Gliding Certificate and Endorsements Requirements
v1.5 Effective date 1st August 23 (updated to include at 3. reference to spin assessment on separate occasion and theoretical knowledge examination delivery detail).
- The Gliding Certificate
- Solo endorsement
- Bronze endorsement
- Cross country endorsement
- Aerobatics endorsement
- Cloud flying endorsement
- Introductory Flight Pilot endorsement
1. The Gliding Certificate
The BGA Gliding Certificate is issued by the BGA under delegation from the Royal Aero Club and indicates the standard of achievement reached by the pilot. Application forms, including the fees payable, are obtainable from the BGA.
The BGA Gliding Certificate is endorsed as follows;
- Solo (at which point the BGA Gliding Certificate is issued)
- Cloud Flying
The Silver, Gold and Diamond FAI badges are described in the publication ‘Gliding Badges and Diplomas’.
2. Solo Endorsement
The minimum age to qualify for the Solo Badge is 14.
1. Completion of the pre-solo elements of the training syllabus
2. One solo circuit in a glider or motor glider in unpowered flight after the launch, followed by a satisfactory landing; and
3. An appropriate level of knowledge of rules of the air and local airspace restrictions must be demonstrated to the supervising instructor at the time of the first solo flight
3. Bronze Endorsement
The minimum age to qualify for the Bronze endorsement is 14.
1. Complete the relevant parts of the flying training syllabus.
2. Complete 50 solo flights in a glider or 20 solo flights and 10 hours flight time (a mix of dual and solo flying) in a glider. Subject to specific agreement on an individual basis by the BGA, the 10 hours may be reduced by 50% for applicants with prior relevant experience.
3. Complete the General Skills Test (GST) in a dual controlled glider with a BGA Full Rated Instructor who will be satisfied that the candidate has the ability to operate the glider within its limitations, complete all manoeuvres with smoothness and accuracy, exercise good judgement and airmanship, maintain effective lookout, and maintain control of the glider at all times in a manner such that the successful outcome of a procedure or a manoeuvre is never seriously in doubt. During the GST, which normally takes place during three short flights, the candidate must demonstrate an appropriate level of practical skill and knowledge associated with the following:
- Pre-flight operations including glider assembly and inspection
- Techniques and procedures for the launching method(s) used, including appropriate airspeed limitations, emergency procedures and signals used
- Circuit flying, collision avoidance precautions and procedures
- Normal and crosswind approach and landing
- Control of the glider by external visual reference
- Understanding and recognition of the symptoms of the stall, stall with wing drop and full spin, followed by the correct recovery (note – a prior recent record of satisfactory full spin assessment may be utilised for that exercise if a glider cleared for spinning is not available for the Bronze GST)
- Satisfactory recovery from launch failures or simulated launch failures
- Demonstrate that they can obtain and interpret airspace, NOTAM and weather information appropriate for soaring
4. Complete the theoretical knowledge test.
Each set of examination papers comprises 10 individual examinations covering the 9 subject areas, with subject 9 (Navigation) examined in two papers: Navigation 1 – All navigation topics except practical use of charts, and Navigation 2 – Use of charts, tested by plotting and interpreting route on 1:500,000 chart. Each individual examination has 12 questions. The pass mark for each is 75% (9 answers out of 12 correct). All 10 examinations are usually taken in a single sitting, usually lasting about 2 hours, although no time limit is specified. However, where requested by the candidate, the invigilator/assessor can deliver, manage, and mark the examinations individually, or in a small number of sittings. Exam results are retained within the student pilot record of training.
The candidate is expected to complete all sections of the theoretical knowledge test within an 18 month period, and to apply for the Bronze Endorsement within 24 months of completing the theoretical knowledge test.
4. Cross Country Endorsement
The minimum age to complete the Cross-Country Endorsement navigation and field landing tests is 16.
The Cross-Country Endorsement can only be issued if the applicant has already qualified for a Bronze Endorsement and has the approval of the CFI.
1. Soaring Flight;
The candidate must complete a soaring flight of at least one hour in duration after release. The soaring flight must be evidenced by a logger trace (IGC approval not required), by an instructor observing, or by an OO observing.
2. Field Selection Test;
The candidate must demonstrate satisfactorily their ability to select or reject fields as to their suitability for landing. This exercise must be undertaken from the air but can be flown in a glider, motor glider or light aircraft.
3. Field Landings Test (normally completed as part of the Field Selection Test);
The candidate must make a minimum of two successful approaches in a motor glider towards a field landing area selected by the candidate. The altimeter should be covered or the scale offset for this exercise. To qualify for the Endorsement, the approaches must be flown without any assistance or prompting from the instructor who must be satisfied that the candidate has demonstrated an adequate level of judgement and skill.
The candidate must demonstrate their ability to navigate, to the satisfaction of a Full Rated Instructor or when completed in a TMG, an appropriately qualified MGIR. The candidate must plan a triangular task of at least 100 km, giving due consideration for any airspace requirements and to appropriate aspects of airmanship.
During a BGA Bronze Cross Country Endorsement Navigation Skills Test the candidate must demonstrate the ability to read an aeronautical chart, to relate features shown on it with those features as they appear from the air and to orientate the map with respect to ground features. This exercise can be flown in a glider, motor glider or light aircraft and only sufficient of the planned 100 km task need be flown to convince the instructor of the candidate’s ability to navigate.
