Power Pilots

What is a glider?

Gliders are extremely efficient flying machines without engines. They are elegant, simple, and sleek. Gliders are very quiet, the only noises being the variometer audio, occasional radio chatter, and the gentle whoosh of the wind. Some of them have a motor. Please see the video.

What can I do in a glider?

You can soar for hours enjoying the peaceful quiet and the beautiful views. You can also challenge yourself on cross-country adventures hundreds of miles out and back to the home airport. You can climb in mountain wave up to 18,000 ft! You can even do aerobatics.

What can soaring teach me?

Soaring is really about flying and being viscerally connected to the aircraft in a full mind and body experience. You will learn precision flying. You will learn to feel the air. You will learn the sixth sense of seeing rising air. Soaring is freedom: learn to create your own flight moment by moment.

Is it expensive?

Costs are a fraction of flying powered aircraft. There are many clubs that offer access to gliders through memberships at very reasonable rates once you are certified. Certification is also much faster, requiring just 10 hours of solo flight compared to 40 in powered aircraft. It is also an ideal entry into flight for kids 12 years old and up, able to solo at 14 and earn their FAA license at 16. Do you have or you know somebody who has a young soul who might become a good pilot? Please take a look at the video below.

Looking for a rating?

If you have a power aircraft license, you can be recommended for your glider certificate after as few as 10 solo flights, without a second written test. It's worth noting that obtaining a glider license is an acceptable substitute for your biennial flight review, and most pilots feel glider experience improves their power flying.

Glider Pilot Rating Requirements, per FAR Part 61
61.31  Launch methods (ground, aero-tow, self-launch) are by instructor endorsement per additional training.

61.109  Private pilots
* For private pilot glider with less than 40 hours in heavier-than-air aircraft:
Minimum 10 hours and 20 flights in gliders.  2 hours solo including minimum of 10 flights in the areas of operation of FAR 61.107(b) (6). 3 training flights with an instructor within 60 days preceding the practical test.
* If candidate has more than 40 hours in heavier-than-air aircraft:
Minimum 3 hours and 10 solo flights in areas of operation of FAR 61.107 (b) (6) and 3 training flights with an instructor within 60 days preceding the practical test.

61.129  Commercial Pilots
* For applicants with less than 200 hours in heavier-than-air aircraft:
25 hours in gliders including at least 100 flights as PIC including at least 3 hours or 10 training flights with an instructor in areas of operation of FAR 61.127 (b) (6). 2 hours solo including minimum of 10 flights in areas of FAR 61.127 (b) (6). 3 training flights with an instructor within 60 days preceding the practical test.

* For applicants with more than 200 hours in heavier-than-air aircraft:
Minimum 20 flights in gliders as PIC including 3 hours or 10 training flights with an instructor in areas of FAR 61.127 (b) (6). Minimum 5 solo flights in areas of FAR 61.127 (b) (6). 3 training flights with an instructor within 60 days preceding the practical test.

Before flying solo in any TTSA aircraft, pilots must have proof of non-owners insurance, commonly called renters insurance, with a loss of revenue clause payable to TTSA in the amount of $30,000.00.

Applications for 2 or 3 companies are available in the Truckee Tahoe Soaring Association office.

*Flying instruction with the goal of a rating can be costly. Safety is our primary concern and the student must be trained to a high level of competency; this translates into time, and "time is money". We find that "packing" as much flight time as practical into the shortest period will end up saving the student significant amounts of money. The student is encouraged to discuss this with the instructor.

How can I get started?

We fly at the Truckee Airport from Late May through Late September. We would be happy to welcome you to a reduced-rate introductory flight! ​Please fill in the contact box and we will get in touch with you. Thank you and welcome to Soar Truckee!