Learn to Fly Gliders
Have you ever dreamed you could fly? We have good news! Gliding is an accessible and affordable way to learn to fly, whether as a hobby or as the first step on a career in aviation.
Glider Training at SOSA
Established in 1948, SOSA is Canada’s largest gliding club, with more than 130 members and one of the largest fleets of club owned sailplanes in the country.
Gliding is an accessible and affordable way to explore flight, whether you’re interested in flying as a hobby or as a first step along the path of a career in aviation.
SOSA offers introductory flights with one of our experienced and friendly instructors as a first memorable experience followed by a full flying membership if you want to take that next exciting step and start working toward your glider pilot license.
We are a welcoming club whose members, younger and older, have a wide variety of backgrounds, interests and flying experience. We share a love of flying and sharing our experiences and skills. Most of our senior pilots are instructor-rated and offer instruction to beginners, from first flight to solo and license.
We emphasize safety, progressive learning and comprehensive and ongoing development of skills to enable safe, enjoyable flying, whether it’s local soaring, advanced cross-country flights or expert-level aerobatics. (See our glider pilot's license training curriculum)
How often can I fly?
We conduct regular training operations 4x a week throughout the soaring season (April – October). These weekly programs guarantee that you will have access to instructor pilots and a tow-plane or winch launch.
In the summer months we ensure a tow-plane is available to members every day of the week from 9AM onwards. Once you have started flying with a few of our instructors it's possible to arrange to meet with them for additional flying training outside of the above programs. This is based on each instructors availability midweek and not guaranteed.
How much does it cost?
A common question is to wonder how much your first season of gliding is going to cost as you move toward becoming a licensed glider pilot. Naturally, this will depend on your own dedication to learning and the pace you choose to follow. Power pilots converting to gliding will usually require fewer flights.
The costs involved include; membership at SOSA, initiation fee to the club, membership in the Soaring Association of Canada, ground school, Transport Canada exams, the cost of individual tows, and finally the cost to rent the gliders.
Adults over 25 should expect to pay between $3500-4000 in your first year. Young adults & Air Cadets will pay about $2500.
This will likely get you to a situation where you will be flying solo and will have enjoyed between 40 and 60 flights depending on how much time and energy you can regularly commit during the flying season. It is possible for committed students to complete all requirements of the Glider License in one year, but common for it to take two seasons. Once licensed, you will see savings on aerotows as you require fewer of them than when completing your training.
Significantly less than the cost of powered flight training
Gliding is a fantastic gateway to aviation. Since you’ll learn skills that are applicable to flying any aircraft, gliding opens the door to both recreational and professional flying. Unlike learning to fly a powered aircraft, glider training is inexpensive, costing 70% less than obtaining a private license for a single engine aircraft.
Full breakdown of Fees
Become a Member
Get your glider pilots license
Recommended: Start with our 2023 Intro to Gliding online course!
Are you a power pilot (current or lapsed) looking to expand the range of your experience or get back into flying? We have many like you at SOSA.
Whether you’re looking to refresh your flying skills or explore a whole new discipline, we can promise a challenging and rewarding path that includes all elements of flying instruction, navigation, flight planning and related skills. Several of our pilots are national and world level competitors. All of us are interested in your flying history and happy to learn from your experiences.
The fully-equipped SOSA clubhouse is a highly sociable environment, where pilots, family and friends gather, particularly after all the “toys” are safely put away, to swap stories or plan future flights over a refreshment or a meal. It’s where some of the best learning and memories happen.
As a power pilot, you may even think about whether you’d be interested in training to become one of our towplane pilots-- it’s a great, cost-effective way to build up your pilot-in-command hours. More information about tow pilot requirements and responsibilities are available here.
"Having soloed in a glider recently for the first time, my instructor encouraged me that I was ready to transition to a Junior. Myself and another student became quick studies on the Junior, with the help of instructors. After a check ride in the Puchacz, there I was, flying a single seat glider that I had never flown before. Who says you can’t teach an old dog
new tricks?" – John
Pilots Under 25
Gliding remains one of the most affordable ways to begin flying, whether as a hobby or as the first step along the way to a professional aviation career. Whether you are an air cadet, or come to us with no previous experience, we can get you started.
To help make flying even more affordable, we have a number of youth bursaries available. Our priority is to enable engagement and participation in all of the various activities that make up club life, in the air and on the grounds. We encourage you to take advantage of all the learning activities available at SOSA and its members (some of whom can offer master classes at the ever popular SOSA barbecues!).
Learn more about our Youth Bursary Program
We’re a friendly and supportive club that celebrates diversity and inclusion. We have women flying members, instructors, and students from many backgrounds. Some coming out of air cadet programs, others with no previous experience. All are welcome to participate in every aspect of club life.
We encourage our women pilots and students to explore the range of bursaries available to help support their flying aspirations. The Women Soaring Pilots Association, based in the US, includes over 200 members globally and has numerous scholarship programs providing support for women pilots at all stages of experience.
Learn more about WSPA Scholarships