How Sailplane Rides work
Working with Sailplane Rides in Orlando
"Will it be fun?" ..."What if I freak out?" ..."Have I lost my marbles?"
You already have your reservation for your first sailplane ride in Orlando, and you get excited just thinking about it. You realize, though, that you haven't the slightest idea of what to expect. Take a deep breath and relax. It will be fun, you won't freak out (but if you do, the Orlando Gliders network pilot will land immediately), it is extremely safe, and your marbles have been found.
Here is exactly what you can expect:
You and your FAA-certified Orlando Gliders network pilot will get into the plane and you will both fasten your seat and shoulder belts. After lowering the canopy, the pilot will go over the sailplane controls with you (not that you will need to use them, but for your edification).
What's Next?: Safety First
Your sailplane will be attached to the towplane in front of you by means of a tow-line. When the pilot gives the signal, the towplane will start its take-off down the runway. You will notice that the sailplane takes off a little bit before the towplane. When the desired altitude is reached, your pilot will pull the release handle to release the tow-line from the nose of the sailplane; your sailplane ride in Orlando is about to begin.
Upon release from the towplane, the safety protocol requires that the towplane turn to the left and the pilot of your sailplane ride in Orlando to the right. This protocol is essential and strictly adhered to by all pilots involved with sailplane rides in Orlando.
What's Next?: Find the Heat
Your pilot then searches for the lift that will keep you aloft for the alotted time. There are three different types of lifts. Mostly likely your Orlando Gliders network pilot will be looking for a thermal lift.
What's Next?: Types of Lift
What's Next?: Back to Reality
It's time to come back to earth. Since Orlando Gliders network pilots always stays in range of the airfield, you won't have far to go. Your pilot will reduce the lift and/or increase the drag of the glider to lower it. He will then apply the airbrakes and land gently on the runway.
Mission accomplished. Gravity has been defied. You have flown like an eagle.
"Most gulls don't bother to learn more than the simplest facts of flight—how to get from shore to food and back again. For most gulls, it is not flying that matters, but eating. For this gull, though, it was not eating that mattered, but flight. More than anything else, Jonathan Livingston Seagull loved to fly."
- Jonathan Livingston Seagull