Cadet Scheme

Each year CGC recruits four cadets from school year 9 or 10 to join our cadet scheme. Each successful cadet will fly at hugely reduced prices and learn to fly a glider to solo standard and hopefully well beyond. They should expect to be flying by themselves in less than a year, and we expect that they will be able to fly at these greatly reduced prices for many years, possibly until they have left full time education, by which time they could be instructors, glider airframe inspectors, or go on to a career in the Aviation Industry.

Why does the club do this?

We want to contribute to the local community around the airfield, we want to see gliding grow, we want to the give opportunity to young people to experience the joys of flight, and we value the energy and enthusiasm of youth. Although it was many decades ago, many of our current members started flying in our teens.

What will we teach the cadets?

operating the signals to launch a gliderInitially the cadets will be closely supervised, but they will be trained to perform tasks appropriate to their abilities and experience. Flying will commence on their very first day on the airfield, weather permitting. Flying tuition will be in our fleet of five two seat gliders, and over the first year should lead to them flying solo. (In the UK a pilot can fly a glider solo at the age of 14 years). Each cadet will learn at their own rate, and will make progress at a different speed. In subsequent years each cadet will continue to learn more about flying, taking care of gliders, and how to run the airfield. Cadets at other UK gliding clubs have gone on to become Chief Flying instructors of their clubs. Each year we will add four more cadets, and the older ones will mentor the younger ones under the supervision of a gliding instructor and other club members. Apart from flying itself we will teach the cadets how to drive the airfield vehicles (golf buggies initially) and how to care for and assemble the aircraft, and how they fly. We would expect them in time to take written examinations in Air Law, Aerodynamics, Meteorology and Air Navigation, and to progress from local flying to cross country soaring. How far they fly will depend on their skills and the weather! They will be lent suitable aeroplanes free of charge, and their first three launches each cadet day (initially Saturdays only) will be included in their membership charge of £20 per month. Subsequent launches will be charged at normal club rates, (currently £8.50) Our instructor team are all volunteers and there is no charge for instruction either in the air or on the ground. The number of flights they are able to have each day will be heavily weather dependent, and will be influenced by the number of other members who wish to fly, and other issues like the number of instructors and aircraft available.

What else does the club do?

We have more than a hundred and fifty active members from many backgrounds, all of whom volunteer to run the club. Additionally we have a couple of paid staff. Members run and compete in National Competitions and enjoy their own flying; whether that is soaring locally or flying long distances without using an engine (the club distance record is 750 km, set in 2018). In addition to member flying we have visitors who come to us for a range of experiences ranging from a single flight to an intensive five-day course. We also fly groups of scouts, Sportability members, and have a bulk membership for students of the University of the West of England in Bristol. Other young members include a group of Air Scouts from Wiltshire.

This is the Glide Britain video filmed at CGC:

The club owns five two seat training gliders, three single seat gliders, hangars, workshops for aeroplanes and vehicles and a club house which includes a kitchen, bar and bunkhouse. We do most of our launches by winch, but there is a light aircraft based on-site which provides aerotows.

Cotswold Gliding Club is recognised as a Junior Gliding Centre by the British Gliding Association. Our child protection policy can be found here:

What do we expect of our cadets?

driving the glider retrieve buggyWe will expect the cadets to be on the airfield regularly, about three quarters of the Saturdays each year. They will be expected to join in and enthusiastically contribute to the running of the club. We have experience of motivating teenagers, it can be done! They will be expected to help with most airfield tasks, including unpacking the hangar, washing any dirty gliders, checking ground vehicles and launch equipment, flight logging, signalling, using radios to talk to pilots in the air and volunteers on the ground, and packing the hangar at the end of the day. In the clubhouse we have a kitchen which can become untidy and hangars which sometimes need sweeping. There will be other jobs too!

Safety is a top priority for us. We live in a very risk averse culture, and whilst gliding, like many sporting activites, does involve risk we spend a lot of time controlling that risk to minimise the chance of any accidents. Our Child Protection Policy requires that there is an adult on the airfield to take parental responsibility for each cadet. This need not be a parent, it could be a grandparent, neighbour or older sibling for example.

Here is the Glide Britain video “How a Gliding club works”:

What will it cost?

We believe our cadet scheme offers a fantastic opportunity for young people to experience an adult hobby and learn how to accept responsibility and develop. Although the ongoing financial expenses have been kept to a very low level, we do ask each cadet to make a regular payment by standing order. The monthly fee in 2019 will be £20, and this will cover up to three winch launches each Saturday for each cadet.

We will choose some applicants, male and female, from the applications we receive, to interview (with a parent or adult of your choice) and choose the four cadets we think will benefit the most from the opportunity and be able to make a contribution to Cotswold Gliding Club. The four successful cadets will come to the airfield for an induction day where they will meet each other, some of our members, and have their first flights!

If you think there is anything we have forgotten to mention please email us at:

If you are not selected to be a cadet you may wish to consider applying to join the club as a junior member, the fees are a great deal less than the adult memberships, and details are on the club website. (

How to Apply

Each applicant has to start by completing the application form.  You can do this online here.

Otherwise download the form from the link below and return it
by email to:
by post to The Chairman, Costwold Gliding Club, The Control Tower, Aston Down Airfield, Cowcombe Lane, Chalford, Stroud, GL6 8HR