Mt Beauty Gliding Club has multiple very experienced instructors to guide you in your journey to becoming a glider pilot. We will familiarise you, then arrange your basic training all the way to solo; then though cross country flying and aerobatics.
You must be at least 15 years of age to fly without an instructor (flying solo). As a result, we generally recommend that people be at least 13 or 14 years of age before starting training.
It is required that you be a member of a gliding club and a member of the GFA (Gliding Federation of Australia).
Becoming a member of the club will give you reduced rates to hire our gliders. Rates for members under the age of 18 are even subsidised by the club to encourage young people to take part in this great sport.
After going solo (flying by yourself) the “A” certificate is your first step towards cross country flight. The “B” certificate will really get you going, also allowing you to fly with other “B” certificate holders.
The “C” certificate will allow you to finally spread your wings going cross country. Then a private passenger rating will even allow you to take up family and friends.
After that there are many certificates for cross country flying. Move on to single seat gliders and feel what it is like to become one with a machine. It is also possible to go on to Instructor training and help others to enjoy gliding like you do.
Full details about certificates and ratings can be found in the GFA Manual of Standard Procedures.
1. First Lesson
The popular way to learn to glide is in two-seat gliders at a gliding club like the Mount Beauty Gliding Club. As the Club is a not-for-profit voluntary organisation, instruction is free of charge. Note that launch and flight-time charges apply – a per-launch charge and a per-minute flight time charge for the use of the glider.
Gliding lessons typically last around 40 to 60 minutes, except in the winter when lack of lift usually results in flights of approximately 10 minutes. It is possible to have more than one in a day so progress can be quite rapid if the student attends regularly.
Gliding like most other forms of aviation flies on procedures. Following these procedures means glider pilots are prepared for any eventuality and can deal with any situation using well-proven techniques. Ground-based lessons cover how to inspect the glider before each flight, principles of flight, air law, navigation, human factors and technical aspects of gliders.
2. Solo Pilot
Instructors will take you through an initial 26 step Integrated Training Program to advance you to solo status. This initial stage of training will include lookout awareness, ground handling, sailplane stability, primary effects and secondary effects of controls, sustained turns, take-off and landing, thermalling to gain height using warm rising air currents, threat and error management, radio use, rules of the air and human factors.
Post solo training consists of 18 further steps to advance you to Glider Pilot Certificate status which confirms that you can now fly a glider independently with cross country capability at any site in Australia. The GPC is equivalent to a licence to fly a glider.
The GPC also allows a pilot to enter gliding competitions.
Post solo training includes advanced thermalling techniques, cross country planning and execution, meteorology, navigation, use of flight computers, out-landing and passenger carrying.
3. Alpine Soaring
One of the advantages of our gliding site at Mt Beauty is that we are one of the few sites in Australia with easy access to the beautiful alpine area. We are situated at the base of Victoria’s highest mountain, Mt Bogong, with an altitude of 1986m and our pilots regularly fly over the summit when conditions permit.
Our students are taught how to fly safely in the remote and rugged high altitude alps in summer and also in winter with stunning snow capped mountain scenery. You may experience ridge and wave soaring at any time of the year depending on wind conditions, in addition to thermalling in the warmer months.
4. Cross-country Soaring
An introduction to cross country soaring will be provided in the initial post solo stage of your training. This will involve flying beyond gliding range of your take-off point, relying on encountering lift, either through thermalling or ridge soaring to enable a return to the take-off point. An early cross country badge can be achieved at this stage which involves the planning and execution of a 50km flight, amongst other tasks.
5. Completing Advanced Set Tasks
Our advanced Cross Country coaches provide instruction in planning and achieving set flight tasks. These tasks can be planned to achieve various advanced cross country achievement badges for those pilots who are interested and typically consist of say a 300km or 500km declared flight.