What Happens After I Go Solo?

Table of Contents

Lasham Post Solo Training

After solo, you are not simply abandoned to learn for yourself, when you first go solo you are checked by an instructor each day before you fly solo. Lasham runs a training card system, with each card giving you more freedom with your flying.

White Card

The white card is a revision of the things you did before going solo, just to make sure you are still safe to fly alone. _ The white card consists of:

  • Stall and Spin revision
  • Circuit planning and Landings revision
  • Aerotow and Winch revision
  • Thermal Soaring
  • 20 flights (or 5 hours) Solo Flying
  • Daily inspections
  • Launch-point assist

Once you get this card, you can fly solo on any White Sock day without a check flight as long as you are current. _

Red Card

The red card introduces more advanced flying, with a view towards getting your Bronze Badge and Cross Country Endorsement. You will learn to handle a glider in more difficult conditions, how to navigate in the air and how to land in fields. To do this we use Lashams motor glider, so we can teach navigation without waiting for thermic weather. _ The red card consists of:

  • Bronze ‘C’ requirements (see section below)
  • Further Circuit planning and Landing revision
  • Further Aerotow and Winch revision
  • Further Stall and Spin revision
  • Efficient Thermal Soaring
  • Cross-Country Endorsement requirements (see section below)
  • Red Card flying test

The red card allows you to fly on Red Sock days without a check flight as long as you are current. _

Yellow Card

The yellow card polishes up your flying, and works on your cross country technique, with a view towards getting your Silver Badge. _ The yellow card consists of:

  • Strong Wind flying
  • A dual cross country
  • 100 flights (or 30 hours) Solo Flying
  • Silver Badge requirements (see section below)
  • Yellow Card flying test

The yellow card allows you to fly on any day without a check flight as long as you are current. _

The 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

Bronze

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. _ The Bronze badge consists of:

  • Soaring Flights: 2 flights or either half an hour of a winch or 1 hour of aerotow.
  • Flying Tests: At least 3 flights with a full cat instructor demonstrating stall and spin recoveries and general accurate flying.
  • Field Landings: Demonstration of the ability to land into at least two fields safely.
  • Ground Test: A short written paper to demonstrate knowledge of the rules of the air, principles of flight and other subjects.
  • Solo Flying: Either 50 flights or 20 hours solo.

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 Cross Country Endorsement consists of:

  • Soaring Flights: A flight of 1 hour and a flight of 2 hours.
  • Field Selection: Demonsrtation of the ability to pick field which are suitable to land in.
  • Field Landings: Demonstration of the ability to land into at least two fields safely.
  • Navigation: Demonstration of the ability to navigate around a predefined task of at least 100km.

Silver

The Silver badge is an important landmark for all glider pilots. With the Silver badge, you are able to fly without checks on any day, provided you are current. It is also the minimum requirement for getting a competition license and entering gliding competitions. 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.

Gold

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).

Diamond

The Diamond badge has 3 parts:

  • Goal: A flight of 300km or more over a declared triangular course.
  • Distance: A flight of 500km or more over a declared course.
  • Height: A height gain of 5000m in flight (~16,000ft).

Aerobatics

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:

  • 45 Degree Diving Line
  • 45 Degree Climbing Line
  • Loop
  • Wingover (Chandelle)
  • 360 Errect Turn
  • One Turn Positive G Spin
  • Climing Turn

Sports Badge

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

  • Humpty Bump
  • Quarter Clover
  • Stall Turn

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:

  • 360 Degree Inverted Turn
  • Slow Roll
  • Half Roll Inverted
  • Half Roll Errect
  • Cuban Eight
  • Half Cuban
  • Half Reverse Cuban
  • Split S

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:

  • 360 Rolling Turn
  • Tailslides
  • Flicks
  • Inverted spins

Instruction

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:

  • Full Silver badge
  • 50 hours P1 minimum
  • Recommendation by club CFI
  • BGA Approved Basic Instructor’s course
  • CFI check flight

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.