Perhaps you've never set foot on an airport before. Maybe you spend most of your days at the field, and are just looking for something new. Learning to soar is FUN and CHALLENGING. While in training, a FAA Certificated Glider Flight Instructor
will be mentoring you. He may be in the back seat, actively instructing.
While soloing, he'll be on the ground monitoring your progress.
Safety is always number one on the daily lesson plan. Fun is number two.
To solo: The minimum age to fly solo (alone) in a glider is 14. Many students start earlier, and then solo on their 14th birthday. The average student requires about 25 to 35 flights to solo. Flights usually last about 20 to 30 minutes each, accompanied by about the same amount of ground instruction (usually given during pre-flight prep and/or walking the wing back to the line).
(Tairyn on her 14th birthday solo flight)
Private Pilot's Glider License: A license permits you to take passengers. The minimum age for a glider license is 16 years old. You must also satisfy the following requirements:
1. Take lessons to solo; 2. Have 7 hours of solo flight time, including 20 solo glider flights;
3. Pass the FAA Private Glider Pilot written examination;
4. Get a recommendation ride from your instructor;
5. Pass both an oral and a flight test with an FAA Designated Examiner.
Add-on rating for powered pilots: For those who are licensed as private power pilots, a private glider rating may be added by:
1. Taking the number of lessons necessary to solo. If flying currently, this averages between ten and fifteen lessons;
2. Make 10 solo glider flights;
3. Take a recommendation ride with a CFIG;
4. Schedule and take a check ride with an FAA Examiner. No written examination is required.
Ground School: The FAA requires applicants for written examinations to take either ground school or "approved home study". We can recommend study material or personalize your ground instruction. Computer-based is also available to assist in preparing you for the FAA written test.
FAA Glider Flying Handbook 2013 edition
FAA Instructors Handbook
FAA Form 8710 Airman Application