A premier soaring club in eastern Pennsylvania - CALL US 215-334-5980

Flight School

Master the skies!

Providing first class glider flight instruction is the central mission of the Council. Whether it is initial flight training, basic soaring technique, transition from power to gliders, or advanced cross country skills, our team of FAA certified member/instructors is here to help you achieve your goals. You will likely fly with a few different members of the team before selecting a principal instructor who will thereafter guide your progress. We follow a proven curriculum of written materials paired with hands-on flight training leading to solo, the private pilot certificate, cross-country skills, commercial certificate, and CFI-G for those motivated to do so. We are a safety based organization, and all of our training and operations are designed to produce skilled conscientious pilots.

Members' Experiences

Bill, now age 57, returned to flying in his early 40's after a long hiatus to get his career and family life launched.

Dave G. never had any flight experience until having two lessons at a private outfit and then joining PGC at age 49.

Dave J. had been a low-time power pilot when a career change into his own consulting business caused him to take a long break from flying. When the opportunity to fly again arose later he did some research.

Phil K. earned his power pilot license as a young man, but marriage and kids put flying on the back burner. Once his wife got him a gift certificate for a glider lesson he never looked back. PGC became second family not only to him, but his daughter as well, who shares his love of soaring.

Ground School

In the winter off-season PGC sponsors a renowned 3-day aviation ground school for aspiring pilots, established pilots who wish to improve their knowledge, and those interested in aviation who may never fly but want to learn about aerodynamics, meteorology, navigation, medical factors in aviation, aircraft systems, decision making, radio communication, the national airspace system, flight planning, and stick and rudder skills. (Kids are welcome to attend at no charge.) The courses are taught by highly experienced FAA licensed pilots, flight instructors, and aviation and engineering professionals. After attending ground school, you will never look at the sky again in quite the same way.

Glider Flight Instruction

Become a member today! CLICK HERE TO LEARN HOW

Bill's Story

Bill H., Glider PilotBill, now 57years old returned to flying in his early 40's after a long hiatus to get his career and family life launched.

"...fast forward twenty years to 2004, I rejoined PGC and dedicated myself to learning to fly. I received all of my training materials, met a great group of people and immediately felt welcome in the club. I usually met with my primary instructor, Joel, on Sunday mornings to take 2 or 3 flights and talk about them afterwards. At first I would take the controls only after he handled the tow to release altitude, and then he would talk me through the landing process. It wasn't long before I got the hang of the tow and was at the controls from take off through landing. I started going to the field as much as I could, and if Joel couldn't meet me there it was very easy to fly with other instructors."

Dave G.'s Story

Dave G, Glider PilotDave G. never had any flight experience until having 2 lessons at a private outfit and then joining PGC at age 49.

"I fit into the training schedule and started to learn basic stick and rudder skills. In those days we were still flying the already obsolete Schweizer 2-33 trainers, but it was an absolute hoot to get up into the sky. The learning process is not always a smooth ascent, and I hit a frustrating plateau when it came time to learn how to follow the tow plane at the end of the tow line. I was all over the sky. Eventually, my instructor, Jack, took me aside and gave me the magic advice, 'Dave, you're trying too hard, and it's making you over-control. Loosen up, do less, and just match the tow plane's bank angle.' Bingo!" Later on Jack coached me on towards cross-country and ridge flying. We've now been friends for years and still enjoy flying together. I've flown with several of the club instructors over the years and feel like I've picked up helpful perspectives from all of them."

Dave J.'s Story

Dave J Glider PilotDave J. had been a low-time power pilot when a career change into his own consulting business caused him to take a long break from flying. When the opportunity to fly again arose later he did some research.

"...wanting to find a more economical approach; I looked into soaring. My power instructor had suggested that a glider rating would improve my flying over all. I did a web search and found The Philadelphia Glider Council. Annual dues seemed reasonable, but with the bonus that instruction was free! Aircraft rental was free! This looked like a deal that was too good to be true. I did a little more research and drove out to visit the field. It was a weekday and the only soul around was the chief tow pilot, Joe, who was more than happy to show me around. I signed up. It was a thrill to get in the air again. I had only really expected to stay in the club long enough to get my certificate, but I caught the glider bug, and I got sucked in to being on the board, setting up web cams, and helping on the web page. I found a real bunch of misfits, not unlike my self, who loved to fly." (Editor's note: Like many of our members, Dave also flies powered aircraft.)

Phil K.'s Story

Glider Flight SchoolI learned to fly at Turner Field and earned my rating with the FAA minimum flight requirement. It wasn't that I was such a quick learner; just that I was running out of cash. I spent the rest of high school, and college flying every other weekend. Most of the time I took friends and family members along, to let them share the costs, but I found that I really enjoyed introducing other people to my passion.

Lisa and I were married right out of college, and I flew J-3 Piper Cubs from Van Sant Airport for that first year. Then life got in the way. We bought a house and our two daughters came along. I put flying on the back burner. To scratch the itch, I flew radio control models with co-workers at lunch, and even started to build a small plane in the basement whenever I could steal 15 minutes. Then Lisa made her big mistake. She gave me a gift certificate for a couple of glider lessons for my birthday. On my first flight we found a gentle thermal and climbed a couple of thousand feet. Nothing is more rewarding. Flying powered aircraft has its challenges, but gliding is different. Every flight is an adventure. Can I find lift? Can I gain altitude? Can I stay up longer, get higher, and fly further?

A couple of more lessons to solo... Might as well keep going to get the glider rating... I was hooked for good on soaring. As soon as I was licensed, I was back to taking my friends and family up to share my new passion.

Fortunately, my daughter Melissa loved to fly with me. We were at the field every flyable Sunday. The Philadelphia Glider Council became our second family, and she literally grew up surrounded by some of the nicest and most supportive people I have ever met. As soon as she was tall enough to reach the rudder pedals, I stated teaching her to fly. I found that was a whole new adventure. The more she learned, the more I learned, about flying, about her, and about myself. There is an amazing joy you share with someone when they suddenly "get it" and master a new skill. For the last 15 years I have been fortunate to share those experiences with countless students and passengers.

I still fly alone from time to time. Being above the ground puts all of life's challenges into perspective. The sky is where we belong. The sky is where I am at peace.

Phil Klauder, CFI-G
Chief Flight Instructor