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Soaring flight is almost exclusively a daytime activity and severe weather is generally avoided.  Although flights can extend into extreme conditions, such flights are normally planned and prepared for by experienced soaring pilots.  The sport is considered safe enough that the Federal Aviation Administration will allow 14-year-olds to fly gliders solo, while in most states they must wait until they are 16 to drive automobiles.

Beneath their sleek exteriors, gliders are engineered for strength and safety. Gliders are very sturdy aircraft, and because they land at such low speeds, the risk of physical injury is very slight, even on the rare landing so grossly miscalculated that it damages the glider.

Pilots learn to fly sailplanes knowing the limitations of their craft and their own personal flying ability, and plan their flights accordingly. Good pilots always keep a safe landing site within gliding distance. Take a good training program, add a dash of self-discipline, and you have the recipe for safe, lifelong participation in a glorious sport.



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