Pilot Training and Development

Learning to Fly

Glider pilot training starts with learning to fly and achieving your first solo flight. At this point you are issued with the BGA Gliding Certificate.

The next steps are to gain the Bronze and Cross-Country Endorsements at which point you are a qualified glider pilot and can apply for a Sailplane Pilot Licence.

There are also several Sporting Badges and Diplomas to aspire to, the Siver Badge in particular qualifies you to gain a Competition Licence.

The pathway below lays out the steps for the various training and development stages possible to progess to after your first solo.

Training to Solo

Glider pilots learn to fly at their club in dual control gliders with qualified instructors following the BGA Gliding Syllabus. This syllabus will take you right from the earliest stages through to becoming a fully qualified glider pilot. The training can be intensive or spread over many weeks and months as suits individual needs. The first phase of the training prepares you for your first solo flight and gaining the BGA Gliding Certificate.

Once solo, you can qualify for Silver Height & Silver Duration parts of the Siver Badge, one of many Sporting Badges & Diplomas you can aspire to.

Key Resources

The BGA Student Pilot Manual is a must have for anyone learning to glide 

BGA Gliding Syllabus

BGA gliding training progress record card (excluding navigation and field landing)

BGA ground training progress card

Learning to fly with a disability

Converting to gliding from powered flying

Solo Endorsement And Gliding Certificate Application Form


Medical Requirements

Bronze and Cross-Country Endorsements

Although important, and a memorable achievement, going solo just marks the beginning of the next phase of your training which is to achieve the BGA Bronze Endorsement.  This entails completing a number of solo flights, skills tests and a theory course and exam.  It is then time to move on to the Cross-Country Endorsement, which involves Navigation and Field Landing exercises. After this you will be a qualified glider pilot and can complete the Silver Distance element of the Silver Badge.

Key Resources

Bronze and Cross-Country Endorsements

Preparing for the Bronze theoretical knowledge test – Cambridge Gliding Centre

Bronze endorsement communications – Jordan Bridge

BGA gliding navigation and field landing progress record card

Field Landing

Other online resources and links, including study materials

Pilot Development

There are many opportunities to develop your skills as a pilot and to widen your participation in the sport.

Achieving Sporting Badges & Diplomas

Introductory Flight Pilot



SFCL Compliant Training

Pilot Radio Licence (FRTOL)