The BGA Badge System

The British Gliding Association (BGA) has a series of badges which are internationally recognised records of achievement, most of which are for Cross Country flying and Aerobatics

The Bronze badge is part of your Red Card training and is a recognised standard of profficiency, the nearest thing to a license we use. To get this badge you need to be safe in the air and have a working knowledge of air law, navigation and meterology. There is a simple flying test where an instructor will asses you over a set of flights and a small multiple choice test.
Cross Country Endorsement
The Cross Country Endorsement, in conjunction with the Bronze Badge, allow you to go away from the airfield and fly cross country, and lead the way to all the higher badges. To get this you need to have your Bronze, and do a navigation exercise in the motorglider, as well as a few practise field landings at the same time.
The Silver badge has 3 parts:
Distance: A flight of 50km from your home field.
Height: A height gain of 1000m in flight (~3300ft).
Duration: A flight of 5 hours duration.
The Gold badge has two parts:
Distance: A flight of 300km or more from your home field over a declared course.
Height: A height gain of 3000m in flight (~10,000ft).
The Diamond badge has 3 parts:
Goal: A flight of 300km or more over a declared triagular course.
Distance: A flight of 500km or more over a declared course.
Height: A height gain of 9000m in flight (~30,000ft).


The aerobatics badge scheme takes you through all the stages of becoming a fully fledged aerobatic pilot, as you progress through the badges, you are taught each manouver, you practise it and when you are ready, you can fly them yourself and take the badge test.

Standard Badge

The Standard Badge shows you are capable of flying a basic set of figures solo whilst staying safe, these figures are:

Sports Badge

The Sports Badge shows you have achieved a high level of profficiency in basic positive G maneuvers. The additional figures are:

Intermediate Badge

The Intermediate Badge shows you have achieved a high level of profficiency in advanced figures including rolling and negative G maneuvers. The additional figures are:

Unlimited Badge

The Unlimited Badge shows you have achieved a high level of profficiency in all advanced figures including flicks and tail slides. To get this badge you can be asked to fly any of the hundreds of maneuvers in the CIVA aerobatics catalogue, and whilst nowhere near complete, these additional maneuvers include:


Basic Instructor Rating

This is the first rung on the instructional ladder, and allows you to sit in the back and take people up for their first flights. BI's typically do trial flights and the first few flights of your flying career. To become a BI you must have reached a high standard in your personal flying, and be recommended for the course by your Chief Flying Instructor. The course then puts you through your paces, and teaches you how to deal with ab-initio pupils, and some stock exercises and patter for when in the air.

The basic requirements to become a BI are:

Assistant Category Instructor Rating

After being a BI for some time (typically a year) you can take a week long course to move along to the next level. At this stage much more advanced flying is taught. As-Cats can teach more or less anything from launching to landing, and allow the pupil control for any part of the flight.

Full Category Instructor Rating

The next one up from As-Cat, and final instructor rating. With this you can teach whatever you please, and are entitled to act as duty instructor responsible for the whole airfield. Full Cats are very useful for advanced check flights and training, such as instructor training.