What is soaring?
Soaring or gliding is flight without the aid of any engine for propulsion. Glider pilots use thermals (rising columns of warm air) to gain altitude and climb higher into the air. Gliders or Sailplanes as they're called are towed up to a certain altitude by a powered plane or launched from the ground by a winch, the glider releases from the tow and flies freely. Like a bird that climbs higher while turning in circles without flapping their wings, gliders too seek out thermals and by circling within them use them to gain altitude and prolong the flight. By using thermals to gain altitude flights may last several hours and pilots can cover hundreds of kilometers in distance. Most introductory flights last 20 – 30 minutes and depending upon the wishes of the passenger range from a gentle glide around the airport with a smooth landing to a ride that can only be compared to the world's greatest rollercoaster complete with loops and dives.
What kind of airplane do you use?
All Freedoms Wings Canada aircraft meet both the needs of pilots with disabilities and all the necessary Transport Canada and FAA regulations. The aircraft you will be riding in varies by Chapter location. Please click here to see some of the aircraft used by our chapters.
What do you charge for a flight?
All Freedom's Wings flights are at no cost to the disabled person. The cost of the flight is generously paid for by our sponsors and donors..
Can my Friend Caregiver or partner fly too?
Yes. Many of our Chapters are able to offer reduced cost flights for friends who may accompany the disabled person. Be sure to book their flight at the same time as your own.
Who will help me while I am there?
Freedom's Wings Chapters rely heavily upon the volunteers of the gliding club who will assist with emplaning and deplaning as well as moving around the airfield. All of our locations have accessible washroom facilities and many offer kitchen and picnic areas.
What should I bring with me?
Bring lots of water or other non-caffeinated beverages, a snack or lunch, sun screen or other protection from the sun and a hat. The summer sun can be very dehydrating and flying also dehydrates so please be certain to bring lots to drink. Many of our locations have beverages and snacks for purchase but please check before you count on food and beverage being available. A sweater or light jacket may also be advisable as airfields can be quite breezy. And be sure to bring a camera!
What if it is raining on the day of my flight?
It is important that the chapter manager be able to reach you on the morning of your flight please be certain they have a mobile number for you or other method of contact. It is possible to have a beautiful sunny but very windy day in which case your flight may need to be postponed or rescheduled for safety. It may also be a nice day in the city but not so nice at the airfield so please make sure you can be reached. You may call the airfield the morning of your flight however because of the volunteer nature of gliding clubs the phone may not be answered early in the day while planes are being moved to the field. If your flight is cancelled the chapter manager will book another day and time for you to come.
What happens when I fly?
We begin flying each day (weather permitting) mid morning and we stop in the late afternoon. Flights consist of a short briefing followed by a tow by a powered plane to 2000 or 3,000 feet above the ground and a free flight lasting 20 to 30 minutes. Then it's back to the airfield to land.
Can I get a Glider License?
Yes you can! Transport Canada requires that you be able to emplane and deplane on your own. If this can be accomplished and you are able to grasp and maneuver the hand controls you will be able to start flight training. Freedom's Wings is currently working to have the requirement to emplane and deplane unassisted removed from the glider license requirements. For more information on flight training please contact the chapter closest to you Contact Us
How much does it cost to get a glider license?
Transport Canada requires you to complete a ground school and successfully complete both a
written test and flight test. Transport Canada requires six hours of total flight time including two
hours of solo time and a minimum number of 20 solo flights. These are the minimum the actual
number of flights required varies by student as people develop skills different rates. The average
cost to attain a license is $3,000 - $3,500.
How do I book a flight?
Contact your local chapter representative to book a date for your flight. Contact Us