When you arrive at the airport on your flight day, you will be escorted to the glider staging area and introduced to your pilot, who will custom design your flight to match your desires and the weather conditions. At flight time you will be assisted into the glider and rolled onto the runway where the pilot, ground crew, and tow pilot will coordinate the launch procedures. The tow plane will launch the glider and cruise to soaring altitude. Your pilot will release the tow rope and soaring begins!
Our Schweizer 2-32 glider carries up to two passengers in the back seat. We also offer a front seat experience for single passengers in our Schweizer 2-33 glider.
The useful load capacity of our glider is 501 pounds. Subtracting the weight of the pilot typically leaves a remaining capacity for one or two passengers of 300-325 pounds, including clothing. Two average size adults fit VERY SNUGLY in the passenger seat. There is no height limit but the seat will feel quite cramped for two large adults. If you have questions about how well you might fit, give us a call: (541) 286-5609.
Wear a hat with a brim that will shade your eyes. Sunglasses are also recommended. You may bring a few personal items including a small purse, camera, phone, and water bottle.
It's best to wear athletic clothes that allow you to climb easily in and out of the glider. On sunny days, radiant heat through the canopy will keep the temperature in the glider similar to the temperature on the ground. On cloudy days, it will get cooler as the glider ascends, so an extra layer is recommended.
Yes, a single passenger may enjoy a front seat experience in our Schweizer 2-33 glider. Single passengers may also be permitted to ride in the front seat of our higher performance Schweizer 2-32 glider, but that decision can only be made by the pilot in command on the day of your flight. There is no option for two passengers to ride in the front seat.
Infants and toddlers in arms are not permitted. Children 12 or under must be accompanied by an adult. All passengers must be able to sit independently strapped into the seat. Please carefully consider what your child will need to enjoy the flight. We do not refund for flights that are aborted due to unhappy children.
Gliders are engineered to take maximum advantage of the energy in the atmosphere. Heat and moisture combine to create winds and thermal activity that lift the glider. On a good soaring day, a glider pilot in the Hood River Valley can fly over three miles high and stay aloft for hours. Most scenic rides are set for 20-50 minutes, but custom rides of longer duration may be arranged on request.
Yes, it is especially safe because eliminating a motor eliminates the risk of motor failure. The glider pilot designs the flight plan to use the atmospheric conditions to return safely to the airport.
Our insurance requirements do not permit scenic rides passengers to take the controls of the glider. If you want to experience flying a glider, consider purchasing a FAST voucher offered by Hood River Soaring in collaboration with the Soaring Society of America (SSA). For only $150, you will receive an introductory flight lesson, a log book, a booklet on learning to fly gliders, and a 3 month membership in the SSA. The FAST program includes the option to join Hood River Soaring with a temporary membership, so you may continue taking additional lessons for up to 3 months coinciding with your SSA membership. To purchase a FAST voucher, click here and select FAST Program.
If you want a quiet and calm experience, it’s best to fly on a clear and windless day, most often in the early morning or toward evening. If you’re up for a more energetic soaring flight, wind and partial clouds make for the best conditions.
Tips are not expected but are welcome. All tips go to support the Hood River Soaring Youth Program.
We will contact you on your flight day if there’s any doubt about the weather. For safety reasons, we reserve the right to cancel the flight at any time due to adverse conditions.
Some scenic rides passengers are affected by motion sickness. If you're concerned that this may be a problem, please advise your pilot who will take precautions to make the flight comfortable for you. We do not refund for flights that are aborted due to motion sickness.