Our FAA-certified flight instructors will help you realize your dream of learning how to fly.

Stop by the airfield (call first to make sure we're flying that day), take an introductory ride, and talk to us about our association and the process of learning how to fly.  We can prepare you for all your ratings up to Certified Flight Instructor - Glider.

The advantages

There are several advantages of getting a glider rating before a powered plane rating.

Youth can take flight instruction.  Students as young as 14 can solo a glider.

Youth can take flight instruction.  Students as young as 14 can solo a glider.

  • It's cheaper than a private flight school.  We are a non-profit organization run by volunteers.  This keeps the costs down.  Gliders are also less expensive than powered planes.
  • You'll become a better pilot in the long-run.  Making the transition to powered flight will come naturally.  Your stick-and-rudder skills will already be sharper.
  • It's more fun.
  • You'll help with the operation of our non-profit association, introducing others to the joy of soaring.

The process

The process of becoming a private pilot with a glider rating involves:

  • Becoming a member of the Greater Houston Soaring Association
  • Flight instruction
  • Ground instruction by an instructor
  • Book study
  • Solo flight
  • An FAA written test
  • A practical exam by an FAA-certified examiner

Do not let this process scare you!  When a student takes this process step-by-step, it is manageable. We're here to help.

It typically takes a new student with no flying experience 6 to 10 months of flying, approximately three days a month, to get their private-pilot license with glider rating.  Each lesson typically lasts one to one-and-a-half hours.  Each member of our association, including students, must volunteer one day a month to help with ground operations.

By the book (Federal Regulations)

If you have less than 40 hours as a pilot in heavier-than-air aircraft or are new to flying:
Including both dual instruction and solo flight, you must achieve a minimum of 10 hours total time with at least 30 flights (20 dual and 10 solo flights).  It typically takes new pilots more time and more flights than this.

Pilots with at least 40 hours in heavier-than-air aircraft:
Including both dual and solo, you must achieve a minimum of 3 hours total time with at least 20 flights (10 dual and 10 solo).

After meeting the above requirements you are eligible to take a FAA flight check and obtain your license.

The Cost

New pilots with no prior flight experience typically spend $3,500 to $4,000 to obtain their license through our association.  This is a rough estimate and the costs vary from person to person.  The costs are spread out over the training period (several months).

Limitations

Limitations:

  • The pilot must be 240 pounds or under
  • No medical conditions that would prevent you from being pilot in command of an aircraft

A glider rating in the United States does not require a medical certificate.

Keith Terhune (right) passes his check-ride with DPE Gregg Squires in October 2016.

Keith Terhune (right) passes his check-ride with DPE Gregg Squires in October 2016.