The Balaklava Gliding Club was founded in 1953 and was originally known as the “Clare Soaring Club”. After operating for 10 years near the country towns of Clare and Blyth, some 100 kms north of the City of Adelaide, the club moved to Whitwarta, 10 km north-west of the township of Balaklava in 1963. In 1968, the club became the first in Australia to own its airfield with the purchase of 153 acres of land.
The club has since progressed, with a huge effort made by members, many of whom have been involved in gliding for over 25-30 years. Several large hangars, a club-house, bunkhouse and caravan park have been built. Two winches were also built. All of this work, and the continuing maintenance of aircraft, airfield and facilities, is carried out “in-house” by members.
Other projects include running gliding competitions and the club’s own Regatta. Members have assisted at World Gliding competitions held in Australia and helped crew for local pilots competing overseas. Several State Championships have also been held at Balaklava over the years.
The club at present owns 6 gliders, all fibreglass, 3 of them 2-seaters. There are a number of privately owned gliders based at the airfield. Club pilots regularly compete in various contests, or aim for long cross country flights. The first 500 km triangle flown by a 2-seater in Australia was in the club’s “Blanik”. Another pilot set a record for speed around a 750 km triangle in a Standard Class glider.
Flying operations are normally on every weekend or by prior arrangement. Visitors are always welcome.
|Location||Balaklava Airfield, Balaklava, South Australia.|
|Position||34° 05′ S, 138° 20′ E, Elevation 150ft AMSL.|
|Telephone||(08) 8864 5062|
|Days of operation||Weekends and by prior arrangement.|
|Membership||Around 45 -50 flying members.|
|Fleet (Club)||DG-1000 (VH-DNC)
ASK 21 (VH-ZBG)
|Launch method||Winch launch; 2 dual drum winches.|
|Facilities||Clubhouse, Bar, Canteen, Toilet, Showers, Barbeques, Hangars,Aircraft Maintenance Workshop, Tie-down Areas.
Club owned airfield.