What is Soaring (in Canada)?
A comprehensive overview of soaring can be found in this wikipedia article.
Canada is a vast country offering a wide range of soaring experiences. Most soaring takes place from clubs located throughout the country. The clubs are volunteer, not-for-profit organizations that are run by members passionate about motorless flight. There are thousands of glider pilots in Canada. Some got their start through the Royal Canadian Air Cadets as youth and others arrived with experience from Europe where gliding is popular. A good number earned their licence through SAC-affiliated clubs across Canada.
Getting started in gliding is easy
Free instruction is available at most clubs. Our volunteer instructors are Transport Canada licenced. They donate their time and skills to teach student-pilots how to soar and earn their own glider pilot licence. Instruction is given in two-place gliders with dual controls. The single and two-place gliders owned by clubs are available for members to fly. If you've never flown an aircraft before or even if you're an experienced aviator with thousands of hours, soaring is an exhilarating and challenging sport.
Collegial, friendly and varied
Whatever their size, the clubs strive to operate in a collegial and friendly manner. Our members come from many backgrounds and disciplines making for interesting and entertaining days. The age of participants ranges from 15 to about 85, with most joining somewhere between the two extremes. Camaraderie between club members is strong as the experience of soaring is a unique one. The sport relies on the good-will of members who run the wings at launch time, record flight times in log books, or journey to distant fields to retrieve the occasional pilot who has landed out on task. There are many way to contribute to the club. A summer of soaring for a youth or young adult offers some true life-lessons, other than flying. Because our members are passionate and some are hooked forever, life-long friendships and bonds are formed. It's not uncommon for two or three members to form a syndicate to purchase a glider to share.
Cooperative and encouraging
There is a spirit of cooperation and sharing between the soaring clubs of Canada. Soaring camps are run for weeks at locations offering some special flying opportunities. Advancing pilots are encouraged to attend cross-country clinics where experienced pilots provide morning lectures and pair-up with a student in the afternoon to fly a course together. New instructors travel to neighbouring clubs for days of intensive training to earn an endorsement. Annual contests are held at a variety of locations and pilots from across the country are invited to attend.
Soaring will offer anyone a lifetime of challenge, reward and a strong sense of community. The Soaring Association of Canada encourages you to contact a nearby Canadian gliding club and say “hello”.