Add-on Ratings

SSA offers glider add-on ratings for pilots who already hold FAA private, commercial or certified flight instructor (CFI) certificates. Power-aircraft-rated pilots can benefit greatly from the skills that glider flying can provide, as demonstrated by our national hero, Captain “Sully” Sullengberger, whose glider skills helped him safely land an airliner in the Hudson River. Our highly experienced, FAA-certificated flight instructors teach the true “stick and rudder” skills often lacking in today’s training environment. Soaring is fun, challenging and will teach you new skills. While flying in the challenging terrain of the Mad River Valley, you may experience thermals, wave or ridge lift on any given day (and sometimes all three!). Skills that you learn at Sugarbush are transferable to any type of flying that you do in the future. Our friendly and professional staff strive to make flight training a fun and enjoyable experience. We recognize that everyone learns differently, and will adapt and customize your flight lessons to best suit your individual needs.

In order to obtain a glider add-on rating, you must log a certain number of flights (both dual and solo) and then pass an oral exam and practical test with a FAA-designated examiner. For more detailed information on minimum requirements for FAA glider add-on ratings, click here.

We conduct the instruction in the most appropriate glider (or gliders) for each student. Click here to see rates on glider rentals and instruction.* Costs of the glider add-on ratings vary depending on each individual’s skill level and prior experience, as well as which rating you are going for (private, commercial or CFI). We make no promises of a rating in a specified number of flights, but it has been our experience that a competent power-aircraft-rated pilot can generally progress to solo in approximately twelve flights.


  • The maximum passenger weight in SSA gliders is 242 lbs.
  • You need to be at least 18 years old before you can obtain your commercial or CFI-G add-on ratings.
  • A FAA medical exam is not required for glider pilots. However FAA regulations prohibit pilots from flying if they know they have a medical condition which would make them unsafe to fly.

*If you take lessons, it may be advantageous for you to become a SSA partner, as it qualifies you for reduced instruction and rental rates and insurance coverage in SSA gliders. To find out more, contact our office.