Who Can Glide?
As a general rule, gliding is fairly unrestrictive in who can fly.
If you aren't sure, then the best thing to do is to ask at the club
where you wish to fly. We hope the following guidelines are helpful.
The only age limit in gliding is that you must be
14 to go solo. However, that's not to say that you cannot train
with an instructor before 14. Indeed, many trainees go solo on their
14th birthday! There is no upper age limit, although after 65, you
will need a doctor to sign once a year that you are fit to fly.
As a general rule there isn't much point trying to
learn until you are at least 13 years old, as often youngsters get
frustrated when they can't progress further. With younger children,
there is also a size problem - it is essential that the straps fit
securely, and it's also very helpful if you are big enough to reach
the rudder pedals!
Generally being small is not an issue, as you can
often be fitted in with the use of cushions, although if you are
less than 5 foot, you may find reaching some of the controls difficult.
If you are over 6 foot 4 inches, then you may only be able to fit
in certain gliders. Again, ask at the club you wish to fly at. If
they don't have an appropriate glider, they may know a club that
As a general rule, if you are fit enough to drive
a car, you are fit enough to fly a glider. Before you fly, you will
need to sign a simple medical declaration and, before you fly solo, you
will need to get your GP to certify that you meet the same standards
that you must meet to drive a car. For more information, please
see the medical page. Gliding
is suitable for people with a range of disabilities - for more information,
see the heading Disabled Gliding.
Again, as with fitness if you can drive a car, you
can easily fly a glider. The skill level is similar, and some would
even say it's easier to fly!
Click here to read about first flights.