At Booker Gliding Club we believe in going places. We go on regular trips to other gliding clubs to experience different conditions, learn about wave and ridge flying, and improve our flying skills. As well as being a great holiday, an expedition is an excellent way to get to know fellow club members. Most trips are suitable for all levels of experience including pre-solo. We take club gliders to suit demand, and private owners are welcome too. Our Spring expedition is to Lleweni Parc, Denbigh, North Wales, and our Autumn one is to Deeside Gliding Club, Aberdeenshire.
Deeside Gliding Club – 7th – 22nd October 2023
Every October, after the thermal soaring season down south is over, we head to Deeside Gliding Club, based by the River Dee in Aberdeenshire. The club is ideally sited to take advantage of mountain wave in every wind direction except due easterly. For those chasing badge claims, this is one of the best places to go for gold and diamond height claims. It also offers opportunities for cross country in wave, and local soaring over the Cairngorms is also very rewarding.
Lleweni Parc – 11th – 25th March 2023
In March we go to Lleweni Parc, not far from the North Wales coast, which offers opportunities to fly in wave generated by Snowdon. It is possible to fly along the coast past Llandudno and around Snowdonia. There is also a 30km ridge to the east of the airfield running south from the coast at Rhyl, offering excellent opportunities for long flights.
At 980m amsl Klippeneck is the highest airfield in Germany, and home to several local gliding clubs. Situated on a plateau on the edge of the Swabian Alb south of Stuttgart, it offers opportunities for very long cross country flights over spectacular scenery. Launching is by aerotow and winch.
Yorkshire Gliding Club
Situated on top of an escarpment on the edge of the North York Moors National Park, Sutton Bank is a spectacular site offering wave, ridge and thermal flying.
Black Mountains Gliding Club
A trip to the Black Mountains in Wales is a good way to start the season, with ridge running and wave on offer as well as thermals, and the scenery is amazing. The airfield makes a change for those used to large flat fields, as it is surrounded by hills and valleys – very good practice for circuits.
Midland Gliding Club
This site is on top of a very steep west-facing ridge and is a great place for ridge running. As well as aerotow and winch, if the wind’s blowing hard enough you may get a chance to try bungey launching.
Herefordshire Gliding Club
A large flat airfield with a mix of gliding and power operations, the site benefits from wave generated by mountains in nearby Wales as well as good thermals and ridge flying.
The French Alps offer wonderful opportunities for learning mountain flying skills. The airfield at Serres is ideally positioned, it is possible to practise on the local ridges before heading off into the white stuff, maybe even to Mont Blanc.
Centre de Vol a Vela La Cerdanya
The Cerdanya valley at the eastern end of the Spanish Pyrenees offers everything from nursery slopes to opportunities for long flights into the mountains. The challenge of mountain thermals, ridge and wave, it’s all there.
Upward Bound Trust
Sadly now being used for housebuilding, this grass strip near Thame was very useful as a bolt hole when returning from a cross country with not quite enough height to get back to Booker. It was also a temporary home for us when unable to fly at Booker because of the 2012 Olympics and during events at Wycombe Air Park.
Chiltern Air Sports
Now sadly returned to agriculture, like Thame this grass strip near Goring was often used by pilots unable to make it back to Booker. The club also found a home there during 2020 and 2021 when unable to fly at Booker. Its situation was ideal for long cross-country tasks and we soon got used to working with Benson while flying through their MATZ.