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Gliders take flight over England

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A high performance glider mid air over the Yorkshire Gliding Club which lies on a plateau in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park on Sept. 1, in Thirsk, England. Towed into the sky to a height of 2000ft by an aircraft called a tug, the gliders are then released and can ride the thermals for a considerable amount of time, the club record being 13 continuous hours.

A number of years ago I had the opportunity to go up in and briefly pilot a glider in Farnborough, England -- it was amazing. As I recall, things were pretty loud on the tow up, but once the glider was released, everything quieted down and was quite pleasant. Prior to taking that ride, I had always assumed gliders were towed up and glided right back down, but considerable altitude can be gained and maintained by catching thermals. I suggest that if you have the chance to fly a glider, take it!

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Gliders and their trailers line the airfield of the Yorkshire Gliding Club, which lies on a plateau in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park on Sept. 1, in Thirsk, England.

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Pre-flight checks are made at the Yorkshire Gliding Club, on Sept. 1, in Thirsk, England.

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A glider is steadied as it takes off from the Yorkshire Gliding Club on Sept. 1, in Thirsk, England.

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A glider and tug take off from the Yorkshire Gliding Club on Sept. 1, in Thirsk, England.

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The Kilburn White Horse, man made from lime, are seen from a glider over the Yorkshire Gliding Club, Sept. 1, in Thirsk, England.