Advanced Seminar: Thermaling Techniques

Flying In Gaggles | Finding Lift | Maximizing Climb Rate

About the course

Prerequisites: Aerodynamics, Performance

Estimated time to complete: 2 hours

One of the most rewarding parts of soaring is getting your glider to climb based on your skill and a little hot air. In this seminar, I cover how to safely and efficiently share a thermal with other gliders, how to find lift, how to maximize your climb rate using two different centering methods, and some common errors you will need to avoid.

There are quizzes at the end of each section, and a final test at the end of the course. A score of 80% or greater is required on the final test to pass the course.


Please Note:

This course is designed for use by a single individual. It is against the Terms of Use to share this course, in part or whole, with other users, or to teach others using the content from this course. The time and effort that goes into the development of these courses is immense. To ensure that we will be able to offer more courses, we need to collect a fee from every student who takes a course. Thank you for supporting our effort!


Course Overview

  • Welcome FREE PREVIEW

Flying In Gaggles

  • Section Overview
  • Video
  • Quiz 1 & Instructions

Finding Lift

  • Section Overview
  • Video
  • Quiz 2 & Instructions

Maximizing Climb Rate

  • Section Overview
  • Video
  • Quiz 3 & Instructions

Final Test

  • Final Test & Instructions

About Your Instructor

Russell Holtz

Russell Holtz

Russell is the author of two well-respected and widely-used soaring flight training books in the United States - the Glider Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge and the Flight Training Manual for Glider Pilots.

Russell grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering.

He obtained his Private Pilot Certificate in gliders in 1995, in airplanes in 1996, his Commercial Certificate in Gliders in 1998, and his Certified Flight Instructor rating in gliders in 1999. He completed the FAI Silver Badge requirements in 1997, and the Gold and Diamond requirements in 1998. Russell has given over 2,800 hours of primary, cross-country, contest, and aerobatic flight instruction, and has over 4,000 hours total time in gliders.

Russell's passion for understanding and communicating soaring knowledge is evident in his teaching.


$30.00 Regular Price Buy $30.00


Cleared up my misconceptions

From Philip Lee

This is an excellent overview of what to do (and not to do) to find and center thermals. I always felt like I kept passing in and out of the core...and I figured out why :)

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