Learn To Fly

Students Learn All Aspects of the Sport.

At Sugarbush, you will learn how sailplanes are constructed, how the controls work, and how to do a safety (pre-flight) inspection before you fly. We will teach you to do a coordinated turn, how to fly straight and level, and how to control your speed. You will also learn how to soar in thermal, ridge and wave lift. As you perfect the basic maneuvers you will move on to take-offs, tows, landing patterns and finally a smooth, safe landing.

Your Introductory Lesson

If you have always wanted to learn to fly, this is the opportunity for you to sit down with an instructor and learn the basics, then take your first soaring lesson. You will be at the controls of a two-place sailplane together with an FAA certified instructor. You should expect to spend about an hour including ground and in-flight instruction.

Before you take off you will be shown how the controls function. You will then be towed to three thousand feet and permitted to take the controls and soar. You will receive your first set of notes and a signed page for your log book.

Our Three Lesson Package

This is a beginner's three flight program designed to teach the basics of soaring aerodynamics, types of soaring, soaring weather, control functions, tows, take-off, turns, landing pattern and landing. All demonstrated with you at the controls and an FAA certified flight instructor in tandem. A note package and log sheet is included.

Eight Lesson Package

Have a little more time?

We have an eight lesson program that includes ground school, tows, rental and flight instructor.

Sixteen Lesson Package

This plan includes sixteen lessons, ground school, tows, sailplane rental and instructor. This program gets you a student license, your pre-solo written test and all you need to prepare for solo flight. This is the ideal way for a beginner with little or no experience to get started. This program provides enough flight time and experience so that most beginning pilots will be flying the whole flight with only slight assistance from the instructor. The sixteen lesson package is available to both beginning and more advanced pilots.

Add-On Glider Rating for Power Pilots

Sugarbush Soaring encourage pilots with recent flying experience who are licensed in powered aircraft to visit us and learn to soar. We are not a "rating mill," and, because of the challenging conditions of mountain soaring, require a high level of competence by our students and a mastery of the techniques of soaring as specified in the Pilot Flight Test Standards. We make no promises of a rating in a specified number of flights, but it has been our experience that a competent pilot will have progressed to solo and beyond in twelve flights. CFR Part 61 specifies the minimum requirements for the add-on glider rating. Although a written "Knowledge Test" is not required, a specified minimum number of flights and hours and an extensive oral and flight examination are mandated. We have an FAA Designated Examiner on staff.

Instruction will be in the Schweizer 2-33 for both dual and initial solo flights. Later solo flights may be in the 2-33 or the single-place Schweizer 1-26. At the discretion of the student and the instructor, a familiarization flight in the PW-6 or Schleicher ASK-21 may be an option to experience the higher performance fiberglass aircraft. We have available for instruction and rent: 2 Schweizer 2-33s, 1 PW-6, 1 Schleicher ASK-21, 1 Schweizer 1-26, and 1 Grob 102.

With the exception of the occasional pattern tow to perfect the landing, and a simulated "rope break" at low altitude, every flight will be a "soaring" flight - we will work on looking for, identifying, and sustaining flight in the lift conditions that prevail on any given day. Depending on conditions, some flights may be of an hour or so in duration. In most cases, two or three flights a day is the maximum for optimal progress; on many days, one flight may suffice. Instructors will make every effort to work closely with a student on a one-to-one basis, individualizing instruction and tailoring the lesson to the soaring conditions and the stage of progress of the student.

Remember - this is FUN!

The reason to add the rating is to experience the thrill of aviation in its most pure – and demanding – form!

Gift certificates for our instructional packages are available for purchase online.

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