In New Zealand gliding is managed by “Gliding New Zealand”. The Civil Aviation Authority delegates responsibility for issuing Glider Pilot Certificates to Gliding New Zealand. Gliding New Zealand sets the training syllabus and is responsible for training flying instructors and ensures that the standard for pilot certification is maintained across the country.
The flying syllabus is essentially a list of skills that you must master before getting your pilot’s certificate. The syllabus is in three main sections. The first section establishes the skills necessary to take-off and land safely. The end of the first section is marked by your first solo flight. This is a major milestone for every pilot. The second and third sections of the syllabus are a mix of training flights with an instructor and solo flights in which you can consolidate that which you have learned.
There are five written multi choice exams that are required to complete the certificate. The club organises lectures for this material and also administers the exams.
There is no cost for instruction.
You need to join the club. The annual membership is about $1000.00. This includes all your glider time. Most clubs charge so much per minute for glider time. Our club includes this in its membership fee. This ensures that the cost of maintaining the fleet is fairly spread across all members.
Launching the glider is the only on-going cost. We use a tow plane to launch the glider. We charge $15 per 500 feet. A typical launch is 2000 feet. Therefore $60.00. During training we often fly “circuits” where we simply launch to 1000 feet and land immediately. Therefore a 1000 foot launch costs $30. If you can budget $60 per fortnight you will make steady progress.