EASA Licensing FAQs

Aerobatics

I fly aerobatics. How do I ensure I can continue to do so under Part-FCL?

Without an aerobatics rating, you will be able to do solo aerobatics, but only if under the supervision of an appropriately qualified aerobatics instructor. Otherwise, you will need an aerobatic rating on your SPL or LAPL(S). On application for conversion to Part-FCL, providing your previous aerobatics experience meets the minimum requirement you can be provided with a Part-FCL aerobatics rating – the application form guidance provides detailed advice. If you decide to apply for a BGA aerobatics endorsement at the same time as submitting a conversion application, please include your gliding certificate as part of that BGA aerobatic endorsement application.

If you intend to instruct aerobatics after conversion to an EASA licence, you will need to hold an aerobatics rating as well as qualify to instruct aerobatics. The application form guidance provides the detail.

Aeroplane Licences

Are the privileges of the Part-FCL powered licences the same us the old licences?

The NPPL and LAPL(A) are substantially the same. Pilots converting from UK PPL and JAA PPL should be aware that the Part-FCL LAPL(A) and PPL(A) will have reduced privileges. For example, LAPL(A) holders cannot have Flight Instructor or Examiner privileges.

Under Part-FCL an aeroplane licence holder is no longer permitted to fly under IFR unless he possesses an Instrument Rating of some form. However, only holders of Part-FCL licences (and JAR licences, which are now deemed to be such Part-FCL licences) are currently subject to the new rules. For the time being, those holders of UK (non-JAR, non-Part-FCL) licences are bound only by the UK Air Navigation Order, which currently still permits flight under IFR provided the limits of the licence privileges as defined in Schedule 7 of the Order are maintained. Holders of UK (non-JAR, non-Part-FCL) are reminded that these licences will cease to be valid for EASA aircraft after 7th April 2018.

Do I need Language Proficiency in English?

The CAA is currently advising private pilots (PPL & NPPL) to check the currency of the English language proficiency endorsement on their licences, as pilots applying for any of the Part-FCL aeroplane licences must have a valid English language endorsement. All UK private pilots were automatically given a level 4 endorsement by the CAA in 2008. However, this endorsement was only valid for four years, and, unless renewed, expired in March 2012. PPL and NPPL holders may therefore be unable to acquire a Part-FCL licence until they renew their language proficiency endorsement to level 6.

If you are not sure whether or not the CAA has you on record as being level 6 proficient, please ask the CAA – call on 01293 573 700.

If you are not on record at CAA as level 6 proficient, the language proficiency test can be completed by any CAA examiner. You can avoid a CAA £20 fee by supplying the completed CAA Form 1199 (language proficiency application) or CAA Examiner Form 1157 (provided at the end of a test or check flight) with your conversion application.

How do I convert my powered aeroplane licence?

Aircraft is a generic term including sailplanes (some of which are powered), balloons, helicopters, aeroplanes (which are all powered) etc, etc. The following concerns aeroplane licence holders – eg NPPL(A), UK PPL(A), JAR PPL(A), etc.

EASA requires separate licences for separate types of aircraft, eg sailplanes, aeroplanes, helicopters, etc. Touring Motor Gliders (under UK national rules known as SLMGs) are under EASA a class of sailplane and a class of aeroplane. That’s why the TMG class can appear on a sailplane and/or aeroplane licence.

The CAA aeroplane licence conversion form is SRG1104. If you are applying for additional ratings on your aeroplane licence, eg sailplane towing, in addition to supplying evidence, list those additional ratings in section 7 of the form.

Pilots with an SLMG or JAR TMG class rating please note:

Pilots should note that if they apply to convert to an SPL or LAPL(S) using the CAA Form 1104 or the equivalent CAA online application form (this is a confusing ‘gotcha’), the SPL or LAPL(S) will be limited to TMG only. Therefore pilots who intend to convert BGA sailplane or powered sailplane privileges to an SPL or LAPL(S) should do so through the BGA administered conversion process described above. TMG privileges can be applied to both aeroplane and sailplane licences.

