Sporting badges and diplomas requirements
v1.4 4th October 2020
- Diploma – 100 km
- Badges and Diplomas – 750km+
- Official Observers
- Contest Aerobatics
FAI and BGA Sport Badges and Diplomas include;
- Silver Badge
- Gold Badge
- Distance Badges & Diplomas
All badges are recorded on the BGA Gliding Certificate.
The definitive rules for the FAI Badge and Diploma claims are contained in the FAI Sporting Code Section 3 and Annex C – Official Observer & Pilot Guide. These documents can be found at https://www.fai.org/igc-documents .
The candidate must be alone in the aircraft for each test, except for the UK 750 km and UK 1,000 km Two-seater Diplomas. FAI badge attempts may be flown in a motor glider, provided there is proof that the engine was not used during the soaring performance.
Any number of tests may be completed on any flight. Application for badges and diplomas must be made on the approved form and where required, flight evidence must be submitted in an approved format.
All flights using GPS data to verify turning points must be pre-declared. A declaration is not required for badge duration and gain of height badge flights. All record flights require a declaration.
For distance and goal flights the loss of height between the start point (release height or height of crossing the start line) and the finish point (landing point, height of crossing the finish line or other suitable logged point chosen post flight) must not exceed 1% of the total distance flown with a maximum height loss of 1000m.
GPS position recorders are allowed for Silver and Gold badge legs. They record GPS altitude rather than pressure altitude. When position recorders are used to measure height gains or losses a 100metre penalty will be applied to the gain or loss, for example a silver height gain would need to be at least 1100metres when measured by GPS altitude.
2. Silver Badge
- A duration flight of not less than 5 hours from release to landing.
- A straight distance flight from a start at release to a finish fix located at least 50 km from release and at least 50 km from the fix recorded at the beginning of the take-off Once the point is logged, the pilot can fly anywhere else.
- A height gain of at least 1,000 metres (3,281 feet)
3. 100 km Diploma (UK only award)
The 100 km Diploma consists of 2 parts which can be claimed individually or together;
- Completion of a 100 km declared closed circuit flight, set either as a triangle or as an out-and–return and starting and finishing with the crossing of a 1km start/finish line.
- Completion of a similar flight to that above, but at a minimum handicapped speed of 65 km per hour. The handicap list from the current BGA Competition Rules is to be used
Flights must take place within Europe under the supervision of a BGA Official Observer.
4. Gold Badge
- A duration flight of not less than 5 hours from release to landing unless this has already been done as a silver duration.
- A distance flight of not less than 300 km (186.4 Statute miles). This may be made as either a flight in a straight line, or a flight round up to 3 declared turn points. The turn points may be rounded in any order or not at all but each may only be turned once. c) A gain of height of not less than 3,000 metres (9,843 feet)
- A goal flight of not less than 300 km (186.4 Statute miles) flight flown over an out and return or triangular course.
- A distance flight of not less than 500 km (310.7 Statute miles) – requirements as for Gold Distance.
- A gain of height of not less than 5,000 metres (16,405 feet).
Diamonds may only be worn on Silver or Gold Badges.
6. Badges & Diplomas for flights of 750km and more
The FAI awards diplomas for distance flights of 750km and upwards in increments of 250 km. Requirements are as for Gold Distance.
The UK only awards diplomas for 750 km and 1000km in two-seat gliders for distance flight of not less than 750 km or 1000km, starting in the UK and flown with two pilots. Requirements as for Gold Distance.
7. Official Observers
BGA Official Observers are trusted and independent witnesses, authorised by the BGA to observe and verify details of flights qualifying for badges, records and championships in accordance with the regulations of the FAI and BGA.
An Official Observer may not act in such capacity for any flight in which he is pilot or passenger.
Instructors, holders of Silver badges or a higher qualification, or persons actively connected with gliding for the previous three years are eligible for appointment.
