How It Works
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There are no age limits as to when you can begin training to become a glider pilot. However, students will not be able to fly solo until they are at least 14 years old.
To obtain your glider license, you must
- be able to speak and read the English Language
- be at least 16 years old
- have no medical conditions that would prevent you from safely piloting a glider (a medical certificate is not required for glider pilots)
- have a minimum of 20 glider flights
- have received a minimum of 10 hours flight instruction
- have performed a minimum of 10 solo flights
- have a minimum of 2 hours of solo flight time
- pass the FAA knowledge test
- pass the oral and flight test with an FAA examiner
If you have a valid FAA airplane license with a minimum of 40 hours as pilot-in-command, you need a minimum of 3 training flights with an instructor, and 10 solo flights to qualify to take the glider flight test. No written exam is required to add a glider rating to a power license.
SOARINGNV TRAINING PROGRAM
Glider pilot training can be divided into two parts; knowledge training and flight training. Knowledge training includes topics such as aerodynamics, weather, regulations, and airspace. Flight training teaches the student to perform the maneuvers required to safely pilot a glider, such as takeoffs, flying the aerotow, circling flight, and landing.
At the SoaringNV, we use the Glider Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge, and the Flight Training Manual for Gliders, written by Russell Holtz (our Chief Flight Instructor) as our textbooks. These texts, along with accompanying materials developed specifically for SoaringNV, form a very structured curriculum which allows our students to progress rapidly to solo and their license. You can review samples of the textbooks at www.GliderBooks.com
A flight training session is typically scheduled for two hours. Your instructor will assign you reading and review questions from the textbooks, and will review the material with you before your flights. You will then go practice the maneuvers that you have learned about. At the end of your flights, your instructor will review the lessons, and assign you material to complete before your next session.
The knowledge training is mostly self-study, with the students reading the book and doing the review questions on their own. The instructor will then answer any questions the student has, check the student’s answers, and ask questions to confirm that the student understands the material.
EXPENSE/TIME TO GET A LICENSE
Most students can solo after about eight to twelve training sessions, and get their license after an additional eight to ten sessions. The cost of the training for a new pilot is around $6,000, and for a transition pilot (one that already has an airplane rating) around $3,000. How fast the student progresses depends on the students age, natural ability, hand-eye coordination, study habits, and frequency of lessons. The total cost of getting certified can vary greatly from student to student. but you should plan on spending about $250 to $300 per two hour lesson.
Before you can solo a glider, you will need insurance coverage. This is often called renter’s insurance. Your renter’s insurance covers you for the costs that you would otherwise incur after an incident, such as the cost of repairs and lost revenue while the glider is being repaired. Insurance consist of hull coverage and liability. We ask for at least $30,000 in hull coverage. The level of liability coverage you choose is up to you. If you don’t currently have this coverage, you can apply online or by fax, and it will go through in about 24 hours through AOPA or Avemco. Typical cost is less than $500 per year.
SoaringNV possess a glider flight simulator that can be used to help reduce the cost of getting your license. You can use the simulator to learn new manuevers before trying them in the real glider, or to practice manuevers that you are having problems with
Learning does not stop when you get your license. At the SoaringNV, we have the experience and the equipment to help you reach the next level of your soaring goals.
SoaringNV offers a variety of “camps” and seminars throughout the year, including our popular Wave and Cross-Country Camps. Subscribe to our email list to make sure you get announcements regarding up-coming camps. You can check our current event schedule HERE
CROSS COUNTRY INSTRUCTION
Most glider pilots aspire to cross-country soaring, where long distances are covered by repeatedly climbing then gliding. We can help you attain this goal with dual training in our high performance Duo Discus or Duo Discus X.
You will learn the finer points of maximizing speed around a course, using all available lift sources, and navigating in unfamiliar territory, all the while under the guidance of an experienced cross-country instructor. Pilots who take a few cross-country lessons with an instructor progress much faster in their cross-country flying. The experience you gain will be invaluable when you start flying for FAI badges, and in contests.
There are many different reasons for wanting to learn aerobatics. Some pilots seek the thrill that aerobatics provide. Others want the confidence that comes with knowing that they can recover from any situation that they may find themselves in.
We can teach you to do loops, rolls, inverted flight in our ASK-21.