Learn to Fly / 3-Flight Package - $240

  • 2 months Gliding Manawatu membership
  • 3 x 2000 feet tows - introductory package

This entitles you to membership of the club for two months and a 3 flight introductory training package with one of the club’s instructors. If you wish to do more flying within the two months you can do so at normal club rates.

When your trial membership expires, if you wish to continue you should become a full Flying Member of the club.

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Training

Gliding New Zealand (GNZ) is the national body overseeing gliding in association with the Civil Aviation Authority, and prescribes the requirement for glider pilot qualifications.

Trainee pilots work through a syllabus prescribed by GNZ under the supervision of the club instructors.

The basic pre-solo syllabus (A certificate) is designed to take you to a level of competency to make your first solo flight. The next step is to work towards the Qualified Glider Pilot level. This involves further flying training and various written exams. After this a pilot can build up experience towards ratings for different glider types, carrying passengers, cross-country flying, etc. After a pilot has gained the required qualifications there is always another goal to reach for. Some pilots are satisfied with local soaring but if you want more of a challenge, cross-country soaring is the next step.

Cross Country Soaring

Soaring across country can offer many challenges. The Silver C level is intended to encourage pilots to develop self-reliance and confidence in the their soaring skills. The next levels are the Gold C and Diamond awards for flights of long distances and to great heights. All of the awards, from the basic QGP level, are internationally recognised and come in the form of a badge, which pilots often attach to their favourite hat.

Cross-country soaring is a real adventure as you can’t be sure of reaching your destination. You’re constantly deciding where the best lift is, how high to climb, where the best path ahead lies. If you get it right you can cover long distances quickly. However, be prepared to end up with a landing away from the airfield and a retrieve back to base by road.

The club has a number of tasks that may be attempted during the year, some suitable for newer pilots without a cross-country rating. These trophy tasks are competed for, with the winner on handicap receiving a trophy to hold for the year.

Competitions

As you become more proficient at cross-country soaring you may develop an appetite for competitive flying.

There are annual regional and national competitions in New Zealand. These involve a race against the clock, flying around a preset course. Competitions allow you to measure your skill against other pilots and to fly tasks that extend your abilities. Club and Regional competitions are very friendly events and thoroughly enjoyed by all. No less fun are the Nationals, but the competition becomes fiercer at that level.