UNE gliding club set to soar

Published 19 October 2010

gliderPlans are under way to form a University of New England gliding club in conjunction with SportUNE.

Experts from the Lake Keepit Soaring Club have offered to present a free informational seminar and Q&A session on gliding for any students and staff of UNE who might be interested. The seminar will be this Friday evening (22 October) at 6 pm in the club room of the SportUNE main building.

“The concept of a UNE gliding club is not a new one,” said Joshua Smith, the postgraduate student who has organised Friday’s seminar.  “During the 1960s and early 1970s a UNE gliding club operated at Armidale airport. The operations of this new club would take place at the Lake Keepit airfield, 40 km from Tamworth. Lake Keepit is regarded as one of the premier soaring sites in the country, and attracts flyers from all over the world for its ideal soaring conditions and nearby unrestricted airspace.”

“We hope that, by establishing a club here at UNE, students may be encouraged to try the sport,” Mr Smith said. “No previous experience is necessary.”

“Soaring or gliding is a form of recreational flying using fixed-wing aircraft capable of climbing and staying aloft using air currents,” he explained. “The activities in gliding can range from simply cruising around and taking in the scenery to engaging in competitive racing and distance tasks or aerobatics. There is no need for flyers to own a glider, and instruction is given free of charge on weekends at most clubs.”

Staff members or students wishing to attend the seminar or seeking more information can contact Joshua Smith on (02) 6773 2257 or 0403 107 862 (e-mail: jsmith65@une.edu.au).