Noel VaggCFI: Level 3 Instructor
Chris ThorpeLevel 3 Instructor
Peter ChampnessTugmaster
Rob HockingAir Experience Instructor
Tim AdamLevel 1 Instructor
Noel Vagg
Noel Vagg Level 3 Instructor

Noel joined the club in April 1975, and has held most committee roles within the Beaufort Gliding Club. He started instructing in 1978 and has flown several thousand hours instructing students in the club-owned Zephyrus, Twin Astir and Janus.

Noel’s strong interest in cross-country flying started by flying with club instructors in the Zephyrus and then flying a Cirrus for many years. Since then he has flown dual with many club members at various sites entering competitions at national, state and regional levels placing first in several of these.

Most of his flying has been in two-seaters and has ranged from teaching pre-solo students to helping perfect post-solo pilots’ cross crountry techniques and managing courses to train instructors.

Flights to date: 4100

Hours to date: 3600

Longest distance flown: 775 km at 127 kph

Fastest average speed 147 kph for 315 km.

Chris Thorpe Level 3 Instructor

Chris started gliding in 1978 at Bacchus Marsh and has accumulated more than 3000 hours in 42 types of sailplanes.

He has extensive experience in gliding operations, having been the Chief Flying Instructor for the Beaufort Gliding Club from 1995 to 2015 and a member of the Gliding Federation of Australia (GFA) Operations Panel since 2006.

He is currently the GFA’s Head of Flying Operations and a regular competitor in state and regional competitions placing first in several of these. He has risk management, safety management and accident investigation expertise and is the person responsible to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority for the GFA’s safety, compliance and standards functions.

He also holds airworthiness authorities allowing him to conduct annual maintenance inspections.

Before working for the GFA, he was employed by a major bank, in which he held a senior risk management position dealing with legal and professional bodies.

Robert Hocking Air Experience Instructor

Robert started flying with the Beaufort Gliding Club in 1970. He flew all through the 70’s but stopped when “family” duties took over.

He trained in Zephyrus with mainly winch launches. In late 1972, he started as an instructor at the same level as the current level one instructor, attending many Christmas camps and gaining his Silver and Gold badges plus one Diamond badge.

He came back to gliding after his retirement in early 2014 and is now an Air Experience Instructor.

He has a total of over 1500 fights for about 800 hours and has flown about 20 different glider types.

Peter Champness Tug Master

In his role as Tug Master Peter oversees the operating of the club built Hornet tug, the tug pilots and the aircraft’s maintenance.

Peter began gliding in 1985 at the Gliding Club of Victoria (GCV) in Benalla and joined the Beaufort Gliding Club in 2007. Peter has 1000 hours gliding experience and has achieved the Gold Badge with one diamond.

Peter has glider airworthiness authorities for annual inspections (all types) and is authorised to complete repairs on the older wooden types of which he owns several.

Vice President

Tim was introduced to gliding by his glider pilot father, Colin. He went solo in 1988 at age 15 and obtained his Silver badge in 1991 and Gold distance in 1999, flying from Tocumwal NSW.

He joined Beaufort Gliding Club in 2004 and flew infrequently while his children were young. He resumed flying consistently in 2017 and is now a Level 1 instructor.

He has 240 hours in 20 glider types and has soared over 5000 km cross-country.