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HOOD RIVER SOARING provides glider instruction to its members from the first flight lesson to solo, and from solo to license. Our youth members (ages 13-25) have the opportunity to defray the cost of instruction through our Work-Study Program.

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Understanding that everyone advances at their own personal rate, the cost for a beginner to become a certified private glider pilot with Hood River Soaring averages between $4,000 - $5,000.  See the example below.



Student pilots may solo at a minimum age of 14 with a student certificate endorsed for solo flight at the discretion of an FAA-Certified Flight Instructor for Gliders (CFIG). Several Hood River Soaring members hold the CFIG rating and offer instruction to club members. To solo, you must demonstrate safe control of the glider and knowledge of soaring to your instructor. These areas include pre-flight, tow maneuvers, planning, flight maneuvers from take-off to landing, theory of flight, weather, regulations, and emergency procedures. This training typically requires approximately 30-40 flights with an instructor which works out to be 10-12 hours of flight time. This varies with your own initiative, background and skill. The minimum age to solo in gliders is 14 years.



After solo, student pilots may qualify as a Private Pilot-Glider provided they:

  • Are at least 16 years of age; and

  • Have logged at least 10 hours of flight time in a glider and that flight time must include at least 20 total glider flights; and

  • Have 2 hours of solo flight time in a glider; and

  • Have passed the FAA written examination; and

  • Have passed the flight exam with an FAA Examiner

In accumulating solo hours you should develop the skills and knowledge necessary not only to pass the flight test but also to enjoy the sport of soaring.  The following example allows for 4 hours of solo practice. Hood River Soaring membership dues are not included.  (Note that glider rental is waived for youth members during tandem instruction.  Older members should add $200-$300 to this example to cover the cost of glider rental.)

25 regular tows @ $55                                                     $1,375

12 pattern tows @ 3/$100                                                  $400

14 hours instruction (flight and ground) @$60/hr               $840

TOTAL to SOLO  (average cost)                                      $2,615


Tows for 4 hrs of solo practice plus additional instruction           (6 more pattern tows plus 8 regular tows)                          $640

4 hours instruction (flight and ground) @$60/hr                $240

6 hours glider rental @$20/hr                                            $120

Fee for written exam                                                          $150

Fee for checkride ($500) plus 1 hr glider rental,                                1 regular tow, and 2 pattern tows ($155)                      $655

PRIVATE GLIDER PILOT CERTIFICATE                                          

TOTAL (average cost)                                              $4,420

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