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Sailplane training in Germany has the following requirements:

· At least 25 hours flight, therefrom 15 alone.
· At least 60 Take offs, therefrom 20 alone.
· At least 3 landings on foreign airport
· Emergency landing training
· 50 km XC alone or 100 km with trainer
· Training in dangerous flight states
· Aircraft radio licence
· Theory

Here is a good document describing it (in German) -> [link]

One can chose to do the training in your local club or in professional school (or combination of both).

I decided to accelerate my training and went to professional flight school training.
Usually it takes 2 years to complete the training in a club. In a school I completed my training within 1.5 months from the very first flight to final exam flight :-)

If you are in the hurry (as I was) - here are a few tips for turbo-licence:

· Prepare in winter: start reading Theory, fly simulator and if possible do radio licence.
· Beginning of April: go to commercial school, best with towing, for 2 weeks in a row. With a little luck & talent you can do your first flight after a week. In a second week you can collect your airtime & polish skills. Beginning of April has an advantage that schools are still empty and you can fly as much as you can.
· Pass Theory: do it immediately after being in school - without Theory you can not make your XC flight or emergency landing training.
· Hunt for your XC flight: in club or in school collect required airtime & starts - wait for a good day and when it comes - do your XC flight.
· Get warm for practical exam & pass it: once you got your minimums - register for exam. Day before train again with instructor so you know what exactly is important. Now you ready - go and get it!

and now more details:

Choosing the right club

Basically regardless if you plan to buy a sailplane or not, you will need a club. Here you have a selection of few sailplanes you can cheaply use or place to store your own. Secondly you need home airport with winch and/or tow start possibility. Thirdly it is fun to share your passion with other pilots.

Choosing the right club for you it not simple. I was visiting many clubs is in my area, talking to people & trying to get a feel about the places. Here are my decision factors:

· Size of the club - big more organized & regulated; small more flexible & personal
· Ratio between number of club sailplanes & active members, so that you can get a plane
· Good, thermal active airports placement
· Airport free of CTR
· club cost & continent of obligated working hours
· Most important, people you will get along with

I finally decided to join small club with thermal active airport and nice sailplanes.

Here is homepage of my new club -> [link]

Choosing the right School

This is tough! Here are consideration I am taking:

· Size of the school - big is more organized & regulated, have enough planes trainers
· School localization - you need good weather to fly, I try avoid school in north alps, high on the hill, in bad weather areas etc.
· Recommendations - read what other say about schools
· Winch (cheap but short flight) or air tow (expensive but more flight time) starts
· Cost, infrastructure, operating times etc.

Here is my top list in Germany:

School Description

BWLV Segelflugschule Hornberg


· Located in Schwäbisch Alb next to Stuttgart
· Small runaway on top of the hill - difficult, turbulent & very windy
· Aircraft towing used for training
· Small school with few aircrafts and not over organized
· Very thermal active site
SUMMARY: good for more advanced training later

Deutsche Alpensegelflugschule Unterwössen e.V. · Located at the north Alps border - and this is a key issue - the weather is very unstable & unreliable.
SUMMARY: great for Alpine flights for advanced pilot on selected, good days.
Segelflugschule Oerlinghausen e.V. · Located in north Germany in flatland next to Paterborn
· Big runaway, plenty of space, no wind issues or turbulence
· Winch used for training -> very inexpensive solution
· Biggest school in Germany, very well organized & professional, recommended
SUMMARY: great for initial training, my top candidate, however known for bad weather in April.
Segelflugschule Wasserkuppe · Located mid Germany in Rhön on 900m high mountain (highest in Hessen) - this is a key issue - too windy and with unstable weather. Wasserkuppe is not very thermal active.
SUMMARY: however close to me, I do not plan to go there, there are better choices.
Fränkische Fliegerschule Feuerstein e.V. · Located in mid-east Germany in Thüringen - hilly region on top of plateau, close to Bamberg
· Big runaway, plenty of space, no wind issues or turbulence
· Towing used for training -> expensive
· very big school, very well organized & professional, recommended
SUMMARY: great for initial training, my second top candidate.

So for initial training the best choice is INMO Feuerstein or Oerlinghausen. Key difference is winch vs. towing. First is cheaper but flights are very short, second is expensive but you will have plenty airtime. Finally I went to Feuerstein & very happy about it.

Pre-training -> fly simulator

In order to move quickly forward with training, I decided to train in the winter on the computer simulator. The best on the market is definitely "Condor" - very realistic! you can not only fly from home but also fly on-line with others and (!!) fly on-line competitions - very exciting. Recommended! Here are some links:

1 2 3 4

I would like also recommend you right equipment for simulator flying. You will obviously need a good joystick but invest in pedals for maximum reality. Here are my pics:

Aircraft radio licence (Flugfunk)

I have just passed my international radio licence ( BZF I). I took a course offered in Worms [link] which was very, very useful. Preparation took like 1.5 months inc. weekly classes to practice talking with "tower". Quite a fun. I post here a little useful learning material:


Theory for the exam

One can go to commercial school, leard in club during winter or do self-learning. I did everything in self-learning mode but if you a total beginner in flying Iwould recomend a commercial school - best all in 1 condensed week. Below you can find few links to help in preparation: