Practical training

Practical training

Minimum requirements for the issuance of a license:

  • 15 h total flight time, at least 10 h with flight instructor and 2 h solo
  • 45 starts and landings
  • solo cross country flight of at least 50 kms oder dual cross country flight of at least 100 km with flight instructor 

Already during flight training, you are going to fly “solo”. The first solo flight is a special moment for each pupil, that he will remember for the rest of his life.

Flight training can be structured in four phases, each completed by a test done with the flight instructor:

  • A-Test: First solo flight
  • B-Test: steep circling and first thermal flights
  • C-Test: Thermal solo flights and “slipping”
  • 50 km cross country flight

In the first phase, you are flying a double-seated glider together with your flight instructor. Both crewpersons can steer the airplane, while the pupil is in front with the teacher in the rear seat.

The first starts are flown by the flight instructor, the pupil has his hand on the controls to feel what he does. When airborne, first exercises are flown to get used to the controls and the behavior of the aircraft. More and more, the pupil can take over controls until he flies the airplane alone. Still, the instructor can intervene at any time.

Depending on talent and progress of practice, the flight instructor will become more or less a passenger and training for special situations like a rupturing of the winch rope as well as spin prevention is conducted. After this, a second flight instructor will make a check flight with the pupil to give him the clearance for his first solo after 30 – 60 starts (depending on the pupil). 


After the first three solos, the pupil can fly alone within sight when a flight instructor gives him a “flight task”.

Birk after his first solo

In the second phase, further and more challenging exercises are flown. Some of them are steep circles with bank angles of 60 degrees and more as well as first thermal flights with flight instructor. Further solo flights are conducted and after some time, the pupil can pass to using single seated gliders.


In the third phase, there is a special emphasis on flying thermals. Typical topics are how to fly into a thermal, center it and use it for soaring. First cross county introductions with flight instructor are conducted and off-field landings are trained with a motor glider. These off-field landings are very important for glider pilots and are taught extensively during training.

One further maneuver that is being taught during the third phase is the sideslip, which also has to be shown at the practical test at the end of this phase.


As soon as the first three phases have been successfully passed and also the theory test has been passed, the flight pupil can do cross country flights with a written flight task issued by an instructor. It shall be planned by the pupil himself and cover a distance of 50 km. If the pupil decides to fly his cross country with an instructor, the minimum distance is 100 km.


Jovana beim Briefing mit Fluglehrer Hermann vor ihrem 50 km Flug nach Sinsheim

Jovana during briefing with her flight instructor Hermann in advance of her 50 km cross country solo to Sinsheim 

After having completed all tasks mentioned before, the pupil can take his examination with an examiner chosen by the government to receive ist Sailplane Pilot License.