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First Glider Solo!

Jackson T

Elite member
#1
After getting my LSA licence in August, I kept the rest of my saved flying money for gliding. I started training in October and went solo last Saturday in the glider! It was so much fun. Now I'm finishing up on the basics before moving on to cross country training after Christmas. Here is a video of my solo flight.
If you're considering spreading your own wings, you should try gliding! It is a load of fun and will make you a better pilot if (when) you move on to powered flying. It is especially good at developing good coordination, situational awareness, and flying by the seat of your pants. It's also the most affordable way to fly. My gliding club charges $430/yr for glider hire and $55 per launch to 2000ft. They decided to give me a $10 discount for my first 50 aerotows because I'm a junior, so my launches cost $45. I also needed to pay about $210 in memberships. Budgeting on 25 flights to get to solo it would cost $1765 AUD at my club. Every club's rates are different, but hopefully this gives you a rough idea of the costs.

Happy flying!
 

IcedStorm777

Well-known member
#2
After getting my LSA licence in August, I kept the rest of my saved flying money for gliding. I started training in October and went solo last Saturday in the glider! It was so much fun. Now I'm finishing up on the basics before moving on to cross country training after Christmas. Here is a video of my solo flight.
If you're considering spreading your own wings, you should try gliding! It is a load of fun and will make you a better pilot if (when) you move on to powered flying. It is especially good at developing good coordination, situational awareness, and flying by the seat of your pants. It's also the most affordable way to fly. My gliding club charges $430/yr for glider hire and $55 per launch to 2000ft. They decided to give me a $10 discount for my first 50 aerotows because I'm a junior, so my launches cost $45. I also needed to pay about $210 in memberships. Budgeting on 25 flights to get to solo it would cost $1765 AUD at my club. Every club's rates are different, but hopefully this gives you a rough idea of the costs.

Happy flying!
Congratulations!!
 

IcedStorm777

Well-known member
#5
Thanks! I saw your post about the spins in the Cessna, that must have been hectic! How is your training going?
That's another thing I like about gliding, they're not allowed to do spins in the (powered) LSA I learned in, but I got to do some in the glider.
It's going very well! The only frustrating thing right now is that I have to wait to finish my Student Pilot Application and they are supposed to take about three weeks to arrive which means I won't be soloing until January. That's okay though, what airport did you solo at?
 

Jackson T

Elite member
#6
It's going very well! The only frustrating thing right now is that I have to wait to finish my Student Pilot Application and they are supposed to take about three weeks to arrive which means I won't be soloing until January. That's okay though, what airport did you solo at?
Good to hear! Waiting for paperwork sucks. I soloed the glider at Temora Airport, NSW Australia and soloed the Jabiru (powered LSA) at Wagga Wagga Airport, NSW Australia. Where are you doing your flight training?
 

IcedStorm777

Well-known member
#7
Good to hear! Waiting for paperwork sucks. I soloed the glider at Temora Airport, NSW Australia and soloed the Jabiru (powered LSA) at Wagga Wagga Airport, NSW Australia. Where are you doing your flight training?
Haha, yeah paperwork is always a hassle. Oh neat! That is probably the airport with the most fun sounding name I have ever heard of: Wagga Wagga Airport, that's crazy! I am doing my training at Meadowlake Airport in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
 

Jackson T

Elite member
#8
Haha, yeah paperwork is always a hassle. Oh neat! That is probably the airport with the most fun sounding name I have ever heard of: Wagga Wagga Airport, that's crazy! I am doing my training at Meadowlake Airport in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
I mean, no one actually calls it Wagga Wagga, they just call it Wagga. Imagine the radio calls if they said the full name! It means "many crows" in Wiradjuri, a native Australian language. Is the weather normally pretty good at Meadowlake?
 

IcedStorm777

Well-known member
#9
I mean, no one actually calls it Wagga Wagga, they just call it Wagga. Imagine the radio calls if they said the full name! It means "many crows" in Wiradjuri, a native Australian language. Is the weather normally pretty good at Meadowlake?

Haha that is funny. I know right, that would be crazy. Huh, that's interesting. It depends on your definition of good, there is usually some good wind because we are in the foothills, the occasional dust devil, and snow can be interesting along with the odd deer and or elk heard crossing the runway but it isn't terrible. The biggest thing is the altitude, the airport is at 6,800ft so the air is REALLY thin. How about at wagga wagga, normal weather?
 

Jackson T

Elite member
#10
Well, for starters Wagga is at 720ft :p. The weather is pretty good most of the time, but in winter we sometimes get fog that hangs around for a while. It often hangs around all day if it rained recently and there's water lying around. What's the traffic like at Meadowlake?
 

IcedStorm777

Well-known member
#11
Well, for starters Wagga is at 720ft :p. The weather is pretty good most of the time, but in winter we sometimes get fog that hangs around for a while. It often hangs around all day if it rained recently and there's water lying around. What's the traffic like at Meadowlake?

