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About Us
The Scottish Gliding Centre is operated by the Scottish Gliding Union which is a company limited by guarantee and wholly owned by its members. It is managed on a day-to-day basis by a small staff under the direction of an annually-elected board of directors. It has a lengthy history and has operated from several sites before settling at its present large airfield at Portmoak. The Scottish Gliding Centre is variously known as the SGC, SGU and Portmoak (which is the name of its airfield).

The SGC is the largest Scottish club and since settling at Portmoak has flourished so that its facilities rank it high amongst the UK clubs, and certainly it is one of the busiest.
New members are always welcome whether experienced or ab initio (which is gliding terminology for a beginner) and we offer a full range of training from a single Trial Lesson (or simply an Air Experience Flight) if you just want to see what it's all about) through to holiday courses, solo and the FAI* badges.

The British Gliding AssociationThe SGC is a member of the British Gliding Association (BGA) and operates under the rules and with the authorisation of this national body and the club's instructors are all BGA-qualified. The BGA is the governing body for the sport of gliding in the UK with authority delegated from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

We operate all year round 7 days a week (see the flying schedule for full details of the current activities). The club's restaurant facilities are available to members of the public and offer the opportunity to view the airfield activity over a snack or full meal. Members of other gliding clubs with their own gliders are always welcome and temporary membership and flying facilities can be offered to those without their own gliders subject to logbook inspection and check flights.

Training is available all year round to suit the individual whether as part of a regular group, or by booking an instructor, or on an ad hoc basis. All training follows the British Gliding Association approved syllabus which is constantly reviewed and updated to ensure that the most modern and safest methods are used. Typically an ab initio might expect to take about 60-100 flights to get to solo standard though this depends wholly on the individual's aptitude. Differing from power flying, there is no absolute number of flights or hours required to become a solo pilot - the instructor uses his/her judgement to decide when you are ready. Solo standard is only the beginning however and after achieving this there are many different options. There is a system of badges (bronze, silver, gold, diamond) to demonstrate your accomplishments, many pilots enjoy flying cross-country away from the airfield, and for the competitive-minded there are national and international competitions, records and titles. In gliding everyone is an individual setting his own objectives.

Membership is open to all (presently by law you must be 16 years old to fly solo and you need your parent's permission if under 18 but there is no upper age limit subject). Full details of membership, flying and associated club charges can be found here. The SGC operates a cadet scheme where a number of places are available for young people to train and fly at very favourable rates.

Walking On Air - Pilot Training for the Physically DisabledThe SGC is host to "Walking On Air", a charitable organisation whose purpose is to make pilot training available to physically handicapped people, and which owns a specially-adapted glider for this purpose. Several wheelchair-bound people have already learned to fly at Portmoak.

The local university of Edinburgh has a gliding club which is affiliated to the Scottish Gliding Centre. The Edinburgh University Gliding Club has been in existence since 1958 and has its own glider fleet with which it offers many students the opportunity to participate in the sport. It has a number of solo pilots, some with considerable experience, and has a number of instructors amongst it's membership.

Although gliding is generally a solo sport it is far from a solo activity and lots of cooperation is required to get the gliders into the air. The SGC employs professional winch-drivers to ensure that this essential facility is always available when required but all other airside jobs, such as inspecting the gliders, driving the towout and retrieve vehicles and signalling the launch are done by club members with training as required. Apart from these essential day to day tasks, some club members become instructors or committee members and help to manage and run the club. A keyword in gliding is Safety and everyone in the sport has this uppermost in their mind, however one of the club's directors serves as safety officer and all flying activities are the personal responsibility of the Chief Flying Instructor

. * The FAI is the sport's international governing body, the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale.

Portmoak Airfield, Scotlandwell, Near Kinross KY13 9JJ    Tel. 01592 840543    Office Hours   Contact Us