Gliders return to the Wimmera sky
A year after hosting a leg of the World FAI Sailplane Grand Prix series, Horsham Flying Club is again gearing up for a big two weeks.
The club will host about 25 glider pilot students in an introduction to competition flying class from Saturday to February 1, before its annual Horsham Week competition from February 2 to 9.
Club president Arnold Niewand said even without the pressure of hosting an international grand prix event this year, club members had been kept busy preparing for the next two weeks.
“We will have a full field of students in the training program, which will be 25 or more,” he said.
“The students will come from most areas of Victoria and beyond, including Benalla, Ararat, Bacchus Marsh, Bordertown and Geelong.
“They are the next generation of pilots – the future of the sport.”
Mr Niewand said the Gliding Federation of Australia was keen to boost participation in the sport, and its efforts had paid dividends. “For the past two years we have seen numbers of glider pilots increase, which is very pleasing,” he said.
Mr Niewand said there was a full field of about 40 glider pilots entered into the Horsham Week competition, which is in its 53rd year.
He said some of the best glider pilots in the country would come to Horsham for the competition.
Mr Niewand said the Horsham Week competition would help boost the local economy.
“When you factor in the 25 students for the training program and five or six instructors, that’s 30 people in the first week and then 40 gliders and officials in the second week who are coming here,” he said.
“A few competition people also like to come up the week before to train, and they all need food and accommodation.
“It keeps us all quite busy.”