New Member Frequently Asked Questions

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1. Does Evergreen Soaring provide Flight Training? Flight Training is a membership benefit. Generally flight training days occur on Saturday and/or Sunday with a club CFI-G. Occasionally mid-week flights can be arranged between student and a club instructor. Weekend instruction is provided at no charge. Mid-week instruction may come with a charge for flight training (based upon the agreement between Student and Instructor). If you want to learn to fly a glider quickly, a commercial Flight School is probably for you.

2. What is the difference between a club and a Flight School? Evergreen Soaring is a glider club. Unlike a commercial flight school, we exist as a social organization with the goal of providing our members with the equipment and environment to fly safely and interact with people of like interest. Part of our mission is to teach safe soaring skills. The club does not exist to teach people to fly gliders. Many of our members have their own ships and enjoy the sport of soaring together. ES is a not-for-profit organization and we utilize the skills of our members to make the club function.

3. What physical limitations do I need to be aware of to participate? To solo a glider, a student pilot must be at least 14 years of age. Be able to read, speak and understand English, and be in reasonably good health. Glider trainers are built for people under about six foot three inches and less than 220 lbs . While a FAA Medical is not required to fly gliders, glider pilots must certify that they have no know medical issues that disqualify them from flying. The Federal Aviation Administration publishes a list of medical conditions that are disqualifying, along with a list of medications which are also disqualifying.

4. How much does it cost to get a Private Pilot Glider Rating? Costs vary based upon the aptitude of the student and whether or not they have previous flying experience. For people who are already rated in another category of aircraft and want to pick-up a glider rating, costs will likely approach $1000 – 1500 by the time that candidate is ready to be tested for a private or commercial license. For those people who have never flown before, the cost can be considerably higher $3000-5000 based upon the aptitude and ability of the student pilot.

In addition to the cost of getting a license, maintaining the level of skill to safely fly requires the pilot to fly on a regular basis. Soaring offers a lot of opportunity to improve pilot skills including cross country flying, but it requires both time and money to participate safely in this fantastic sport.

5. What goes into the cost of flying a glider with Evergreen Soaring? First, you must join the club which requires an initiation fee. Each month, you will pay a fee for dues, and a flat fee to fly club gliders for the month. Additionally a per flight tow fee is charged based upon the altitude you tow to. At this time, there is no charge for flight instruction from our Certified Flight Instructors, but the club requires a number of volunteer hours from its members each year. To keep everyone’s costs low, we rely on a volunteer structure to make the club work. Details of costs are available on our website under the Information tab – Rates and Fees

6. Does Evergreen Soaring Operate year around? Yes, weather permitting. The club provides flight instruction on weekend days and frequently has mid-week operations for licensed members who fly club gliders as well as their own ships. The club also holds off-airport encampments throughout the soaring season for members. The busiest months of the year for flight operations are March through early June and September through October.

7. What do I need to do to join Evergreen Soaring? Three things – completely fill out an application (available on our website); Join Soaring Society of America (SSA) and provide a membership number; and pay your initiation fee. You will need to await Evergreen Board of Directors action on your application followed by notification of you login to our website and Sign-up Genius (our scheduling site).

8. Why do I need to join the SSA? Club Insurance coverage is provided under a group policy sponsored through the SSA. Insurance coverage is predicated upon being an active member of the SSA.

9. What are my next steps? Check us out before you join. Take a flight to ensure that flying gliders interests you. There are two choices available in taking a flight: 1) Demonstration Flights are flown with club Commercial Glider Pilots and may or may not result in you getting some “stick time”. Typical flights go to 3000’ and you can pay an additional amount to tow to a higher altitude. Flight times from 3000’ typically last for 18-20 minutes unless the day has thermals. Maximum flight times can be up to 1 hour in the right conditions. Demo Flights can be scheduled in advance or you can take your chances with a walk on, on a weekend day at Arlington Airport. Details of costs are available on our website under the Information tab – Rates and Fee. 2) FAST Flight – an instructional flight with a CFI-G Instructor, purchased through the Soaring Society of America website and schedule with an ES Instructor. This flight lesson is logged in the glider log book provided as part of the FAST flight package. The FAST Flight is a 3000’ flight and again typically lasts 18-20 minutes unless the day has thermals. Scheduling to these flights takes place only on instructional weekend days, and doesn’t our prioritize club student instruction. Higher altitude FAST flights are not available. See for details and cost.