Wave at North Wales Gliding Club (NWGC)

Classic Wave clouds looking towards the Vale of Clwyd from North Wales Gliding Club. To fly in wave is a dream.


Wave flight on a freezing cold, beautiful day at North Wales GC.

A beautiful day, 24th February 2018 at North Wales Gliding Club. This was a solo flight in one of their club K13 training gliders.

This video shows me flying in what we called “wave”. Wave is one of the types of lift that glider pilots search for to gain height and prolong their flights. It is quite rare and is the most prized by many. Wave lift occurs when strong wind is forced over high mountains. The air beyond the hills then effectively bounces up and down like ripples or waves on a pond – hence the name. Wave lift is prized because of a few reasons – firstly it can climb to fantastic heights, over 20,000ft, secondly it is (usually) very smooth air to fly in and thirdly it can go for miles and miles. You can see in the video how smooth and serene it is but I gain height very quickly and could have stayed aloft for ages.

The other very noticeable meteorological feature in the video is a well defined temperature inversion layer. This happens on calm, high pressure days when the higher, warmer air traps a layer of cold air underneath it. It can be seen as the very hazy layer below me at around 1,000ft.

At various points in the video you can see other gliders from the club as we all fly around the local area.