5. Aerobatics Endorsement
The BGA Aerobatics Endorsement exists to enable a pilot to demonstrate competence in flying basic aerobatics. The BGA Aerobatics Endorsement can only be issued if the applicant has already qualified for a Bronze Endorsement and has the approval of the CFI. Holders of a BGA aerobatics badge automatically qualify for a BGA aerobatics endorsement.
- Complete the necessary training before attempting the assessment. The instruction may be provided by a BGA Full or Assistant rated instructor who holds a BGA aerobatics endorsement or BGA contest aerobatic badge. The instruction should be recorded and signed by the instructor.
- Pass the BGA aerobatics endorsement assessment, which may be provided by a BGA Full Rated instructor who holds a BGA aerobatics endorsement or BGA contest aerobatic badge and is authorised by the CFI, or by a BGA aerobatics instructor.
- On completion, a successful assessment must be notified the BGA using the relevant form and an entry signed in the candidate’s logbook.
The holder of the BGA Aerobatics Endorsement may carry out basic figures, ie:
- 45 degree climbing and diving lines
- inside loop
- lazy 8 (two opposite climbing and descending co-ordinated turns forming a figure of 8 when viewed from below)
– the candidate must be alone in the aircraft.
– the assessment is a solo sequence of basic figures. Direction of turn in each figure to be at the pilot’s discretion.
There are no BGA Aerobatics Endorsement recency requirements. Pilots are expected to seek refresher training as required.
6. Cloud flying Endorsement
The BGA Cloud Flying Endorsement exists to enable a pilot to demonstrate competence in cloud flying.
A BGA Cloud Flying Endorsement can only be issued if a pilot possesses both Bronze and Cross-Country endorsements, has at least 30 hours experience as PIC following the grant of the Bronze and Cross-Country endorsements, and has the approval of their CFI.
A BGA Cloud Flying Endorsement can only be issued following assessment by a person specifically authorised by the BGA who on completion must notify the BGA using the relevant form and sign an entry in the candidate’s logbook.
The candidate must demonstrate the necessary level of competence for the initial issue of the Cloud Flying Endorsement. Competence can be demonstrated through either;
1. Candidates holding PPL or higher licences and, within the previous 5 years, an Instrument Meteorological Conditions Rating / Instrument Rating / UK ATPL(A) with embedded IMC Rating privileges / UK Military Basic Instrument Flying Grading (BIFG) qualify for the automatic issue of a Cloud Flying Endorsement
2. A satisfactory understanding of the applicable rules of the air, performance considerations of the principal flight instruments relevant to instrument flying, human performance factors, aircraft performance, and:
Demonstrate the following during flight to a person specifically authorised by the BGA :
Satisfactory levels of control during cloud entry, manoeuvring whilst in cloud, and exit from cloud, and;
Satisfactory levels of control during recovery from unusual attitudes and emergency exit from cloud, and;
Satisfactory levels of situational awareness and navigation
Pilots who hold the cloud flying endorsement are expected to maintain recency of five cloud flying flights in two years, or alternatively demonstrate they meet the above ‘requirements’.
7. Introductory Flight Pilot Endorsement
The UK ANO provides the opportunity for BGA member clubs to use pilots who are not instructors to carry out introductory flying where the passenger pays for the flight. In support of the need to mitigate the associated risks to third parties and to others involved in the activity, the BGA requires those pilots carrying out introductory flying where the passenger pays for the flight to hold a BGA Introductory Flight Pilot (IFP) endorsement.
Where an IFP in:
Unpowered sailplanes. An SPL or Bronze and Cross-Country endorsements, plus 50 hours pilot in command (PIC) in sailplanes.
TMGs. TMG* licence privileges, plus 50 hours PIC sailplanes including 20 hours PIC in TMG.
Self-Launching Sailplanes (SLS). SLS licence privileges, plus 50 hours PIC sailplanes to include 20 launches PIC in SLS.
and CFI approval
and completion of an approved BGA Introductory Flight Pilot course. See IFP course content. The course coach must hold the launch type/TMG instructing privileges. Coaches inexperienced with the IFP course can seek guidance from an SRE.
May carry out introductory flights paid for by the passenger. The introductory flying must be supervised by a BGA instructor approved to do so by the CFI of each club where the privileges are exercised.
The introductory flying privileges must not be exercised on a particular launch type unless the launch type privileges are held (eg certified in the pilot’s logbook by the club CFI). Additional IFP launch type privileges may be added by the CFI subject to experience and assessment and any related licence privilege requirements.
Recommendation for revalidation to the BGA from the CFI based on:
- In the 12 months prior to revalidation, at least 10 hours or 20 launches pilot in command in sailplanes/TMGs as appropriate, and
- An annual check by a CFI, BI Coach, Flight Instructor Coach, or Regional Examiner (logbook signature)
The endorsement may be renewed by application to the BGA following an appropriate level of refresher training as agreed with the SRE and:
- At least 10 hours or 20 launches pilot in command in sailplanes/TMGs as appropriate in the previous 12 months, and
- An assessment by an independent CFI, BI Coach, Flight Instructor Coach, or Regional Examiner (logbook signature), and
- Recommendation for renewal by the CFI
*Or SLMG class rating licence privileges
Suspension of IFP privileges following an accident
It is important that any Introductory Flight Pilot (IFP) who has an accident is provided with appropriate support and that any underlying issues are addressed. An IFP who has an accident whilst flying gliders or motor gliders is to immediately cease using IFP privileges. Where requested by the CFI of a BGA club, the suspension from using IFP privileges is lifted on the authority of the Chairman of the Instructing and Examining Committee (usually delegated to the SRE).