I’ve heard that on conversion to a Part-FCL PPL(A), I can apply to have a UK National licence issued with my Part-FCL licence (page 2 of the CAA licence conversion application form). Why would I do that?

Its a replacement UK licence. For many that means a replacement NPPL. Note that Annex II aircraft can be flown using a Part-FCL licence with appropriate class ratings. However, you may at some stage want to use NPPL privileges to fly Annex II aircraft when for some reason you cannot maintain validity of your Part-FCL licence. The NPPL medical requirement continues to be a GP endorsed self-declaration.

Is the BGA involved in the conversion to LAPL(A) and PPL(A)?

No. The BGA is supporting the conversion to Part-FCL SPL and LAPL(S). The conversion process to Part-FCL LAPL(A) and PPL(A) is carried out direct with the CAA. If your licence was a JAA PPL then it automatically became a Part-FCL license after the 7th April 2012.

Chief Flying Instructor

How will CFIs be approved as such in future?

Essentially the same as they are now. Under Part-ORA requirements, the CFI, who will be the ‘local head of training’, will need to hold a valid Flight Instructor (Sailplanes) certificate on a valid Part-FCL SPL or LAPL(S) and be approved as a CFI & local head of training by the BGA training organisation.

What guidance will be available to CFIs?

Each BGA club site as a part of the BGA training organisation will have an approved training manual. The training manual will be developed from a standard template supplied by the BGA and will provide guidance for the CFI and his or her team of club instructors.

Cloud Flying

I understand that under Part-FCL, I will need a cloud flying rating to fly in cloud. How do I obtain a Part-FCL Sailplane Cloud Flying Rating (SCFR)? update 3 July 14

UK pilots wishing to obtain an EASA SCFR as part of their licence transition will need to comply with conversion requirements. Conversion to the SCFR is based on the BGA Cloud Flying Endorsement (BGA CFE).

Pilots who have already converted to a Part-FCL SPL or LAPL(S) through the BGA and are qualified to convert to an SCFR will automatically receive a replacement licence at no charge.

After the conversion period, any pilot who wishes to add an EASA SCFR to an SPL or LAPL(S) will need to complete the full training and testing requirement for an EASA SCFR as described in Part-FCL and pay the associated CAA charges to have the rating added to their SPL or LAPL(S).

Detail on how to obtain the BGA Cloud Flying Endorsement is described under non-EASA licensing Frequently Asked Questions which can be read here.

Examining

How do I become a Part-FCL Flight Examiner (Sailplanes)?

On conversion, meet the conversion requirements. You’ll notice that those requirements include, in addition to a valid BGA full rating, a valid BGA Flight Examiner authorisation and completion of an EASA standardisation course. The BGA is currently delivering these standardisation courses.

How do I become a Part-FCL Flight Instructor Examiner (Sailplanes)?

On conversion, meet the conversion requirements. You’ll notice that those requirements include, in addition to a valid BGA full rating, a valid BGA Flight Instructor Examiner authorisation and completion of an EASA standardisation course. The BGA is currently delivering these standardisation courses.

How do I obtain a BGA Flight Examiner authorisation?

The first step is to check the requirements, have a look at the BGA Examiner Standards document published on the BGA website and then apply via your CFI to attend a BGA Flight Examiner seminar. These have been occurring on a regional basis since 2012.

How do I obtain a BGA Flight Instructor Examiner authorisation?

The first step is to check the requirements, have a look at the BGA Examiner Standards document published on the BGA website and then apply via the BGA Training Standards Manager to attend a BGA Flight Instructor Examiner seminar. These have been occurring on a regional basis since 2012.

How often will I need to revalidate an examiner authorisation?

