An engine failure is a quick way to make a pilot sweat in their aircraft, however, glider pilots have been launching engine-less to the sky for years! Following World War I, many improvements were made to gliders, specifically in Germany where it became a popular sport. Gliding is often a great introduction to aviation, especially for younger pilots since an individual can solo in a glider as early as age 14. In addition, many pilots opt for this method of flight as there is no required medical. To date, gliding remains a favorite among pilots.
Gliders can be launched in several ways; by winch, bungee, gravity and one of the most popular, by a tow plane. Common tow aircraft are Citabria, Super Cubs and Piper Pawnees. While a tailwheel aircraft has been preferred among glider pilots, many clubs have utilized a Cessna 172 or 182 as well.
Some gliders are installed with engines and can self-launch. These are known as motor gliders. Even though they seem like a powered aircraft, only a glider rating is required to fly a motor glider. Pilots enjoy the added flexibility of a motor glider. Since you can self-launch, no tow plane or other launch assistance is required. In addition, during days with less lift, simply turn on the engine and you have a fuel-efficient powered aircraft.
Are you looking into learning to fly glider aircraft? Or perhaps you already tow for a glider club, provide glider instruction? The agents and pilots at Aviation Insurance Resources (AIR) have the glider insurance solution for you. We shop all the major aviation insurance markets to provide you with the best rate and the broadest coverage available. Call 301-682-6200 or submit a quote request online to get your glider insurance today!