for different sailplanes, but it is likely that people weighing more than about 240 pounds (including clothing, jackets, camera equipment, water bottles etc.) will not be able to fly.  There is a minimum weight necessary to maintain the trim of the glider, so for lighter passengers (those under approximately 70 kg/154 lb), ballast weights will be installed in the front seat position.

How long will the flight last? If there are no thermals (rising air currents), a typical flight will last 20 minutes or so. If there are thermals (most likely to found from 1-5 pm on sunny days), and the pilot is successful in using them, the flight might last up to 30 minutes.  Do note that flying in thermals involves periods of continuous turning, and people respond differently to this.  At all times you will be able to ask the pilot to return to the field.

Can I get something to eat at the field? Probably not. There will likely be water available at the field, but it is a good idea to bring some lunch and water if you plan to stay awhile. There are restaurants in nearby Fairfield, PA or Emmitsburg, MD about 5 miles away.

Can I bring my children and/or my dog? The great majority of the airfield, including most of the grass, is an active runway, and access to these areas is only possible to those involved in flight activities.  Children are welcome if they are kept under continuous supervision and able to understand the importance of not running out on the runway or climbing on the gliders. Our runways are big, inviting, grass fields which may be hard for a child to resist. But the gliders come in silently and a serious accident is possible if an unsuspecting child or adult ventures out on the runway while one is landing. Dogs are more problematical, so please leave your dog at home if you are coming to the airfield.

What should I bring with me? It can be sunny and hot and you will be outdoors for quite a while. We suggest bringing a sun hat, sun block, and water bottle. If you plan to stay all day, you may want to bring a folding chair, food, and maybe a book. Be prepared to walk through grass as you wait for your ride and as you walk into or out of the glider. If it has rained recently the ground will be wet and potentially muddy, so wear shoes appropriate to the conditions. You can probably get some good shots if you bring a camera, especially with a telephoto lens. However, you must never go out on the runway to take a picture.  Multiple gliders can arrive simultaneously and silently.  Even if you think you are not in the way, people on the runway are a dangerous distraction to a pilot landing an aircraft.

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