New Pilots

If you are just beginning to learn about soaring, Hollister Soaring Center provides training with fantastic CFI-Gs. They will cover everything from your introductory flight to your certification. They offer an accelerated course for new pilots, usually spanning 6-8 weeks, and one for transitioning power pilots spanning 2-3 weeks.

Russel Holtz provides excellent introductory material for learning to fly gliders. The volume Flight Training Manual for Gliders covers flight training, while the Glider Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge covers the knowledge training. They cover all topics required by the FAA from your first flight to the Bronze badge. The material is very clearly presented with easy-to-read figures and explanations. Start here!

Private Pilot Glider Practical Test Standards (PTS) - FAA 2011. The PTS establishes the standards for private pilot certification practical tests for the glider category. FAA inspectors and designated pilot examiners shall conduct practical tests in compliance with these standards. Flight instructors and applicants should find these standards helpful during training and when preparing for practical tests. This is the material from which the examiner will pull his questions.

Condor is a flight simulator for gliders. It has accurate flight models for many gliders, and is very useful if used as a supplement to real flying. Russel Holtz provides a set of Condor scenarios to go along with the lessons in his books.


Thermalling Skills 1/3 -- Larry Suter. This presentation gives first approximation answers to:

  1. Is this a thermal?
  2. When should I start turning?
  3. Which way should I turn?
  4. How do I "center" a thermal?

Thermalling Skills 2/3 -- Larry Suter. This presentation discusses basic models of thermals, which should guide how we think about thermals while in the air.

Thermalling Skills 3/3 -- Larry Suter. In Larry's final installment in the series, we learn when to leave the current thermal, how to find the next thermal, and how to get there efficiently.


Finding Wave at Hollister -- Harry Fox. Harry gives a presentation on how to find wave near Hollister. He also wrote notes to accompany the presentation.