Members Stories – Andy Holmes

03 Feb 2023

Home » Members Stories – Andy Holmes

How about polishing your flying skills instead of another automatic ILS to 3000m of tarmac?
Gliding is the choice of many commercial pilots wanting to rediscover their passion for pure flying. That’s why I fly gliders at the Long Mynd.

-Andy Holmes, Airbus A320 pilot

You may have a career piloting commercial jets, or maybe you have reached the end of one, but what do you fly for fun?  Are you ready to be in charge of a desk or drive a Cessna from one airfield to another?

Modern gliders represent the cutting edge of aerodynamics.  Without the aid of an engine they fly as high as airspace allows, at speeds similar to a Formula 1 car, stay airborne for up to seven or eight hours at a time and cover distances of many hundreds of kilometres, often in the same flight.

But to do that you need to discover a new set of skills.

As an experienced pilot it won’t take long.  But the skills required; reading the sky, interpreting the lift systems, climbing effectively in a thermal, planning a route as you go, staying aloft by using the changing weather conditions, is for many, an entirely new and exciting challenge.

Once you get your Sailplane Pilot Licence the world is your oyster.  Fly cross country, visit other gliding sites, fly in the mountains, learn to climb in wave, take part in competitions, become an instructor.  The sky is literally your limit.