Under Part-FCL, an examiner authorisation is valied for 3 years. It can be revalidated (or if necessary renewed) by a Senior Examiner (Sailplanes) when the examiner has  complied with FCL.1025. The CAA agrees that that tests carried out within BGA requirements during the conversion period will be recognised at the 3 year FE and FIE revalidation point.

How will the CAA examiner standardisation that is part of the process of becoming a Part-FCL Flight Examiner (Sailplanes) or Flight Instructor Examiner (Sailplanes) take place?

All Part-FCL examiners will be checked and standardised by a small team of CAA authorised Senior Examiner (Sailplanes) prior to issue of their authorisation to examine under Part-FCL. These Senior Examiners are being appointed from the ranks of the existing BGA senior examiner team and and are now running a wider EASA standardisation course programme. SRE’s are managing the programme at a regional level.

General

Are all the changes in BGA associated with EASA licensing and training requirements going to apply at once?

No. It takes a while to change a system that has been developing and operating successfully for some 70 years! The changes will take place over the period leading up to 7th April 2020, from which date we all have to comply with the EASA licensing and medical requirements when flying EASA sailplanes. As stated elsewhere, EASA aeroplane pilots must comply with EASA licensing and medical requirements by 8th April 2018.

Note – if you are exercising the privileges on a Part-FCL licence, you need to comply with Part-FCL requirements.

Do I need to use EASA licencing privileges to fly an EASA glider or motor glider or tug?

No. There is a UK exemption published in the CAA’s Official Records Series 4 that describes how a pilot can choose to operate in the UK using national/BGA or EASA licence privileges until April 2018.

So until April 2018, all pilots including those who have converted to hold an EASA licence can choose to operate as they always have done, including using BGA medical requirements.

It should be noted that if a pilot chooses to exercise his or her EASA licence privileges, he or she must of course comply with the relevant EASA licencing and medical requirements.

How will the BGA manage that period of change?

The existing BGA training organisation and systems, including the BGA Gliding Certificate and Endorsements, and BGA privileges on instructor ratings, examiner ratings, etc will remain in place until all pilots who fly EASA aircraft have to hold an EASA licence. The BGA recognises EASA Part-FCL licences and instructor certificates. These can be used within the existing BGA training organisation and systems. Meanwhile, the BGA will continue to develop its training organisation in consultation with member clubs.

If I convert across to an SPL or LAPL(S), what new obligations will I have that I didn’t have before?

The Part-FCL privileges of the holder of a LAPL(S) or SPL are to act as pilot in command on sailplanes and powered sailplanes. In order to exercise the privileges on a TMG, additional requirements should be met (TMG training and a skill test by an examiner). A holder of a LAPL(S) or SPL shall only carry passengers after they have completed, post-licence issue, 10 hours of flight time or 30 launches as pilot in command on sailplanes and powered sailplanes.

The SPL and LAPL(S) are lifetime licences. However, Part-FCL requires that you maintain a prescribed minimum level of recency to maintain the validity of your licence. Holders of a LAPL(S) or SPL may only exercise the privileges of their licence on sailplanes when they have completed on sailplanes (including powered sailplanes but not TMGs) in the last 24 months at least:

5 hours as pilot in command, including 15 launches, and
2 training launches with an instructor

Holders of a LAPL(S) or SPL may only exercise the privileges of their licence in a TMG when they have completed in TMGs in the last 24 months at least:

12 hours as pilot in command, including 12 take-offs and landings, and
Refresher training of at least 1 hour total flight time with an instructor

Note 1. The holder of a LAPL(S) or SPL who has the privileges to fly aeroplanes may complete the TMG recency requirement in aeroplanes.

Note 2. If a pilot does not meet the recency requirement, they are required by Part-FCL to pass a proficiency check by an examiner or perform the additional time and launches required flying dual or solo under the supervision of an instructor.

If I’m learning to glide but don’t reach a standard where I can convert to an SPL or LAPL(S) prior to the due date, will any training carried out under BGA requirements be wasted?

