The pleasures of this spectacular sport are available to everyone; you need no previous flying experience.
Soaring is a stimulating learning experience. As you progress through our training program, you'll be sharpening your coordination and judgment, your knowledge of the weather, and your ability to safely plan and prepare for increasingly challenging flights. You'll discover that soaring never goes stale, that no two flights are ever the same. The endless variety of weather conditions and the ever-changing clouds and atmosphere make each flight a totally new experience.
Sailplane pilots are licensed by the FAA upon completion of their training. Solo flight is permissible at age 14, with 16 being the minimum for obtaining the private glider license. The FAA requires no medical exam for glider pilots. This is in contrast to other powered aircraft ratings which require a periodic medical exam to stay current.
If you fly nearly every weekend, the diligent student can solo in 2-3 months and obtain their private license (able to give rides) a few months after their first solo flight. The cost to obtain your private license is approximately $4,000. Some people spread their training out over longer periods of time but this is not recommended - it is normally less efficient and more expensive. Pilots transitioning from powered aircraft to gliders normally spend less time learning to soar.
Learning to fly has the following components:
How quickly you solo is not important. What is important is that you learn everything you need to be a safe and competent pilot. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has a list of requirements that must be completed before solo flight can be authorized. This list addresses both aeronautical knowledge and flight proficiency.
SCOH's training goal is to bring you beyond your first solo and private pilot checkride all the way to flying cross country and your Silver Badge.