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Sep 27, 2006, 08:11 AM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
Thread OP

The New Glider Pilot's Handbook - 2nd Edition

Second Edition
by Ed Anderson
aeajr on the forums

If you are just getting started in thermal duration gliders in any form, then there are many things you will want to know. The New Glider Pilot's Handbook is here to try and make that easier.

In the first edition of the New Glider Pilot's Handbook, I compiled the resources based on a series of articles I wrote for Unfortunately the magazine went under so the info is no longer available. I have rewritten much of the material and posted it in a variety of places around the forums.

This is a compilation of many of those articles and threads. While many of the articles are mine, I have included some excellent work by other authors. Also, I have provided links that go to various forums and locations so the new glider pilot can discover the breadth of on-line resources that are available. The articles are rich with links to other resources as well, so this listing is deceptive. There is much more behind the links than you might expect.

Some of the links go to threads that I started when I had a question. I felt the content of those threads was helpful, so I have included them here as resources. Have you ever sat in a class hopeful that someone else will ask the question that you don't want to ask? Well, I asked for you. Take a look at the responses.

I invite other pilots to contribute to the thread to expand and supplement what I have compiled here. I invite those with questions to post them in this thread or one of the threads referenced below. The only dumb question is the one you don't ask.

To new and experienced flyers alike, I hope you find something here that will be useful and will contribute to your soaring experience.



Getting started with Gliders

Discus Launched Gliders

Why Join a Club?

Welcome to the Novice Lounge


Learning to use a Hi-Start

Detecting Thermals

Aviation Weather
From the full text of the classic FAA guide

Plane Locators

Performance Tuning Gliders

Using Ballast

Test Flight Procedures

Workshop Ventilation

Tip Stalling and Wing Washout

Getting Planes out of trees

Sample Set-up for a Full House Glider

Weather - Knowing when to fly

Contest Strategies


Choosing a Sailplane Radio - What to Consider


What Goes on Which Stick

The Importance of Range Checks




The Joy of the Hunt

Soaring is more fun with friends

Follow me, silently, and I'll show you where there's lift!

Best regards,
Ed Anderson
aeajr on the forums
Long Island Silent Flyers
Last edited by aeajr; Oct 29, 2012 at 08:49 AM. Reason: Fixing broken links
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Sep 27, 2006, 09:17 AM
aka ben wilson
thelocust's Avatar
An excellent collection of links!

Here's another from Warren Man-son-hing that I just stumbled upon this morning, with some really great insights into landing approaches and flying in windy conditions:
Sep 27, 2006, 09:47 AM
Just plain ridiculous. Sir.
rdwoebke's Avatar
No kidding. Ed, you are good at this kind of thing.

Some thoughts on getting a plane out of a tree. I'd like to expand on the "friend who climbs trees". If you are in a tree in a real bad way with a nice glider, try to find the local guys that do "repelling". I worked with a guy who was into that stuff (and cave exploring). Another local pilot ended up in the very top of a 80-100 foot tree. I explain the situation to my coworker and he says no problem.

So we go out there, and my climber has this slingshot. Not your little slingshot you had as a kid, but a very powerful one that looked like it was made from high start material. He takes about 2 or 3 tries and shoots a climbing line over a branch. Not a branch right next to the plane, but a strong sturdy one. Then, he ties the line, does weight test on it, and starts ascending up the line. He asends up (all the while kind of dangling from some contraption), then out of his backpack he pulls a collapsable pole, assembles the pole, then uses it to grab the plane and pull the plane to where he can hold it. He then flicks a switch and his system just kind of slowly elevators him down with the plane in his hands.

My pilot friend gave him $40 for the effort. It was a nice speed 400 ARF and well worth the $40 to my friend to have it back.

Sep 27, 2006, 10:29 AM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
Thread OP
Thanks to both of you for the kind words. I try.


Thanks for adding that link. It will be very helpful.


Knowing the local tree climber is very important. After the last ESL soaring contest one of the NJ contestents had to go home leaving at $1000+ glider sitting on top of one of the Long Island trees.