No, it will not be wasted. Specific stages of flight training carried out under BGA requirements where correctly recorded may be credited towards EASA Part-FCL training requirements for SPL and LAPL(S). Advice on this specific issue will be made available to clubs once a credit reporting process has been agreed with the CAA. Meanwhile, it remains important to maintain accurate training records.

Once I obtain a LAPL(S) or SPL, how can I add a launch method qualification?

As described in the June 2013 UK Licence Conversion Report submitted by the CAA to EASA: If not qualifying for a particular launch method at the time of licence qualification, the additional launch method may be added later when the applicant complies with FCL.130.S(a). Because the UK has applied a derogation not to apply the provisions of Part-FCL in respect of sailplanes until 8 April 2018 (originally 2015), the requirement at FCL.130.S(a) may be complied with by flying with a BGA instructor. This arrangement is necessary to permit an orderly transition from a position where no sailplane pilot or instructor holds a Part-FCL licence to one where all who wish to fly EASA sailplanes from 8 April 2018 will hold such licences.

Note: the BGA instructor described above must hold an appropriate launch type qualification. For example, ‘self-launch’ requires the BGA instructor to hold a UK SLMG FI rating. An MGIR is not suitable.

Note: on conversion, qualifying for TMG entitles the applicant to add self-launch privileges to a LAPL(S) or SPL.

Note: Details re FCL.130.S are included in the BGA publication ‘Guidance for SPL and LAPL(S) holders’

When does the opt-out from Part-FCL end?

EASA sailplane pilots will need to comply with EASA licensing requirement, ie hold an SPL or LAPL(S), by 8th April 2020.

EASA aeroplane pilots will need to comply with EASA licensing requirement, ie hold a PPL(A) or LAPL(A), by 8th April 2018.

 

When I have converted and hold an SPL or LAPL(S), can I use BGA instructors and examiners (and for TMG ratings CAA approved instructors and examiners) who do not themselves hold a Part-FCL licence to ensure my licence remains valid?

Yes – until the end of the derogation period. Because the United Kingdom has applied a derogation not to apply the provisions of Part-FCL in respect of sailplanes, requirements at FCL.140.S(a)(2), (b)(1)(ii) and (c) (ie the SPL/LAPL(S) recency requirements that need an instructor or examiner) may be completed with UK nationally qualified instructors or examiners, including of course BGA instructors and examiners. This arrangement is necessary to permit an orderly transition from a position where no sailplane pilot or instructor holds a Part-FCL licence to one where all who wish to fly EASA sailplanes will hold such licences.

When should I apply?

We strongly recommend that you do not leave this until the last minute. Please feel free to submit your application to the BGA whenever you are ready.

You would be wise to convert to the licence and all additional ratings, certificates and authorisations that you are qualified for in one hit. For some, this may require them to delay their conversion application. For example and as described in the conversion guidance, part of the conversion requirement from BGA FE to EASA FE (Sailplanes) is to supply a CAA assessment of competence and standardisation completion certificate. From late 2013 a number of Senior Examiners will be standardised following which there will be opportunities for other BGA examiners to go through a similar process and thus acquire the required certificate, the format of which will be clarified at that point.

When should I convert my BGA Gliding Certificate to a Part-FCL SPL or LAPL(S)?

