Join the club and learn to fly.

Your journey to becoming a pilot starts here.

If you have always dreamed of learning to fly, you have come to the right place. Training new pilots is at the heart what we do at Cotswold Gliding Club and we welcome new members. With a modern fleet of two-seat training aircraft and a great team of instructors, together with winch and aerotow launch facilities and a spacious airfield, the club is one of the best sites in the country to learn to fly.

If you have never flown before, taking one of our One-Day introductory Courses is a good option. During a day’s flying you’ll get a good feel for what’s involved in learning to glide and how the club operates.

Aston Down Airfield home of Cotswold Gliding Club

From beginner to Sailplane Pilot’s License (SPL)

Learning to glide is a challenging, exciting and very enjoyable, journey.  For most people, the initial goal is to gain their Sailplane Pilot’s License (SPL), the gliding equivalent of a PPL. The main steps along the way are here.

Sailplane Basic Training

During your basic training you will build up the flying skills, knowledge and judgement you need to fly a glider safely.  After mastering the basic controls, you’ll move on to learning launches, circuit-planning and landings. Later on, you will learn to handle stalls, spins and launch failures.

First Solo

Your first solo is a major milestone on your path to gaining a pilot’s license and is an experience you will remember for the rest of your life. There is no set number of launches or hours to complete, you’ll solo when your instructors are certain you are ready.

Flying and Theory Tests

After going solo you will work on gaining more experience of flying on you own and completing more advanced instruction.
You will also need to do some studying to gain the knowledge you need of subjects such as air-law, navigation, aerodynamics, meteorology and human factors. This period culminates in the Bronze Badge flying and theory tests.

Cross-Country Endorsement

This phase is focused on ensuring you have the skills to fly cross-country safely and includes, flight planning, practical navigation and field landing training. For convenience, most of these exercises and tests are undertaken in a motorglider. Depending on aptitude and how frequently you fly, gaining an SPL typically takes between one and three years.

Beyond SPL

An SPL is your passport to a world of adventure in the sky. Once you have gained your SPL, you will be in a position to explore any or all of the many aspects of the sport, including:

Cross-country flying – flying further faster, from 50km up to 750km
Competition flying
Expeditions to other clubs
Mountain flying
Becoming an instructor yourself

Annual membership of the club is £535 and there is a fee per launch - £15.00 for winch launch and £33.00 for aerotow (2023-24 prices – see latest price list here). As a guide, a beginner flying regularly every other weekend, would need to budget around £150 per month over the course of a year for membership and flights. We also have affordable flying rates for young people and those of limited means.

About Cotswold Gliding Club

Gliding is a very sociable activity - members have to work together to get airborne so you rapidly get know people. We are primarily a volunteer-run club and there are many opportunities to get involved, learn new skills and make a contribution.

Existing Pilots

For existing pilots, Aston Down is a great place to do your flying and base your aircraft.
Here are a few of things we have to offer:

  • Flat, tarmac runways.
  • Winch and aerotow launching
  • Unrestricted airspace
  • Fantastic flying over the picturesque Cotswolds
  • Active cross-country and competition scene.
  • Plenty of trailer parking, with the option of power connection for the winter
  • Excellent workshop facilities
  • Spacious, well-appointed clubhouse
  • Caravan parking
  • Potential for T hangar and cabin construction

Membership and Flying Fees

Please see the pricing information below valid until 1st October 2024

Should you decided to join Cotswold Gliding Club please download and use the Application Form below.

Membership Pricelist

Click on the icon to download our latest Membership Pricelist

Flying Pricelist

Click on the icon to download our latest Flying Pricelist

Club Application Form

Click on the icon to download an Application Form to join the club

Next Steps?
If you are interested in joining the club and need more information, please call the office on 01285 702100 or email

Cotswold Gliding Club is a Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) and has provisions to support membership applications from those on low or modest incomes. Such applications will be considered sympathetically and objectively by the Club committee in accordance with an established process.