If you'd like to soar with the eagles, here are nearby commercial establishments that will strap you in and take you up:
BAY SOARING -- Woodbine, Md. Offers introductory flights for $40, with instructional flights for about $35 depending on duration. Hours are 9 a.m. to dark daily. To get there, from the Beltway take I-270 north (toward Frederick), exit onto Route 27 north (toward Damascus), exit onto I-70 east (toward Baltimore), go three miles and exit at Woodbine, take a left onto Gillis Falls Road, turn left on John Pickett Road and follow the sign on the left to the gliderport. 924-2444 or 301/781-6095.
WARRENTON SOARING CENTER -- Warrenton, Va. Offers introductory flights for $35, with instructional flights for about $35 depending on duration. Hours are 9 a.m. to dark, Saturdays and Sundays. The soaring center will operate out of Front Royal Airport through April 14, and move to Warrenton Airpark on April 20. To get to the Front Royal Airport, from the Beltway take I-66 west to the Linden exit, take the first left and then a right at the intersection onto Route 55, turn left onto U.S. 340, continue one mile and follow the signs on the right. The Warrenton Airpark is two miles south of Warrenton; to get there, take I-66 west to Gainesville, then U.S. 29 south to Warrenton; two miles south of Warrenton you will see a sign to the airpark. Call 703/347-0054.
JOIN THE CLUB -- If you really get hooked on soaring, you might consider joining the Mid-Atlantic Soaring Association. Members pay only $13 per flight and all instruction is free. Initiation fees are $80, plus $150 at the end of the first year. Annual fees are $80. During the first three years there is an additional $250 annual charge, which is refundable upon resignation; fulltime students under 22 and family members of current association members are exempt from that charge.
MID-ATLANTIC SOARING CENTER -- Operates on weekends out of the Frederick Airport in Frederick, Md., and the Mid-Atlantic Soaring Center in Fairfield, Pa. To get to Frederick Airport, from the Beltway take I-270 north to the Market Street exit in Frederick, turn right on South Street, left on Franklin Street, right on East Patrick, left on Monroe Avenue, and follow it to the airport. To get to the Soaring Center, take I-270 north to U.S. 15 north, to Business 15 into Emmitsburg, turn left at the first traffic light, right onto Orchard Road, then take the first left (Topper Road) and follow it to the airfield. Call 301/473-8984.