Imagine an airplane flying for more than seven hours without an engine and in the power of the wind alone.
That’s the thrill behind glider flying for the more than 65 pilots who make the Hope Regional Airpark their home base.
Hope is an ideal location for glider flying as a result of westerly winds which blow from the Fraser Valley and rise upon hitting the local mountains. Mount Hope is well known for creating strong upward columns of air which can keep a glider in flight for as long as six and seven hours.
Most days of the week from April to October, visitors to the community can catch a glimpse of the gliders soaring by the mountains over the town.
The pilots are members of the Hope Gliding Centre. The Hope Gliding Centre owns two tow planes and six gliders and offers week long and weekend training programs at the Hope Gliding Centre. The Hope Gliding Centre can be reached at 604-869-7211 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information is on the club’s website at www.vsa.com
For those interested in taking a ride in a glider, HGC pilots will take you up for a 20-30 minute flight for $150. Glider flights are held from the Hope Airpark every weekend and some weekdays, through spring, summer and fall. Bring a lunch and spend a day with the HGC. Flying starts at 10 a.m.
There is a special program to fly the disabled through BC Mobility Opportunity Society.
The Hope Airpark is dubbed by some as one of the best grass landing strips in the Pacific Northwest. The Hope FlightFest takes off July 4th, 2009, with vintage planes, displays, radio-controlled aircraft, helicopter and glider rides, kids games, and a special performance by the Fraser Blues formation flying team. For more information contact the Hope Visitor InfoCentre at 604-869-2021.
To find the Hope Airpark take the Flood-Hope exit (#165) off the TransCanada Hwy #1, just west of Hope, and follow the signs to the airpark. Park on the service road near the white fabric hangar at the east end of the airpark and walk through the gate towards the airfield where the HGC has a red and white checkered operations trailer. Remember, always keep a careful watch for landing gliders while on the airfield.