Private Owners

Once you are solo and start thinking about cross-country flying you might also start wondering about the pros and cons of owning your own glider. Here are a few things to think about:

Current list of DSGC private gliders (pdf) (updated 25 March 2017)

What type of flying am I interested in doing? -

  • local soaring
  • flying cross-country
  • flying two-seater
  • aerobatics
  • competition flying
  • instructing

How often can I go flying?

  • every flying day
  • every weekend
  • weekdays only
  • every other weekend
  • once a month
  • fitting in round family
  • fitting in round instructing
  • competeing with other hobbies
  • just for holidays

How much money can I spend?

The price of gliders varies across a wide range to suit most pockets, from a small share in a wooden / older glider to a high performance competitive racing machine. To keeps costs down, most private gliders are owned by a group of people called a syndicate. Some syndicates run on a fixed cost per month to cover expected insurance and maintenance costs. Some syndicates ask for fees as and when they occur.

How do the costs compare?

  • Insurance
  • Insurance excess
  • Maintenance
  • Flying Fees
  • Radio licence
  • Competition number

What else do I need to consider?

  • Instruments
  • Logger / pda
  • Radio
  • Trailer
  • Wing covers
  • Parachute
  • Hangar
  • Rigging aids
  • Syndicate agreement
  • Syndicate Bank account
  • Responsibility for maintenance schedule and paperwork
  • Will my current car tow a trailer - check the kerbside weight
  • Have I got a trailer driving licence
  • Have I got a towball on my car

What type of glider ?

  • Single seat / Two seats
  • Pure sailplane / Turbo / self-launcher
  • wood and fabric / metal /  glass or carbon fibre
  • Open Class / Standard Class / 18m Class
  • aerobatic
  • Flaps
  • Good brakes
  • Retractable wheel
  • Easy to rig with 1 / 2 / 3 people
  • Vintage

Does anyone have to approve my glider?

  • CFI approval  that you are competent to fly type
  • Committee approval to keep the glider on site
  • An inspector on site (or commercial maintenance organisation)

Where are gliders advertised?

  • gliderpilot.net
  • Sailplane & Gliding
  • specialist glider importers

How do I tell if a glider is a good buy? - (it is a bit like buying a car)

  • Try and take a knowledgable inspector with you to view / fly the glider.
  • Look at gliderpilot.net for typical values.
  • Ask experienced pilots for  their opinions
  • Mandatory mods / lifeing
  • Date of annual inspection
  • Has the glider been hangared / trailered /  left out in the rain
  • How many hours/launches
  • Any documented repairs
  • Complete EASA paperwork - inspect it
  • Is the trailer included
  • is the trailer roadworthy

Before flying your new toy....

  • Sort out the insurance, inspection dates.
  • Read the flight manual.
  • Talk to Instructors and Owners of similar types.
  • Understand how the instruments work.
  • Learn how to rig and derig it.

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