Jetguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 1, posted (11 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 626 times:
The simple answer to your question is YES! They are a very good idea. The glider rating is very easy - 14 year-old kids can solo gliders and you can get your PPL-Glider at 16. The cost is comparatively inexpensive and you can get a pvt add-on rating at most glider operations in 2 to 4 days. If I were king of the universe I would make it a requirement for all pilots to have glider experience. The "feel" that you develop for the flying machine will help you in all of the fixed-wing flying that you do. The confidence that you develop in the ability to handle an engine failure will be in valuable. As far as tailwheel training goes, I too am a fan of anything that forces you to learn skills that will make you a more proficient airman. Years ago, when I was a pilot for a major airline, the 727 Chief Pilot told me that he could tell by the way a pilot flew the 727 if he had taildragger time or not. His inferrence was that pilots with taildragger experience did a noticably better job. In the nearly 20 years since he told me that, I've found no reason to disagree with that statement. As far as costs go, I would think that you could get either training for less than $1000, but you might have to shop around a bit. Enjoy, and let us know what you decide.
TT737FO From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 472 posts, RR: 9 Reply 3, posted (11 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 589 times:
Both a tailwheel endorsement and glider certificate will make you a better pilot.
The toughest part of flying a glider is keeping a good attitude on tow and not jerking the tow plane's tail around. Wake boxing can be interesting too. Landings are a snap, and if you have a lot of powered time, it's real easy to pick a landing point and grease it on.
Taildragging is what real flying is all about. If you have the balls to do it, your stick and rudder skills will pick up immeasurably. Your first close call (or actual) groundloop will scare the shit out of you, but you will get a lot of confidence.
Neither one of these is real easy to come by anymore, but if you have the opportunity, don't pass it up.