At the age of 16 you can complete one of the best courses offered by the Air Cadet Organisation. Successfully completing a Gliding Scholarship (GS) will mean you are able to fly a glider solo before you can legally drive a car!
A Gliding Scholarship provides you with up to 8 hours of glider training in either the Vigilant or Viking gliders. This training is usually done on weekends at one of the 28 Volunteer Gliding Squadrons located around the United Kingdom. As highlighted in the title VGS' are run by volunteers from within the Air Cadet Organisation and more often than not most will have completed a Gliding Scholarship at some time in the past.
Once on the VGS and you have been kitted out and briefed on the safety aspects of the course you will cover the following aspects of the Gliding Scholarship syllabus:
- Ex 4 - Effects of Controls 1
- Ex 5 - Effects of Controls 2
- Ex 6 - Turning
- Ex 7 - Take off and initial climb
- Ex 8 - Medium Turns
- Ex 9 - Landing
- Ex 10 - Stalling
- Ex 11 - Circuits
On completing the syllabus above your instructor will make a decision as to if you are capable of going solo or not (this is dependent on your progress and other factors such as the weather and time left on your course). If given the go ahead you will receive a briefing on completing the circuit before being strapped in and sent off for your first solo flight!
On completing your Gliding Scholarship you will be awarded a set of gliding wings, these will be silver (solo standard) or blue (non-solo standard) depending on your performance.