Gliding Certificates/Badges & Awards








The Gliding Certificate is issued by the BGA under delegation from the Royal Aero Club and indicates the standard of achievement reached by the pilot. The certificate is endorsed for each requirement met, i.e. pilot competency standards at 

A, B, Bronze, Cross-Country Endorsement and Glider Pilot Licence, and sporting achievement at Silver badge, UK 100 km Diploma, Gold badge, Diamonds, UK 750 km Diplomas and UK and FAI 1,000 km and 2,000 km badges and diplomas.


The A, B, and Bronze badges, the Cross-Country Endorsement and the UK 100 km and 750 km Diplomas are national standards, set by the BGA. The Silver and Gold badges, Diamonds and 1,000 km and 2,000 km badges are international standards laid down by the FAI. The respective requirements are summarised below.
Application forms, including the fees payable, are obtainable from the BGA. The definitive rules for the FAI badge and diploma claims are contained in the FAI Sporting Code.


The candidate must make at least 20 flights in a glider before attempting any tests, unless he/she is a qualified aeroplane pilot.

The candidate must be alone in the aircraft for each test, except for the UK 750 km and UK 1,000 km Two-seater Diplomas. FAI badge attempts may be flown in a motor glider, provided there is proof that the engine was stopped after launch and not restarted during the period of the attempt.

The Sporting Code should be consulted for requirements for logger and barograph evidence for FAI badge tests and UK diplomas.

Any number of tests may be completed on any flight.



One solo circuit in a glider or motor glider in unpowered flight after the launch, followed by a satisfactory landing. An appropriate level of knowledge of rules of the air and local airspace restrictions must be demonstrated to the supervising instructor at the time of the first solo flight.



A soaring flight of at least five minutes, at or above the previous lowest point after launch, followed by a satisfactory landing.




Minimum Experience. A minimum of 50 solo flights or 20 flights and 10 hours in a glider.


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Soaring Flights. Two soaring flights, each of 30 minutes’ duration, if launched by winch, car or bungey or each of 60 minutes after release from aerotow at a height not exceeding 2,000 ft. General Skills. A minimum of three flights in a dual controlled glider with a Full Rated Instructor who will be satisfied during the BGA Bronze Badge General Skills Test that the candidate has the ability to operate the glider within its limitations, complete all manoeuvres with smoothness and accuracy, exercise good judgement and airmanship, maintain effective lookout, and maintain control of the glider at all times in a manner such that the successful outcome of a procedure or a manoeuvre is never seriously in doubt.

During the test, the candidate must demonstrate an appropriate level of practical skill and knowledge associated with the following:
a) Pre-flight operations including glider assembly and inspection.
b) Techniques and procedures for the launching method(s) used, including appropriate airspeed limitations, emergency procedures and signals used.
c) Circuit flying, collision avoidance precautions and procedures.
d) Normal and crosswind approach and landing.
e) Control of the glider by external visual reference.
f) Understanding and recognition of the symptoms of the stall, stall with wing drop and full spin, followed by the correct recovery.
g) Satisfactory recovery from at least two launch failures or simulated launch failures.

h) Demonstrate that they can obtain and interpret airspace, NOTAM and weather information appropriate for soaring flight.
Field Landing Requirement

Two field landings into a field or, if a suitable field is not adjacent to the club site, into a marked area of the airfield. The altimeter should be covered or the millibar scale offset for this practice. If a marked area of the airfield is used, it must be so chosen that there is little or no undershoot and that the circuit and approach do not coincide with the normal circuit and approach to the airfield. The test may be carried out separately from the General Skills Test and in a motor glider.
Theoretical Knowledge Test. The candidate must pass the BGA Bronze Badge Theoretical Knowledge Test.

The flying and ground tests must all be completed within the 12 months prior to the application.



The Cross-Country Endorsement can only be issued if the applicant has already qualified and applied for a Bronze Badge Endorsement and has the approval of his or her CFI. The requirements are:
Soaring Flights

Two soaring flights, one of at least one hour duration and one of at least two hours’ duration, after release. Each soaring flight must be under the supervision of a BGA instructor or Official Observer, who must complete and certify the report.

