Learn to Fly

Learn to Fly!

Gliders Lined Up Ready for Launch

Interested? Great!        Intimidated? Don’t be!

You can do it, and we’re here to help!

Gliding is one of the most accessible forms of aviation. A keen interest, some dedication, and a modest investment are all that’s required to earn a license to explore the sky and enjoy a lifetime of fulfillment. You can soar like an eagle!

For those interested, Cu Nim has adopted an ‘Objective Oriented Training’ approach for unlicensed (GPL) members. This approach emphasizes frequent flying to achieve milestones at a safe, and ultimately more cost-effective pace!

Students dedicated to making progress could potentially achieve the following milestones in their first few years of membership:

Year 1
– Pre-season soaring seminar – functional understanding of gliding and gliding operations
– Active flying season – go solo within 30 to 40 flights!
Year 2
– Complete a ground school course that satisfies Transport Canada requirements
– Complete solo flights (20) required for license
– Pass Transport Canada GPL License
– Obtain a pilot’s license
– Local soaring – ‘Proving Grounds’ Racetrack
Year 3
– Pre-season FAI Bronze Badge theory
– Passenger carrying (take your friends and family)
– Proving Grounds tasks Triangle 2 (100km), possibly Triangle 3 (150km)
– FAI Bronze, possibly FAI Silver
Year 4
– Full XC permissions
– Competition dual flying exposure
– Complete SAC Instructors course

Special Fees for Unlicensed Members (Dual or Solo Students)

The following package options provide membership fees and a volume of flight opportunities to work toward a flying outcome. The allocated flights must be used by the student, in the current membership year, and all but 3 of the flights will be no longer than 30 minutes. These flights are intended to focus on the air exercise and critical components of the flight – takeoff, aerotow, circuit, and landing.

Values Reflect 2024 RatesBefore JuneJune/JulyAugust +*
Training Materials & Log Book$25$25$25
Membership & Flying Fees**$735$735$445
2000′ Tows ($60 ea)***252015
1000′ Tows ($40 ea)***151010
Package Price$2,860$2,360$1,770
Cost for Training
Flights Beyond :30
Additional Tow Tickets$25 for 1000′
$45 for 2000′
$25 for 1000′
$45 for 2000′
$25 for 1000′
$45 for 2000′
‘Glider Rental’ for Solo
Flights after Aug 1
* – It is unlikely to complete the Year 1 objectives if starting after August
** – Includes basic membership fee ($50), ASC member fee ($50), and other member fees applicable for flying privileges. Flying fees are reduced for youth ($525 less) or family members ($290 less before Aug 1, $240 less after Aug 1)
*** – Flights are non-transferable, must be redeemed this flying season, are generally limited to a 30-minute duration, and are non-refundable unless club circumstances outside of the student’s control – to obtain the greatest value from this package, fly as often as possible

The more you fly, the better chance you are at achieving a milestone to bring you back for further development. It is our sincere hope that you develop a lifelong love of soaring as we have, and will join us for years to come!

Attention persons under the age of 21 @ November 1 – Plan to apply for ASC’s youth affordability application to receive up to $750 in flying credits through reimbursement of SAC fees, a 25% of launch (tow) costs, and $0.50/minute of flight time!

Attention persons under the age of 25 @ March 31 – Plan to submit a SAC Youth Scholarship application and receive up to $450 in support from the Soaring Association of Canada! Cu Nim has access to 5 SAC Youth Scholarships available.

In order to ensure students buying into this approach have the resources they need to be successful, a limited number of student spaces are available on an annual basis. If you have questions about this package or want to learn to soar – email us now!

A beautiful fall soaring day south of Calgary

Expect costs to decrease with experience as flight durations increase and the number of tows decreases. With additional experience, no-cost flying opportunities present themselves through flying guests or becoming a flight instructor.

For young pilots, learning tends to happen faster (fewer flights to solo) and membership fees are discounted.

Not sure if this is for you? Try an introductory flight!

Early morning starts mean multiple flights per day and faster progress!

What to expect as a student

Expect to be challenged each and every flight! Do you remember learning to drive? Learning a complex video game? Learning a new sport? At first, it seems overwhelming – everything is happening so quickly, and there is much to take in, layer upon layer of new things to discover. Then, as your skills develop, time seems to slow down, and what seemed impossible just a couple of flights ago becomes manageable, then easy.

Right from the first flight, you will be in control of portions of the flight. As you improve, your instructor will have you fly more and more, will challenge you, and will test your decision-making ability. Once flying yourself, there are no breaks. Effective pilots are always thinking ahead – direction, clouds, time of day, nearby airports, wind, etc.

You will make friends with other pilots and students. Gliding is a communal sport, every student has at a minimum an instructor, a wing runner, and a tow pilot, all working together to make the flights happen. The shared interest and experiences make for a great community. Besides, it’s hard to complete a flight without a big grin!

Learn even more

First solo = solo shower, very refreshing

Power pilot looking for something new?

We have many power pilots – professional and private – who enjoy the diverse challenges and thrills of gliding. As a power pilot, the addition of a glider license will be more rapid. The cost of the endorsement will depend on the number of flights required to satisfy Transport Canada requirements. Satisfying license requirements will generally take around 30 flights.

Individuals with an existing pilot’s license, and who have flown as PIC within the last 5 years will be required to demonstrate flying proficiency through the SAC flying curriculum to reach solo status, and pass a flight test after completing 20 solo take-offs and landings. If grounds school and written exam expectations are satisfied (CARs 421.24).

For those who have been licensed, but have not flown as PIC within the last 5 years (on any license), they will also be required to complete the PSTAR exam to renew currency.

Learn more

Get back to flying for the love of it – 100% Pilot, 0% Auto!

Expectations of Members

Like most gliding clubs around the world, Cu Nim is a non-profit, volunteer-run organization. All members are expected to contribute to the club to keep it operational. This can range from mowing the runways, managing the flying operation, general clean up, instruction or towing. There’s always lots to do, and many opportunities to contribute your professional skills to the betterment of the club.

As students, the primary expectation is that you dedicate your time to learning. Our instructors are motivated by your enthusiasm and effort!

Consider your first solo at Cu Nim, or your first solo in a while!

The foothills transition to the Canadian Rockies to the west of our home base. It’s a beautiful place to fly!