Your gliding experience kicks off at a Volunteer Gliding Squadron (VGS) flying either Vigilant motor gliders (below) or Viking winch-launch gliders (right). Your focus, along with others from your the squadron will be to complete the Gliding Induction Course (GIC). Our main Gliding Centre is Upavon, just over an hour by minibus. The cost for all gliding in the Air Cadets, whether it is your first solo flight or a full gliding scholarship (completed over a week of a few weekends) - FREE!!!

The Gliding Induction Course is designed to give you a taste for Air Cadet Gliding, the GIC consists of three levels of instruction. On your first visit you'll be taught the GIC 1. Your next visits will cover GIC 2 and 3. These levels assist you in learning all about aerodynamics and controlling of the aircraft, first in a classroom, then taking control and practicing what you've learned in the air. After you've completed the course, you'll be awarded a GIC certificate.

Course Content

Aircraft Course level / flight time
Vigilant GIC 1 - 20 minutes GIC 2 - 25 minutes GIC 3 - 30 minutes
Viking GIC 1 - 3 launches GIC 2 - 4 launches GIC 3 - 5 launches

Amongst other things, you'll be shown, and have the chance to practice:

  • How the pitch is changed
  • How the rudder affects the yaw plane
  • How to change the rolling plane
  • What happens when the glider stalls

Don't know what some of those terms mean? They all affect the movement of the aircraft. You'll experience them first-hand with the guidance of your instructors who will explain all. Pretty soon you'll know it all like the back of your hand. Provided you have no medical conditions that could prevent you from flying safely, all you need is a high level of motivation. Prove yourself here and you can move on to a Gliding Scholarship (GS) course to continue your flight training.

Gliding Scholarship Course

You've done your Gliding Induction Course (GIC), so what's next? Getting your Gliding Scholarship Wings. This course gets you deeper into flying and gives you more flight time. To be nominated for a Gliding Scholarship (GS) just ask the squadron stafffor an application and medical form. It's open to anyone over 16 and you're not required to have completed a GIC 1, 2 or 3, but it's great if you have. Once you pass the standard medical check, it's just a matter of waiting for a place on the course to become available. These are normally over a few weekends or if your lucky a week long course

Course Content

Aircraft Flight time/glider launches Vigilant 8 Hours (extra 20% allowed for further training to solo standard)
Viking 40 Launches

Courses can be taken either over successive weekends until completed, or as a continuous week-long course (usually in the summer). Course time can vary due to your progress and the weather, so motivation and commitment are key. Typically, in summer, a course will take 3 weekends to complete. If you're successful, you can look forward to wearing your blue GS wings on your uniform with pride.

Going solo and beyond

Show the necessary aptitude and you could be invited to progress to solo standard and even achieve your silver GS wings for flying solo! THere is a lot of training to get this far, however in the past 5 years the Squadron has had over 10 solo pilots!!!! It doesn't end there. If you're one of the best you could be invited, or apply, to become a Flight Staff Cadet, this means you will attend the Gliding School to assit in the running of the Squadron and also train to a much higher level, your gold GS wings for Advanced Glider Training (AGT). Did we mention the cost - FREE!!!!!

Read about the gliding experience of one of our own CDTs Here.

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