How do I learn?

We offer trial lessons and flying courses for the aspiring glider pilot, as well as conversion or advanced courses for experienced pilots. Whatever your skill level and flying experience, Devon and Somerset Gliding Club (DSGC) is the place for you, and the challenges and rewards keep on coming, whatever level you reach.

The British Gliding Association (BGA), to which DSGC  is affiliated, governs the sport in the UK. DSGC procedures fully comply with BGA standards and you will fly with BGA approved instructors to a nationally recognised training syllabus.

Gliding is a participant sport and you will learn about ground operations alongside flying. Given good weather and continuity of training you might go solo after six to eight months and approximately 100 launches, but it does vary significantly between individuals.

Gliding spans all ages and members come from a wide range of backgrounds - some started before the age of 14, while others discovered the sport after they retired. You can start off in several different ways. We normally fly at weekends, and on Wednesdays and Thursdays throughout the year.  DSGC offers  trial lessons where you can see what gliding is like, we also run summer courses where you can have some intensive flying. Trial flights include 3 months temporary membership of the Club and this is normally when you can decide if gliding is the sport for you.

Practice and theory

Above all gliding is a practical sport. Most emphasis is put on how you control the glider in normal flight and how you cope safely with the unexpected. A small amount of theoretical learning is needed so that you can understand why and how the controls work and what the limitations of the glider are. Before you fly solo it's important to know the rules of the air and the law so far as it affects you as a pilot. This is generally covered in talks by instructors, and practice in the club simulator during the odd unflyable times, so it's important to be around the club even when the weather is poor.

Going solo

Gliding is different from power flying in that there is no formal 'test' before you can fly solo (this is true in the UK at any rate). Your instructor will monitor both your skill level and your self-confidence and judgment to decide when you are ready to go solo and one good flying day when the conditions are favourable and you seem to be on top form the question will come "do you fancy trying that again on your own this time?". That's it - you're a solo pilot and then with advanced training you can move through the gliding skillsets......