Learning to Fly
Evergreen Soaring provides free training for members. Glider pilots are licensed by the FAA, just like powered aircraft pilots. You'll learn to control the glider safely and precisely, navigate, and develop a basic understanding of weather and other aviation topics. If you have no flying experience, you can solo after 30 to 40 instructional flights. The total time from first flight to license depends on how frequently you fly. After another 50 to 60 flights, you'll be ready to take your first flight test. If you are a power pilot, it may take between 10 and 15 flights. Please read this information about transitioning to gliders.
You must also pass written and oral exams. The written exam may be taken any time within two years prior to the flight test. The oral exam is given on the morning of the flight test by an FAA designated pilot examiner.
You must be a member before you can start training. But you can give it a try first. Read our page about joining us for a demonstration flight.
Here is a brochure you can share that tells you about the club. An application is provided for your use. You can read about member responsibilities and expections too.
Students do not need any FAA paperwork to start training, but a valid FAA student license is required before going solo. This may be picked up any time prior to solo from the FAA, Flight Standards District Office, 1601 Lind Avenue S.W. Suite 260, Renton, WA 98055-4056 (1-800-354-1940), or from a designated examiner. There is a small fee if the student license is received from a designated examiner.
No medical examination is required to get a student license, but the applicant will have to sign a written statement that he or she has no medical or physical condition that would impair his ability to fly. You must be 14 years old to get a student license, and 16 to get a full glider pilot's license.
At the time the student solos, the instructor will endorse the student license for the type of glider. The student must have an endorsement for each type of glider he flies solo.
In addition, the instructor must enter an endorsement in the student's logbook. The logbook endorsement is good for ninety days only and must be renewed in order for the student to retain solo privileges.
The student who already has a pilot license in other aircraft does not need any additional FAA paperwork to fly gliders solo. A logbook endorsement, however, is required to fly solo, and that endorsement must be renewed every ninety days.
Note: As a pilot, you are responsible for being legal to fly. Here is a summary of some of the requirements for flying a glider. Click on the links to read the actual Federal Aviation Regulations for the details.
- Medical Certificate: FAR 61.23(b) A person is not required to hold a medical certificate when exercising the privileges of a student pilot certificate or pilot certificate with a glider category rating.
- Student Certificate: FAR 61.83(b),(c) To be eligible for a student pilot certificate, an applicant must be at least 14 years of age for the operation of a glider, and be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language.
- Private Pilot Experience: FAR 61.109(f)(1),(2) At least 10 hours of flight time in a glider, including at least 20 flights in a glider, and 2 hours of solo flight time with not less than 10 launches and landings being performed. If the applicant has logged at least 40 hours of flight time in a heavier-than-air aircraft, the applicant must log at least 3 hours of flight time in a glider including at least 10 solo flights in a glider.