On 10 August 2013 at 1130am we travelled to Hope Airport, B.C. Canada the Vancouver glider base. At this air port the members and owners and anyone interested in flying a glider or just being a passenger can come and experience the floating in air experience. We had checked out the Vancouver Soaring Association(VSA.ca web site) and there is a real good detailed map to find this airport just off Hwy no.1 then take exit 165 to Food Hope Rd. to Airport Rd. and you will see the gliders at the end of a grass field. Nice members club house with comfortable seating, with glider pictures on the wall but need the owners, their glider pictures and some passenger pictures as well of glider manoeuvre's in the air. We first met Don who was busy with some paper work so I introduced myself. He said he had a e mail from Barb a glider volunteer that I had requested a ride on their internet site. Barb phoned me and gave me" heads up" what to expect on a Sat. am and answered all my questions, thanks. We helped other pilots push their gliders out of their hangers on to the grass run way field. I was told they weigh a average of 700lbs and with the seize of canopies and body the wings are made longer or shorter. Alfonso was now behind the desk and took the flight cost of 168.00, can use cash money or active credit card and he also was cordial. Don and a female pilot named Heidi who flies the clubs tow plane took me by golf cart to the waiting glider and the VSA air plane. This plane is known for its larger motor and power and quick lift off, very nice looking air craft the VSA owns(they have two). There is more than one pilot of the club who is qualified to fly this plane. I was met by the glider pilot wearing a straw hat, jovial and looked relaxed name Ejub Durk. Ejub placed a parachute on my back and said just in case a serious problem should arise and showed me the handle to open the chute should we have to bail out. I was familiar with parachutes since I had sky dived. Ejub showed me how to step in the front of the @#!*% pit and described what all the gauges meant. You sit in front, best view! Ejub with a smile said are you the one I heard of that would like to fly level or around(loop) gesturing with his hand. I said I would like the round loops and tight turns described on the glider site and can you do this with me. He said with a larger grin yes! I knew I was lucky to get the right pilot! Ejub has over 1,500 glider flights a regular private licence pilot with many hours, so I was not concerned but excited! The plastic canopy was lowered and a nylon rope hooked on the front hook and Heidi and tow plane started to" rev" and slowly move forward. A person is so excited you do not even feel the slight jerk of the glider starting to move. It appeared with my visual and with my pictures that the glider lifted off the grass first then both planes were up.
I marveled at the tow plane flying towards the side of the mountain, slide slipping and gained a altitude of just over 3,000 ft making circles near the side of mountains to get maximum thermal air lifts. Ejub pulled the handle and we were all alone just the air noise coming in to the canopy from a small window. The sensation was unbelievable with a beautiful scenic view of mountains, Fraser River in the middle and the town of Hope and the air port with eagles soaring also. Ejub was continuously explaining air speed maintained and looking out for a landing field, hope fully the air port I thought would be best.! He did a very large loop and I loved the up side view of the @#!*% pit and ground and I was prepared for the G-Forces going down and again very steep up. Ejub showed me how sharp this glider could turn seemed like on the tip of a needle. As I was a old pilot he let me fly the glider for awhile and this occasion I will never forget! The glider returned on approach to the grass run way bumping a little on the grass to the start towing area. I had a camera so got really great pictures in the air and a few in the glider with a strong hand shake with Ejub. Taking a camera with you on the flight is a good idea with another camera with someone on the ground. I just really enjoyed the glider flight and Ejub's happy manner. You will want to go up again or very soon in the future! What a great surprise for a birthday, teens adventure, or any age that is not too concerned of heights, turns or worried if they get back to the airport. I think if VSA had a Groupon or discount coupon I would of gone again. Sun glasses, sun block, hat ,comfortable clothes not to warm is best and light lunch should a person have to wait their turn or delayed with the wind or weather. Also let the VSA member's know your name and state any questions on their i-net site in the comment box. Remember the pilot is in command and can refuse any one that does not understand or remember his instructions or is too nervous or might become unsafe as" SAFETY" is the pilot's main concern! Let the exhilarating day be your high experience! Hotsand-7.
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