Frequently Ask Questions

How high can you fly?

The sky's the limit! Thermal flights often reach heights of 2000+ feet. Actually, the maximum altitude is only limited by your ability to see yoyur sailplane. The world record for radio controlled sailplanes is over 6000 feet.

What types of aircraft do BASS members fly?

We fly all types of aircraft; traditional wood construction sailplanes, composite open class sailplanes, electric powered sailplanes, hand launched gliders, foamy trainers, and 3D aerobatic planes. Fuel powered aircraft of any sort are prohibited.

How can I lunch and fly without a motor?

There are three methods.
  • The first. is known as a "High Start". It is a simple 100 foot piece of surgical tubing attached to 300 to 400 feet of line. This is stretched approximately 200 feet and acts as a gentle sling shot, pulling the sailplane into the air.
  • Second is an electric "Winch". The winch is located at the launching site with its line strung to a pulley 300 yards upwind and returning back to the sailplane. The pilot operates the winch by means of a foot switch, winding in the line causing the aircraft to quickly climb to altitudes of 300 to 500 feet.
  • The third method is hand launching. A Discus Launch Glider (DLG) is held by a wingtip and rotated around the flyer by hand before release. Using this method of launching the average flier can achieve launch heights of greater then 150 feet.

What is "thermal" flight?

A thermal is a column or bubble of warm rising air. The air is heated by the sun's rays are absorbed by the ground, a parking lot or a roof. Sailplane pilots search for thermal lift and use the rising air to gain altitude. It is possible to fly from thermal to thermal for continuous flights of many hours.

What is "slope" soaring?

Wind striking the face of a hill or ridge is forced up over the obstacle. A pilot standing on top of a hell, hand launches his plane into this rising air and flies along the face of the hill. Slope ships are usually smaller, faster and more maneuverable then thermal aircraft.

Is it difficult to learn how to fly?

No, BASS has trainer aircraft and members that can help you learn to launch, fly and land safely. There are also members who can advise you in the construction of your own aircraft.


For further information look at the following sites.

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