Melbourne Gliding Club

Learning to fly gliders with the Melbourne Gliding Club...

To fly or learn to fly with the Melbourne Gliding Club you need to do the following:

  • apply to become a member of our club MGC, and, on acceptance
  • take out GFA membership*.

As well as membership fees you will be invoiced for each flight. Invoices are sent to you monthly.

A bond/debenture is also payable on joining the Club which is your investment into the Club's many aircraft, and facilities. This is refunded when you leave the club (although many choose to donate this to the club). From 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2019 (three years) there is also a $50 per annum payment for members (as at 1 January each year) to the MGC Asset and Equipment Fund (to fund the purchase of the new operations bus / pie cart in 2016).

*In Australia, the regulations require you to be a member of the national gliding regulatory body, the Gliding Federation of Australia (GFA). GFA membership cover such things as public liability insurance and the gliding magazine Soaring Australia. 

If you would like to join the club please follow the 'Join Us' link at the top of the page.

For more information or to join the Melbourne Gliding Club contact 03 8683 7240.

How much does it cost to learn to fly gliders?

An estimate of the cost to your first solo flight, based on 50 flights of 25 hours in 2 seat glider with instructor and solo within one year of membership is approximately $4000.

An average training flight would be seven minutes on aerotow behind one of our tugs, taking you to an altitude of 2,000ft (600 metres). If you spent 30 minutes flying in a DG-505 during training, you would be charged $40 for the aerotow and $30 for the glider.

Instruction is FREE. Our fully qualified instructors volunteer their time to train members from your first flight through to cross-country, aerobatics, competition flying and even to becoming an instructor yourself.

What types of membership are there and what is the cost?

The current membership fees for the Melbourne Gliding Club are available from the 'Join Us' page.

Flying membership

Entitles the member to all phases of the instruction and access to fly the club aircraft according to the ratings held. All instruction is provided by GFA qualified instructors to lead members to solo standard and beyond. Suitably qualified pilots can apply to take club aircraft away to another site.

Family flying membership

For an immediate family member of a Flying Member who is not in receipt of a separate full-time income.

Junior membership

Open to Junior Members under 21 or under 26 years of age.

Associate membership

This is effectively a social membership and allows a small number of flights at club rates but does not include any instruction.

Gliding Federation of Australia

In Australia, the regulations require you to be a member of the national gliding regulatory body, the Gliding Federation of Australia (GFA). As of August 2016, the GFA fees are:

  • $270 for a full year adult membership
  • $141 for a full year student membership (U/18 or U/26 and minimum 20 hours study per week)
  • $141 for three months (Short term)

Short term memberships can only be purchased once, after which, if you decide to continue you would take out an annual membership. Membership gives you access to insurance and annual membership pays for a subscription to the gliding magazine. Visit the GFA website for up to date information.

Once I'm a member, what are the flying costs?

The cost of flying is charged per minute for both the glider and the tug (aerotow). The rates for the gliders range between 60 cents to $1.00 per minute (i.e. $36-60 per hour). Launch costs cover the tow plane expenses. These are calculated from when the tow plane takes off to when it lands, typically anything from 5 to 8 minutes. There is a per minute rate which includes the cost of maintaining the aircraft and the fuel. AVGAS prices can vary month to month so the tow rate also will vary. Typically the rate is around $5.50 per minute.

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