Coaching Program FAQ

What is a typical day for a participant of the coaching program? 

All competition pilots, the coaches and their cross country students meet each morning in the briefing room at around 9:00am, depending on the weather. The organisers will then discuss all the necessary information for the competition day; things such as weather, safety, and general business are discussed. This is a great learning experience for those in the program as most of them will go on to compete in competitions such as this. After the competition briefing, the coaches and XC students have their own briefing to discuss their plans for the day. This briefing usually entails goal setting, task setting with the coaches, weather (a more detailed, simplified explanation of what was shown in the competition briefing), and safety.

The XC students are expected to help prepare the two seat aircraft with the coaches. This may be before or after the competition briefing depending on the time arrangements for that day.

After the briefings there is usually a little time for students to prepare their essentials for the day. This might include lunch, water, maps, and sunscreen. They then help their coach tow out and secure a spot on the competition grid. Normally there will be two pupils to each glider and both will have a turn at flying each day. One will fly in the morning and one in the afternoon. When it isn’t the student’s turn to fly they will be expected to be on the grid helping out the organising team with odd jobs. This might include things like helping to launch the fleet, running wings/ropes, or helping out pilots. All good competition experience.

After flying, XC students help their coaches clean the glider and tie it down. Usually before dinner there is also a coaching debriefing to discuss and evaluate the day. This is the time for the students to get the answers for all those questions that have been eating away at them all day and for them to compare their experience with the other pupils and coaches. This is also the time when students and coaches evaluate their goals and set plans for the days to come.

Finally, students have a chance to relax and dine with their fellow pilots. Over dinner the banter is both informative and comedic. Pupils have a chance to develop their gliding world contacts and pick the brains of the more experienced pilots and crew. On certain nights after dinner there is usually group activities such as Quiz Nights, the AJGC’s AGM, Competition Debriefs (Maggot Races), Guest Speakers or Informative Lectures.

Example of timetable:

What happens on the days when there is no flying?

Unfortunately due to the weather restrictions for gliding there may be days when the competition is cancelled for the day. On these days, group activities or trips into town or to other attractions are usually organised to help pilots, participants and crew to get to know each other. Participants are encouraged to join in however it's by no means compulsory.

Am I eligible for the JoeyGlide coaching program?

In short, everyone from solo standard through to the experienced cross-country junior pilot is eligible. Although coaching is usually aimed at the introductory level of cross country flying as often find that the more experienced pilots (silver C above) will be competing. It is however, a pleasure to have a more experienced pilot join in the coaching program as we strive to cater for pilots of any cross country level. 

How long is a typical coaching flight?

We aim for coaching flights of about two hours in duration, and each two-seat glider/coach will do two of these flights each day. If you are feeling tired - no problem - you can easily head in and land, just let your coach know how you are feeling.

What are the costs of the coaching program

To secure your spot on the program, cross country students will need to pay a deposit. The details of this are available on the coaching registration page. This money is put towards the cost of hiring the aircraft for the week.

The Australian Junior Gliding Club and the sponsors of JoeyGlide also put money towards the hire of coaching aircraft.

Pupils will have to pay for their launches and the remaining cost of aircraft hire. A launch is typically around the $50 mark, and organisers aim to keep the aircraft hire portion below $50. This means each flight will cost around $100. We aim to have each participant in the coaching program have one flight each day, however this is dependent on suitable weather. Thus, students can expect to pay for around 6 flights.

That is all the costs for the program itself. In addition to the above, pupils will need to plan for personal expenses such as accommodation, food, travel etc.

JoeyGlide sounds too expensive for me, what help is available to help fund individual participation? 

The Australian Junior Gliding Club has several scholarships available for participants in the coaching program and competitors. Details for applicants is available on the Australian Junior Gliding Club's Scholarships page

Other options include State Gliding Associations and/or individual clubs. Some more information regarding financial assistance is available on the Australian Junior Soaring Subsidised Flying page. We encourage students to be proactive and polite when dealing with these organisations.

How does the accommodation work?

Participants will need to sort out their own accommodation for their time at JoeyGlide.

What do I need to bring?

You will need to bring some basic equipment with you to get the most out of your coaching experience. We recommend you try to bring along the following:

What type of gliders would I expect to fly?

The AJGC seeks capable cross-country two-seat gliders such as the Duo Discus, DG505, DG1000 and others similar. We try to ensure these gliders are well equipped with reliable variometers and basic navigation equipment. In some instances, your glider may even have a sustainer or self-launching engine, reducing the likelihood of a trailer retrieve. 

What are the qualifications of the coaches I will be flying with?

The AJGC seeks some of the most experienced and capable coaches in Australia for the JoeyGlide coaching program. At a minimum, you can be assured that your coach will by a GFA accredited Silver coach (meaning that they are a seasoned cross-country pilot and have considerable prior experience as a coach). In most cases, your coach will also be a current GFA instructor.

When do I need to arrive and leave?

The coaching kicks off the morning of the first competition day and participants are expected to be ready to go at about 9am. Most people participating in the coaching program arrive the day before to get set up and settled in.

The coaching program ends on the last day of the competition. In celebration of another successful competition, a presentation & celebratory dinner is held that night. Usually most participants begin their journey home the next morning.

This is not a strict time frame. If you are unable to attend for the full length of the program, please contact us to discuss options. We are always willing to make exceptions for eager young pilots!

I/my child will not have access to a car for the duration of the program. Is this an issue?

No. Although having a car is handy, it is by no means necessary. People will be going back and forth to town during the competition and are very willing to give rides. You and/or your child will just need to not be shy in asking for a lift into town. All coaches will have access to a car and will take care of glider towing etc.

I cannot attend with my child, is adult supervision available for participants below 18yrs? 

As the competition is run completely on a volunteer basis, the organising team cannot provide any form of formal supervision for your child. The organisation requires legal guardians' approval to attend the glider championships and an indication of an adult responsible for the minor in writing. With that said, your child will certainly be treated with respect and courtesy at JoeyGlide - so there's no need to worry!

Where can I get more information about the coaching program?

If you still have some questions, the best, and often quickest, solution is to ask at your club if there is anybody that has been involved in JoeyGlide in the past. Gliding is a small community and it doesn’t take long for everybody to meet each other. You should be able to find someone who can give you some first-hand knowledge fairly easily.

Alternatively, feel free to ask us through our contact page.