Gliding Certificate and Endorsements Requirements
v1.4 Effective date 1st October 2021
- 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. Requirements
- Completion of the pre-solo elements of the training syllabus
- One solo circuit in a glider or motor glider in unpowered flight after the launch, followed by a satisfactory landing; and
- 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 Bronze endorsement is 14. Requirements
Satisfactory completion of:
- Completion of the training syllabus
- 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
- General Skills Test
A minimum of three flights in a dual controlled glider with a BGA Full Rated Instructor who will be satisfied during the BGA Bronze Badge General Skills Test 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 test, 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
- Satisfactory recovery from at least two launch failures or simulated launch failures
- Demonstrate that they can obtain and interpret airspace, NOTAM and weather information appropriate for soaring
4. Theoretical knowledge test
The candidate must pass the BGA Bronze Badge Theoretical Knowledge Test.
4. Cross Country Endorsement
The Cross-Country Endorsement can only be issued if the applicant has already qualified for a Bronze Endorsement or SPL/LAPL(S) and has the approval of the CFI.
The minimum age to complete the Field Landing tests and Navigation tests is 16.
1. Soaring Flight;
The candidate must complete a soaring flight of at least one hour in duration after release. The soaring flight must be under the supervision of a BGA instructor or Official Observer, who must complete and certify the report.
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. 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
- Hold a BGA Bronze endorsement
- Pass the BGA aerobatics badge test at a minimum of the ‘standard’ level. Notes:
- The candidate must be alone in the aircraft for each
- The candidate must have received clearance from a BGA Aerobatic Instructor to carry out the figures included at the relevant level before attempting any test. For the Standard badge this clearance may be given by a Full Rated Instructor authorised for the purpose by the local
- The Standard badge test may be witnessed by any BGA Aerobatic Instructor or by a Full Cat Instructor authorised for the purpose by the local CFI.
- The Sports and Intermediate aerobatic badge tests are to be witnessed by a BGA Regional Aerobatic Examiner unless scored* by a BAeA judge, or
- The Unlimited aerobatic badge test is to be witnessed and scored* by a minimum of three BAeA, or three Internationally recognised, aerobatic
*Scoring of Sports, Intermediate and Unlimited badge tests will be in accordance with the ‘BAeA Criteria for Judging Aerobatic Figures’ as published by the British Aerobatic Association. No qualifying flight may contain a zero score
6. Cloud flying Endorsement
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 Cloud Flying Endorsement can only be issued by an appropriately qualified BGA assistant or full rated instructor 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;
- 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: or
- 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:
The ability to demonstrate the following during flight:
- 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.
Completion of an approved BGA Introductory Flight Pilot course.
See IFP course content. The 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.
Revalidation (required annually)
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