HOW DO I BOOK A DATE FOR MY FIRST FLIGHT?
First, if you have not already done so, purchase your flight from this link [Easy Pay Link]
You may then book your first flight by calling 087 235 5807. Bookings are arranged for Saturday or Sunday mornings. In the summer months, special weekday flying dates may be arranged.
WHERE TO FIND US
The address of the airfield is:
GOWRAN GRANGE AIRFIELD, SWORDLESTOWN, NAAS CO. KILDARE W91 VN52
If you have Google Maps on your phone, put our Eircode W91 VN52 in the search box and the app will navigate you to our gate.
WHAT TO BRING ON THE DAY OF THE FLIGHT
You should bring the membership form, medical declaration and your boarding pass. (Enclosed as attachments with your purchase receipt). Please complete the membership form before arrival at the airfield. Print your details clearly and legibly (particularly your email address and mobile phone number). Sign and date the membership form and also complete and sign the medical declaration page.
AT WHAT TIME SHOULD I ARRIVE?
You should arrive at the field by 9:30am. When you arrive ask for the Duty Pilot and tell him/her that you are there for an Air Experience Flight. You will then be introduced to your pilot for the day. You will be given a briefing, covering the sport of gliding, what to expect, and other areas including safety.
WHAT ABOUT THE WEATHER?
Even though it might be raining where you live, at the same time there may be good flying conditions at our airfield. Of course, the opposite may also be true. The only way to find out is to travel to the airfield and see for yourself. Flying is very weather dependent and it is not unusual to turn up on the airfield to find the cloud base is too low or gusty conditions are likely to render flying uncomfortable. Your flight may have to be rescheduled to take place at a later date when conditions are more suitable.
WHAT TO WEAR AND WHAT TO BRING
In wintertime wear a number of layers of warm comfortable clothing and flat waterproof footwear. In summertime apply plenty of high SPF sunscreen, wear sunglasses for glare and a hat with a narrow brim for shade. Baseball peaked hats are not permitted in the cockpit. As it is a grass airfield, waterproof footwear may always be useful.
Expect to be at the club for a number of hours so bring a bottle of water for hydration and suitable snacks. Please DO remember to bring your pre-completed membership form, medical declaration and your flight Boarding Pass.
MAY I BRING FAMILY OR FRIENDS?
Yes, they will be very welcome. However, children must be supervised at all times.
PETS on an airfield are a hazard to themselves and the aircraft so, if you bring your dog, it must remain in your vehicle.
WHEN WILL MY FLIGHT BEGIN?
There will be a general flight and safety briefing for all pilots once the aircraft have been unpacked from the hangar and pre-flight inspection completed. The gliders will be towed to the launch point and flights will take place according to the flying list for that day. Please note there may be other air experience candidates listed to fly before you.
WHAT ABOUT MY TRIAL MEMBERSHIP?
Beginning from your first flight you are a member of the Dublin Gliding Club for one or three months, so you may continue to visit and begin to learn to fly with our experienced gliding instructors. Only your first flight is bookable so subsequent flights are taken according to your place on the flying list. You can put your name on the flying list again once you land and you might get another flight on the same day. Otherwise, come back on any flying day and get your name on the list as early as possible.
You may buy more flights and pay your glider rental fee at member’s rates using our online payment portal. (Ask the Duty Pilot to help).
WHAT IS THE CLUB ETHOS?
Unlike many other aviation sporting organisations in Ireland, the Dublin Gliding Club is operated as a club, not a commercial business. We aim to fly our members as economically as possible while still covering our costs and depreciation on our club aircraft and equipment. Members are expected to muck in and help with all the tasks needed to run and maintain the operation. This includes turning up early in the morning to help unpack the hangar, inspect the aircraft, tow them out to the launch point and so on. Members who turn up later in the day are expected to remain until the end of flying to help with cleaning and putting everything away again.
IS GLIDING SAFE?
Gliding is an adventure sport and as such could not be considered as safe as travelling on a commercial airliner for example. If you’re looking for a totally risk-free activity, gliding may not be the right fit for you. But on the same basis neither would horse riding, skiing, playing amateur rugby, kite surfing and many other exciting activities! In 70 years of gliding in Ireland, no pilot has been killed or seriously injured in a gliding accident.
When you fly with us you do so at your own risk but if you are concerned about this you can take out travel insurance that will cover gliding for a nominal, or no, extra charge.
Gliders are regulated by EASA (the European Air Safety Agency) just like any other aircraft. They are serviced, inspected and issued with airworthiness certificates annually. Mandatory daily inspections of the aircraft are conducted before signing them out for flight.
When you visit our club, you will find that our pilots are generally level headed, modest and cautious people. Certainly not extreme sport or thrill-seeker types.
The whole organisation of gliding from the Irish Gliding & Soaring Association (IGSA) down to club member level is safety-driven. The pilot you will fly with is certified to carry passengers or instructed by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) under EASA PART SFCL rules. Our instructors contribute their skills free for the advancement of the sport.
WHAT ABOUT COVID?
We have COVID protocols in place for visitors to the airfield and even stricter rules in place for dual flying in enclosed cockpits.
To comply with contact track and trace regulations you will be required to sign our attendance register on arrival at the airfield and complete a declaration that to the best of your knowledge you are free of COVID infection, have not been exposed to anyone who has the virus during the past fourteen days and that you have not returned from travelling overseas in the past fortnight. This applies to everyone on the airfield on every visit.