Applications on the appropriate form must carry the recommendation of the Chairman or CFI of the club, or the Officer Commanding of the Air Cadet Squadron, concerned. Applicants must verify that they are familiar with the current version of the FAI Sporting Code.
8. Contest Aerobatics (fully updated Jan 2023)
In the United Kingdom, aerobatic competition for both powered and glider (full size) is governed by the British Aerobatic Association (BAeA) who are the UK representatives of CIVA and the FAI for this purpose.
The aerobatic badge scheme was developed jointly by the BAeA and the BGA and includes five levels of competence:
Standard (BAeA Club Class) – Competent to undertake a solo sequence of basic figures
Sports – A high standard of competence in basic positive ‘g’ figures
Intermediate – A high standard of competence in initial figures involving rolling and inverted flight
Advanced – A high standard of competence in advanced figures involving rolling and inverted flight
Unlimited – An ultimate standard of competence in advanced aerobatic figures
Note: The Standard test qualifies for the BGA aerobatic endorsement.
Aerobatic Badge Tests
- The candidate must have received clearance from a gliding BGA Aerobatic Instructor to carry out the figures included in the badge test sequence at the relevant level before attempting any test.
- The sequence for a badge test shall be any sequence of the relevant level flown by a pilot previously in a BAeA Competition after 2013. These are available at https://www.aerobatics.org.uk/contest/results showing the Aresti Diagrams.
- Example sequences covering each level are given from the BAeA 2021 published “Knowns”, which are also acceptable for BGA Badge tests, as (you may need to copy these links into your browser to make them work):
This one has an inverted turn which is very wasteful in a K21. An alternative would be https://cdn.aerobatics.org.uk/sequences/2019/baea-2019-intermediate-glider-defaultfreeknown.pdf
- The candidate must pre-declare their intended badge test sequence to an assessing BGA Aerobatic Instructor, who is cleared to instruct aerobatics at the relevant level, or a BAeA Competition Judge or Judges.
- The candidate must be alone in the aircraft for each test.
- The badge tests must all be conducted within a pre-declared 1 km ‘box’ as assessed by the BGA Aerobatic Instructor or BAeA Competition Judge.
- The badge test sequence axis and direction must be aligned to a pre-declared nominal wind direction.
- The direction of turn in each figure is at the pilot’s discretion but consistent with the pre-declared wind direction.
- The sequence starting height must be 4,000ft agl or below.
- The sequence floor height must be maintained, ie not penetrated by any aerobatic figure, as assessed by the BGA Aerobatic Instructor or BAeA Competition Judge, of 1,500ft for the Standard Badge; 1,000ft for the Sports and Intermediate Badges; 700ft for the Advanced and Unlimited Badges.
- The badge test flight must be conducted in a safe manner, as assessed by the BGA Aerobatic Instructor or BAeA Competition Judge.
- Scoring of all the badge tests, for the purposes of identifying a ‘soft zero’ score, will be in accordance with the ‘Criteria for Judging Glider Aerobatic Figures’ as published by the FAI as The Sporting Code, Section 6, Part 2, Glider Aircraft, Appendix B; start from https://www.fai.org/civa-documents . Marks for Positioning (or Harmony as was) are not to be included.
- Any qualifying flight containing a ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ zero score, for any figure in the declared sequence, must be a test failure. An omitted figure would also be a test failure.
- If flown outside a competition, all figures will be marked as “Good”, “Adequate”, or “Unsatisfactory”. An “Unsatisfactory” mark would be for a figure having a ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ zero, breaching the box limits, floor heights or wind alignments, and thereby failing the badge test; the “Adequate” and “Good” marks provide feedback from the assessor to the candidate as to how well they are doing.
- If flown in a BAeA Competition, the test is satisfied if the sequence is completed with a positive average mark for each figure, as shown on the official processed marks sheet.
- In summary, the badge test is satisfied if a sequence used in a previous BAeA competition has been flown safely with all the figures at a “Good” or “Adequate” standard and with no breach of the normal aerobatic operating rules.