Club member profile - Pete

We asked our Club members how they started gliding, what they enjoy and have achieved at Devon and Somerset Gliding Club.

Pete HarmerPete Harmer

Why did you start gliding? Having left home and started work at Farnborough, somebody suggested that I should do something at weekends and pointed out that there was a gliding club on the airfield where I worked. Within the month, I was airborne in a T21.
What is your most memorable flight? I really like exploring new places, so a good flight at a new site is always memorable.
What is your most memorable moment? Finally getting my 3rd Diamond (500kms flight), 26 years after the 2nd Diamond (5000m height gain)
What keeps you  motivated? Every flight is different, and the fascination of using the sky in a different way, each day.
Does gliding influence other areas of your life? I spend a lot of time gliding and there isn't much time to do anything else.
What single word sums up gliding for you? Challenging.
Why do you like owning your own glider? It gives me the freedom to fly when and where I want to.
What do you like about DSGC? They are a friendly bunch and its a lovely place to fly.
Why do you enjoy instructing? I want to help other people get as much enjoyment out of gliding as I have - 1500 people so far.
Why do you enjoy flying cross-country? It feels like I've achieved something when I fly round the countryside and get back to where I started from, making the best possible use of the soaring day.
Why do you like flying with other people? It's good to discuss tactics, and it's handy to have someone to pass the sandwiches.
How many different types of glider have you flown and do you have a favourite? 230 different gliders, of 96 types. I've enjoyed flying all the 7 gliders that I have owned, and I've always said that the best glider is the one you happen to be flying at the time.
Where else have you flown? 94 different sites - Most gliding sites in UK, and a selection of gliding sites in Europe and USA.
Age: 65 years
Occupation: Retired Aviation Medicine Physicist
Started gliding: 1964 -1966 and 1973 to date - brief interruption for girls and cars.
Number of launches: 3,400 launches P1, and 5,200 launches Instructing
Number of hours: 3,050 hours gliding P1,  1,030 hours gliding Instructing, and 325 hours Power
Total cross-country flown: 52,000 kms