About Us

About Narrogin Gliding Club

Welcome to Narrogin Gliding Club, the very best and friendliest place to enjoy gliding in the south west of Western Australia.

Located in rolling farmland in the heart of the Wheatbelt, Narrogin Gliding Club has a long history, a great location, well developed infrastructure and a good fleet. The Narrogin region produces big, reliable thermals in an interesting and varied but very safe soaring environment. A great place to fly!

We’re situated at Narrogin airfield, just 9km west of Narrogin town on Clayton Road, which is within an easy day-trip drive from Perth, Bunbury or Albany via major highways and good bitumen roads.

Narrogin is about 150km inland, so it is generally unaffected by sea breezes during the gliding day. On the other hand, it is also usually beautifully cool at night no matter how hot it has been during the day, and its distance from town makes the night sky a magnificent sight. After a plus 40 degree day there is really nothing like standing out on runway 28 on a black, moonless night with the glow of Narrogin town on the eastern horizon, looking up at the cold beauty of the Milky Way stretching out above you in a way that can never be seen from the backyards of Perth.

We’re a club, which means costs are kept to a minimum but our facilities are excellent and our fleet is comprehensive. We operate every weekend and public holiday, plus extended periods during the soaring season for special events like training courses and flying events. Check our Events Calendar for details. For the latest news check our NEWS page or on Facebook.

Flight training is available every day that we operate. Two one-week training courses are run every year, one at Easter and one in October, which are always popular and well attended. Air experience flights are actively supported.

We enjoy flying our visitors and we try our best to show them as good a time as we can.

Want a weekend break with a warm welcome and some of the best flat lands gliding in the country? That’s what Narrogin Gliding Club does best.

We love visitors and we’d love to see you. Check us out, give us a call or drop in.

About Us

Our History

The gliding club was established by a group of local farmers in 1964, when the airfield was more or less unused and perceptually a lot further out of town than it is now. Gliding was an auto-tow operation.

The founding members put in the major, basic infrastructure like the clubhouse and main hangar, which were both relocated from previous lives on local farms. They established the club and bought their first glider through a combination of hard graft and good old country can-do, using money from donated crop programs, cutting fence posts and similar activities. The club owes a lot to these early pioneers.

This airfield is one of many country airfields established by the RAAF up and down the WA hinterland during WW2, when the Japanese were bombing Darwin and Broome. The idea was to provide a series of air bases that could be operated from as the Japanese moved south, which in the end proved not to be necessary. Some of these bases were manned but most were not, including the one at Narrogin. However, they were all very well built. Narrogin airfield is one of two built for the Narrogin area, one to the east of the town, which is no longer useable, and the current airfield to the west.

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Club facilities are extensive and provide for a very comfortable environment.

The club is a comfortable round trip from Perth in a day, but an overnight stay gives the visitor a more relaxed atmosphere as a pleasant weekend escape.

The club house is large and comfortable, air conditioned, with a well equipped kitchen. The clubhouse includes a licensed bar and canteen. There are also barbeques for sharing a drink around with others, while you cook your steak or sausages. Eating areas are indoor or outdoor depending on the weather, all under cover and insect proofed.

The clubhouse also includes a large briefing room, an office and storerooms.

Short-stay accommodation options are motel style or dormitory rooms attached to the main club house, all with easy access to toilets and showers. Bookings are essential

We also have a site caravan park with power reticulated to all sites and a well-appointed ablution block. Visitors to the gliding club are welcome to bring their tent, caravan, camper-van or RV. Please give us a call first, to check costs and availability.

WiFi is available throughout the club area and at the launch points when active.

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Narrogin airfield has two runways orientated 18/36 and 10/28, intersecting at the
NE corner.

Runway 10/28 was bitumen covered by the Local Government Authority a few years ago. The other runway is gravel. Thanks to the original RAAF engineers and LGA maintenance each runway is well drained, which allows year round operations.

The airfield and gliding club has a good electrical power supply but no mains water supply, so all the gliding club’s water comes from rain water collected on site. Water can be carted in if required, from the water pipeline that supplies water to Narrogin town and the hinterland towns from dams located in the Darling Scarp.

The airfield is home to a flying club as well as the gliding club. Light aircraft and ultralights are a growing operation. Because Narrogin town is home to the major regional hospital for the area, the flying doctor is also a regular visitor, at least once a weekend and often more.

Club gliders are stored in the original hangar constructed by the founding members all those years ago. Private gliders are stored in individual T hangars built by the owners. These are constructed in lines with the wings of adjacent gliders overlapping, which make them as cost effective and as space saving as possible.

Attached to the main hangar is a well fitted out workshop that is available to everyone for general maintenance, scheduled inspections or whatever. The workshop also includes a storage area for parachutes, batteries, oxygen gear and the other miscellaneous paraphernalia that seems to be a necessary part of any active gliding club.

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Narrogin is an aerotow club. Aerotowing is by the club’s Piper PA-25-235 Pawnees, one of which has the rather iconic registration VH-TUG.

Many have tried to purchase or appropriate this, but trust us, it won’t happen. It is the legacy of a previous tug-master, the late Roger Vaile, who took a great deal of trouble to search it out.

There is an extensive club-owned glider fleet of two seaters and single seaters available for hire.

The two seaters are:

The Two Seaters

Two Puchacz SZD 50-3
Which are Polish designed and manufactured and very popular with our members. They are mainly used for ab initio pilot training and air experience flights.

Two DG 505 Elan Orion
Which everyone agrees are probably the best purchases we ever made. These are used by the club members for local and cross country mutual flights and for cross country coaching. The DGs are also used for air experience flights when a Puchacz is not available.

The Single Seaters

An Astir CS77.
These are very comfortable, easy to fly, Standard Class gliders, good cross country performers and the first aircraft our trainees are converted into after going solo in a Puchacz.

A Discus CS.
This is our high performance single seater and another Standard Class glider. Ideal for longer, faster, higher cross country flights and gliding competitions.

There are also many gliders in the private fleet, all of them the pride and joy of their owners. Types are the usual eclectic mix common to most gliding clubs. We also have a couple of ultralights that are owned by club members and hangared in a suitably quarantined corner of the T hangar area.

Have a look at the photo gallery, where the club gliders and some of the private fleet are featured.

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