From Trial Lesson to Glider pilot
The journey from your first instructional flight, to the first time you fly (and land!) a glider on your own (i.e. 'going solo') is an extremely personal and individual one.
A person training to become a glider pilot will typically complete around 45 instructional flights under the supervision of a pilot instructor before going solo.
In practice, how many flights, and over what time period, your training will entail, will depend on a number of factors - including your age, aptitude, confidence, previous experience, and time between training sessions. For this reason, it is impossible to predict in advance how long it will take any given individual to become a glider pilot. The best way to find out, is to start training! Once you begin a series of instructional flights, you will form a better idea of what timeline to expect.
The best thing you can do to increase your chances of going solo in the shortest feasible time period, is to come flying as often as possible!
Gliding is an activity that depends greatly on volunteer members support, fleet availability and the weather... factors that are not always consistent. This means that getting an instructional flight is not as simple as showing up at the club at an appointed date and time, and expecting to immediately have your lesson and then be on your way. There is waiting involved. Waiting one's turn to launch. Waiting for the weather conditions to be right. Waiting for an instructor to become available. Waiting for aircraft to be serviced and repaired. Be prepared to spend a lot of time at the club, and to grab every opportunity that presents itself to learn more about this wonderful sport!
It is also important to understand that gliding is a team sport and members are there to help out fellow members. We need people to take part and help with opening up and closing down. Spending time at the club and socialising with other gliding enthusiasts will increase your familiarity with all things gliding and speed up the learning process.
While we won't try to convince you that gliding is cheap, it need not be prohibitively expensive. You do not need to buy your own glider in order to train as a glider pilot. A fleet of club gliders is available for members to use. Members enjoy reduced launch fees. And membership fees are in themselves structured for maximum accessibility.
If you are passionate about gliding but have concerns about finances, please come and have a talk with us.