Most demo flights will last 20-30 minutes and will vary in length depending on the weather conditions during the flight. All demo flights are piloted by a Freedom's Wings AZ member who holds an FAA Commercial Glider License or is a Certified Glider Flight Instructor. The flight will include: takeoff, aero tow, straight and level flight, turns, circles, and often gaining altitude in a thermal, and of course the landing.a
Signs and special parking are provided and we can accommodate and have made provisions to assist in getting around and into the glider.
Our volunteer team members will spend time with you before getting to the glider what to expect and safety requirements. Once in the glider the controls, instruments, harness and an explanation of activities are discussed.
We use a single engine airplane with a 200' rope to tow the glider to a preassigned altitude at which time the rider or pilot will pull a release knob in the glider and disconnect from the rope.
Once we have released from the tow plane we are gliding down hill. If during the flight we encounter raising air (called lift or a thermal) we may circle in the thermal to gain altitude.
The glider has all of the controls of a regular airplane except for the engine. There are certain procedures and approach path back to the landing runway. If the direction of the wind has shifted during your flight we may land on a different runway or the opposite direction than the takeoff direction.
We will always have people and if helpful any devices which will help you exit the glider and maintaining safety as you leave the flight line.
Partnering with the Tucson Soaring Club and flying at The El Tiro Gliderport, west of Marana, AZ
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Photos by permission Freedom's Wings International