Bibliography of Glider Training Books and Resources

The books or resources listed here are currently in print. Many of them are updated or revised periodicly. It is important that you obtain current editions, specifically the FAA publications, on which the questions or tasks of the FAA knowledge or practical tests are based.

All pilots should maintain a current edition of the FAA Regulations (FAR's) and Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM). These publications are available both in print form and electronically via the World Wide Web. Almost every FAA publication is available online, the FAA main web page makes a great jumping off point for finding FAR's Advisor Circulars, the AIM, and even full color PDF copies of the Glider Flying Handbook. As Pilot In Command, you are required to understand and comply with all the rules, regulations and procedures applicable to every flight you make. Using the resources on this page can help you meet your obligation.

Index
 
Pilot Specific Publications
Students Private Commercial Transition Flight Instructor
 
General Publications
Launch methods Advanced Soaring Skills Soaring Safety Soaring Weather
 
Out-of-Print and Club generated Publications
Out of Print Training Guides    

 

Publications for the Student Glider Pilot

The Federal Aviation Regulations that list the minimum training requirements for the student pilot – glider include FAR 61.87
Title Author Source
SSA/SSF Glider Pilot’s Logbook with applicable endorsements   SSA
FAA Glider Flying Handbook FAA SSA
Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge FAA SSA
Glider Basics from First Flight to Solo – a training syllabus for initial glider instruction to solo Tom Knauff SSA
Understanding Gliding Derek Piggott SSA
Gliding – a Handbook on Soaring Flight Derek Piggott SSA
SSA Standard Signals – DVD or VHS tape SSF SSF
Learning to Fly Gliders, a Training Syllabus– a training syllabus with lesson plans for both the student and the CFIG Bob Wander SSA
Safer Soaring Bob Wander SSA

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Publications for the Private Glider Pilot

The Federal Aviation Regulations that list the minimum training requirements for this rating include FAR 61.103, 61.105, 61.107, and 61.109
Title Author Source
SSA/SSF Glider Pilot’s Logbook with applicable endorsements   SSA
FAA Private Knowledge test Questions and Answers ASA SSA
FAA Glider Flying Handbook FAA SSA
FAA Practical Test Standards (PTS) Private Glider FAA SSA
After Solo Tom Knauff SSA
Understanding Gliding Derek Piggott SSA
Gliding – a Handbook on Soaring Flight Derek Piggott SSA
Discover Soaring - DVD Niche Videos SSA
Glider Pilots Ground School - Private Dave Seymour SSA
SSA Standard Signals – DVD or VHS tape SSF SSF
Learning to Fly Gliders, a Training Syllabus– a training syllabus with lesson plans for both the student and the CFIG Bob Wander SSA
Private Pilot Glider Checkride, Made Easy Bob Wander SSA
Safer Soaring Bob Wander SSA

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Publications for the Commercial Glider Pilot

The Federal Aviation Regulations that list the minimum training requirements for this rating include FAR 61.127 and 61.129
Title Author Source
SSA/SSF Glider Pilot’s Logbook with applicable endorsements   SSA
FAA Commercial Knowlege Test Questions and Answers ASA SSA
FAA Glider Flying Handbook FAA SSA
FAA Practical Test Standards (PTS) Commercial Glider FAA SSA
Discover Soaring - DVD Niche Videos SSA
After Solo Tom Knauff SSA
Understanding Gliding Derek Piggott SSA
Gliding – a Handbook on Soaring Flight Derek Piggott SSA
Glider Pilots Ground School Dave Seymour SSA
SSA Standard Signals – DVD or VHS tape SSF SSF
Commercial Glider Pilot Checkride, Made Easy Bob Wander SSA
Learning to Fly Gliders, a Training Syllabus – a training syllabus with lesson plans for both the student and the CFIG Bob Wander SSA
Safer Soaring Bob Wander SSA

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Publications for the Glider Flight Instructor

The Federal Aviation Regulations that list the minimum training requirements for this raiting include FAR 61.183, 61.185, and 61.187
Title Author Source
Current years FAR / AIM ASA SSA
FAA Written Test Questions and Answers ASA SSA
Aviation Instructors Handbook guide to the fundamentals of instruction FAA SSA
FAA Practical Test Standards (PTS), CFI Glider FAA SSA
Accident Prevention Manual for CFI's Tom Knauff K&G
Cockpit Guide for Glider CFI's Tom Knauff K&G
Glider Instructor's Handbook Tom Knauff SSA
Stick & Rudder Wolfgang Langewiesche K&G
Gliding Safety Derek Piggott SSA
Glider Pilots Ground School (CFIG) Dave Seymour SSA
SSA Instructors Handbook SSF SSF
Flight Instructor Checkride, Made Easy Bob Wander SSF

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Publications for the Pilot transitioning into Gliders