No time like the present! However, you may need to consider a number of points that are described in this guidance document and elsewhere, including:

  • The conversion process must be completed by 7th April 2020. You will not be able to fly an EASA sailplane after the due date unless you hold a valid SPL or LAPL(S).
  • The conversion application turnaround time will not be quick. It is inevitable that there will be a rush of conversion applications in the six months leading up to the due date. The BGA might identify issues within your application that need resolving before a recommendation can be made to the CAA for licence issue. If a lot of pilots that conversion until the last moment, there is a very strong likelihood that some pilots will miss the deadline and therefore finding themselves in the situation where they are unable to fly their EASA sailplane.
  • You may be planning to fly elsewhere in Europe you may need a Part-FCL licence to do so. This depends upon the transition policy of other EU countries, which cannot be predicted.
  • You may need to organise a medical
  • You may be about to attend an instructors course or other course and so it may be worth waiting so you can convert your BGA rating or endorsement to the Part-FCL equivalent at the same time as converting to the SPL or LAPL(S)
  • You may need to top-up your experience before converting
  • You may want to get on with the conversion to get it out of the way

Where will the Part-FCL requirements be published?

The definitive regulation is published on the EASA website. The CAA also publishes its own version of the Part-FCL requirements in CAP804, which will also contain the terms for conversion of UK national qualifications. In due course, BGA Laws and Rules will be modified to help glider pilots to understand the key issues.

Which Licence should I apply for – SPL or LAPL(S)?

If you intend to earn money with the licence, the only option is an SPL. If you intend to fly outside the EASA and EU member states, then an SPL is recommended.

If you can obtain a LAPL medical certificate, but not a Class 2 or 1 medical certificate, the only option is a LAPL(S).

For everyone else, things are less clear cut. The requirements for, and privileges of, the two licences are otherwise identical. BGA advice for now is that if you are an instructor, or may become one in the future, consider an SPL. If you are not an instructor, and have no intention of ever becoming one, consider a LAPL(S)

Notes:

Subsequently changing your mind will be possible, but will involve a CAA fee for issuing a new licence.

The instructor/ not instructor advice comes from the regulatory requirement for licence holders to fly two training flights with an instructor in each 24 months. SPL holders will need to find an instructor holding an SPL, not LAPL(S). LAPL(S) holders will be just fine with instructors holding either licence.

An SPL or LAPL(S) is issued on conversion with the launch types listed that were requested on application. The limitation on other launch types can be removed when the SPL or LAPL(S) holder has completed the requirements in FCL.130.S (you can read that here in Part FCL) including logbook signature by the instructor carrying out the training.

Instructing

As a ‘BGA Full Rated instructor’, I have Bronze skills testing privileges. Will I lose those privileges under Part-FCL?

Part-FCL requires flight examiners to carry out SPL and LAPL(S) skills tests. Under Part-FCL, any Flight Instructor (Sailplanes) can apply to be a Flight Examiner (Sailplanes) providing he or she meets the minimum criteria and is standardised as an examiner by the CAA.

There is nothing to prevent a Flight Instructor (Sailplanes) who is not an examiner from getting involved in mock skills tests for pilots nearing completion of training if the club CFI chooses to provide those at a club.

BGA Full Rated instructors will retain the privileges of carrying out BGA Bronze and Bronze Cross Country Endorsement skills tests. But not Part-FCL skill tests.

Can a Basic Instructor instruct after the due date?

No, sadly not. EASA has never recognised the need for that rating. However, SPL and LAPL(S) holders can have passenger carrying privileges based on experience and checks, and can obtain a BGA Introductory Flight Pilot endorsement permitting them to fly paying passengers at their club.

How do SPL & LAPL(S) holders qualify to carry paying passengers for a BGA club? Updated 9th Sep 14

Following confirmation that the minimum Part-FCL requirements have been met (SPL or LAPL(S) plus a number of hours and launches experience as pilot in command), to permit a club member to carry paying passengers the BGA require completion of an Introductory Flight Pilot course and an application on a BGA IFP form 9. Those who held a BI at conversion will have already carried out similar training and checking as part of their previous BI experience and automatically assume BGA IFP approval.

The activities of BGA approved Introductory Flight Pilots are included within the BGA aviation risk policy.

How in the future will the BGA know I’m a Flight Instructor (Sailplanes)?

The BGAtraining organisation (through the BGA Office) has to formally appoint Part-FCL qualified instructors to instruct within that organisation. Therefore, CFI’s will be required to notify BGA who is instructing at their club before they may do so. We’ll be using the CFI’s existing online e-services tool to keep this as simple as possible. To fulfil their responsibilities, BGA club CFI’s will continue to monitor their own club instructors

How often will I need to revalidate an FI(S) certificate?

Under Part-FCL, a Flight Instructor (Sailplanes) is revalidated every three years by complying with two out of three requirements – flying experience, refresher seminar, or test. Every third revalidation includes a mandatory test. The flying experience requirement is at least 30 hours or 60 take-offs of flight instruction in sailplanes, powered sailplanes or TMG in the previous 3 years.

Up until the end of the conversion period, the BGA will continue to use its existing processes and therefore will maintain its online, CFI managed, annual revalidation system for its instructors. Because the BGA recognises the FI(S) certificate, those who hold a Flight Instructor (Sailplanes) certificate only need demonstrate to their CFI that they hold a valid FI(S) certificate, after which the CFI ticks the boxes on the BGA online e-services revalidation tool. This keeps the FI(S) certificate holder within the BGA training organisation, and IMPORTANTLY, ensures that their activities as an instructor can be included under the BGA’s aviation risk insurance policy.

The CAA agrees that instructional flight carried out within existing BGA requirements during the conversion period will be recognised at the Flight Instructor (Sailplanes) certificate three year revalidation point.

How will CFIs be appointed in future?

Essentially the same as they are now. Under training organisation requirements, the CFI, who will be the ‘local head of training’, will need to hold a valid Flight Instructor (Sailplanes) certificate and be approved as such by the BGA training organisation.

How will I know when the three year FI(S) revalidation point is approaching?

Your Flight Instructor (Sailplanes) certificate will be dated. And the BGA will send you an email, like it does now providing the BGA has your correct email address, to remind you that a revalidation date is approaching. It’s important that you let the BGA office know that you have revalidated your FI(S) certificate and inform them of your next revalidation due date.

How will my CFI know who can supervise flying training at the club?

Under Part-ORA (which includes the training organisation requirements), CFIs as Local Head of Training will be responsible for managing training at their clubs, similarly to the way they always have done under BGA requirements. Experienced instructors will continue to be a vitally important part of the training operation and will continue to be recognised as such. To that end, it is likely that the BGA Approved Training Organisation will agree a process through which club CFIs list which Flight Instructor (Sailplane) in the club can do what within the limitations of his or her qualifications, and based on each person’s experience. In each case it will be a formal club training management arrangement agreed between the individual instructor and the CFI. This subject will be discussed in detail with clubs in due course.

I’m a BGA instructor who is intending to be a Flight Instructor (Sailplanes), but I’m not very sure about some of the training exercises I’ve seen in the EASA SPL and LAPL(S) training syllabus.

Don’t worry. Your CFI will help you to either refresh your skills/experience. If there’s something in the syllabus that’s totally new to you, again, don’t worry. Just steer clear of attempting to teach the subject until you’ve had some further training via your CFI. You do, however, need to understand the limitations of the Flight Instructor (Sailplanes) certificate as described in Part-FCL.

What about BGA back-up insurance? Update 3 July 14

The BGA has an aviation risk insurance policy. This is designed to insure the liabilities of the BGA and its instructors and approved introductory flight pilots where an insurance claim is not fully covered by the gliders insurance policy. In due course it will be a requirement that to be included under the policy, an instructor will have been notified to the BGA as approved to instruct at a BGA club (see above) and have a valid Flight Instructor certificate or hold a BGA Introductory Flight Pilot qualification (note – this guidance is illustrative only and does not replace any current or subsequent insurance policy wordin

What is happening to BGA instructors between now and when we are obliged to comply with Part-FCL?

