Central Coast Soaring Club's annual gliding camp returns to Gloucester

A glider coming in for a landing during the 2018 camp at Gloucester Aero Club. Photo Anne Keen
A glider coming in for a landing during the 2018 camp at Gloucester Aero Club. Photo Anne Keen

The annual Gloucester gliding camp will see its highest number of aircraft and pilots over the next week in its nearly 40 years history of soaring over the Mograni and Avon Valley.

More than 30 pilots and 15 aircraft have registered for the eight day event at the Gloucester Aero Club from August 15-23.

The unprecedented demand follows last year's excellent conditions on a number of days which saw a new local height record attained in a twin seat glider of 18,000 feet and some eight flights of three or more hours.

The event is organised annually by the Central Coast Soaring Club (CCSC), Mangrove Mountain, and this year will see pilots also from Camden, Bathurst, Hunter Valley, Richmond and Narromine clubs.

CCSC instructor and camp organiser, Michael Vince said the big response was also due to COVID-19 restrictions and the lack of gliding events in the state this winter.

"The club was forced to close registrations for the first time to meet health and safety requirements," he said.

The pilots will observe COVID requirements during their stay wearing obligatory masks and gloves in the twin seaters.

The continued popularity of the glider camp is due to the special winter soaring conditions in the Gloucester basin. This unique location collects the westerly winds from the Barrington Tops and Gloucester Tops that sweep cross the valley and rise over the Mograni to enable gliders the ability soar along the full length of the ridge.

Often pilots have the choice of ridge and/or thermal soaring over the valley and also the possibility of encountering wave conditions caused by the Barrington and Gloucester ranges. These can provide the stuff of dreams for the pilots with height gains of many thousands of feet.

The pilots are also attracted by the beautiful scenery and the friendliness of the town. They welcome visitors to the Gloucester Aero Club and air experience flights will be available on most days from late morning.