Funding Opportunities

Flying needn’t be expensive and as a junior pilot you have lots of opportunities to drive the cost down even further through a range of club scheme, scholarships and bursaries.

Most clubs provide some form of reduced costs for younger members. These vary from club to so do be sure to check what’s available.

We are really fortunate to be supported by some very generous benefactors who every year provide funding and/or training for young pilots. A summary of what is available is listed below – click on the links for more details. We will post details of availability on our News pages and on the Juniors Facebook page so keep an eye open for opportunities that might be able to help you. Note that not all opportunities may be available each year.

Pre-Solo Opportunities

Launchpoint Caroline Awards
Fleet Air Arm Officers Association
The Girls Venture Corps Air Cadets
Honourable Company of Air Pilots
Royal Aeronautical Society

Post-Solo Opportunities

The Air League
BGA Competition Training
Royal Aero Club Trust
Royal Aeronautical Society
Launchpoint Ted Lys Awards

Instructor Opportunities

Honourable Company of Air Pilots/ BGA Instructor Training Bursaries
Royal Aero Club Trust


Caroline Awards aim to encourage young people, especially women, to take up the sport of gliding and encourage and enable people with disabilities to participate in the sport. Caroline Awards are made to young people, generally under the age of 18 years old, and to disabled people of any age who want to try gliding.

To date, Caroline Awards have helped over 400 young people by providing solo or post-solo bursaries. It’s not only young and disabled people and their clubs that benefit.

You can find out more and apply on the Launchpoint webpage.
Ted Lys Awards
Experienced glider pilots who wish to develop their gliding skills with a particular course, training or coaching can make a proposal to the trustees requesting a Ted Lys Award.
You can find out more and apply on the Launchpoint webpage.

The Air League Educational Trust

aletThe Air League Educational Trust generously provides a number of Gliding Scholarships each year to help young people develop their gliding skills. Applications for scholarships open on 1st December.

Applications are usually open to post-solo pilots, aged from 16 to 25, and are intended to help younger pilots widen their gliding experience. This year, awards are available covering basic aerobatic training, cross-country training and SLMG NPPL training. Full information and application forms are available on the Air League web site.

Honourable Company of Air Pilots

gapanThe Honourable Company of Air Pilots (previously known as the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators -GAPAN) offer a range of scholarships. A number of gliding scholarships are offered to people over the age of 16 who have little or no flying experience to give the successful candidates the opportunity to fly on a one week residential course. This course could take a candidate to first solo. In addition, a number of PPL scholarships and various flying instructor and other bursaries are available.

For further details on dates and application forms see

The Honourable Company of Air Pilots and the BGA are also working together to provide funding for a number of young gliding instructor training bursaries. These are available to help glider pilots under the age of 25 on application to qualify as either a Basic Instructor or Assistant Instructor. The BI training bursaries are £500 each. The Assistant Instructor training bursaries are £1000 each.

Details including an application form can be found here.

Applicants should ensure that they meet the BGA instructor rating requirements.

Royal Aero Club Trust

RAEC-vectorThe RAeC Trust annually awards bursaries to young pilots, aged 14-21 to enable them to achieve greater competence in their particular air sport. Bursaries of up to £1000 are available to help recipients advance in their chosen air sport .

Additionally, Follow-On Bursaries are available. These are available to help committed applicants, aged up to 24, reach even higher levels of achievement through, for example, participation in national and international competitions. Follow-on bursaries are also available to help young pilots gain instructor qualifications. An upper age limit of 24 applies to these Follow-On Bursaries.

Applications must be submitted via the BGA and, to ensure that the overall timetable can be met, these must be received at the BGA office by Lizzie Pike ( no later than the due date. Full details of the awards and how to apply are on the the Trust web site.

Thanks to the RAeC Trust and its benefactors who do so much to encourage young people to develop their potential through air sports.

BGA Competition Training

Junior-Stacked-RGBEvery year, as part of the Junior National Championships, the BGA offers competition training for young pilots who haven’t yet flown in their first competition. You fly in a 2-seater glider with an experienced competition pilot and learn the tricks of the trade in a real-life environment.

Applications for places on the two-seater training usually open around mid-January. See Junior Events for more information.

Royal Aeronautical Society Centennial Fund Scholarships

PrintThe Royal Aeronautical Society’s Centennial Scholarship Fund periodically funds gliding scholarships via the BGA for young glider pilots both pre- and post-solo and aged between 14 and 21 years of age for the 20 flying scholarships of £300.See BGA News for info or contact Liz Pike

Girls' Venture Corps Air Cadets

gvcac-logoScholarships for gliding are available via Ducat-Amos Gliding Scholarships. In addition, GVCAC sometimes organise gliding through their local gliding clubs.
Find out more on the GVCAC website.

Fleet Air Arm Officers Association

gvcac-logoThe FAAOA Aviation Scholarship Trust awards gliding scholarships to young people (17-20) who are interested in pursuing a career in military aviation. Gliding Scholarships are normally programmed to take place during the Easter and August holiday periods and offer an intensive gliding course of up to eight days at one of three locations - Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton in Somerset; Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose in Cornwall; and Lee-on-Solent in Hampshire. Food and accommodation is provided in the Officers Mess in a Royal Naval Air Station or Naval Establishment.
Where possible, a powered flying navigation exercise and visits to FAA training facilities are included. Full details are on the FAAOA web site.