The Winnipeg Gliding Club is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of gliding and soaring. It has about 70 members. The club operates from its own airfield located approximately 30 kilometers southwest of the city of Winnipeg near the village of Starbuck .
The club operates from early April through the end of October depending on airfield conditions and the weather. Familiarization rides (fam flights) are offered throughout the flying season. Arrangements can be made in advance by calling the Club's Winnipeg telephone number, (204) 735-2868.
Gliders are motorless aircraft. There are several different types of glider. Training gliders used for flight instruction are strongly built but tend to be less efficient in gliding flight. High-performance gliders, often referred to as "sailplanes", are carefully designed to minimize aerodynamic drag to improve their gliding performance. The prairies are great for generating thermals. The flight of longest duration at the Winnipeg Gliding Club is about 8 hours. The highest altitude attained is 13,800 feet. The field elevation is 800 feet above sea level. The greatest distance covered is 500 kilometers.
The long summer evenings, when the day's thermals have subsided, are great for short training flights. As pilots gain experience in finding and flying in thermals, their flights become longer. The usual glider flights lasts from about 15 minutes to an hour.
The Winnipeg Gliding Club runs its own ground school and provides flight training for its student members. Because the Club is a volunteer organization, compared to training for a power license, gliding training is relatively inexpensive.
For the use of its members, the Club owns two two-person gliders and one single seat glider . Two tow planes are operated by the Club. All flights are launched by aerotow. In addition to the joys of flying, there are also social events. These include an open house, a wine and cheese party, a barbecue, a pot-luck supper, a corn roast, and an awards banquet. There are special flying events. Members visit other gliding clubs, and members from other gliding clubs also visit the Winnipeg club.
To maintain a high quality in its operation and beauty in the surroundings, there is always work of one kind or another to be done around the Club's field, be it with flight operations or with the facilities.
Becoming a Glider Pilot
To fly at the Winnipeg Gliding Club, a person must be 12 years of age or older. To obtain a license, a student must be at least sixteen years of age, and obtain a License Validation Certificate (medical). A minimum of 15 hours of ground school lectures must be attended. Flight training consists of dual flight instruction and solo flying. A candidate must demonstrate competence as a pilot and pass the Department of Transport written examination before a license is issued. For more information about any aspect of gliding in general or the Club in particular contact:
Winnipeg Gliding Club
P.O. Box 1255
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Telephone: (204) 735-2868
Becoming a Tow Pilot
The Winnipeg Gliding Club operates one 1977 Bellanca 8GCBC Scout (180 hp) and one 1966 Piper PA-25-235 Pawnee for glider towing purposes.
The towing operations are staffed by volunteer pilots who meet the club's criteria for operations. The criteria for tow pilots is listed below:
- Both the Winnipeg Gliding Club aircraft are tail wheel aircraft. Consequently, the club only accepts people with prior experience flying tail wheel aircraft. We recommend between 20 to 30 hours of Bellanca Citabria flying time. In addition, we recommend pilots have about 100 hours of pilot in command time. The more tailwheel experience, the better! The Club also recommends the pilot receive a detailed, complete checkout from a local flying school that operates a Citabria.
- The club offers to instruct prospective tow pilots on how to tow gliders. The club does not have flying instructors on staff, and will not perform type checks on the Citabria.
- All tow pilots at the Winnipeg Gliding Club are unpaid volunteers. In addition to volunteering their time, each tow pilot is required to join the Soaring Association of Canada as a tow pilot member. This enables the tow pilot to be insured on our aircraft.
- Glider towing at the club usually takes place every evening (except Friday) and all weekend. The weekends are broken up into two shifts.
- Prospective tow pilots must have a private license or better, with a current medical. In addition, the pilot must comply with all CARS regarding pilot recurrency training.
If you feel you have these flying skills and want to volunteer, please send a note to
with your qualifications or call the club phone number, (204) 735-2868, and leave a message.