Training, from the first 'Flying Start' or Weekend Course flight, right through to the most rigorous checks is available at Lasham. The club has a dozen two-seater gliders, instructors, briefing rooms with visual aids, and other facilities second to none. All our training is carried out at Lasham Gliding Society (LGS). For the latest information about their courses (options, costs, availability), please visit their website. Various combinations of courses and casual flying (turn up and fly when you can) exist. A summary of the types of training is listed below.

Weather permitting, flying takes place at Lasham every day in the year except Christmas Day. While it is more pleasant to fly in the summer, the trainee pilot may find that getting a flight on a good summer day can be quite difficult. On good days, the training gliders are heavily over subscribed, with people arriving before breakfast in order to secure a good slot on the flying list. IGC recommends getting as much training done in the quieter winter period. September to the end of April is ideal.


This is a short (usually half-day) course typically costing about 150. You get three aerotows, giving you enough time to get the feel of the controls. It conveniently bridges the gap between the Trial Lesson about (60) and a Weekend Course (about 225). (2008 prices!!)

More details of costs


So as to reduce the 'unknown' factor, Lasham offer this deal to get beginners to solo in one year. The deal includes Lasham membership till 31 December, and all the flying you need to go solo by then. To make the most of it, join IGC and Lasham as early as possible.


One of the fastest ways to progress is to join a five-day course run by an LGS staff instructor. On these courses the number of students is restricted to ensure that each student gets the maximum amount of flying and ground instruction.


A less expensive option to a full week's flying course is a weekend course. These courses are run by fully-qualified volunteer instructors and last for two to three days, depending on bank holidays. Although these courses are as intensive as the full five-day courses, they do not require the commitment (financial and time) needed for a full five-day course.


Some instructors run regular early morning or evening courses for small groups of students. These courses tend to be fully subscribed, and a student who gets a place on one of these courses is expected to attend regularly. Many IGC members, in fact, learned to fly on one of the traditional Evening Course, run throughout the summer. Students pay for the launches and flying time, but tuition is free. To maintain a good rate of progress, the student should supplement the evening course flying with other flights, say at weekends. However, a great 'esprit de cours' develops on these courses, with members taking on many roles, including launch-point controller, log-keeper, winch and retrieve truck diver, etc.


For those who wish to fly on a casual basis at Lasham, the procedure is as follows.
If sufficient students are present, the flying order is decided by ballot. The ballot for the 'K13' two-seater training gliders is held at
08:15, and for the Falke (motor-glider) at 08:30. Otherwise, by mutual agreement, flying is on a 'first come, first served' basis, for both the motor glider and the K13s. The flying lists are pinned to the LGS notice board until flying commences, thereafter they are kept at the launch point. Anyone who misses the ballot may add their name to the end of the list. It is as well to point out that casual flying is the most time-consuming method of training - particularly at weekends.


However you decide to learn, the IGC aims to provide the most cost effective access to gliders, guidance through training and qualifications, expeditions to other sites and as much support as possible during the early years.


Once qualified, the sky's the limit, Air Law and the CAA permitting. Flights of 100-200km circuits are common, out-and-return to Lasham on summer weekends, 500km reasonably regular, with the longest flight being to Durham, around the cathedral and back to Lasham (803km) in time for tea! Pilots progress from seven-minute training flights through a series of structured steps of 30- and 60-minute flights and cross-country training until they're ready to set off out of gliding range of the airfield. Landing in fields around southern England is common and indeed expected. Student pilots prepare well for this as it becomes part of the endless adventure.


The art of gliding is an absorbing mixture of flying skill, decision making, aerodynamics, meteorology, map reading, radio etiquette and air law. The degree of understanding depends on the ambitions of the pilot; local soaring demands less than long distance cross countries or National competition flying. There are highly competent IBM pilots in each of these categories. Many of them probably had no idea, when they started, just what a great community and sport gliding is.


If you're interested in joining the IBM club, learning to glide or simply taking a Trial Lesson, please contact one of the Committee. Spring is an excellent time to start flying as there is still chance to complete the training in one year.