What is Gliding?
Imagine you're a falcon. You effortlessly ride the airwaves, circling upwards in the thermals, just flicking a wing feather every now and again to change direction. For we mere humans, the closest approximation of flying like a bird is the sport of gliding. The motorless aircraft, called gliders (or more accurately sailplanes) provide the experience of flying without distracting engine noise, and allow for wonderful views of the countryside below. Reading the weather provides a real mental challenge for glider pilots, and yes, they sometimes do watch the birds for clues.
Do You Fall Out of the Sky when the Wind Stops?
Keeping a glider airborne is all about finding areas of rising air, known as lift. There are several different types of lift: