Pilot Training

BGA glider pilot training is delivered at gliding clubs by BGA approved instructors operating under the supervision of the clubs Chief Flying Instructor (CFI).  The BGA employs a training standards manager, who is responsible for overall instructor standards, and utilises highly qualified instructor coaches to train new instructors on BGA approved instructor courses. The gliding clubs, instructors and supporting organisation are collectively known as the ‘BGA training organisation’.

Qualifying requirements

The qualifying requirements at each stage of pilot training through the Solo, Bronze and other endorsements are described in the publication ‘BGA Gliding Certificate and Endorsements’.


Pilot training at clubs is guided by a syllabus and is structured to support the individual needs of the trainee pilot.

Training is recorded on a simple training record card that is reviewed each time the trainee pilot takes a lesson.

Theoretical Knowledge

Most trainee pilots learn faster by reading up on some theory between flying lessons. The BGA recommends the publication ‘Passenger to Pilot‘, which includes easy to absorb text and diagrams and was written by the author of the BGA instructors manual. As a pilot progresses in training beyond solo, the BGA recommended publication is ‘Bronze and Beyond‘, which was written by and is periodically updated by an experienced gliding instructor. Other publications by a variety of authors are available.


Application forms are available here.


Pilot training publications are available here.

Solo – a milestone towards becoming a qualified pilot!

The first major milestone during glider pilot training is the first solo flight – that’s a great achievement!

Bronze & Cross Country Endorsements

Further training then fully prepares the newly solo pilot for the Bronze endorsement and Cross Country endorsement. Self-study and club-based lectures help with the Bronze theoretical knowledge test (refer to the Bronze study guide). Successful completion of these Bronze and Cross Country endorsements results in qualification as a Glider Pilot.

Learn more on the Bronze and Cross Country endorsement webpage.

Carrying passengers

Before considering training to be cleared for passenger carrying, please read and understand the detail on our Passenger Carrying webpage.

Other Flight Training and Coaching

Clubs can supply qualified glider pilots with a variety of optional further flight training opportunities, including soaring, aerobatics, cloud flying, cross-country racing, instructing, competition preparation and glider towing.The requirements for various BGA qualifications are described on the Laws and Rules webpage.

The ‘Aim Higher’ initiative encourages pilots to push themselves that bit further in the sport. It’s amazing what can be achieved with some coaching, support and application!

NPPL (SLMG) – Self-Launching Motor Glider

Some clubs have SLMG aircraft and offer training for the National Private Pilot Licence. Please refer to our NPPL webpage.

Self-Launching – EASA SPL and LAPL(S) Holders Only

EASA SPL and LAPL(S) holders who wish to remove the self-launch limitation on their licence may do so having complied with the requirement described in the UK conversion report and CAP804. Please read this BGA self-launch training for SPL and LAPL(S) holders guidance which describes the relevant detail and should assist any SPL or LAPL(S) holder contemplating self-launch training.