Glider Rides

glider ridesWhether you’re at the controls or just along for the ride, soaring offers an uplifting experience you’ll never forget.

Ready to soar?!

Soaring from Lake Elsinore offers breathtaking views of the rugged Ortega National Forest, and the valleys below. Soaring from Hemet or Warner Springs offers beautiful views of the Palomar Observatory, Warner Springs Ranch, Lake Henshaw, and the desert flowers which bloom each spring near the edge of Borrego Springs. On a clear day you might catch a glimpse of the sparkling Pacific Ocean.

All gliders have dual controls. Under the guidance of our FAA certified pilot, you can take the controls and enjoy the challenge of using nature’s forces to soar with the eagles – this package is a favorite for those interested in learning to pilot a glider. At your request, the instructor will devote your entire flight time to teaching you the finer points of glider flying – putting you in the driver’s seat.

If that’s not your thing, we invite you to sit back, relax and enjoy a leisurely pleasure ride – savoring the wonders of motor-less flight and leaving the piloting to us. No matter what you chose, you’ll love the freedom of gracefully circling in a sun-drenched sky with only the sound of the rush of the wind around the canopy. So now the choice is yours – it’s time to decide just how much fun you want in one day. There are four different soaring adventures available from tame to breathtaking.

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Questions? Call our office at (951) 678-4334 and we’d be glad to help you!

Glider Rides Price List

Flight Type Passengers Price Booking
Introductory Flight 1 Person $225 per adult Call (951) 678-4334
Height Performance 1 Person $265 per adult Call (951) 678-4334
Aerobatic Flight 1 Person $280 per adult Call (951) 678-4334
Mile High Flight for 2 2 People $360 Call (951) 678-4334

Warner Springs, California

Glider Rides FAQ

Is it scary?

Maybe a little at first, but soon it becomes very relaxing and calm. If you are nervous be sure to
schedule a flight in the cooler months or early in the day.

Is It safe?

Anything that moves can go bump! But with that said: We have never had a student or passenger injured. All flights are flown by FAA Certified Commercial pilots. It is extremely safe since the sailplane carries no fuel or heavy engine and is designed to land slowly in unimproved fields. Also, the sailplane is built stronger than most small aircraft! Slow speeds, short landings,
nothing volatile and airframe strength make this sport one of the safest.

What are the ages to fly?

For the rides, there is no minimum age. However, if a child is too young he/she will not appreciate it. We find that 4 or 5 years is when the ride becomes more appreciated. To solo, one must be 14 years old. The oldest to solo at Sky Sailing was 82. That gives you a good range to work with.

What is meant by “average size/weight” for the rides for two?

The FAA considers a weight of 170 to be average. The maximum weight for the single ride in the normal trainer is 242 pounds. On the three seat ship a combined weight of the passengers is about 360 pounds. The biggest problem is hip room. The passengers sit side by side in a width of 29″. We do use grease and a shoe horn, but it may become uncomfortable and it may be best to split the rides into two rides or Intros for one.

Are there height or weight limits?

Yes. 242lbs is the maximum for the high-performance rides while 230lbs is the limit for the aerobatic rides. Height limits depend upon the person’s individual torso or leg proportions. If you’re over 6’3″ we will have to evaluate you on the day of your flight.

Can I take pictures/video?

We now offer a HD video service for a small extra charge. The canopies on the aircraft are very fragile and expensive so a fixed camera mount is the best way to protect both the aircraft and passenger from loose cameras.

Do I need to schedule a flight, or can I just show up?

A reservation is usually required to fly.

Do you take more than 1 passenger?

Yes, some of our sailplanes will fit two average size passengers.

When are you open?

We are open every day, all year! Typical hours are 11am-5pm M-F and 9am-5pm Sat-Sun.

How long will we be at the airport?

If you are doing our longest ride then you can expect to be here 1hr.

What payments do you accept?

Cash, checks and credit cards(Visa, MC, Discover, AMEX.

How high do we go on the flight?

Assuming you don’t find any thermals, your maximum height will be 3000′ for the High Performance, 3500′ for the Aerobatic and 5000′ for the HP Deluxe and Aerobatic Deluxe.

What happens if the wind quits?

As long as there is air and gravity the sailplane can safely fly! Actually, by using their long, graceful wings, the sailplane typically descends at approximately 100 to 300 feet every minute. By utilizing the weather, the glider can stay up for very long periods of time and fly great distances, all without using gas or oil, sailplanes use solar power. Even though it is called a
sailplane, it does not have a sail.

Is it a glider or a sailplane?

Technically speaking, we fly sailplanes, but the terms gilder and sailplane are often interchanged. We think of a “glider” as having a glide ration of less than 20:1. This means for every foot that it goes down, it goes 20 feet forward. There are sailplanes with glide ratios of over 60:1. The highest glide ratio in our fleet is the Stemme Motorglider with a glide ratio of 50:1.

How long can the sailplane stay up?

The limiting factor is your bladder! By using the weather, sailplanes have flown over 1,500 miles and climbed to almost 50,000 feet. Our rides are approximately 20, 30 or 40 minutes long. Flights over 5 hours are not uncommon at Sky Sailing. Time is from the start of the take-off roll to landing.

How do the gliders get into the air?

The sailplane is towed into the air by a powered aircraft behind a 200-foot rope. When the pilot of the glider reaches the altitude he/she wants, they release the tow rope. The tow rope returns behind the tow plane. Usually, the glider releases in lift and works up higher. If there is no lift, the glider glides back to the airport.

How long does it take to drive to Warner Springs?

That depends on where you are driving from and how fast you drive and who you get stuck behind! We are located in the beautiful Back Country which is the recreation area for San Diego and Los Angeles. From downtown San Diego, plan on a nice 1 1/2-hour drive. From LA about 2 hours and Under 2 hours from Palm Springs. Make a day of your Great Adventure and visit some of the many sites out here. For more detailed directions see our Maps page.

What is the cost of a sailplane?

Like cars, the range is great and depends on the age and condition of the vehicle. There are many great, fun sailplanes available from under $10,000. New, competitive ships are over $300,000. Our two seat trainers are valued at about $8-10,000 while the 3 seaters are around $60,000.

How long is the 20-minute ride?

Approximately, 20 minutes! The time on flights varies with the weather and type of flight. If you want a roller coaster type ride it will be more thrilling but shorter in time. If there is no lift, we tow to an altitude which would give the time aloft, assuming no roller coasters. Time aloft is approximate; each ride is different. Our rides average more than they are supposed to since our pilots are here to enjoy themselves also!

When is the best time to fly? Reservations?

The best time to fly is when you can get here! Earlier flights, before 11 am and after 3 pm are the smoothest. During the heat of the day we have more unstable air that means it is probably better soaring, but bumpier! So it is more your decision on the type of ride you want. If there is no lift, we will tow to an altitude, which gives the approximate time for the ride you are on. We
are open 7 days a week from 9 to 5 (sometimes later by appointment only).

Should we tip the Pilot and/or crew?

Money is not the reason our pilots are here, however if you feel they did a great job and would like to tip, then by all means please do. Tips are not expected but they are very appreciated. It feels very good when someone gives us a tip!

glider rides

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