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My first gliding lesson was booked, so I looked out of the window and was relieved to see the sun shining!

There was a cold wind blowing, but that didn’t bother me as I was sure that it would help the gliders to fly, but what did I know about it yet? Nothing.

I’d already had a Winch flight for around 10 minutes, but today I was having an Aerotow lesson, being towed behind a plane for a few minutes, which takes the glider up a lot higher.


Gliding 1 185 (Small)We didn’t take off so quick this time, and it was funny seeing a plane in front, towing us along. Memories of Bad Car Days!

Then the cable was disconnected and we were airborne.

Peter my instructor told me to look over the side and under us. There was a flock of seagulls, soaring happily around on the thermals. A good sign.

A buzzard soared by. It looked up and thumbed its nose – or rather, winged its beak – at me, sending me a telepathic message, saying, Ha! I’ve been able to naturally soar around on thermals since I was a few weeks old without being told how to do it. But it’s going to take you several months of instruction, you stupid Human!

Then it stretched out its wings and cockily soared along towards the trees, which I’d Gliding 1 189 (Small)been told earlier are very good for thermals.

I’ll show you, Smarty-Feathers! I thought, banking to the left, using my stick and left rudder, and turning in a perfect circle.

This might sound easy to you, Dear Reader, but let me explain.

If you spin in a circle on an ice rink, for example, you naturally end up where you started. But in a plane or glider, you might start turning with the wind coming towards you, then it’s hitting the right side of the plane and blowing you to the left, then it’s behind you, and finally it’s blowing you to the right. So you have to be aware of this and control the glider.

Before turning, you look carefully around you, looking out for other flying objects, like planes, gliders, balloons, parachutists, pink elephants, UFOs…and only when you can see that it’s clear do you start turning.

Instructions are given clearly in a plane or glider. The pilot says, You have control. And the co-pilot replies, I have control. Then the pilot takes over again, saying, I have control, then you reply, You have control.

Gliding 1 216 (Small)I said to Peter, You have control.

My main weakness when I flew planes wasn’t the actual flying, it was my sense of direction. I found it hard to work out where I was!

Yes, there’s a compass in front of me, but I still always worried about my visual flying.

In my defence, things look totally different from above. I once flew over Disneyworld and it looked like a building site!

So I made the most of flying over places that I knew well on the ground.

I could see Eastbourne’s seafront, Ringmer and Uckfield all at once. They seemed to be much closer to each other from above.

Gliding 1 216 (Small)









The thermals were so good that we weren’t losing height at all, so I had to do several of my perfect turns, both to the right and to the left, to get us lower down, while searching for the Gliding Club below us.

Gliding 1 251 (Small)Then Peter took control again and landed the glider perfectly. The half-hour lesson had literally flown by!







I raised the canopy, and discovered that my body weight had multiplied by about four. I was stuck, and couldn’t move, due to the parachute on my back, which I’d forgotten about!

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When the blokes had stopped cruelly laughing, they finally offered me a hand to get out. They’re obviously not used to holding hands with the other pilots!

Gliding 1 258 (Small)I now have a month’s free membership, so I’ll make the most of it and I’ll be up there gliding again next week.







East Sussex Gliding Club

Kitson Field

The Broyle


East Sussex


01825 840347


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About Lyn

LYN FUNNELL CV (well, sort of!) Lyn had very successful careers as an Air Hostess, Sales Rep, (she was one of only a couple of women. She beat all the men regularly, becoming the Top Rep in the UK, and 2nd in the world.) And then Catering took over. She did everything from the washing-up, to Silver Service Waitress, and Chef. A few times, she had to cook the meal, dash round the other side and Silver Serve it! In between all this, she wrote as often as she could, building up a reputation as a published short story writer, (Horror and a twist in the tale,) and a Poet. She has appeared as a Performing Poet, and a Demo Chef. Then she discovered the world of the Food & Travel Writer. And that’s what she has continued doing to this day. Her main hobbies are Cookery and entering Competitions. She has won many prizes, including holidays and a moped. She enjoys entering Competitions, submitting her original recipes. She was first in many Competitions, including the Good Housekeeping Millenium Menu, Fruits of France, Bernard Matthews Turkey Recipe, and appeared on BBC’s The One Show Spag Bol contest. She was one of three Finalists, coming 2nd, which makes her Britain’s Spag Bol Queen! Now she runs B-C-ing-U! and loves it! After several years of being messed around by Editors, and having loads of contacts, Lyn formed her own online Magazine, vowing to treat her writers fairly, and to do everything possible to further their careers, publicise their books, etc. She now has a band of excellent regular writers, and the Magazine’s going from strength to strength! Lyn’s online published books; Adverse Camber A collection of my published poems. The First Book of Short Stories The Second Book of Short Stories The Third Book of Short Stories. Many of these stories have been previously published. St Anthony of Padua. The Patron St of the Old. A story of one woman’s terrible ordeal in a Home, and her family’s rescue of her. The Girl Who Watched. A Cuban girl is attacked by an English journalist & what follows! Willy the Whizz & the Wormhole. Suitable for Young Adults, aged 15-95! Get Out Of Debt And Stay Out – Forever! Unsympathetic, hard-hitting, realistic solutions to your problems. All these books are published by Andrews UK Ltd No, I didn’t pay them to Vanity Publish! They’re all available from Amazon, and many other online publishers. LYN FUNNELL.