Learning to fly a glider is not difficult ...
The only age restrictions are that you must be 14 to fly solo and 16 to go cross country. There is no upper age limit subject to some minimum medical requirements.
After a few flights you will start to become confident with the flight controls. Rather like learning to ride a bicycle - once you have "cracked it", you will never forget!
With aerotow launching (as we do at Shobdon), the average pilot will take perhaps 35 or 45 instructional flights before flying solo.
In this period we teach you how to maintain the glider in flight using thermals, ridge lift and mountain wave.
The firstmost objective is to teach you to be a safe pilot. You will only fly solo once you and your instructor are confident that you fly safely
Glider pilot Licence
Once you complete your training you can apply to the British Gliding Association for your Light Aircraft Pilot Licence (Sailplanes) which is valid throughout Europe or for your Sailplane Pilot Licence which is valid Globally.
You can also apply for your "Gliding Certificate". This comes as a small book. The book contains pages to record your gliding progress through the FAI Silver, Gold and Diamond "Badges".
In the Sky with Diamonds
Although optional, the FAI "Badges" provide you with interesting challenges to build on your gliding skills and experience.
The FAI "Silver" badge includes a 5 hour duration flignt, a 50km cross country flight and a height gain of 1,000 meters.
The "Gold Badge" requires the Silver Duration, a 300km
cross country flight and a height gain of 3,000 meters.
The three "Diamonds" are a 300km "Goal" flight around a pre-declared route, a 500km free distance and a heigh gain of 5,000 meters.
Take it further
You can train for your Flight Instructor qualification and also obtain dispensations for the training requirements of the LAPL(A) (or PPL) powered light aircraft pilot's licence.
We rota an instructor on Saturdays every weekend. Flying starts at around 11 am. however you are very welcome to come and help us get the aircraft out of the hangar before this time.
No booking is necessary but it can reduce waiting if you forewarn Les Kaye that you are planning to come.
What will it cost?
The annual Membership subscription is discounted for pre-solo pilots and under 25's.
After this flights are charged for the aerotow launch and hire of the glider per minute.
A typical training flight will be a 2,000 foot launch and a half hour glider hire at our current prices (PDF).
You can pay as you go to spread the cost, or purchase a mini-course of 5 or 10 flights which are also available as gift vouchers.
If our standard charges present a problem to people on low income, the Club Committee will consider applications for assistance from club members or potential members.