I found a tree climber yesterday to get it down. $100 was the fee, but compared to the value of the plane, it was worth it.
Sep 27, 2006, 10:41 AM
Just plain ridiculous. Sir.
rdwoebke's Avatar
You can often find a profesional tree climber from tree services. If you can find a guy who hobby climbs you might be able to get it down a little cheaper, and you might find a good resource for the club for years to come.

Oct 05, 2006, 12:14 PM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
Thread OP
I added these to the first post

Sailplanes are wonderful

Contest Strategies
Oct 05, 2006, 01:41 PM
SB-28 UK Display Pilot
GeeW's Avatar
Well done, an excellent please can we have this 'stickied' ASAP?

Best Regards
Oct 05, 2006, 01:46 PM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
Thread OP
Thanks GeeW. I think it would make a good Sticky too. It makes a great place to accumulate resources from other people as well.
May 22, 2008, 04:35 PM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
Thread OP
Some new topics that may be useful:


Building the Glider Pilot Population in Your Club

Advanced Sport or Intermediate Competition Gliders

Video of a Hand Throw Test Glide
rc sailplane bird of time (0 min 17 sec)
May 22, 2008, 04:45 PM
little flyer's Avatar
Another link:
May 22, 2008, 05:48 PM
Yep, Naza-controlled Tricopter
tonyestep's Avatar
"...Knowing the local tree climber is very important...."
I haven't had a plane in a tree for a long time, but I did once, with a brand new Hobie Hawk (that tells you how long ago it was). Anyway, a guy at the field sez, "No problem, I'll shoot it out with an arrow." From the back of his truck he pulls out a fancy bow and some hunting arrows. The plane was partly obscured by leaves and branches, and about 90 feet up. He fires once -- right through the left wing. Reloads, fires again -- right through the right wing. At this point another guy who had been standing there and watching silently sez, "I'll climb it." Dons some spiked shoes, shoots up the tree in nothing flat, tosses the plane out. I fly it down, monokote flapping from the two puncture wounds. Gave 'em both 20 bucks (things were cheaper then) and headed home to repair my covering. Moral: it's worth 40 bucks (adjusted for inflation, probably $100) to discover that it's better to climb for it than to shoot at it.
May 22, 2008, 06:43 PM
Registered User
Looking at your list of 3M comp planes I was thinking that some of those are no longer for sale or very hard to get. Is this list current?
May 22, 2008, 07:31 PM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
Thread OP
It was current as of Feb 2007, when it was posted. Subsequent posts are of different dates and were current at the time they were posted.

If you see one that has come off their web site, make a posting to that effect.

Even if one is no longer available, if you can see one you like you can look for it used.
May 17, 2010, 05:21 AM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
Thread OP
Anyone have any new tips for the new glider pilots?
Oct 18, 2010, 02:51 PM
I ain't afraid of no highs
pilottube's Avatar
I found this:

edit: And I added a few more links for this great handbook!

thermal hunting rules of thumb (easy to read):

Detecting thermals:

Very low thermal (I used motor on the last sec of the video):
Radian gliding inside a low thermal (1 min 41 sec)

The radian manual has good info about thermals (simple soaring pages 5 and 6):

Learning to thermal with electric gliders (good thread):

learn about thermaling (hang-gliders):

thermal estructure:

thermal, invisible phenomenon (txt format):

Birds, Thermals & Soaring Flight:

Gliders - Tips on finding Thermals (by aeajr, radian thread):

about camber, reflex, crow in thermals and slope (radian pro thread):

Techniques for coring a thermal (discussion thread):

using rudder in a thermal:

a discussion about thermals (e-gull flights):

here one of my first thermals!
radian thermal flight and landing. no motor at all. (2 min 57 sec)

more videos: (weather and more, in spanish)


a free simulator with THE RADIAN and other gliders (by Generalfailure):

The glidefast journal archives (paul naton blog):

soaring digest magazine (monthly pdf, great pics):

All Things That Fly (rc podcasts):

and another videos, climbing with the power of warm air!:
From ground to sky high (3 min 22 sec)

and two more videos flying my DLG
Topsky rising to the air (3 min 49 sec)

supertopsky catch low thermal (4 min 19 sec)
Last edited by pilottube; Aug 26, 2014 at 12:30 PM.

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