Harry Karmel wrote:I didn’t realise Surrey Hills was different - but it was so much cheaper the Lasham in every way. Although East Sussex also looked quite cheap, whilst permitting weekend flying. Looks like I can get a lot of hours through gliding!
I have applied for all the scholarships I can, including the cadets gliding one, and a civilian one (Honourary Air Pilots Association or something like that), but didn’t get them.
With the RAF Kestrel club, would you have to ring to join and then turn up for instruction or flying- there was minimal info on the website, all I found was that it’s £6 winch and 25p per min. If I could glide there I think that would be really good to build up a network for later on.
Just for your information, up and until solo in Gliding, hours don't count for much, it's the launches and landings that count, probably around 40-50 before you'd solo. A lot of your early flights will be as short as 5-6 minutes, practicing launch, circuit and landing, especially during the winter when there is little/no soaring, that's just the nature of the game with Gliding, you'll also be expected to spend at least half a day, if not more helping with the operation, it keeps the flying cheap.
You're probably also looking at the adult flying fees for Lasham so double check the website. It might be that they've closed their Junior Scheme at the moment due to being oversubscribed, Lasham's rates I'm almost certain are very similar to Kenley's, with the benefit of Lasham being a world leading professional setup open 364 days a year.
Kenley is great for getting to Solo, but the airspace limits them to 1900ft, a very narrow height band for a glider, not easy to do hours of soaring, the vast majority of flights at Kenley are under 30 minutes.
Can't say much about Kestrel, but their website has a Junior Gliding section that I suggest you have a look at.
Finally be aware that gliding hours are not the same as powered hours, they are separate disciplines, as a power pilot cannot just have a quick checkride and hire a glider or vice versa, they have separate qualifications and as a result I have two separate logbooks for each discipline, in my case considerably more Gliding Hours than Power Hours!
Gliding hours can be credited up to a maximum 30 for CPL (A) hour building. There are shortcuts from Gliding to Power via Motor Gliders etc. If I'm honest most people in Gliding are more interested about how far they can fly a glider in a day (up to 1000km) than how many hours go in their book.
Check out the British Gliding Association website, drop me a line if you have any more questions.