Learn to Soar with M-ASA

l1Not sure if you want to be a sailplane pilot? Scroll down to the FAST Certificate part of this page for the description of our “Take a lesson before you join” program.  The below information describes how we work with you to become an FAA certificated glider pilot.

Become A Pilot

M-ASA instructors provide training to club members at no cost, on a volunteer basis.  You only have to pay for the tows and glider rental costs.  M-ASA has scheduled operations each weekend and Federal holidays from the second weekend in March through the third weekend in November. This means that members are scheduled as Tow Pilots and Operations Directors for each scheduled flying day. Instructors are not scheduled, therefore, the student must coordinate their training schedule with his assigned instructor. Students have priority on the tow list before noon on each operating day.

M-ASA’s Chief Flight Instructor administers the training program. Each new member is assigned to a primary instructor, based on the students preference and the student load. Once this is done, the student contacts his assigned instructor.

l2The student and his primary instructor will work together to ensure that all of the training requirements are met. The primary instructor is the only person who may solo the student, although when the primary instructor is not available the student may receive training from any of the available club instructors. Prior to solo, and at several other times during training, student pilots are required to fly with another instructor as a cross check of his progress.

A folder is kept for each student with copies of written examinations and other information on student progress. The primary record of student progress is the student’s logbook. M-ASA recommends the logbooks sold by the SSA as the type used for glider flight recording. However, if the student already has a logbook, these can also be used.

Primary instruction is provided in our two place training gliders. After solo, student pilots may check out in one of our single place gliders.

Student progress in primary flight training will vary depending largely on how frequently he or she is able to fly. Typically students who fly more frequently advance more quickly. However, consistency of training is equally important. Students should arrange a training schedule which they can stick with over the entire season to ensure that progress is made steadily through the completion of primary training.


Learn to Fly A Sailplane Today!

SSA FAST Program

What is the FAST program?
The FAST program gives you the opportunity to get a taste of what soaring is all about. It is a program that offers you an introductory lesson in flying a glider, during which you will handle the controls of the aircraft under the guidance of an FAA certificated glider flight instructor.

Who is this for?
The FAST program is geared towards you! If you’ve ever watched a hawk gliding effortlessly in the sky and wondered what that experience must be like then now is the time to try soaring! This is a sport that attracts individuals from all walks of life and of all ages, and is a great activity for the whole family. The FAST program experience also makes a great gift.

How does the FAST program work?
It’s easy and fast! To buy a FAST program lesson voucher at the SSA online store click here. Then call a participating soaring operation to schedule your lesson. You can also order your FAST package by calling 1-575-392-1177 during normal business hours to receive your voucher by fax.

How much does it cost and what do I get?
The FAST package is a great value at $139. With your purchase you will receive:

  • An introductory lesson consisting of a minimum of 30 minutes of ground instruction and approximately 30 minutes of flight time.
  • A copy of the Glider Flying Handbook.
  • A glider pilot logbook.
  • An introductory 3 month membership in the Soaring Society of America, including one copy of the monthly magazine Soaring.

Required Materials

M-ASA has recently standardized its training syllabus and adopted the Tom Knauff textbooks as the material used by our club for training new glider pilots. These are Glider Basics from First Flight to Solo and After Solo (for the ab initio student pilots), and Transition to Gliders (for power pilots transitioning to a glider rating). The training syllabus is the same as that spelled out in these textbooks.

M-ASA keeps copies of the standard text books at each of our flying locations. These copies are for reference and use while at the airport and are not to be removed. Students are encouraged to start their own library of soaring related texts which should include the standard texts that are applicable to them and should also include other books such as the SSA Soaring Flight Manual, and other titles.

At minimum, students should obtain and study the following:

  • “Glider Basics, From First Flight to Solo” by Tom Knauff
  • Aircraft Flight Manual and/or checkout booklet
  • M-ASA Operations Manual
  • “Glider Flying Handbook” FAA-H-8083-13
  • Pilots Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge, FAA-H-8083-25
  • Aircraft Weight and Balance Handbook, FAA-H-8083-1
  • Airman’s Information manual (AIM)
  • AC 90-48C Pilots Role in Collision Avoidance
  • AC 90-66A Recommended Standard Traffic Patterns at Airports Without Control Towers
  • AC 90-42F Traffic Advisory Practices at Airports Without Operating Control Towers
  • AC 61-65E Certification of Pilots and Flight and Ground Instructors
  • AC 00-06A Aviation Weather for Pilots and Flight Operations
  • AC 00-45E Aviation Weather Services
  • Current Sectional Chart
These books can be purchased from any of a number of aviation supply businesses.  Many can also be downloaded from the FAA web site.