Yeah that's just a little bit lower than meadowlake ;). That's good. The traffic really just depends, some days it is 2-3 aircraft in the pattern and other days (like last week) there were about 14 aircraft in the pattern which is a little crazy because it is uncontrolled but we survived. Is Wagga uncontrolled? how is the traffic there?
 

Jackson T

Elite member
#12
Yeah that's just a little bit lower than meadowlake ;). That's good. The traffic really just depends, some days it is 2-3 aircraft in the pattern and other days (like last week) there were about 14 aircraft in the pattern which is a little crazy because it is uncontrolled but we survived. Is Wagga uncontrolled? how is the traffic there?
Wagga is uncontrolled. I've never had to deal with 14 at a time, that must've been hectic! What were your circuit radio calls, mostly turning base? There was a bit of traffic at Temora (the airport I glide at) today, including a formation of Airtruks and a C210 doing surveying work. Airtruks would have to be the ugliest planes out there!
 

IcedStorm777

Well-known member
#13
Wagga is uncontrolled. I've never had to deal with 14 at a time, that must've been hectic! What were your circuit radio calls, mostly turning base? There was a bit of traffic at Temora (the airport I glide at) today, including a formation of Airtruks and a C210 doing surveying work. Airtruks would have to be the ugliest planes out there!
Oh neat! Yeah it was a little hectic, we usually try to call every turn (crosswind, downwind, base, short final) but on that day we were communicating between aircraft a TON more (like "Hey Cessna 329, can you extend downwind?" etc.) On the bright side I got told to wear a shirt that I don't care about for the next time I fly (old tradition if you don't know) which means I am more likely than not going to solo next Friday!!! Yeah I agree, airtruks are SOO weird!! What is the hardest part of gliders? Is it landing like in powered?
 

Jackson T

Elite member
#14
Oh neat! Yeah it was a little hectic, we usually try to call every turn (crosswind, downwind, base, short final) but on that day we were communicating between aircraft a TON more (like "Hey Cessna 329, can you extend downwind?" etc.) On the bright side I got told to wear a shirt that I don't care about for the next time I fly (old tradition if you don't know) which means I am more likely than not going to solo next Friday!!! Yeah I agree, airtruks are SOO weird!! What is the hardest part of gliders? Is it landing like in powered?
I'm really excited for you, good luck! You'll have a great time. Do you have a GoPro or anything like that? I've heard of the whole shirt thing, but I don't know how many people do it around here. They didn't do it for me.
The hardest part of gliders is landing (no go-around options :D), and sometimes thermalling is pretty tricky too. On a good day the thermals are very easy to use and it's not too hard, but sometimes they just don't want to play ball. Last Saturday the wind was 20kts + gusts, so the instructor didn't let me solo. I did one flight with him, which was a massive learning experience. The turbulence on tow throwing us around was crazy, and the gusts on final approach had me on the border of being scared! The glider would surge upward and downward while we're flying at the ground at 70 kts. I still got to fly the whole launch, flight, and landing though, which was good.
 

IcedStorm777

Well-known member
#15
I'm really excited for you, good luck! You'll have a great time. Do you have a GoPro or anything like that? I've heard of the whole shirt thing, but I don't know how many people do it around here. They didn't do it for me.
The hardest part of gliders is landing (no go-around options :D), and sometimes thermalling is pretty tricky too. On a good day the thermals are very easy to use and it's not too hard, but sometimes they just don't want to play ball. Last Saturday the wind was 20kts + gusts, so the instructor didn't let me solo. I did one flight with him, which was a massive learning experience. The turbulence on tow throwing us around was crazy, and the gusts on final approach had me on the border of being scared! The glider would surge upward and downward while we're flying at the ground at 70 kts. I still got to fly the whole launch, flight, and landing though, which was good.

Haha, I am really excited. I am hoping to borrow a GoPro from a friend although I'm not quite sure how to mount it so that could be a challenge. Yeah that makes since, go arounds are nice! Dang, that is crazy, wind is absolutely insane out where I am in Colorado. There was one day we were flying and their was a gust that was probably easily 40knts across our fuselage that flipped us to about 120 degrees, that was absolutely terrifying and after that my instructor took over :). If I do borrow a GoPro though I will definitely post it on the forums!
 

Jackson T

Elite member
#16
Haha, I am really excited. I am hoping to borrow a GoPro from a friend although I'm not quite sure how to mount it so that could be a challenge. Yeah that makes since, go arounds are nice! Dang, that is crazy, wind is absolutely insane out where I am in Colorado. There was one day we were flying and their was a gust that was probably easily 40knts across our fuselage that flipped us to about 120 degrees, that was absolutely terrifying and after that my instructor took over :). If I do borrow a GoPro though I will definitely post it on the forums!
You mean 120 degrees bank? That's insane! Where were you when that happened? Not short final, I hope.