Once you have decided that you want to learn to fly, the first step is to join a club.

The Vancouver Soaring Association (VSA), which operates at Hope is s typical gliding club in Canada follows a strict learning syllabus that will take you right from the earliest stages through to becoming a fully qualified glider pilot.

Instruction if provided free of charge to it’s members by certified Soaring Association of Canada (SAC) Instructors.  All members are expected to help out with everything that has to be done to keep a club running and Instructors fulfil their duties this way.

Training takes place on weekends, but usually one-week courses are offered to accelerate the learning process.  Please refer to the “Courses” page for more details.  Usually the practical side of gliding is concentrated on first – while the weather is flyable – and the theoretical training required to pass the GLIDE exam can be focused on during the winter months.

The VSA will help facilitate students obtaining the Student pilots permit, their radio operators licence, and advice on where to go to prepare for and write the GLIDE exam.

How long will it take?

How long it takes to obtain your Glider Pilots Licence (GPL) is not really that important – it’s how much fun you have doing it. Sharing a flight, and being able to discuss it afterwards, even if it is with your instructor, is often half the fun, and many pilots prefer to fly in twin gliders for that reason, even after they are “solo”.

For students with prior flight experience, it is possible to solo within the first season.

For ab-initio students it is realistic to expect it to take two seasons.  There is no typical or minimum number of flights, and it is entirely up to the student’s progress as to how long it ultimately takes.

Flight simulator training, using programs such as Condor Soaring can be of a great help, an d can shorten the overall duration for some.  The club is in the process of building a simulator, and it is hoped to have a simulator ready for use in the 2015 season.

Your first target will be to fly solo. Don’t worry – you will only do this when your instructors are certain that you have all the necessary skills to safely take-off, fly and land the glider.

After you’ve successfully flown solo, you can continue your training syllabus to achieve the Bronze and Cross-Country endorsements. The specialist training will equip you with the skills to make informed decisions about your planned flying, navigate cross country and deal with unusual situations, such as landing off-site in a farmer’s field.

For further information on becoming a glider pilot, contact us by email: