EASA Pilot Licensing for gliders, PART-SFCL, became effective on 8th April 2020.
Note: The Bronze certificate is no longer valid as a stand-alone qualification.
IGSA Cross Country endorsement
Before a pilot can attempt cross country flights, where there is a real risk of having to land-out, a pilot must gain a cross-country endorsement. This consist of dual training in field selection and practice field landings. In most countries this is done in motor gliders but can be done in ordinary gliders. A pilot who holds an SPL and an IGSA cross-country endorsement may apply to the IGSA for a Bronze badge, if they wish.
FAI Silver Badge
The FAI Silver badge can be awarded to a pilot who:
- completes a 50k flight in accordance with the FAI Sporting code. It may be a free distance, an out and return or a leg of a longer flight.
- completes 5 hour flight
- achieves a height gain of 1000m
FAI Gold and Diamond Badges
These are awarded on advanced achievements such as 300k, 500k flights or 3000m and 5000m height gains.
The IGSA has three levels of Instructor Ratings. All instructors must hold an EASA FI(S) or FI(S) Restricted rating on the SPL.
- Introductory Flight Pilot (IFP) who can fly passengers on trial flights
- U/T Instructor (under training) – holds an FI(S) Restricted rating and
instructs under supervision of a senior instructor
- Class II Instructor FI(S) – can perform all training apart from 1st solos and 1st cross-country flights.
- Senior Class II FI(S) – can perform all training including 1st solos and 1st cross-country flights.
- Class I Instructor FE(S) – senior instructors who can perform Skills and Proficiency Tests for SPL.
- Senior Class I Instructor FE(S) – Senior instructor who can run instructor courses, perform Assessments of Competency for FI(S), and act as a Senior Examiner for assessment of Examiner ratings.
In addition there is a Chief Flying Instructor (CFI) rating who manages the instructors at a gliding club.
EASA PART-SFCL and the IGSA Operational regulations sets out the standards appropriate to each rating.
Forms to apply for Bronze , Silver, Gold, Diamond and other badges can be found on the forms page.
Legislation came into force in Europe on 8th April 2020 which enables EASA to implement a Gliding Licensing system across Europe, except in the UK, known as SFCL.
The licence is an SPL – Sailplane Pilot License. Two classes of Medical are available for use with the SPL. With a Class 2 medical, the SPL is ICAO compliant and may be used in any country subject to that country’s regulations. With a LAPL medical, the SPL is only valid for use within the EU and EAA excluding the UK. Only AME’s will be able to perform medicals in Ireland. In addition, a Class 2 medical will be required for pilots that receive remuneration (this is not applicable in Ireland as there are no commercial gliding operations).
Pilots must apply to the IAA for an SPL.
All training for SPL and Instructor ratings is provided by the Dublin Gliding Club DTO.
UK SPL transition to EASA SPL
Holders of a UK SPL can transition to an EASA SPL by completing two exams with the IAA in Air Law and Human Performance, doing an English Language Proficiency test, a LAPL medical with an Irish AME, and an SPL flying skills test (3 flights or 30 minutes). Further information from the Irish Designated Training Organisation, the Leinster Gliding Centre firstname.lastname@example.org
A lot of work took place with EASA and the European Gliding Union culminating in centralising gliding related rules into a single Sailplane Rule Book which be accessed on the EASA Web site at https://www.easa.euron ipa.eu/sites/default/files/dfu/Sailplane%20Rule%20Book.pdf.