Annual dues are collected by April 1st.
Associate Members Dues
ACA Dues $66
SSA Dues $64
Full & Student Members Dues
ACA Dues – $66
SSA Dues – $64
Flight Fees – $372 if you do not own a glider yourself.
—or—– $186 if you own a glider or are 1/2 owner.
—or—– $248 if you are a 1/3 owner of a glider.
—or—– $279 if you are a 1/4 owner of a glider.
—or—– $89 if you are a student 22 years or younger.
There is also a one time initiation fee of $600 which can be paid over a 4 year term.Tows are paid to the commercial operation Jersey Ridge Soaring per flight. They can range between $30 and $60 per tow, depending on altitude. In short, if you do not own a glider, your first 4 years of membership will cost $652 per year and $502 per year after that. This is for unlimited flying. Of course dues can go up based on the club’s cost of insurance, tie downs, and maintenance.
Please use a glider specific log book to record your glider flying. As well as helping your instructors, you too will find it helpful in various practical ways to keep this form of flying type logged separately.
Power pilots (Private or higher rating) do not need to take an additional FAA Knowledge Test. However, be prepared to answer verbal questions from the Examiner about all aspects of gliders and soaring.
Power pilots (Private or above rating) can go solo with relatively little additional training (and fewer endorsements) and once solo are not subject to the same level of continuing instruction as student pilots. Power pilots are NOT students: they are rated pilots seeking an additional rating (glider). ACA does however strongly advocate taking the Practical Test without unnecessary delay – one advantage of the add-on Private/Commercial Glider Rating is being allowed to take passengers.
Many prudent and experienced glider pilots have recorded their thoughts and wisdom in textbooks that make it easy for us to learn from the mistakes of others. Some textbooks have been written specifically for the power pilot transitioning from airplanes to glider. See the Resources section for links to great books.
Gliders, also known as sailplanes, can remain aloft for hours by utilizing the energy in the atmosphere. The sun is the ultimate cause for each of the following sources of rising air:
Thermals are rising columns of air that are caused by uneven solar heating of the ground. Most of the soaring conditions encountered in Texas are from thermals.
Slope soaring refers to using updrafts produced by the mechanical lifting of air as it encounters the upwind slope of a hill, ridge or mountain. Slope soaring requires two ingredients: elevated terrain and wind.
Wave lift is created when stable air flows over a mountain or descends from the downwind side of a plateau. The air then “bounces” very high into the atmosphere. Altitudes of more than 50,000 feet have been achieved in gliders using mountain wave and distances of more than 2,000 kilometers flown using mountain wave system
Wing Runner Course required for all new members
“Glider Flight Training Manual”
by Thomas Knauff
Ground School Presentations
- Aeronautical Decision Making
- Aeronautical Information Manual by the FAA
- Crew Resource Management for Glider Pilots
- Federal Aviation Regulations for Glider Pilots
- Flight Instruments
- Radio Communication
- Risk Management
- Weather Data: METARs, TAFs, etc
- Weather Theory
- Weight & Balance
Private Pilot Tutorial 1: Introduction to Flying
Private Pilot Tutorial 2: Aircraft Structure
Private Pilot Tutorial 3: Principles of Flight
Private Pilot Tutorial 4: Aerodynamics (Part 1 of 3)
Private Pilot Tutorial 5: Flight Controls
Private Pilot Tutorial 6: Aircraft Systems (Part 1 of 2)
Private Pilot Tutorial 7: Flight Instruments (Part 1 of 3)
Private Pilot Tutorial 8: Flight Manuals and Documents
Private Pilot Tutorial 9: Weight & Balance
Private Pilot Tutorial 10: Aircraft Performance
Private Pilot Tutorial 11: Weather Theory (Part 1 of 3)
Private Pilot Tutorial 12: Aviation Weather Services (Part 1 of 3)
Private Pilot Tutorial 13: Airport Operations (Part 1 of 3)
Private Pilot Tutorial 14: Airspace
Private Pilot Tutorial 15: Navigation (Part 1 of 4)
Private Pilot Tutorial 16: Aeromedical Factors (Part 1 of 2)
Private Pilot Tutorial 17: Aeronautical Decision Making (Part 1 of 4)
What should be in your personal glider library?
Exams, Tests & Flight Reviews
FAA Knowledge Exam ("The Written")
Before you can take your flight test for your Private Glider Certificate, you need to pass an FAA knowledge test. You should start to prepare for this as soon as you go solo.
- The test is computer-based multiple-choice derived from a large bank of questions. It is highly recommended that use online test prep as described on this page.
- The bulk of preparation is conducted as self-study. But, you will need to engage with a specific instructor to help you with any difficulties in your studies.
- The cost of the FAA Knowledge Test is at least $150 so you will want to be well prepared to avoid retaking the test in case you fail (70% required). List of FAA Knowledge Test Centers .
- You must have an instructor's written endorsement before taking the exam.
After the Test
FAA Private Pilot Knowledge Test Guide
There are many excellent online sources for preparing for the Knowledge Test listed on this page. We highly recommend that you prepare by using an online exam study program.
- This prep will tell you why the correct answer is correct and why the wrong answers are wrong. Studying using this method helps you understand the sometimes devious way that questions are posed and what the FAA is trying to get at.
- The test prep exactly duplicates the look of the actual computer based testing interface. You can take practice tests multiple times and know how well you are likely going to do on the test before arriving at the testing center. Although the official pass mark is 70%, we aim to get scores of 95% or better.
FAA Practical Test
Preparing for the FAA Practical Test will require a significant effort on your part. Your instructor will help guide and prepare you but it is your responsibility to study and ask questions. The following book is an excellent resource to help you be successful:
The FAA Practical Test Standards are a set of specific 'guidelines and rules' for the way the check ride is conducted. Print or buy a booklet of the PTS for your check-ride.
IACRA is the web-based certification/rating application that guides the user through the FAA's airman application process.
Book: "Safer Soaring...Made Easy"Book: "Glider BFR and Spring Checkout...Made Easy"
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
Online: Flight Review Prep GuideThe above link will bring you to the FAA's online list of courses.The "Flight Review Prep Guide" course is an excellent summary of the part 91 regs as well as judgement based decisions. The content is oriented towards powered aircraft but most of it applies to glider flying. There is an exam at the end that allows you to answer the questions over and over until you get it right. Getting the correct answers is the only goal of the exam. You don't have to pass on the first try to get credit.
Federal Aviation Regulations
The only differences between publishers is the formatting and some formats are more readable than others. Here is a link to Amazon for ASA's version of the 2015 FAR/AIM. ASA is nice because they have bold headings for new sections which makes finding what you want easier out of all the noise of the "dense" regs.
FARs for Glider Pilots
Preventing Launching & Landing Accidents by Thomas KnauffGlider Emergency Procedures by Thomas KnauffOff Field Landings by Thomas KnauffGliding Safety by Derek PiggottSafer Soaring by Bob Wander
The FAA’s website contains a huge range of useful information, though finding your way round can be a challenge at times. Here are some direct links to commonly used documents:
FAA Glider Practical Test Standards (PTS)
FAA Glider Flying Handbook
Cumulus Soaring has perhaps, the most comprehensive range of gliding and soaring books (as well as soaring equipment).
Bob Wander’s site also has an excellent range of glider training books.
sportys.com to buy sectionalsskyvector.com to view online and/or buy sectionals