Gliding for All

Gliding is a form of flying that is well-suited to those with disabilities or who have limited mobility.  Several gliding clubs are equipped with two-seat gliders that with a hand rudder control modification.

In 2019, Talan (pictured below) flew solo during a Battle Back gliding course at Wyvern GC. Talan notes;

‘Paralysed in 2003, I have spent the past sixteen years using a wheelchair to move about, Usually limited to slow speeds, only really accessing places with level or ramped access, life can be quite restricted for a paraplegic. There came an opportunity for me to attend a gliding course, where the limitation and restrictions would be removed, giving me the access to a whole new world…

..It is very difficult to put into words the feelings I experience when flying. I can say that it is an incredible sense of freedom, a sense I very rarely get in my life as a paraplegic. I am released from the restrictions of the wheelchair, I can forget about being disabled and due to the focus needed to fly I am distracted away from the neurogenic pain which plagues me.’

More information

Along with a huge amount of other supportive information, a useful guide to the impact of specific medical conditions on the ability to fly can be found on the Aerobility web site.

Clubs that have converted two-seater gliders to support disabled pilots include:

Anglia GC
Devon & Somerset GC

Lasham Gliding Society
Norfolk GC

Edgehill GC
Stratford-on-Avon GC
Scottish Gliding Centre

The Gliding Centre
Ulster GC
Wolds GC
Wyvern GC

We aim to keep this list up to date but please check with individual clubs for full details and availability.

A guide for gliding instructors on flying with those with a disability can be found here.

Many deaf people have become glider pilots. There is a web site specifically for deaf pilots and potential pilots which provides information and showcases achievements.