The BGA has recently reminded clubs about published guidance describing which categories of pilots should be supervised, which includes;

Unqualified pilots

An unqualified glider pilot is a pilot who does not hold the BGA Bronze and Cross-Country Endorsements or a LAPL(S) or SPL. Any glider pilot who has yet to demonstrate the knowledge, skill and judgement required of a qualified glider pilot will need a level of decision-making support by a more experienced pilot. An unqualified pilot cannot be reasonably expected to fly without an appropriate level of supervision. Flying by unqualified pilots must be supervised by a suitably experienced instructor.

Young solo pilots

Pilots under the age of 18 may have exemplary handling skills but a different attitude to risk and little experience of taking important decisions. Below the age of 16, children are told what to do both at home and at school. It would be rare for any such person to have experience of taking decisions with severe adverse personal consequences if the decision were wrong. But taking such decisions is an intrinsic part of flying a glider. Individual supervision including briefing is crucial for the safety of young pilots. Individual supervision for young pilots can be achieved in several ways including;

– Use of an instructor mentor who monitors and advises on all flying by a young pilot

– Requiring young pilots to seek authorisation from an instructor before flying solo

– The authorising instructor signing the club log sheet entry confirming the young pilot may fly solo

First Cross-Country Flights

A pilot intent on setting off on an early cross-country flight should be individually briefed by a suitably experienced instructor. The pilot should “brief” the instructor on at least the likely route with airspace and navigation being ofprimary interest. The weather for setting off and the state of the fields should be thoroughly reviewed. Although navigation training should ensure that pilots become skilled in basic map and compass navigation techniques, it is recommended that when inexperienced pilots are flying cross-country they are equipped with a suitable GPS moving map. If the pilot intends to make use of GPS as a navigation aid (which must be in conjunction with a current chart), his or her understanding of the system should be established.

The full detail is described under ‘Supervision’ in the BGA publication ‘Managing Flying Risk’, which is available here.