Mendip Gliding Club's History

When formed back in 1975 the club was known as the Woodspring Gliding Club and based at the historic airfield at Weston-super-Mare. It adopted the name, much equipment and some personnel from the RAF's Mendip Gliding Club when that ceased operating later in the same year. We also took over their hangar to shelter our solitary club aircraft. By the end of the first year of operation the club had 150 members although only 25 were solo pilots.The fleet had increased to three aircraft including one single seater. The members had also built a launching winch which has only recently been retired.

The move to Halesland came in 1988 when the ATC vacated the hilltop site. At first there were no facilities available and the gliders had to be stored on open trailers in the cowshed. Each flying day they would have to be assembled and then at the end of the day, taken apart again. The members set about the old ATC hut and installed electricity and drainage. The interior was refurbished and a comfortable clubhouse resulted. At last the on-site hangar was made available and the aircraft could then be kept rigged and share covered accommodation with the winch and the tractors. Since then we have built a separate building to house our winch, vehicles and glider workshop. 

 The club has always been operated entirely by volunteers and we have been fortunate over the years to have had members with such a variety of skills. The club currently owns two ASK-13 two-seaters which are used for flying training, a KA-8 single seater for early solo pilots and a Slingsby Skylark 4 single seater for the more advanced. The club also owns a Grob Astir, a high performance single seat glider of GRP construction. There is also a motor glider for navigation and field selection training. Also on site are around 10 gliders owned by member syndicates. Membership currently stands at around 80 of whom approximately 70 are solo pilots.                                                                                                                                               





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