To solo, you must demonstrate safe control of the sailplane and knowledge of soaring to your instructor. These areas include pre-flight, tow maneuvers, planning, flight maneuvers from take-off to landing, theory of flight, weather, regulations, and emergency procedures. This training requires approximately 25-35 flights which will work out to equal to about 7-9 hours of flight time. This varies with your own initiative, background and skill. Cost for solo flights ranges from $2000- $3000. The minimum age for your first solo in a sailplane is 14.
To get your Private Pilot Glider License the FAA requires you to have seven hours of solo flight time. In accumulating these hours you should gain the skills and knowledge necessary to not only pass the flight test but also to pursue and enjoy the sport of soaring. After you have the minimum seven hours of solo time, have passed the FAA written test and your instructor signs you off, you are ready for the flight test. Cost to Private License after solo is approximately $1500-2500. Minimum age for a Private License in sailplanes is 16 years.
If you are a rated power pilot it will take 12-15 flights to solo (approx 3-4 hours of flight time). You will have to demonstrate: tow maneuvers, planning, air work, and emergency procedures. You must have knowledge of theory of flight, weather, and FAR's. The FAA requires you to have completed 10 solo flights for a private, or 20 for a commercial, before you take the flight test. There is no written test required for a transition rating, and this add-on rating updates your Biennial Flight Review in all categories. Cost for a transition rating ranges from $2000-$2800.
Your first solo will be a circuit, once around the pattern. After your first solo you will fly again with your instructor to get signed off to fly solo high flights and practice the maneuvers on your own. You will also be checked out in other sailplanes. There is no physical exam required for a glider license but you will sign a statement that you have no known physical defects that would hinder your safe flying. We hope this has answered your questions on cost and what it takes to learn to soar. If you have any other questions please feel free to call and ask us to explain in further detail.
Flight tickets are similar to Gift Certificates and are available for any of these lessons or any of our Rides. You may also buy a Flight Ticket block time. These certificates make very unique & appreciated gifts.
Instruction rates are $48.00 per hour in our sailplanes and, $51.00 an hour in your sailplane.
You pay as you go or we offer block time discounts. For every $800 pre-paid we give you $880 credit, a 10% savings on your flying (books & supplies not included).
Written and flight tests are required to obtain the Private Pilot Glider License. No written test is required if you are a transition pilot.
Here are a few hints that will save you some time and effort: A) After your Introductory Flight pick an instructor who is available the same days you are. Try a few different instructors on your first few flights to find one who meets your learning needs. Then stick with that instructor. B) We suggest you fly no more than three times a week, one or two is optimum. Consistency is also important (example: if you are going to fly four times a month, try to fly once a week) C) Make a notebook for flying. When you get home after a flight write down what you did on your flight and any questions you have or things you didn't fully understand about your flight. Bring these questions with you on your next lesson. You won't remember the questions if you don't write them down and we have found that they are usually very important questions. This notebook does three things 1) It forces you to organize your thoughts, which 2) Will formulate questions on areas you do not fully understand, and 3) It will give you something to review before your next flight.
Sky Sailing is the leader in handicapped training. We have installed special factory manufactured hand controls into the pride of our fleet, "Sailplane Magic". We have trained many para's and incomplete quads to experience the magic and the joy of soaring.
The president of Sky Sailing, Inc., Bret Willat, has been an incomplete para since 1985. Since then he has shared his love of flight with many students who have soloed and worked to complete their private pilot license, and some have gone on to get their commercial pilot rating, leaving their chair and cares on the ground.
A good source of information about para flying is the International Wheelchair Aviators. They can be reached c/o Bill Blackwood at 1117 Rising Hill Way, Escondido, Ca 92025 (760) 746-5018.
With the hand controls, you must be able to use both hands. Your right hand controls the stick which makes the sailplane's nose move up and down. The stick also controls the ailerons which make the ship roll (bank left or right). Your left hand operates the hand controls which make the rudder move left or right which is needed to make coordinated turns. Rudder controls yaw. The rudder also steers you on the ground. Also, the left hand must switch to the spoiler handle which controls the rate of descent and the wheel brake. Your right hand must be able to move forward and to the sides smoothly while the left hand needs to be able to switch controls and generally moves forward and aft. We have cuffs which may assist in griping the sticks for those with diminished hand strength. We are very proud of all our students and hope that we will see you here soon. This sport is a great equalizer and demands you to be your best.
Let your heart soar!