This course is aimed at low airtime pilots looking to progress their flying skills towards cross country flying, learning to ride thermals is the first step to becoming a cross country pilot.
Our learn to thermal courses are run in the flat lands of the Darling Downs near Dalby during Spring and Autumn utilizing Tow launch. This gives the best environment for the students to gain the most out of the course for a number of reasons. Weather on the Darling Downs during these times of year is very dry and consistent with nice strength thermals for beginners . Winter has very week thermals that are difficult to ride and the extreme heat of summer brings very strong turbulent thermals. Using tow launch has a number of advantages, we can tow in any direction to suit any wind direction, if you don’t catch a thermal after towing up you land back on launch unlike hill flying where you have to get back up to the launch on top of the hill, there isn’t anything in your way when riding the thermal as there isn’t a hill to hit, no rotor turbulence behind the hill as there isn’t a hill.
The course is run over a 2 day weekend at a cost of $400.
It is a prerequisite to be Tow Endorsed to attend this course. If students have not previously completed their Tow Endorsement this can be done on the Friday before the course starts at a discounted rate of $200.
Next course dates:
Autumn, March/April 2017 - Now open for booking
Course 1 -
Tow endorsement on Friday 24th March 2017
Learn to Thermal on weekend of 25th & 26th March 2016
Course 2 -
Tow endorsement on Friday 7th April 2016
Learn to Thermal on weekend of 8th & 9th April 2017
" I joined SEQ's 'learn to thermal' course in April 2016. I had only flown about 15 hours at the time, mostly ridge soaring and sleddies - the only thermalling experience I had was under direct instruction during my initial course. Being able to get my towing endorsement at the same time was an added bonus. There was a lot to get through in a short amount of time, but what I learnt opened up a whole new aspect of the sport and was exactly what I needed to help me progress to the next level. Being able to climb up to cloud base over completely flat terrain, and to stay there for hours is what I am talking about - 'real' paragliding, and the precursor to going cross country. Shane has a great ability to know exactly what is going on in the thermal he has just towed you into and what you are doing right or wrong, despite being hundreds of metres below on the ground. I can still hear his advice now every time I hit a thermal, or when I've just dropped out of one. Since completing the course I have had many successful thermal flights, including my first 'low save'. I'm a lot more confident in my ability to get up to cloud base now, taking this course was definitely a milestone for me. "