Thread: Learn to glide?
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Old 9th Nov 2018, 07:02
  #77 (permalink)  
longer ron
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: northofwhereiusedtobe
Posts: 1,150
Originally Posted by Sam Rutherford View Post
I did my first solo at 16 in a glider, at the end of a one week course... If I can, then anyone can!
Presumably while you were an Air Cadet (or similar) Sam ?
Realistically nowadays nobody is going to solo after a 1 week gliding course (unless they have fairly significant previous flying experience).The old style Air Cadet courses were to get you solo and be awarded the A+B gliding certificate as quickly as possible.Civilian gliding clubs train you to a more advanced standard including how to stay up there using thermal/ridge/wave lift (depending on gliding club location)
The 'How long to solo' question is impossible to answer as there are too many variables.
My own gliding 'career' started off (like Sam ?) with the Air Cadets,I then had a long gap and eventually joined a civvy club and became a reasonable cross country pilot/glider owner.
Yes the first few months of glider flying will involve a lot of time at the airfield but as you gain hours/experience then it is possible to buy your own glider /or a share in a glider (as a syndicate member).
On a good gliding day you can have a cheap winch launch and then go and fly all day,on a reasonable day in the uk a 6 hour (or more) flight is quite normal,My longest flight in my old logbook is 6.5 hours off a winch launch (in wiltshire) - a 320 kilometre cross country.
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