Getting Started

Training is provided on a one-to-one basis and arranged at a time to suit you with our training member, Mark, who will be delighted to help you get set up and soaring confidently.

So,if you are new to gliding, and want to learn how to launch and fly the glider or how to find and soar in a thermal, we will be happy to show you, in a relaxed and informal way.

This will prepare you to fly our twice-weekly cross-country tasks and if you wish to fly online, to come soaring with us on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

FSX provides a 'shared cockpit' feature in which control can be handed over between instructor and pupil, which is ideal for simple demonstrations of winch or aerotow launching, soaring and 'cross country' flying techniques.   So, provided you are happy to install Teamspeak 3 and connect with your Instructor in an FSX multi-player session, you will be able to share the cockpit and learn at your own pace with instructor-lead demonstrations before handing over to you to practise, just as in real-world flying training.

Before reading on, you might like to take our 'guided tour' of the club and our facilities, after which, please come on back here to find out more about learning to soar.

As explained in the tour, to prepare for your training you need to do a little home-work, and if you have any difficulties then of course your UKVGA instructor can help and advise:

  • Read the Beginners Manual and launch point manual from the documentation section of the website.
  • Download a club Training Glider from the aircraft downloads section of the website, perhaps the K-21
  • Join VATSIM
    See the Beginners manual above in setting up this, and the following downloads.
  • Download and install TeamSpeak 3. Login details for Teamspeak 3 are here(UK VGA members Only.)
  • Download and install a VATSIM client application such as vPilot, Squawkbox or FSInn
  • Download and install CumulusX! and WinchX! (Note - we don't use the default FSX thermals! Delete or rename 'thermaldescriptions.xml' from your FSX folder.)
  • Download and install Plan-G
  • Download and install an airfield scenery for the UK VGA club base at Seighford, from the scenery downloads section, note that both GenX and OrbX versions are available.

When ready, you simply need to ask Mark for a training session by posting your request to , and arranging a mutually convenient date and time to meet - in our 'Clubhouse' room, on Teamspeak 3.He will likely ask you a few questions to get to know you, find out what you already know and what you'd like to learn - and to agree some goals for your training.

For example, topics you might want to cover could include:

  • Cockpit familiarisation - controls and instruments, and pre-flight checks
  • Preparing to launch and launching - winch or aerotow
  • Planning and flying a circuit, leading to a safe approach and landing
  • Thermal or ridge soaring
  • Cross country gliding - flying a 'task'

Mark will tell you how to join him in the cockpit, by talking you through FSX's 'multiplayer' feature, and from there you can relax, enjoy the demonstrations and gain your gliding skills and confidence by having a go yourself with the benefit of expert guidance.

Imagine having a few circuits with your instructor, and then 'going solo', perhaps in the Club's Ka-8b, followed by some more 'shared cockpit' thermal soaring. You'll soon be a very happy and confident virtual glider pilot.

Instructions on how to set up a shared cockpit is here. (With kind permission of the CIX VFR Club).

Only UK VGA members can use the 'Instructor' facility, if you have not yet joined the UK VGA then go here for the Registration form.