NGC Young Pilot Programme

Yr 9/Age 14 to 18 | Subsidised flying | Incredible fun

For many years, Northumbria Gliding Club has been committed to helping young people access the sport of gliding.  Some of our past cadets have become professional pilots and aircraft engineers, and the club has gained chief flying instructors, tug pilots, chairpersons and life-long members.

Aside from learning to fly, there are immense benefits to be gained from participation in airsports from an early age. These include a wealth of skills valuable in both education and the workplace.

For 2024, in addition to our usual cadet scheme, we are launching a brand new Young Pilot Programme.

The programme provides the same training and facilities as always, with the added benefit of affordable membership, subsidised flying fees and focused training with a small cohort of like-minded young people.

In return, our Young Pilots are expected to help around the club with many things including assisting with flying operations and club maintenance.


The programme offers subsidised low-cost membership of £80 per year - about a quarter of full adult membership.

Flying costs are also subsidised with a reduction of 15% off all flying.  As our instructors are all volunteers, training is completely free!

Other benefits include learning valuable life skills including self-confidence, teamwork, self-discipline, safety awareness and good judgement.

Tasks and Duties

We hope that our Young Pilots will quickly integrate into the club and take an active part in its operation. During this time you will receive flying tuition and assist in other members’ flying and club activities.

You’ll be expected to complete several work days during the year. These generally last a few hours and involve things like cleaning aircraft, helping to maintain the clubhouse or assisting with evening parties.  All of our members do this and it’s usually great fun!

To ensure your flying progresses at a reasonable pace, you should plan to spend at least two days per month at the club, completing a minimum of 25 flights throughout the year.  Doing more than this will rapidly accelerate your training, so this should be considered a bare minimum!

For children under the age of 16, parents/guardians will also need to bear in mind supervision.  It is expected that a responsible adult remains on-site unless agreed otherwise with the day’s Duty Instructor.

What will it cost?

Our Cadet Membership is £80/year and the cost of gliding depends on how often you fly.

As a member of the Young Pilot Program you'll be expected to complete a minimum of 25 flights/year. Assuming an average flight time of 20 minutes, that would cost around £760 with your 15% discount. Most members pay monthly into their flying accounts to spread this over the year.

There are also several grants and bursaries available for keen young pilots. We'll help you to apply for those, too.

Our full list of fees is here


To apply to the NGC Young Pilot Programme, you’ll need to complete the following steps.

  1. Complete the initial online application form (March/April)

    You will need to sell yourself so have a good think before you answer the questions. Why do you deserve to be in the programme over someone else? Perhaps you have aspirations for an aviation career or are looking for a challenging new hobby! Do you have enough time and live close enough to commit to the scheme?

  2. If shortlisted, attend a Young Pilots’ Introduction Day (April/May)

    You will be invited to attend with your parents/guardians. They will need to sign a membership form and pay for your annual membership. You'll find out more about the scheme and airfield operations.  If weather permits, you'll take your first flight(s) as an NGC Young Pilot.

If you have any questions, or would like to chat to us about joining the 2024 Young Pilot Program, please drop us a line at: