How long does it take to learn to glide?
We’re often asked ‘how long does it take to learn to glide’. It’s a difficult question to answer as everyone learns at a different rate and have different pressures on their time and budget.
A keen and capable person who can get to the gliding club once per week, sometimes flying twice per day, will progress quite quickly and could be flying solo in six months. This might be reduced if some intensive ‘course’ type training can be mixed in.
Someone with other forms of flying experience could get to the same point in half the time or less, while those only able to get to the airfield every couple of weeks might find that it takes over a year to get to the same point.
Some people do take longer, but the learning experience is a good one and you’ll be flying with engaging and friendly people that love to teach people to fly. It’s an enjoyable process!
In terms of ‘learning to glide’? Everyone regardless of experience is still learning. But, as a general guide, for the keen beginner, you should be soaring solo and having prolonged flights in thermal and ridge conditions after a year.
Like many things in life, what you get out of gliding is proportional to what you put in!
If you have previously experienced gliding or have paragliding, hang gliding, microlight or general aviation experience you will progress quickly. Much of your past experience is valid. A lot of pilots at Black Mountains Gliding Club have converted from other aviation disciplines.