In Europe, how much does it cost to learn to fly gliders if you're already a private pilot? I am one, so I already have the medical and theory etc. but what cost can I expect for a GPL on top of a PPL?


closed as too broad by vasin1987, ymb1, fooot, SMS von der Tann, GdD Aug 8 '17 at 7:42

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ We can't always answer cost questions in a good way because the answer can depend a lot on your personal situation. If you mention your country it might help to get an answer. It would be easier to ask what the requirements (training, hours, exams) are, but of course that's a different question and maybe it wouldn't help you. $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Aug 7 '17 at 18:14
  • $\begingroup$ Notice that under EASA rules (Europe), to fly a glider you need a license, not a rating. The licenses are either LAPL(S) or SPL if you want to be fancy. The transition to EASA rules are is not complete yet, and your local national rules will still be at least partly in place. Best place to ask is your local gliding club. Regarding costs - this will vary, your chosen launch method (winch or tow) being a significant factor. $\endgroup$ – Monolo Aug 7 '17 at 20:34

If you're in Romania, are a Romanian citizen and are under 23 you can do it for free in the Romanian Airclub.

Otherwise it's 15 eur/winch launch and 25 eur/tow at around 300m. I'm not sure if there's any deduction from the glider training if you have ppl but I know that if you have the glider licence you get a shorter training plan for motorized aircraft.

  • $\begingroup$ Young Romanians are lucky! Wish we had the same in other countries. Still unable to afford any kind of flying... $\endgroup$ – John Mayne Aug 7 '17 at 23:57

This is going to vary widely depending on circumstances, but I can share my personal experience since I did what you are asking about fairly recently.

I got my PPL back in 2004 but pretty much stopped flying two to three years later for financial reasons. In 2015, I determined through discussions with the glider club I am a member of that I could afford to start flying again in gliders. I started working on my rating in August 2015 and did my checkride in July 2016. My stats during training were:

  • Flights (which equavlates to to takeoffs and landings): 67
  • Time: 12 hours, 48 minutes

  • Cost for instruction: \$0

  • Cost for hourly rental and tows: \$2626
  • Club dues: \$500 initiation + \$33 a month = \$396
  • Misc (Books mostly): \$100

Total: $3122


  • The club I belong to, Skyline Soaring Association (SSA) is in Front Royal, Virginia USA. I don't know how these numbers would compare to other clubs or doing this through a commercial operation.
  • Our club does not charge for instruction. Instead, instruction is one of the duties members (who are qualified) perform as part of their participation in the club. I would expect that instruction would be an extra charge in a commmercial operation as it is in powered flight schools.
  • My club's rate sheet is here if you'd like to better understand how these costs break down.

Note: I posted this answer before the edit was made qualifying this question to Europe. I am curious though how the two would compare.


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