Pilot Training

Learning to fly

Glider pilots learn to fly at their club in dual control gliders with qualified instructors and following a training syllabus. The course can be intensive or spread over many weeks and months as suits individual needs.

This is how it works;

Learn how to fly with your club’s qualified instructors who work with you to build your experience and knowledge ready for your first solo flight.

Fly solo! Every aspiring pilot’s first solo is a great moment!

Further develop your skills and experience with a mix of more flight instruction and more solo flying ready to complete the Bronze and Cross-Country endorsements, following which you can call yourself a qualified glider pilot!

Bronze and Cross-Country Endorsements

Learn more about the Bronze and Cross-Country Endorsements here.

Documents and resources:

The BGA gliding syllabus is available here.

The BGA gliding training progress record card is available here (excluding navigation and field landing)

The BGA gliding navigation and field landing progress record card is available here.

A ground training progress card is available here.

Other online resources are available here.

Student Pilot Manual

The BGA Student Pilot Manual is packed with clear illustrations, colour images and easy to absorb explanations, the BGA Student Pilot Manual provides essential information that supports student pilots learning as they progress through the gliding training syllabus with a qualified gliding instructor from first flight through to flying solo, learning to soar, and developing navigation and field landing skills. This 124 page, A5 sized high quality publication is also a very useful on-hand reference for all gliding instructors.

You can order a copy of the BGA Student Pilot Manual here.


Can I learn to fly with a disability?

Yes. There are some disabilities that might prove difficult, but each case can be discussed with the club and the instructor involved. Learn more here.

Converting from powered flying to gliding

Most aeroplane pilots will be able to handle a glider more or less immediately. There are of course differences that need to be learnt; co-ordination of rudder and aileron to address aileron drag, a circuit and approach with no go around option but excellent airbrakes, and a launch type to master.  Ideally you’ll be teamed up with an instructor who is familiar with bridging the differences between powered experience and gliding. The BGA student pilot manual (listed above) will be a very helpful source of information both for your flight training and when discovering the skills and teamwork required to launch, recover and handle gliders on the ground.

Flight Telephony Radio Operators Licence (FRTOL)

For information about and how to obtain an FRTOL, please refer to our pilot radio licence webpage.

Instructing and instructor training

Please refer to our instructors webpage.


Please refer to our examiners webpage.

SFCL compliant pilot training

Please refer to our SFCL compliant pilot training webpage.

NPPL SLMG training

The NPPL SLMG is a national licence with privileges to fly SLMG aircraft. The training may take place at a BGA club site that is suitable. Microlight and Simple Single Engine Aeroplane privileges may be added via differences training. SLMG instruction may be provided by an instructor with FI(SLMG) privileges. SSEA differences training may be carried out by an FI(A) or CRI(A).

The NPPL syllabus is here.

The requirements including cross crediting are available here.

Online resources and links

Online resources and links can be found here.