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SSA Cadet Introductory Membership

Where Aviation Dreams Begin


The Soaring Society of America (SSA) is excited to invite you to the world of motorless flight.  Gliding and soaring has a history as old as the imaginations of those who contemplated flight with birds or among the clouds.  Modern soaring flight is generally considered to have started with a modest nine minute and forty-five second flight by Orville Wright on October 24th, 1911, at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, just over 100 years ago.  Modest by today's standards, that achievement stood as a record for ten years before being bested.  Yes, even after they had achieved powered flight, the Wright brothers remained pioneers in motorless flight.

Lilienthal in flightPart of their inspiration came from luminaries such as Otto Lillienthal, who glided from hills, including one he constructed himself.  Although he came to grief in a gliding accident, his explorations and accomplishments are noteworthy and memorialized in the highest award in gliding, The Lillienthal Medal, which is awarded through the Federal Aeronautique International’s (FAI) International Gliding Commission.

Though gliding may seem a simple approach to aviation, rest assured that the sport contains challenges and goals to last a lifetime.

Glider pilots are found world-wide, and even out of this world, having been to the moon, on the space shuttles, and the International Space Station.  The next time you fly on an airliner, your pilot may have a glider rating, many do, and serve the soaring community as instructors in addition to being record holders and national champions.  Gliding should be on your road map into a future in aviation and beyond.

As a newly interested youth, to help and encourage you to discover more about gliding and soaring, you are invited to join the SSA through our SSA Cadet Introductory Membership program.  This is a form of our Introductory Membership designed to open those doors to help youth realize their aviation dreams.

As an SSA Cadet Introductory Member you will be entitled to:

United States soaring operations are supported by about 200 clubs, chapters, and commercial operations that are dotted around the country. The Civil Air Patrol also has Cadet glider programs in several regions which include support from SSA members. SSA membership may be a requirement for participation in some of these programs for insurance purposes. This Cadet Intro membership qualifies.  To discover if there is a gliding organization near you, check the SSA’s Where To Fly information.

Soaring flight belongs to the seekers.  You've found it.  You're invited to participate.

What's next?  Sign up with the SSA.  Click here to complete the SSA Cadet Introductory Membership online application.  If you are 19 or over, or wish all benefits of membership, you will need to complete an application to submit to the SSA office.

Imagine yourself here: