Your Complete Source for Glider Pilot Training Materials

Flight Training Manual for Gliders


Each chapter of the Flight Training Manual for Gliders addresses a separate stage of flight, such as takeoff, aerotow, or landing.  Each chapter is divided into lessons that cover a specific task, skill, or maneuver.


Most lessons are explained in four parts; purpose, procedure, common errors, and completion standards. The “purpose” outlines the relevance of the task or skill. The “procedure” describes the task or skill in detail. The list of “common errors” points out the usual pitfalls. The “completion standards” are the performance criterion that must be met for the lesson to be considered mastered.


In the back of the manual, you will find review questions for each lesson. They consist of a combination of original questions, and questions taken from the FAA Airman Knowledge Test Question bank.


Inside the front cover of this manual, you will find a list of topics titled the “Flight Training Progress Record”.  The progress record includes every lesson that a student must master.  Every topic in the progress record corresponds to a lesson in this manual. For every topic in the progress record, there is a corresponding lesson in this manual.  Extra copies of the progress record are available in the downloads section of this web site.


  • Covers every flight maneuver required for the FAA flight test
  • Follows FAA lesson plan format
  • Clear, straightforward writing and illustrations
  • Logical, ordered, and complete presentation of material
  • 252 pages
  • 97 figures
  • 249 review questions
  • Includes "Flight Training Progress Record"


Price: $57 each


(discounts available for bulk orders)

Table of Contents


To see the first 5 pages of any chapter, click on the Chapter Title.


Flight Training Progress Record




Using this Manual

The Flight Instructor

The Student

The Flight Training Process

Flight Training Progress Record

Practical Test Preparation Progress Record

Additional Materials

Your Feedback

About the Author


Chapter 1: Orientation, Pre-flight, Post-flight


1.1 Primary Flight Controls

1.2 Secondary Flight Controls

1.3 Using the Flight Instruments

1.4 Ground Handling

1.5 Preflight Inspection

1.6 Positive Control Check

1.7 Towrope Inspection

1.8 Securing the Glider

1.9 Area Familiarization


Chapter 2: Takeoffs


2.1 Takeoff Checklist

2.2 Takeoff Procedures and Signals

2.3 Takeoff

2.4 Crosswind Takeoff

2.5 Takeoff Without a Wing Runner

2.6 Downwind Takeoff

2.7 High Density Altitude Takeoff


Chapter 3: Aerotow


3.1 Introduction to Flying the Aerotow

3.2 Flying the Aerotow with Stick and Rudder

3.3 Release from Tow

3.4 “Soft” Release

3.5 Shifting Through the Wake

3.6 Steering Turns

3.7 Aerotow Signals

3.8 Boxing the Wake

3.9 Slack Rope on Tow

3.10 Slack Rope in a Turn


Chapter 4: In-flight Maneuvers


4.1 Transferring Control of the Glider

4.2 Scanning for Traffic

4.3 Pitch/Speed Control

4.4 Using the Trim Control

4.5 Shallow/Medium Bank Turns

4.6 Precision Turns

4.7 Airbrakes in Flight

4.8 Steep Turns

4.9 Circling Flight

4.10 Crabbing During Cruising Flight

4.11 Stall Recognition and Recovery in Level Flight

4.12 Stall Recognition and Recovery in a Turn

4.13 Slow Flight

4.14 Stall Recognition and Recovery with Airbrakes

4.15 Side Slip – Correcting for Alignment Errors

4.16 Side Slip – Compensating for a Crosswind

4.17 Forward Slip

4.18 Low-G Maneuvers

4.19 Selecting a Cruise Airspeed

4.20 Deep Stall Recognition and Recovery

4.21 Chandelle

4.22 Incipient Spin Recognition and Recovery

4.23 Spin Recognition and Recovery

4.24 Rapid Speed Changes

4.25 High-Speed Flight



Chapter 5: Landing Patterns


5.1 Landing Checklist

5.2 Introduction to the Landing Pattern

5.3 Glide Slope Control Using the Airbrakes

5.4 Radio Use

5.5 Crosswind Patterns

5.6 Unusual Patterns

5.7 Forward Slip with Airbrakes

5.8 Turning Slips

5.9 Side Slip in the Pattern

5.10 No Altimeter Pattern

5.11 No Altimeter/Airspeed Pattern

5.12 No Airbrake Pattern

5.13 Full Airbrake Pattern


Chapter 6: Landings


6.1 Introduction to the Landing

6.2 Precision Landings

6.3 Crosswind Landings

6.4 Landing Over an Obstacle

6.5 Simulated Off-Field Landing

6.6 Downwind Landings

6.7 High Wind Landings

6.8 High Density Altitude Landings


Chapter 7: Flying in Lift


7.1 Thermaling

7.2 Mountain Wave

7.3 Ridge Lift

7.4 Convergence/Shear


Chapter 8: Emergency Procedures


8.1 Introduction to Premature Aerotow Release

8.2 Simulated Rope Breaks

8.3 Rock Off

8.4 Tow Plane Power Loss During Takeoff

8.5 Tow Plane Power Loss at Altitude

8.6 Simultaneous Release Failure

8.7 Spiral Dive Recovery

8.8 Unusual Attitude Recovery

8.9 Intercept Procedures


Chapter 9: Aeronautical Decision Making


9.1 Situational Awareness

9.2 Judgment

9.3 Self-Discipline


Review Questions


Answer Key



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