Being a member - Your training

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Your early training

Lessons to solo will focus on co-ordinated control of the glider, airmanship, basic navigation, weather, rules of the air and flight theory. The winch launch is the predominant launch type used but you will also have the occassional aerotow launch. There is no fixed time to solo, safety is of paramount importance and you will not be sent solo until such time that you are ready - that could be 60 flights, 260 flights maybe never. Before you fly solo you must also have your GP complete a medical form which is based on the DVLA "fit to drive" requirements.

Your first solo

Your first solo is a flight you will never forget, a memorable occassion, every glider pilot remembers their first solo. During the weeks approaching the time of your solo the training will intensify. You will experience an increased number of simulated cable breaks, you will be quizzed about rules and safety, your flights will include more unusual events to test your response and decision making. You probably won't know it's going to happen until it happens and your instructor does not get into the back seat. You'll fly in a two seat glider on your own for the first time. The sense of achievement is immense.

After solo

Once you have flown solo for the first time for some time, certainly until you reach the bronze standard, you will be required to have check flights with an instructor before you are permitted to go solo. Your instruction continues as you develop your skills as a solo pilot. You will also learn the skills required to aerotow and control the glider whilst following the tug aircraft. You will learn soaring techniques so that you develop the skills to stay in the air for longer periods. Once you achieve the bronze standard and complete the cross-country endorsement you will be eligible for the "glider pilot's licence"

After bronze there is always something else to do. You could aim to complete other badges, silver, gold and diamond. You could take an aerobatic course, compete in competitions, fly cross country courses or maybe take an instructor's course. The choice is yours.

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