Field Selection

The candidate must demonstrate satisfactorily his or her ability to select or reject fields as to their suitability for landing. This exercise must be undertaken from the air but can be flown in a glider, motor glider or light aircraft.

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Field Landings

The candidate must make a minimum of two successful approaches in a motor glider towards a field landing area selected by the candidate. The altimeter should be covered or the millibar scale offset for this exercise. To qualify for the Endorsement, the approaches must be flown without any assistance or prompting from the instructor who must be satisfied that the candidate has demonstrated an adequate level of judgement and skill.

The candidate must demonstrate his/her ability to navigate, to the satisfaction of a Full Rated Instructor. The candidate must plan a triangular task of at least 100 km, giving due consideration for any airspace requirements and to appropriate aspects of airmanship. During a BGA Bronze Cross Country Endorsement Navigation Skills Test the candidate must demonstrate the ability to read an aeronautical chart, to relate features shown on it with those features as they appear from the air and to orientate the map with respect to ground features. This exercise can be flown in a glider, motor glider or light aircraft and only sufficient of the planned 100 km task need be flown to convince the instructor of the candidate’s ability to navigate.

The requirements must be completed within 12 months of the second soaring flight.




The BGA Bronze Badge with Cross Country Endorsement exceeds the ICAO glider pilot licence age, knowledge, experience and skill requirements. Where supported by an ICAO compliant medical certificate, the BGA glider pilot licence provides confirmation if required that the holder meets the requirements and standards of ICAO Annex 1 (glider pilot licence).
Applicants for the BGA Glider Pilot Licence should apply using the form supplied by the BGA. Holders of an ICAO compliant glider pilot licence who wish to apply for a BGA Glider Pilot Licence but do not hold the BGA Bronze Badge and Cross Country Endorsement should include a copy of their existing glider pilot licence and recent experience.




A duration flight of not less than 5 hours from release to landing. A distance flight of not less than 50 km (31.07 Statute miles) made as either:
a) An undeclared flight in a straight line; or
b) A pre-declared flight where one leg is of 50km or more.
In either case the loss of height between the start point (release height or logged point in the start zone) and the finish point (landing point or logged point in the finish zone) must not exceed 1% of the total distance flown.
A height gain of at least 1,000 metres (3,281 feet).




The 100 km. Diploma consists of 2 parts:
a) Completion of a pre-declared 100 km closed circuit flight, set either as a triangle or as an out-and–return.

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a) Completion of a similar flight to that above, but at a minimum handicapped speed of 65 km per hour. The handicap list from the current Competition Handbook is to be used. Flights must take place within Europe under the supervision of a BGA Official Observer.




a) duration flight of not less than 5 hours from release to landing.
b) distance flight of not less than 300 km (186.4 Statute miles). This may be made as either: An undeclared flight in a straight line; or
c) A pre-declared flight round up to 3 turn points to a finish point. If the finish point is the landing point then it does not need to be pre-declared. The turn points may be rounded in any order or not at all but each may only be turned once.
d) A gain of height of not less than 3,000 metres (9,843 feet).




A pre-declared goal flight of not less than 300 km (186.4 Statute miles) flight flown over an out and return or triangular course.
A distance flight of not less than 500 km (310.7 Statute miles) - requirements as for Gold Distance.
A gain of height of not less than 5,000 metres (16,405 feet).
Diamonds may only be worn on Silver or Gold Badges.

1,000 KM AND 2,000 KM BADGES

The FAI awards badges for distance flights of 1,000 km and upwards in increments of 250 km. Requirements are as for Gold Distance.




A distance flight of not less than 750 km, starting in the UK and flown, respectively, either solo or with two pilots – requirements as for Gold Distance.




National Gliding Championships and Regional Competitions must be approved by the BGA and conducted in accordance with the current edition of the BGA Competitions Rule Book.

The BGA has adopted the Anti-Doping Rules and Procedures of the FAI and of UK Anti-Doping. All competitors in BGA and international rated competitions are subject to these regulations. Further details are in the BGA Competitions Rule Book and on the BGA website.

Mailing Address

Essex Gliding Club

c/o Breckenridge

Smiths Court

Thornwood, Essex

CM16 6BD

The Clubhouse

Ridgewell Airfield

Ashen Road




CO10 8JU

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Contact: Tony Brook

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