Pilots adding a glider category rating to their existing FAA airplane pilot certificate may benefit from these specific resources, in addition to the resources listed for the PVT / COM glider ratings. The specific Federal Aviation Regulations regarding minimum training requirements depend on whether the already certificated pilot is adding the glider rating in the Private or Commercial category. See the references herein to the FAR’s for PVT and COM. No “written test” is required for PVT / COM “transition” pilots. The FAA regulation that allows an already certificated power pilot to fly solo as PIC (but no passengers) in gliders is FAR 61.31
Title Author Source
SSA/SSF Glider Pilot’s Logbook with applicable endorsements   SSA
FAA Glider Flying Handbook FAA SSA
Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge FAA SSA
FAA Practical Test Standards (PTS), Private/Commercial Glider Private or Commercial as required FAA SSA
Transition to Gliders - for Power Pilots Tom Knauff SSA
Understanding Gliding Derek Piggott SSA
Gliding – a Handbook on Soaring Flight Derek Piggott SSA
Discover Soaring - DVD Niche Videos SSA
Private/Commercial Glider Pilots Ground School Private or Commercial as required Dave Seymour SSA
Transition to Gliders - DVD Sporty's Pilot Shop SPT
SSA Standard Signals – DVD or VHS tape SSF SSF
Learning to Fly Gliders, a Training Syllabus– a training syllabus with lesson plans for both the student and the CFIG Bob Wander SSA
Private/Commercial Pilot Checkride, Made Easy Private or Commercial as required Bob Wander SSA
Safer Soaring Bob Wander SSA

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Launch Methods

The FAA requirement for an endorsement for the type of launch is found in FAR 61.31 Resources on the specific types of glider launch include the following:
Title Author Source
Aerotow Launch
Towpilot Manual for Towplane pilots – a Mentor Series book published by Bob Wander Burt Compton SSA
End of the Line for Glider pilots – a Mentor Series book published by Bob Wander Murray Shain SSA
 
Ground Launch - Winch or Vehicle
Ground Launches Derek Piggott SSA
 
Self-Launch - Motorgliders & Self-Launching Sailplanes
Motorgliders for Glider Pilot Training Derek Piggott SSA
Motorglider Instruction - audio tapes Derek Piggott SSA
Transition To Gliders – DVD Sporty’s SPT
Self-Launch Pete Williams SSA

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Advanced Soaring Resources

These resources may enhance your skills, knowledge and enjoyment of flying gliders.
Title Author Source
Cross Country Manual for Glider Pilots Dean Carswell SSA
Thermals Rolf Hertenstein SSA
Sailplane Aerobatics Les Horvath SSA
Landing Out – The Final Four Minutes Don Ingraham SSA
Off Field Landings Tom Knauff SSA
Ridge Soaring the Bald Eagle Ridge Tom Knauff K&G
Practical Wave Flying Mark Palmer SSA
Breaking the Apron Strings Phil Petmecky SSA
Cross Country Soaring Helmut Reichmann SSA
Art of Thermaling Bob Wander SSA
Badge Soaring series Bob Wander SSA
Polars and Speed To Fly Bob Wander SSA
Transition to Single Seat Gliders Bob Wander SSA
Exploring the Monster - Wave Flying Robert Whelan SSA

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General Safety Publications

Several books discuss specific safety issues and risk management.
Title Author Source
Soaring Accidents That Almost Happened Stephen dupont SSA
Accident Prevention Manual for Glider Pilots Tom Knauff K&G
Glider Emergency Procedures Tom Knauff K&G
Gliding Safety Derek Piggott SSA
Stop Worrying About Stalling and Spinning Derek Piggott SSA
Sub-Gravity Sensations and Soaring Accidents Derek Piggott SSA
Safer Soaring – Made Easy Bob Wander SSA
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Soaring Weather

Understanding weather, specifically soaring weather, is essential for passing the FAA Knowledge and Practical Tests, and for safe, enjoyable soaring.
Title Author Source
Meteorology & Flight Tom Bradbury SSA
Aviation Weather FAA SSA
Aviation Weather Services FAA SSA
Understanding The Sky Dennis Pagen SSA
Understanding Flying Weather Derek Piggott SSA

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Glider Training Books - out of print

Many glider flight instructors regard these books as excellent resources:
Title Author
Soaring Flight Manual SSA
Flying Sailplanes Helmut Reichmann
   
American Soaring Handbook (ASH)
Vol 1. A History of American Soaring Ralph Barnaby & Victor Saudek
Vol 2. Training William Fuchs
Vol 3. Ground Launch William Fuchs
Vol 4. Airplane Tow Tom Page
Vol 5. Meteorology Harner Selvedge
Vol 6. Cross Country & Wave Soaring Richard H. Johnson & William S. Ivans, Jr.
Vol 7. Equipment: Instruments & Oxygen Harner Selvidge
Vol 8. Equipment: Radio, Rope & Wire John Ryan, Harold Drew, Bernald Smith
Vol 9. Sailplane Aerodynamics Theodore Falk, Frederick Matteson
Vol 10. Maintenance & Repair Robert Forker
ASH was in continuous print throughout the 1960’s and ‘70’s this was a numbered series of ten handbooks addressing specific training topics, authored by experts in the specific topic. You might find these handbooks separately or the bound edition in the used book market. They are still a valuable training reference for flight instructors and students.

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Flight training Guides

No club or school can effectivey teach pilots to fly gliders without a comprehensive training guide or training syllabus. Students should obtain copies of these documents when training begins. If your club or school doesn't have one already, consider bringing in one of these and discussing with your flight instructor how to use this important resource. If your club or school would like to share their training guide or syllabus with the SSF, then contact one of the trustees or send email to the SSF Webmaster.
Title Organization format
Student/Instructor flight record check list Skyline Soaring Syllabus
Ground Launch Training Syllabus Dean Carswell PDF

 

Key to retail vendors and sources:
Source Organization Phone Web Site
SSA Soaring Society of America merchandise department 575-392-1177 www.ssa.org
SSF Soaring Safety Foundation - the safety and training arm of the SSA   www.soaringsafety.org
SPT Sporty’s Pilot supplies, charts, DVD’s and books 800-776-7897 www.sportys.com
K&G Knauff & Grove Soaring Supplies 814-335-2483 www.eglider.org