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. Please schedule your flight in advance by contacting our membership chairman at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
M-ASA offers two different options for your first glider flight. The first option is an Introductory Glider Ride. Cost: $80. M-ASA accepts personal checks or PayPal. Depending on weather conditions, a typical flight last about 20 minutes.
Once you have scheduled your ride, if you wish to pay by PayPal, please enter your name below. Clicking the Pay Now button below will take you to the PayPal site where you can enter your payment amount and choose your payment method.
The second option for a glider flight is through the FAST program sponsored by the Soaring Society of America. 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: http://www.ssa.org.
Those who are not members of M-ASA must sign a M-ASA Guest Waiver agreement form. If the passenger is less than eighteen years of age then a parent or legal guardian must also sign the waiver.
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 invoved 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 225 pounds 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 only last fifteen 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 about an hour. Most club sailplanes are limited to one hour of flying, if and when another club member is waiting to use the sailplane. 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.
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. 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.