I've done a fair bit of aerobatics training but no gliding so I can't make a proper case for either one, but I can definitely say that the aerobatics training I've done has been awesome! You hone your skills so much while just flying the plane
, nothing in the back of the mind thinking about your next waypoint or radio call.
For aeros I've flown the Decathlon and the Zlin and each has its place. Flying (or maybe landing/taxiing
) a taildragger is great fun, and it requires much more accuracy than a tricycle setup. Not having any flaps (obviously can slip but there's a company SOP on the minimum height) highlighted the value of flying a proper approach, on slope and on speed, and how important that is in nailing that landing.
And once you're up in the air with a few hours of aeros you really get to know the plane and expect what's going to happen next. I buggered up a stall turn the day other day and could feel the plane about to spin and without thinking reacted. That there I reckon is the real value in doing aeros -> the instinctive reactions you develop. I found that I really started to understand the aircraft - I could feel what was going on. Although i've never had to apply it in normal cross-country flight i'm confident that if (when) i come across that situation i'll react quickly and effectively.
Anyway, a bit of a ramble, but from me a HUGE thumbs up for aeros, although I'm definitely planning on gliding training in the future. Ideally i'd say do both.