The glider is launched by a 1200 metre rope attached to a winch with a big drum mounted on the back of a truck
The height of the launch is usually about 400 metres (1300 ft) to 485 metres (1600 ft ( depending on the wind and conditions of the day. The climb is steep, about 45 degrees up. Many passengers think this is one of the best parts of the experience.
Gliders can stay up in "thermals" - columns of warm rising air. If a thermal is found, the glider can stay up and climb to a higher altitude as long as the air is rising to lift it.
The height gain is dependent on the relative air temperature of the rising air compared to the other air around it, like a bubble of warm air rising.
If a thermal is found, the flight can be prolongued. If not, then the glider will glide down to a landing. In that case the flight will be about 5 minutes.
Finding a thermal is up to the skill of the pilot, aided by instruments we have in the glider,