Glider flight training can start as early as age 13 however, a student can not solo a glider until he/she reaches the age of 14. A glider pilots license can be obtained at the age of 16.
An FAA certified flight instructor will familiarize you with the gliders flight controls, how they operate and how they control the aircraft. You will be taught the basics of aerodynamics and how it effects glider flight. The first few aero tows or winch launches will be flown by the instructor as the student follows through on the controls.
After your first few flights, your instructor will hand you the controls and guide you through flight maneuvers such as straight and level flight, shallow and steep turns, stalls, landing patterns, approach to landing and landing.
Aero Tows and Winch launching;
During your training you will learn how to stay behind the tow plane and perform maneuvers such as “boxing the wake” and “slack rope recovery”. Winch procedures and launching will also be taught . This training will hone your skills and prepare you for your solo and eventual check ride for your pilots license.
Once your instructor feels your flying skills have progressed to the point where you can safely and expertly control the glider in all phases of flight, he will solo you. Your first solo flight is briefed with your instructor and he will watch from the ground as you takeoff, fly your approach to landing and safely bring the glider to a stop on the runway. This event is celebrated with family and friends and all Sky Soaring members at the field. A water soaking is a right of passage and something to be proud of.
Once you have soloed, you will continue to improve your flying skills on your own until you and your instructor feels you are ready to take your glider private pilot oral and flight tests with an FAA designated examiner. You will schedule your date and meet your examiner at the field. Sky Soaring members will support you providing ground crew and moral support. Once passed, you will be an FAA rated Private Pilot (glider only) and able to take passengers up with you.
All students, regardless of age are required to be Sky Soaring members. See our “Club Membership” page for information on how to become a member and start your soaring adventure.