Help. Obtaining a UK Gliding License on the basis of my American License
Chris has outlined the issues very well.
The biggest problem is the medical. Whilst there is no legal requirement
for a medical to fly gliders in the UK, the BGA in its wisdom have laid
down medical conditions that revolve around the pilots own GP (a PPL
medical is accepted)
Our insurers now accept these as conditions of flight insurance policies
and have refused to pay out when pilots have let the medical lapse and had
In the past, I have spoken to insurance agents about this and the advice
was, "If you have US medicals then talk to the insurers of the club you
intend to fly at and provide details of your medical, they may accept
these and allow you to fly the clubs gliders."
(Get confirmation is writing)
We only have two or three under writers in the UK so it should not be a
major problem and could save money/time/frustration in the long run.
At 15:33 08 July 2009, Chris Reed wrote:
We don't have a licensing system, thus your problem.
We did invent something with the licence label, but it was just to
satisfy (from memory) the French authorities. It's issued by the BGA,
and doesn't meet the formal requirements of the various aviation
Licensing will be introduced in the next few years, but no-one knows
whether that will change the current system. You already know what that
is, but for other potential visitors it's quite simple:
a. Turn up at gliding club.
b. Talk to instructor, show log book, possibly show gliding
certificates, show copy of your medical (for UK pilots, this is just a
general practitioner doctor's certification that you are fit to drive a
c. Undertake whatever check flights the club requires (usually at least
one launch if you want to fly the club's gliders).
d. Go fly on your own.
Your biggest complication might be the medical. If you have a US PPL,
then your medical should be fine. I believe that for a US glider pilot
licence you have general practitioner doctor's certification as well, so
ideally someone at the BGA would be prepared to endorse this as
equivalent to the UK certification.
Any of you folks from across the Pond care to help out?
I'm finding myself spending more time in the UK lately, including
weekends. I've flown with a number of different gliding clubs and
thoroughly enjoyed myself... so much so that I'm looking in to what
would take to obtain a UK Gliding License. I contacted the BGA, but
I was basically told to poke around the BGA Website to find the
forms. Well, after 15 mintues of rooting around trying to figure out
what applies and what doesn't in my situation, I've given up.
Can anyone simplify this for me? Can I simply convert my US ratings
(commercial glider with flight instructor, 2,000 hours, 1,000K
diplome, etc.) to a UK license or do I need to start from scratch?
Any help appreciated.
Erik Mann (LS8-18 P3)