Gliding is a sport open to almost anyone: it is possible to fly solo from the age of 14 and many pilots fly into their 80s and 90s.
For most people the first introduction to gliding is through a trial lesson, often bought as a present. Beginners are frequently surprised to find that they sit in the front, while the instructor sits behind, although they are reassured to see that the instructor has a full set of controls and instruments!
The first lesson involves familiarisation with the experience of launching and landing, how it feels to fly, perhaps progressing to the student being asked to move the stick to bank or pitch the glider while the instructor retains control of the other aspects of flight.
Further lessons build the student’s experience and confidence through a series of exercises on a standard progress card. In addition, the student keeps careful track of all flights in a log book. The number of flights required to go solo will depend on a number of factors, the two main ones being consistency of instruction and frequency of the lessons. Strubby has several advantages for novice pilots, in particular our small pool of instructors, meaning that students can have consistent instruction and quickly gain confidence. As with any weather-dependent outdoor sport in the UK, tenacity is required to keep making progress and while there is no pressure to go solo in any period of time the students who progress rapidly are those who turn up at every opportunity.
Pilots interested in a more intensive training can request a course day, and provided sufficient members and instructors are available this will be put on. One or two students may be accommodated in a day, and no trial flights will be available, meaning that more training flights can be fitted in with fewer interruptions.