Set at a picturesque spot on the outskirts of Aboyne, Deeside Gliding Club has been helping people reach new heights since the 1960s.
If you’ve ever wondered what it feels like to be a bird, flying silently and high using only the power of the wind to move, then perhaps the sport of gliding is for you.
For some, it is an inexpensive way to get airborne; for others, it can become a cutting-edge racing sport or a way to do daring aerobatics.
Gliders come in many shapes and sizes and, of course, prices.
You don’t need to buy your own glider to take to the air, as clubs, such as the Deeside Gliding Club, which has an airfield on the A93 two miles west of Aboyne, have gliders which can be used for instructional purposes.
If you do find it’s a sport you want to pursue, one way to keep costs down would be to join a syndicate so that you share the costs with others.
In order for a glider to launch it needs a little assistance. The most common way is being towed up behind a powered aircraft.
When the glider reaches the required height, the tow line is released and the glider is flying free.
Deeside Gliding Club has been teaching people how to fly since the early 60s and enjoys good soaring conditions which allows members to fly regularly over the Cairngorms and beyond.
The club has members of all ages: the youngest is 12 and there’s no upper age limit, but anyone wishing to fly in a glider needs to be at least 4ft 10in tall so they can be secured in the aircraft, while those over 6ft 2in tall may find it difficult to fit in some of the gliders.
After being taken up with an instructor, the first milestone of any pilot is going solo and then working up to a soaring pilot allowing them to enjoying taking family and friends up as guests, cross-country flying, competition flying and instructing.
The club provides training courses and trial lessons, the latter being aimed at novices who may never have tried gliding before, while the courses are aimed at slightly more experienced pilots.
During the summer months, the club is operational seven days a week, with club members running the airfield at weekends and a full-time instructor and tug pilot available from Monday to Friday.
Once in the air, the Cairngorm National Park provides spectacular views up the River Dee past Balmoral Castle towards Braemar and the ski slopes of Glenshee and the Lecht.
What: Deeside Gliding Club, Aboyne Airfield, Dinnet, Aboyne AB34 5LB.
Contact: 013398 85339.
Costs: A trial lesson which includes a tow to 2,000ft, three months’ introductory membership and glider charges costs £75. A welcome pack of briefing notes, log book, training card and elementary gliding book is provided upon joining.