BGA instructors can continue to teach the BGA Gliding Certificate syllabus to those who require it in any glider. In due course the vast majority of sailplane pilot trainees will be seeking Part-FCL compliant training. To provide Part-FCL compliant flight instruction in sailplanes, an instructor needs to hold a valid Part-FCL Flight Instructor (Sailplanes) certificate.

So any BGA instructor who wants to teach gliding under Part-FCL will need to obtain a Part-FCL SPL or LAPL(S) and a valid Flight Instructor (Sailplanes) certificate. This can be obtained during the pilot conversion process by those who hold a valid BGA Assistant Rating or valid BGA Full Rating and meet the conversion requirements.

Radio Licence

Do I need to a radio licence? And do I need to demonstrate English Language Proficiency?

You do not need a radio licence (known as an FRTOL) to hold an SPL or LAPL(S). You do need an FRTOL to hold a PPL(A) or LAPL(A).

If you wish to have your existing radio licence added to your SPL or LAPL(S) – which the BGA recommends you do – or to your PPL(A) or LAPL(A) you will need to be level 6 English language proficient as recorded by the CAA.

If you are not sure whether or not the CAA has you on record as being level 6 anguage English lproficient, please ask the CAA – call on 01293 573 700.

If you are not on record at CAA as level 6 proficient, the language proficiency test can be completed by any CAA examiner. You can avoid a CAA £20 fee by supplying the completed CAA Form 1199 (language proficiency application) or CAA Examiner Form 1157 (provided at the end of a test or check flight) with your conversion application. The BGA office can help with English language proficiency checks. Call Liz on 0116 2892956.

Towing

How do I add a sailplane towing rating to a previously issued EASA licence?

To add a sailplane towing rating to a previously issued EASA licence (ie after conversion);

A Part-FCL Sailplane Towing Rating will be granted to EASA licence holders who:

  1. Have qualified to tow through a BGA gliding club, and
  2. Show logbook evidence of at least 30 hours of flight time as PIC and 60 take-offs and landings in aeroplanes, if the activity is to be carried out in aeroplane, or in TMG, if the activity is to be carried out in TMGs, completed after the issue of the UK licence, and
  3. Show logbook evidence of at least 10 flights as PIC towing a sailplane in an Aeroplane at a BGA Club. The Sailplane Towing Rating will be restricted to Aeroplanes only. Or/and
  4. Show logbook evidence of at least 10 flights as PIC towing a sailplane in a TMG at a BGA Club. The Sailplane Towing Rating will be restricted to TMG’s only.
  5. Complete a CAA Form2157, noting;
  • Original Logbooks are required to be submitted. This is a generic SSC requirement.
  • As BGA is both a CAA Qualified Entity and an ATO for Instructor and Examiner refresher seminars, CAA have confirmed they can accept BGA examiners (or the BGA office) for this particular process
  • Include the CAA fee of £121, as per the current scheme of charges Table 6 (g). The CAA rationale for the fee is that this is a new rating to the licence, not a variation or extension.

How do I keep my towing rating current?

In order to maintain the rating under Part-FCL, you must have completed a minimum of 5 tows during the last 24 months. Otherwise you will have to complete the missing tows with, or under the supervision of, a Flight Instructor.

If I don’t hold a towing rating can I still tow gliders?

You will need to have a Part-FCL Sailplane Towing Rating to tow gliders with an EASA aircraft after the conversion period ends. A towing rating is not required if towing in a non-EASA aircraft using national licence privileges.

If you apply for this rating on conversion to a Part-FCL licence then there is no additional charge.

Those pilots who are eligible to convert to an EASA sailplane towing rating and have already converted to an EASA aeroplane licence may have the towing rating added – see FAQ ‘How do I add a sailplane towing rating to a previously issued EASA licence?’

What are the requirements for a sailplane towing rating on conversion to Part-FCL?

