Frequently Asked Questions

Soar like birds… Disability gliding at its best!

We are run by our members. We have a Board of Directors, many of whom are also disabled. As well as our members we are supported by many volunteers, in particular our instructors and helpers. Volunteers also maintain our glider.

Almost everyone with a disability can glide with Walking on Air, from teenagers onwards.

In terms of medical requirements, as a guide, if you can drive a car you can fly a glider. Even if you can’t drive a car you may still be able to fly a glider: the minimum age for flying solo is 14. There is no fixed upper age limit. The weight limit is about 100 kg or 16 stone, and unusually tall or short people might not fit safely and/or comfortably in a glider.

Some medical conditions or medication prevent solo flying but you might still be able to fly with an instructor. If you’re uncertain whether you’d be able to fly just get in touch with us.

Our base where most of the flying happens is the Scottish Gliding Centre, which is the largest gliding club in Scotland and the third largest in the UK. We normally fly on a Friday, and operate an online booking system.

We also run expeditions every year to the Cairnform Gliding Club, at the entrance to Glen Feshie in the heart of the spectacular Cairngorm mountains. It’s popularly known as ‘Feshie’.  When on expedition we fly as much as the weather permits, every day of the week if possible!

For an Air Experience flight you will fly with a fully qualified gliding instructor and, if you wish, will be given the opportunity to handle the controls of the glider during your flight.

We fly every Friday when the weather is suitable and, apart from the instructor, have helpers to assist pupils with getting into and out of the glider.

If you join the club the sky is the limit!  We train members to solo and beyond – WoA members have become cross-country pilots, instructors, and learnt basic aerobatics.

Gliding is one of the cheapest forms of flying, with an hourly cost well under half that of powered aircraft training. For details of the costs, please see our Tariff.

Our glider, WA1, is a Schleicher ASK 21 which is a rugged, modern two-seat training glider which has been adapted to have hand controls as an alternative to the rudder pedals in the front and / or back seats.

The Scottish Gliding Centre has fully wheelchair accessible premises, with disability friendly washroom facilities and rooms. The club is open 364 days per annum.

However please note that Walking on Air usually only operates on Fridays.

A glider flies just the way any other plane does: the wings provide lift to keep it airborne. The controls – elevator, ailerons and rudder – are the same as for any aeroplane. A glider has to fly downhill all the time because it doesn’t have an engine pulling it forwards – much like a bicycle freewheeling downhill.

For a glider to go upwards it has to fly in rising air, or “lift”, and that’s where the fun starts. Gliding is all about reading the sky and seeing where the rising air – free energy – is. If you get good at this you can go surprisingly long distances surprisingly fast. Some of our members regularly fly 100s of km across Scotland at average speeds of over 100 kph. Here are some photos of a nice 425 km cross country flight around Scotland.

If you want to know more about how gliders fly and soar, there are loads of excellent reference materials.

Pooley’s Discount
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Donation from Pooleys, with Dave T and Colin
Donation from Pooleys, with Dave T and Colin

We are a Scottish Registered Charity, SC025350. We rely on the generosity of our sponsors and donors to make disability gliding available to all. If you can help, please visit our donations page.

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