Melbourne Soaring is a gliding club operating from the Bacchus Marsh airfield 50k from Melbourne and celebrates its 80th year anniversary this year.
Melbourne Soaring was formed as the Beaufort Gliding Club during World War Two and has provided beginner and advanced training in glider flying ever since.
It was established in the Victorian capital during 1942 by employees of the Department of Aircraft Production, Beaufort Division (Fishermen’s Bend), which were building Bristol Beaufort Bombers for the Royal Australian Air Force.
The Club is affiliated with the national body Gliding Australia and is run as a non-profit organisation but has been incorporated for the legal protection of its members. It is managed by annually elected officers and training is conducted free of charge by Gliding Australia authorised instructors.
A licence is not required to fly gliders while a member of Melbourne Soaring.
The aim of the club is to encourage people to participate in all facets of gliding, with a strong emphasis on the co-operative efforts of all members to keep costs as low as possible. This ensures that the sport is affordable for the widest possible cross-section of the community.
Our flying operations are based at Bacchus Marsh Aerodrome, a former military and government facility that has two sealed cross strips, each in excess of 5,000 feet (1500m)in length, with wide grass verges. Along with two other gliding clubs Melbourne Soaring conducts launches from the grass verges while the local powered flight school operates simultaneously from the sealed runways. The resident gliding clubs own a number of hangars at the aerodrome, housing approximately 50 aircraft. They also share a clubhouse, which provides a bar, accommodation and meals.
Melbourne Soaring owns and operates three dual-seat training gliders and two high performance single seaters. In addition to this fleet there are a number of privately owned gliders of varying capabilities owned by our club members.