Medical information

BGA Medical Requirements

It is a personal responsibility of pilots to be fit for flight, and especially to recognise the adverse effects of short term illness, alcohol, drugs, medicine, treatment, or fatigue.

Click here to view the BGA Medical Requirements


These requirements were updated during July 2023 to include a note regarding reduction in fitness to fly.

‘I’m safe’ personal fit for flight checklist

The ‘I’m Safe‘ personal fit for flight checklist items are;

  • Illness – Is the pilot suffering from any illness or symptom of an illness which might affect them in flight?
  • Medication – Is the pilot currently taking any medication (prescription or over-the-counter)?
  • Stress – Is the pilot overly worried about other factors in their life? The psychological pressures of everyday living can be a powerful distraction and consequently affect a pilot’s performance.
  • Alcohol – Although legal limits vary by jurisdiction, the pilot should consider their alcohol consumption within the last 8 to 24 hours.
  • Fatigue – Has the pilot had sufficient sleep and adequate nutrition?
  • Emotion – Has the pilot fully recovered from any extremely upsetting events?

Clubs are expected to comply with BGA medical requirements and, as far as reasonably possible, stay aware of any physical or mental health issues that could impact their members pilot performance and become a flight safety hazard. As many clubs do not have access to their own medical expertise, clubs can seek guidance from a BGA medical advisor (see below).

The CAA Pilot Medical Declaration

Our Pilot Medical Declaration webpage provides specific guidance on:

  • The Pilot Medical Declaration
  • Class 2 medical booking information.
  • Links.

Click here to view the Pilot Medical Declaration webpage

Medical Requirements outside the UK

As the UK is a third country, licence holders flying outside the UK are required to comply with the relevant national pilot medical requirements, which in most cases are the ICAO requirements, ie a Class 2 medical certificate.

Mental Health

Mental health is as important as physical health.

‘Head in the Clouds’ is a BGA initiative to raise Mental Health Awareness in gliding.  The BGA are a signatory to the Sport & Recreation Alliance Mental Health Charter.

Read more here.

Gliding and Autism

Guidance on gliding and autism is available here.

Cardiac Arrest at Gliding Sites

A cardiac arrest can happen to anyone at any time. Less than 1 in 10 people in the UK survive an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Two big factors that play a part in this are:

  • there aren’t enough people prepared to perform CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) when someone has a cardiac arrest.
  • there aren’t enough AEDs (automated external defibrillator).

Early help in the form of CPR and defibrillation is the best way to survive a cardiac arrest.

Gliding sites are often remote and ambulance response times are longer, which makes early help by those on site vital. Already, many gliding clubs have AEDs on site. One club reports that the purchase of an AED many years ago already saved the life of a visiting pilot. The club manager was quick to respond with CPR and the AED. When the emergency response team arrived they took over. The pilot has fully recovered, but the emergency response team stated he probably would not have survived without the immediate help.

AEDs are fully automatic and guide the user through the operation of administering assistance. They cost around £1000 and it is an investment that hopefully will not have to be used, but is cheap when it saves a life. If the AED can be located so that it is accessible by the general public, grants for their purchase are available, e.g. from

The BGA supports the view that gliding clubs should have on-site access to an AED. While no training for using an AED is necessary, CPR training is advisable and combined with some training for the use of an AED provides familiarity. Training is available from many sources, e.g. British Heart Foundation ( and St John’s Ambulance (

BGA Medical Advisor

The BGA medical advisor can be contacted via the BGA office.