Almost anyone can take up gliding. There is no age restriction. Generally though anyone under 14 will be too small to reach the controls. Just check with your Doctor that it is OK for you! A medical declaration is needed for full club membership.
How long will it take to learn?
A typical person will take around 40-50 flights before being checked out to fly solo. Tauranga is a fully controlled airfield. We operate off a side grass vector. You will gain broad superior skills here before going solo at a non-controlled airfield.
How much will it cost?
All our instructors are volunteers. Ongoing costs are the normal membership fees and payment for the use of the glider and tow plane. All gliders at Tauranga are charged on a per minute basis.
The cost of getting the glider into the air varies depending on the weather condition but in average at around $50 per aerotow. Please also have a look at our competitive learn to fly packages under Flights & Packages.
Suitably qualified members are trained as instructors and provide their skills and knowledge at no cost to gliding students. Amongst this group of 17 instructors you will find experts in glider aerobatics, cross country flying and of course enthusiastic competition pilots. All the instructors use a standardized curriculum for students which are tracked through formal lesson/skill recording systems.
Challenges and Goals
Soaring as a sport has many challenges and levels of attainment. First is the Solo flight where a pilot takes their first flight without an instructor. Next it is the Qualified Glider Pilot (QGP) certificate which allows the pilot to fly across-country (away from the local airfield). The ability to carry passengers is the next most common step in pilot development.
From here a number of internationally recognised levels of achievement are available from flying to great heights 1000, 3000 and 5000 meters: or away from the training field for trips of 50 kilometres, 300km and 500km. For the dedicated a diploma is awarded for flights of 1000km and 2000km.
For those with a competitive bent a number of competitions are held around the country leading up to the annual National competition which is held alternately in the North and South Island. Most acknowledge these competitions to be the ultimate in fun and adventure!
Interested in learning to fly?
If you have more questions or are keen to take up the great sport of gliding, call our chief flying instructor James Graham on 027 571 8648.