Northampton Youth Glider Club FAQ

What are the goals of the club?

Learn to work as part of a team to achieve common goals.

Build confidence and self esteem.

Learn essential stick & rudder and critical aeronautical decision making skills.

Become a better pilot and build flight time that would count towards an aviation career.

Have fun outside in the fresh air.

Experience breathtaking bird’s eye views high above the beautiful Pioneer Valley.

Why gliders?

Before the Wright Brothers were airplane pilots they flew gliders. They knew it was important to understand aircraft performance and control first before trying to build an airplane. The US Airforce Academy starts all their pilots in Gliders and has found that it decreases training time and results in better pilots. Former Northampton resident and Smith College Alumni Anne Morrow Lindbergh, wife of Charles Lindbergh, was the ninth licensed glider pilot in the US and the first female glider pilot.

How old do you have to be?

Pilots can start training at any age, as long as they are able to reach the flight controls.

Glider pilots may solo as young as 14 and be eligible for their pilot certificate at 16.

How much flight time is required?

Aeronautical experience requirements for a pilot certificate in gliders:

10 hrs flight time in a glider including:

A minimum of 20 flights

2 hours solo glider time

10 solo takeoffs and landings

If the pilot has 40hrs time training in an airplane the requirements are less.

What does it cost?

Members are charged for their flights on a daily basis.

Plan on about $180 – $220 per day of training. That will be for 2-3 flights depending on altitude and what stage of training the student is at. Initially a student will do 2 longer flights to altitude to work on maneuvers and learning to fly on tow. Later pilots with do 3 – 4 shorter flights to work on flying the traffic pattern and landing. Pilots can do more or less flights but around $200/day is a good budget.

What is expected of members?

Glider flying requires teamwork. Members will be expected to help with ground crewing and staging of gliders when others are flying. In return they will do the same for you.

Is there financial assistance?

Scholarships and financial assistance may be available through Northampton Wright Flight, a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to support youth aviation. For info on financial assistance or opportunities to make a tax deductible contribution contact Dave Strassburg.


Contact Dave Strassburg

Cell (413) 896-9574

Follow this link for a brochure to learn more about Northampton Airport Youth Programs

Our Northampton program is modeled after the Westfield program. For more information, check out WMAWF.ORG.”