For most, flying is about travel. Business trips and going on holiday. It's hassle driving to the airport, hassle going through security, hassle boarding, hassle cramped in a tiny space on board the aircraft and hassle waiting for your bags at the far end. Let's face it 'flying' is a necessary evil if you want to travel.
However, 'flying' is about much more that travel! Did you know that you can take a flight in a light aircraft from ILAS airfield, Co Wexford. You get to try your hand at controlling the plane under the watchful eye of a flight instructor. What's more you get to experience silent flight, soaring like an eagle. Through out the year conditions are often favourable for soaring flight. That's where the plane is able to maintain height and even climb with the engine turned off. No noise and no fuel burn. Just the spectacular view. It's not difficult to control the aeroplane and most people get the hang of the basics after a few minutes. Before long you will be wheeling and turning around the clouds with a sense of freedom that you can not get with any other activity.
As a Club, we introduce many people each year to the joys of flying. For many, they receive a Gift Voucher from a family member or friend. Quite a few simply treat themselves to a flight. What ever the avenue to the cockpit, a soaring flight is like nothing you have ever done before. We provide a preflight briefing so that you will be prepared for the flight. This is followed by strapping in and getting familiar with the controls. The flight itself is a climb to height to view the cloudscape and landscape followed by soaring flight. Eventually of course we have to come back to earth.
So flying can be about pure pleasure. A break from the grind of everyday living. A few precious minutes when the mobile phone can be turned off and you can immerse yourself in the skill required to control the plane and manipulate the atmosphere. When you have been soaring, you will forever watch the sky for suitable conditions in the knowledge that there is more to life than mortgages, banks, bills and demanding work colleagues!
Next time you are squashed up in an airline seat at 30,000ft, take a look out the window at those beautiful slender long thin wings. They are the wings of a glider. Under the metal skin of that airliner, lies the heart of a soaring machine. Aeroplanes can be a form of transport but they can also be so much more.
Look forward to flying with you in the near future.