Training Organisation – Learning to Fly!
Glider 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 together with the BGA DTO (where applicable) collectively known as the ‘BGA training organisation’.
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’. But you don’t need to know all this detail to learn to fly! If you want to have a go or have decided you want to learn to fly, your gliding club will direct you every step of the way.
Flight Training Syllabus and Record Card
Pilot flight 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. Your gliding club should supply a training record card. If not, just ask your instructor.
Airfield/Launch Point Ground Training
Anyone who is new to gliding will find that the airfield and launch point is a strange environment where its easy to make a mistake if not shown how things work. For example, how to help launch gliders. The BGA offers a ground training record card that clubs can modify as required. The record card is a generic document. Additional items can be added as required. If your club doesn’t supply a ground training record card, just ask.
Most trainee pilots learn faster by reading up on some theory between flying lessons. This is where a trainee pilot can help him or herself through the training course. 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.
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 – becoming a qualified glider pilot
Further training then fully prepares the newly solo pilot for the Bronze endorsement and Cross Country endorsement, which include practical and theoretical knowledge assessments. Self-study and club-based lectures help with the Bronze theoretical knowledge (refer to the Bronze study guide). Successful completion of these Bronze and Cross Country endorsements results in qualification as a Glider Pilot.
Instructors are crucially important to gliding. Experienced glider pilots are encouraged to approach their CFI to discuss instructor training opportunities.
The requirements are detailed here.
There is lots more information available here.
NPPL SLMG Training
NPPL SLMG training is not classed as ‘aerial work’ or ‘commercial operations’ providing it is taking place within a not for profit club environment. Any club that has concerns can contact the BGA office for guidance.
NPPL SLMG course details are available on the NPPL website.
NPPL/PPL Theoretical Knowledge Examination
Members of BGA clubs who have completed the required ground study and are deemed ready by their CFI to sit the CAA PPL(A) theoretical knowledge exams can apply to sit the exams either with a local examiner or at the BGA office.
Please note that an exam sitting at the BGA is by appointment only. There is no fee.
Bookings can be made by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
The UK has exempted sailplanes from EASA Flight Crew Licensing (FCL) regulations. Gliding training is carried out under BGA requirements. SLMG training is carried out under NPPL requirements. It is expected that the situation will remain unchanged until at least 2020.
Meanwhile, the BGA is committed to supporting pilots who choose to hold an EASA SPL, LAPL(S), as well as those with an FI(S) certificate and sailplane examiner certificate. A Declared Training Organisation has been formed to support clubs with delivering EASA FCL training requirements as they appear.
EASA FCL Self-Launch Privilege Training
Any pilot who holds an SPL/LAPL(S) can add self-launch privileges following the required level of self-launch training. BGA guidance is available here.
Declared Training Organisation
EASA regulates all recreational flight training in EASA aircraft. The minimum level of oversight is provided through a Declared Training Organisation (DTO). You can read more about the DTO rules here.
The BGA has declared itself as a DTO and has developed a training programme that includes;
- Sailplane towing rating course
- Flight Instructor (Sailplanes) refresher seminar
- Examiner (Sailplanes) refresher seminar
Further training courses will be added when required by regulation.
Sailplane Towing Course
Clubs that intend to deliver the EASA Part-FCL Sailplane Towing Rating course should submit a completed BGA DTO training request form to the BGA office.
As of 20 Nov 18, the following clubs can deliver the BGA DTO sailplane towing course; Booker, Bicester, Cambridge, Deeside, East Sussex, Lasham, London.
FI(S) and Sailplane Examiner Refresher Seminars
FI(S) and Examiner refresher seminars may only be delivered by approved coaches. Seminar dates are published here.
Please refer to the Pilot Training and Licencing FAQs
Other Training Resources