The cost of gliders varies hugely and is determined by a combination of age (years and hours flown), popularity, performance, handling and the class of the glider, the equipment included and trailer and the ease of rigging.
A basic 15m glider such as an ASW15, Cirrus, Sport Vega or other similar gliders will cost between £6000 – £15000.
Before buying your first glider ensure you have spoken to your instructors, someone who’s owned the type of glider you’re interested in etc. to find out whether the glider you are looking at is likely to be a good choice for you.
If the club’s Chief Flying Instructor (CFI) is not happy that you are competent to fly the glider you’ve purchased, you will not be allowed to fly it!
It is possible however to spend an almost unlimited amount on a glider, but the chances are you won’t be able to make use of the performance to make that a sensible or worthwhile investment early in your flying career.
A sensible option can be to get together with a couple of other pilots and form a syndicate, lowering the annual costs ownership.
The equipment that you will need is an altimeter, radio and an ASI, it may be advisable to factor in the cost of buying a FLARM (anti-collision warning system), a parachute (may be included otherwise roughly £1k second hand) and a confor foam cushion (£50’ish).
The annual costs of ownership
- Insurance – starts at around £500/year for about £10k of cover (remember to consider the excess)
- Annual Inspection – approximately £350 – £400
- Trailer storage – between £50 – £500 depending on your club
- Maintenance – £200 (varies dependent on the care taken looking after the glider).
Total cost per year of owning a glider will be roughly £2000 + the capital cost and depreciation (minimal at present on older gliders).
- Fly when you want
- Fly for as long as you want
- Take your glider on holiday
- Rigging & derigging
- Administration / paperwork
Places to look for gliders for sale
http://adverts.gliderpilot.net – UK website, also has a forum for discussing gliding matters
http://www.segelflug.de/cgi-bin/classifieds/classifieds.cgi – German site, use Google Chrome or install the google bar on your browser for automatic translations
Sailplane & Gliding Magazine
Further information on glider ownership and consideration