In most countries you have to get yourself a glider pilot license (GPL) or be certificate before becoming pilot of a glider. Certain requirements differ from country to country.
In several countries, licensing or certification is similar for gliders and powered aircraft. Training has to be undertaken from a certified instructor, and a license or certificate will then be issued by the government, restricted to gliders only. The exception is when a pilot is flying under Ultralight (Ultralite) glider rules inside the United States. The aviation knowledge and skill requirements for a glider are often similar to those for a powered aircraft, taking into account the various requirements of the aircraft categories.
The FAA Gliding Private pilots licence.
Pilot certification in the United States is required for an individual to act as a pilot of an aircraft including gliders. It is regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), a branch of the Department of Transportation (DOT)
Are You Are Eligible ?
Student pilots may solo at a minimum age of 14 with a student certificate endorsed for solo flight at the discretion of a FAA-Certified Flight Instructor for Gliders (CFIG). Generally, 30 to 40 flights with a CFIG are required to solo. This is roughly equivalent to 10-12 hours of flight time and is dependent upon the progress of the student.
After solo, student pilots may qualify as a Private Pilot-Glider provided they:
Are at least 16 years of age; and
Have logged at least 10 hours of flight time in a glider and that flight time must include at least 20 total glider flights, and
Have 2 hours of solo flight time in a glider, and
Have passed the FAA written examination; and
Have passed the flight exam with a FAA Examiner.
Commercial Pilots-Glider must be at least 18-years of age, pass a written FAA examination, hold a Private Pilot license with 25 hours of flight time in gliders and 100 glider flights as pilot-in-command, or a total of 200 hours of flight time in heavier-than-air aircraft including 20 glider flights as pilot-in-command, 3 hours or ten flights training in a glider, and five solo flights in a glider and pass a flight test.
Certified Flight Instructors-Glider
Certified Flight Instructors-Glider must hold a commercial rating, pass a written and flight test and have an endorsement from a qualified instructor of aeronautical knowledge and flight of proficiency.
Additional Pilot Rating
Holders of a valid FAA Power plane license with 40 hours as pilot-in-command need a minimum of 10 solo flights to qualify to take the glider flight test. No written exam is required to add a glider rating to a power license. In all cases, refer to the Federal Aviation Regulations for details on pilot licensing.
What to Study and How to Study for the Exam
All of the Pilot certification exams are all based off of the FAA handbook of the particular rating system you choose. The faa glider flying handbook is the manual that is used when certifying a Glider certification, so you’re going to want to pick one up, even if you plan to use a study guide to help you study. It does help to use the Flying handbook along with a study guide at the same time. The FAA glider flying handbook can be downloaded here or you can buy a hard copy here_ amazon link
In addition to what’s located in the FAA glider flying handbook, information from the FAA website and this website are all fair game for the exam as well. This includes information about the FFA Application Process, minimum eligibility Requirements, Types of certificates , etc.
As you can probably tell, there is a lot to learn, which is why I recommend using a study guide to supplement your studying. You can check out the study guides for your exam of choice here (link to study guides).
Probably the best way to practice for the exam after you believe you’ve learned what you need to know is by taking practice tests. Dauntless has some great preactice tests available for purchase here