The syllabus of pre-solo training appears below. The assumption is made
that the person undergoing training has no prior experience. If a person
has prior experience, e.g. in powered aircraft or ultralights, suitable
adjustment to the training may be made.
- Air experience (Self-explanatory, but it should be noted that some
demonstration of control functions and an opportunity to “have a go”
will form part of this flight).
- Orientation (This flight stresses the third dimension, important for a
person who has very likely spent most of their life entirely in two
- Pre take-off checks
- Primary effects of controls and the straight glide
- Secondary effects of controls
- The launch
- Pre-stalling, spinning and aerobatic checks
- Stalling in turns and the incipient spin
- Circuit procedures and planning
- Circuit variations
- The approach and landing
- Launch emergencies
- Flying without instruments
- First solo and post solo consolidation
- ‘A’ Certificate check flight
- Oral examinations for ‘A’ Certificate
- Application to FAI Certificates Officer for ‘A’ Certificate
During the training prior to first solo, soaring skills are taught on an
For the ‘B’ Certificate, follow-up training is necessary to build on the
skills learned pre-solo and to acquire new ones. The post-solo training
syllabus is as follows:
- Reinforcement of stalling sequences
- Reinforcement of incipient and full spinning sequences
- Reinforcement of launch emergencies
- Problem circuits (Flying without instruments, running out of height,
different circuit direction, etc.)
- Cruising and descending on aerotow
- Use of flaps and retractable undercarriage, if not covered pre-solo
- Steep turns
- Thermal centring techniques and most efficient use of lift
- Launch speed signals, if not covered pre-solo
- Crosswind take-offs and landings
- Correct radio procedures
- Revision of air legislation
- Airways procedures
- Application to FAI Certificates Officer for ‘B’ Certificate when all
requirements have been met
As a pilot progresses toward the ‘C’ Certificate, further training is
carried out to prepare a pilot for the possibilities of carrying private
passengers and attempting their first cross-country flight. The training
for the ‘C’ Certificate will concentrate on efficient soaring, passenger
awareness and the procedures to be adopted for outlandings.
The formal post-solo training syllabus may be supplemented by some self-help.
Solo flying is a good opportunity to set definite goals and improve skills,
especially thermal centring and efficient soaring. If you have a ‘B’
Certificate, fly with someone else who also has a ‘B’ Certificate or higher
qualification - you may be surprised how much you can learn from someone
else’s approach to a problem or, indeed, from someone else’s mistakes (as
long as they’re not serious ones!).
Try flying at a different club, with different two-seaters and maybe a
different launch method. It really improves flexibility as a pilot and
Get some dual flying at your own club and try landing at different parts of
the field. Each time you do it, get the instructor to comment upon the
quality of your circuit. This is useful preparation for actual outlanding
but should not be regarded as a substitute for them.
In addition to the flying, get some practice in the following:
- Reading aeronautical charts and various relevant Civil Aviation Safety
- Interpreting synoptic charts and temperature traces.
- Preparing barographs and turning-point cameras.
- Preparing trailers.
- Towing and, in particular, reversing trailers.
- How to use a radio correctly with a view to obtaining a Gliding Federation
of Australia radio-operator’s logbook endorsement.
- Talk to experienced cross-country pilots about crops and how to recognise
good landing paddocks from the air.
- Obtain a copy of the FAI Sporting Code, Section D (Gliders) from the FAI
web site and study it.
- Ask an instructor what it is like to fly a glider with rain on the wings.