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In which Aditrupz went to the Gliding Center at Hadapsar, Pune

Gliding center at Hadapsar, Pune

Soon after misadventures of paragliding, I was told about the Gliding Center at Hadapsar, Pune by a dear friend P. She told me you only had to go register your names there before 9 am on any Sunday and it had minimum fees for it too, only Rs. 187/- plus taxes.

This was super exciting, the Gliding center at Hadapsar was so close to home and the costs were so cheap that the following weekend itself, on 6th March we decided to go. Left from home packed with all anti sun gear and lots of water and fruits, we reached the Gliding center at Hadapsar at around 9.00 am. The sign in register already had 18 names before us and we were numbers 19 and 20. In the hangar, we saw the glider planes parked. They were 6 in number, as usual, the counting in my head began, I assumed that if all 6 were out, we would be in the 3rd round of flights that will happen. Much to my amazement, although “Strictly No Photography here” signs were all over the place, careless onlookers went all out with their cams, I did not, at least not within the hangar. Around 10.30 am we were asked to move towards the airfield while planes were getting ready. It is a huge task to move the gliders from the hangar to the take-off zone. The glider is trolleyed behind a van while someone has to walk the length of the road holding up one wing.

How do the gliders at the gliding center at Hadapsar operate?

Gliding is a wind dependent activity, it is absolutely necessary that wind is in the opposite direction of the take-off. These gliders are all motor-less and flown with help of a winch, the winch is connected to the nose of the glider and long rope connects it to a vehicle like a jeep etc which a few hundred MTS away. The vehicle pulls the winch rope and launches the glider skyward.

Readying for Take off

 

Take Off

The pilot’s capabilities of managing this machine in the air are put to test when the wench disengages and glider goes into a free fall for 3 – 4 seconds, it is most awesome feeling you get, till you are back to normal again. The gliders are only 2 seaters, for obvious reasons the controls for the co – flier i.e I in this case are removed. After we settled into the skies, there was no sound of the motor and a pristine silence which echoed inside the planes pit. As land below began to fly by, I could actually gauge the speed at which we were going, it was quite a pleasant ride. It’s a different flying experience when you can see the ground, the one man space inside the plane is hardly a comfort zone and more like free flying. Ariel view of Pune was extravagant. The landscape marked with buildings with Sahyadris completing the backdrop.

Ariel view - Pune city

Ariel view – Pune city, Hadapsar, Magarpatta locality

 

Inside the Glider

What to expect at the Gliding center at Hadapsar

My Joy ride lasted about 7 – 10 minutes. The landing was bumpy but smooth and for the first time I realized the meaning of the phrase “Brace Yourself” – the descend was super and for me the highlight of the entire experience. There is a real skill in maneuvering these planes since they are all on manual control. No fancy gadgets to guide you around and the pilot cannot put this machine into Auto mode. Being able to read the controls, familiarize yourself with geographical conditions and identifying landscapes are critical for being safe Up in the Air. On the whole a super experience and worth every bit of waiting in sun and praying for wind God’s to make this happen.

Gliding center at Hadapsar: Google Map location