EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wisconsin — GLIDERBOOKS Academy online soaring school is offering free glider courses for all young people who have flown in the Experimental Aircraft Association’s Young Eagles program.
The GLIDERBOOKS Academy online courses cover four basic areas of glider and soaring flight: Introduction to Soaring; Glider Familiarization; Flight Instruments; and Aerodynamics.
It is a $95 value, offered at no charge as part of the EAA student membership that is available for free to all Young Eagles following their flights, according to EAA officials.
“Glider flying is learning the fundamentals of flight in their purest form,” said Rick Larsen, EAA’s vice president of communities and member programs. “The GLIDERBOOKS Academy online series is a terrific way to discover more about basic soaring and also introduce one more pathway to engage in flying. GLIDERBOOKS Academy has made these resources more easily available than ever.”
Glider flying, or soaring, is a way for young aspiring pilots to get into the cockpit sooner, as solo flights can take place as early as age 14 and a full FAA glider pilot rating can be obtained at age 16. That compares to age 16 to solo in powered aircraft, with a minimum age of 17 for a pilot certificate.
“We have been in discussions with EAA on ways to increase youth interest in aviation,” said Rhonda Clerkin, owner of GLIDERBOOKS Academy. “Beginning flight training in gliders allows young people to fulfill their dreams of flying at a younger age and at a lower cost. Using these courses, Young Eagles can be soaring as a pilot while their friends are just getting their driver’s licenses.”
The Young Eagles program, created in 1992, has flown more than 2.1 million young people ages 8-17 at no charge, introducing them to the possibilities of flight. EAA member pilots volunteer their time, aircraft, and fuel to encourage youth to discover more about flying as part of EAA’s mission to grow participation in aviation.
GLIDERBOOKS.com’s glider pilot training materials are written by Russell Holtz, who has more than 4,000 hours piloting gliders, including more than 2,800 hours of training students. Holtz holds a degree in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.