Glider Flying. Anyone try it out?


New Member
Hi All,

I'm considering glider ratings. How safe is glider flying? The thought of not being able to go around is a bit concerning. However, other than not having any source of powered thrust -- I can see learning quite a bit from the skill.

Anyone have any input and/or experience with regard to glider flying?

Most serious glider accidents are the result of overly competitive pilots pushing the aircraft beyond it's limits or thermaling too close to other gliders.

The glider is like every other aircraft. Know it's limitations and know your limitations and operate within both and there is little chance for a serious problem.
I highly recommend it. You'll learn more about stick and rudder flying than you ever thought possible.
I just started flying gliders a few months ago. Highly recommended.

Not only will your stick and rudder skills improve, you will probably learn a lot more about weather.

Not being able to "go around" is really not a big deal on a reasonably long runway. Gliders have spoilers (devices that kill lift). You fly a glider at a standard 1000' pattern. Unlike a Cessna with a 10:1 glide ratio, you have generally at least a 30:1 glide. You use the spoilers to lose altitude. Without them, you would be at about 800' agl on final. You basically use the spoilers as you would use power on an aircraft.

Also, gliders and gliders in tow have right of way over all aircraft except hot air balloons. Traffic on the runway would never be a reason that you would need to go around.

I think gliders are pretty safe, how often do you hear about glider accidents? They do happen, but it tends to be the competitive/cross country types. Broken tow rope, or mid-air collisions are probably your biggest safety concerns. A glider can make a 180 in 200' or less. As a powered pilot, you should be pretty familiar with traffic avoidance already.
Gliders are great.

When I joined the glider club I really met some of the best and most experienced pilots in my little flying community.
1) do it
2) the skills you gain in a glider will be very beneficial in powered flight
3) you will learn what those 'thingies' on the floor are for

IF I ran a flight school, you would do some training in a sailplane before solo and after initial solo, more flights in sailplanes. It makes you learn what the wing is really doing and with the handling issues (adverse yaw, etc), you would be a better aviator. You become more aware of your energy state.
Only as a passenger. It was very cool, and I would love to take glider lesson. Give it a try, I'm sure you will like it!
In Europe almost everybody starts their aviation career from me..for a reason!

Gliders are safe, challenging, and really FUN....(btw they are really addictive too!!)

Have fun!
First off, the most dangerous part about going glider flying is driving to and from the airport. I don't know the exact statistics, but if I had to guess, I would say glider flying is more safe than airplane flying (just a guess!).

Next, glider flying will make you such a good stick and rudder pilot. I got my private glider before I started flying airplanes and it was so helpful. Whenever anyone pulled the power on me, I would end up 60kts right over the numbers. If you can spot land a glider within +0 and -100ft of a spot, you can spot land an airplane anywhere (with or without power).

If you already have your private airplane, all you need is 3.0 hours and 10 solo flights. It will probably cost you about $1,000 to $1,500 tops.

And honestly, glider flying is more fun than airplane flying. If I want to go somewhere, obviously, I take an airplane. But if I want to go flying just for fun, I take a glider!