SFCL compliant pilot training


Gliding training in the UK continues under BGA requirements until December 2023, when Sailplane Flight Crew Licensing (SFCL) rules  and associated Declared Training Organisation (DTO) rules will apply. The regulatory references are:

Sailplane Flight Crew Licensing (SFCL). Retained EU regulation. Applicable to pilots of Part 21 sailplanes who choose to utilise SPL privileges. Note for AMC and GM refer to the EASA easy access sailplane rulebook

Declared Training Organisation (DTO). Retained EU regulation. Applicable to SFCL training. Note for AMC and GM refer EASA easy access DTO rules


Training for the following Sailplane Flight Crew Licensing (SFCL) privileges and ratings must take place within a Declared Training Organisation (DTO).

  • Theoretical knowledge training for the SPL
  • Flight instruction for the SPL
  • Training for additional launch methods
  • Training for aerobatics, sailplane towing and sailplane cloud flying
  • Training for the TMG extension or TMG night rating
  • Training towards the sailplane flight instructor (FI(S) rating
  • FI(S) refresher
  • Examiner refresher

The BGA supports SPL holders including who need to add privileges to their licence by retaining a DTO.

During the conversion period, the two in 24 month recency training flights with an instructor may take place with a BGA assistant or full rated instructor who should sign the pilots logbook as completing the flights. (AMC SFCL.160(a)(1)(ii) refers.

The BGA has declared itself as a DTO. Any BGA club that chooses to deliver SFCL training using BGA course programmes is to apply to operate within the BGA DTO (GBR.DTO.0007).

BGA DTO course programmes

The BGA has developed and had approved the following training programmes for use by BGA clubs that have been approved to operate within the BGA DTO. These course programmes may only be used or reproduced or copied with the written permission of the BGA Ltd.

Further training course programmes will be added when required.

BGA DTO documents and forms

BGA DTO club application form

Qualifying cross-country certificate (for use during the SPL TMG extension course).

SPL TMG extension test report form (for use by the examiner during a TMG skills test).

FI(S) test report form (for use by the examiner during the FI(S) additional privilege Assessment or Demonstration of Competence).

SFCL.360 9-year demonstration of ability to instruct report form (for use by the FIC) – read more here.

Adding a privilege to an SPL application form (for use by the applicant who wishes to add privileges to an existing SPL.

Launch type training and conversion guidance

Any pilot who holds an SPL can add additional launch privileges following the required level of training by a suitably qualified instructor. ‘Suitably qualified’ means that the instructor holds an SPL with the launch type privilege, and holds an FI(S) certificate with privileges in accordance with SFCL.315(a)(3).

‘SFCL.155 SPL Launching methods’ describes the experience, instruction, and logbook certification requirement.

Note 1. SFCL permits a sailplane to be flown by an SPL holder using winch or aerotow or bungee or self-launch, providing that the pilot holds the appropriate launch type privileges and recency. This means that a pilot new to self-launching may fly a self-launching sailplane using aerotow or winch, which can be a helpful way of becoming familiar with handling characteristics prior to the first self-launch on type.

Note 2. Flight training for self-launching privileges is likely to take place in a TMG. It should be noted that the forward and aft moving throttle lever in a TMG operates differently from the rotary knob which is a feature in many electrically powered self-launching sailplanes. The difference should be carefully considered, including rehearsing how to abandon a takeoff, eg rotate the knob fully anti-clockwise, and how to manage a total or partial power failure on takeoff in a very light aircraft where the aircraft may take longer than expected to accelerate following recovery from the power failure.