A Part-FCL Sailplane Towing Rating will be granted to pilots who:

  • a) Convert their UK issued licence to a Part-FCL licence.
  • b) Have qualified to tow through a BGA gliding club, and
  • c) Show logbook evidence of at least 30 hours of flight time as PIC and 60 take-offs and landings in aeroplanes, if the activity is to be carried out in aeroplane, or in TMG, if the activity is to be carried out in TMGs, completed after the issue of the UK licence, and
  • d) Show logbook evidence of at least 10 flights as PIC towing a sailplane in an Aeroplane at a BGA Club. The Sailplane Towing Rating will be restricted to Aeroplanes only.
  • e) Show logbook evidence of at least 10 flights as PIC towing a sailplane in a TMG at a BGA Club. The Sailplane Towing Rating will be restricted to TMG’s only.

What if I tow using both TMGs and aeroplanes?

The rating is specific to aeroplanes or TMGs – to extend the privilege to the other class at least 3 dual training flights must be successfully completed in the other class. If you have your TMG rating on your sailplane licence instead of your aeroplane licence you will need towing ratings on both your LAPL(S) or SPL and your LAPL(A) or PPL(A).

What licence do I need to tow sailplanes?

If you tow sailplanes using EASA aeroplanes, by the end of the conversion period you will need a towing rating on a Part-FCL LAPL(A) or PPL(A) . If you tow sailplanes using an EASA TMG, you will need a towing rating on the licence that the TMG extension (rating) is attached to – this could be a Part-FCL LAPL(A), PPL(A), SPL or LAPL(S).

Towing Instructing

How do I teach sailplane towing when required by Part-FCL?

Holders of an FI(A) or CRI(A):

There is a need to ensure that those pilots who have taught other pilots to tow sailplanes can continue under EASA Part-FCL. As such an extension of any existing Flight Instructor (FI) or Class Rating Instructor Certificate (CRI) to include privileges to instruct for the Sailplane Towing Rating will be granted to pilots who:

  a) Are subject to a recommendation from their BGA club CFI indicating that pilot had taught other pilots to tow sailplanes, and

  b) Hold a FI or CRI in the appropriate category to which the Towing Rating applies, and

  c) Hold a Sailplane Towing Rating.

Others who teach towing at a BGA club but don’t hold a valid FI(A) or CRI(A):

Those pilots who have taught other pilots to tow sailplanes who do not hold a valid FI or CRI certificate can continue under Part-FCL. A CRI Certificate restricted to instruction for the Sailplane Towing Rating only will be granted to pilots who:

  • a) Demonstrate logbook evidence of at least 300 hours flight time as a pilot on aeroplanes and at least 30 hours as PIC on the applicable class of aircraft (eg SLMG/TMG if teaching in TMGs, eg Rotax Falke, or SSEA/SEP if teaching in aeroplanes, eg Robin)
  • b) Are subject to a recommendation from their BGA club CFI indicating that pilot had taught other pilots to tow sailplanes.
  • c) Hold a Sailplane Towing Rating.

The CRI will be issued with the following restriction, FCL.905.CRI(a)(2). Pilots issued with this certificate will not be able to exercise the full privileges of the CRI unless they extend the privileges.

To extend the CRI to the full privileges they will be required to complete the full CRI course, in accordance with FCL.930.CRI and pass an Assessment of Competence in accordance with FCL.935. They will be required to apply to the CAA for issue of the full CRI.

Revalidation / renewal of the CRI restricted to towing will require the CRI to complete a full CRI course (3 hrs flight and 35 hours theoretical knowledge training) and pass a Assessment of Competence prior to having the certificate revalidated or renewed.

In other words the CRI restricted to towing will come to an end on the date of revalidation or renewal.

Any BGA club CRI restricted to towing who will require revalidation via a full CRI course within the next 12 months should contact the BGA Senior Tug Pilot via the BGA office.

Note that in flight monitoring of qualified tug pilots and coaching of qualified tug pilots on towing procedures at clubs who are flying as pilot in command does not require an FI(A) or CRI(A).