Bronze and Cross Country Endorsements
Going solo is a great achievement. This page describes the two further steps during which a solo pilot develops the skills and gains the experience needed to become a qualified glider pilot; those two steps are qualifying for the Bronze and Cross Country endorsements.
Gaining experience and improving skills and knowledge are the most important features of this part of a glider pilots training. And as everyone learns at their own rate, it is important not to rush any aspect of pilot training or to feel peer-pressured to achieve the next level.
Please note that club CFI’s can provide detailed advice and guidance on all aspects of training and testing.
The holder of a Bronze endorsement can fly solo within gliding range of the airfield (with an appropriate level of supervision).
The qualifying requirements for the Bronze endorsement are described in the publication ‘BGA Gliding Certificate and Endorsements’. In summary, to qualify for the Bronze endorsement the applicant must demonstrate an adequate level of theoretical knowledge, gliding experience, safe piloting skills and airmanship.
The Bronze endorsement theoretical knowledge test covers a broad range of subjects. For details, please refer to the Gliding Syllabus.
The BGA recommended study guides are;
Student Pilot Manual, available from the BGA.
‘Bronze and Beyond‘, which is periodically updated by the experienced gliding instructor author.
Soaring Weather, a free FAA publication.
‘The Soaring Engine volume one’ – which covers theory and practical safety aspects of ridge, wave and thermal soaring, published by a highly experienced gliding instructor and coach.
‘Air Law Aeronautical Knowledge’ (published 2016), which covers the ANO 2016, SERA and other regulatory requirements.
There is some great advice on how to prepare for the Bronze Theoretical Knowledge test on the Cambridge Gliding Centre website.
Your club CFI can arrange the theoretical knowledge test.
Practical Flying Skill
Having completed the gliding syllabus (other than navigation and field landings), the applicant must demonstrate an adequate level of safe piloting skills and airmanship such that ‘the successful outcome of a procedure or a manoeuvre should never seriously be in doubt’.
Your club CFI can arrange the flying skill test.
Cross Country Endorsement
The holder of the Bronze and Cross Country endorsements is a qualified glider pilot who can fly beyond gliding range of the airfield.
The qualifying requirements for the Cross Country endorsement are described in the publication ‘BGA Gliding Certificate and Endorsements’ In summary, to qualify the applicant has to demonstrate his or her ability to soar, to navigate effectively, and to select and fly an approach into a suitable field.
Navigation and field landing basics are covered in the Bronze Theoretical Knowledge test. Detailed briefings are provided alongside the practical training below.
Navigation briefings are available here (with thanks to Paul Ruskin)
Field landing briefings are available here (with thanks to Paul Ruskin)
Practical Flying Skill
As well as completing the gliding navigation and field landing flying exercises in the gliding syllabus, the applicant must demonstrate his or her ability to:
– soar for at least one hour (supervised solo), and
– navigate safely and effectively (assessed by an instructor), and
– select and safely fly a circuit to a suitable field (assessed by an instructor)
Your club CFI can arrange the navigation and field landing tests.
Forms & Publications
Guidance for instructor and examiners who are assessing Bronze and Cross Country Endorsements practical skill is available from page 21 in the BGA Examiner Standards document.