It is believed that many skills learnt flying a glider are transferable to a professional pilot flight training. Talking at the European Airline Transport Symposium (EATS) Sergio Gómez Brito, head of training at Spanish ATO Quality Fly discussed the merits of using gliders in commercial flight training.
This video from Quality Fly illustrates a number of ways in how gliding can help under training commercial pilots in terms of manual aircraft handing. The lack of an engine means glider pilots must focus on pitch and elevator inputs to carefully maintain airspeed.
Flying in thermal’s requires glider pilots to fly at bank angles of about 30-45 degrees and typically exceeding those commonly used in commercial flying. Glider pilots must also concentrate on avoiding stalling the sailplane at high bank angles and low airspeed when turning into a thermal to gain necessary lift.
Glider pilots typically have one chance to successfully land the sailplane and have limited ‘go-around’ opportunities compared powered flying.
Air Forces around the world use glider flying as a stepping stone before inducting pilots into a formal military flight training programme. Gliding is also considered to be one of the most accessible and purest form of flying available.