Glider Guest Rides Need To Know
How long is the flight?
The flight itself is about 20-25 minutes. There’s a safety briefing before, and a debriefing following the flight. Plan on spending a couple of hours at the field.
Are there any limitations (age, weight, etc.) for guest flights?
Passengers need to 18 years old, or have a parent or guardian come to the field with them to sign a flight release. The maximum weight for a passenger is 220 pounds, and the maximum height is 6’3”. Getting into the plane takes about as much dexterity as getting on a horse, so passengers need to be mobile.
When do you fly guest flights?
While we very occasionally take on winter weather, our regular operations are April through mid-November. Most of our activity is on Saturdays and Sundays, although we also fly some weekdays.
How do I schedule a guest flight?
We send out emails to our guest-riders with the dates for upcoming guest rides. And you can contact the club secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a flight.
What do I wear? And can I bring a camera?
Comfortable clothes are the way to go. If you do want to fly with a camera, make sure that the camera has a neck or wrist strap.
Can I bring friends or family?
Guests are welcome, but safety is our first priority. Chances are they’ll be watching from the picnic kiosk on the field, and not from the launch area.
What kind of glider will I be flying?
Our guest flights are conducted in a Schweizer 2-22 or a Schleicher K7 Both are classic two-seat training gliders, which means posh they are not. But the visibility is great, and we love to fly them.
Who’s the pilot?
Each guest flight is flown by a FAA certified glider flight instructor (CFIG).
Is a guest flight the same as a flight lesson?
No. Our insurance and club rules limits instruction to club members. There is a program run by the Soaring Society of America called “Fly A Sailplane Today (FAST)” that provides a flight lesson certificate that can be used at Silent Knights.
What if the weather is bad?
Low clouds, high winds, or too much heat or cold can make glider flights more of a challenge than necessary. SKGC or its pilots can cancel guest rides if needed. We’ll try to get hold of you as early as possible in the event of a cancellation. And of course, we’ll reschedule.
Where are you located?
Silent Knights flies from Ames Municipal Airport in Ames, IA. There is a Google map with the airport location on our contact page. You will receive information about where to meet when you set up the flight.
My First Flight
--Brynn H. (Iowa City, IA)
Soaring is quite an experience! I had the pleasure of soaring over the heart land with my Father-in-Law, Paul. I was really nervous at first. In fact, I was so nervous that I wouldn't fly with him for six years. But, I finally got some courage and up we went up. I couldn't believe how easily it all happened. I got strapped in, Paul calmly talked me through what was going to happen and before I knew it, we were being towed by another plane up into the air. When we finally reached the magical altitude, we were released from the tow plane and we glided to the right and the other plane went off to the left. That moment was such a rush! Then, just like a quiet, gentle bird, we flew over Ames. It is an experience not to be forgotten.