Gliding Basics – elementary gliding theory for student pilots

The following ‘Gliding Basics’ leaflets are designed to support student pilots as they progress towards solo. It really helps to read up on the basics of a topic before a gliding lesson during which you expect to be briefed and see it for real!

Pilots who are studying for the Bronze and Cross-Country endorsements are advised to refer to additional guidance and detail available here including a theoretical knowledge syllabus.  

The BGA thanks the original author of ‘Elementary Gliding’ for the inspiration, much of the content, and the relaxed style. No apologies are made for keeping things simple.

Further ‘Gliding Basics’ leaflets will be added as they are developed.

The glider and its components

What makes a glider fly?

Before you leave the ground


Effects of controls

Straight glide





Approach and landing

Winch launch