Glider licenses are issued by the
Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) and in that regard is similar to that issued to power pilots or
balloon pilots. The FAA maintains a list of
frequently asked questions for new pilots and requirements for pilot
licensing are included in
Part 61 of the Federal Aviation Regulations. The basic requirements are as
Student pilots may solo at a minimum age of 14 with a student certificate
endorsed for solo flight at the discretion of a FAA-Certified Flight Instructor
for Gliders (CFIG). Generally, 30 to 40 flights with a CFIG are required to
solo. This is roughly equivalent to 10-12 hours of flight time and is dependent
upon the progress of the student.
After solo, student pilots may qualify as a Private Pilot-Glider provided they:
- Are at least 16 years of age; and
- Have logged at least 10 hours of flight time in a glider and that flight
time must include at least 20 total glider flights, and
- Have 2 hours of solo flight time in a glider, and
- Have passed the FAA written examination; and
- Have passed the flight exam with a FAA Examiner.
Commercial Pilots-Glider must be at least 18-years of age, pass a written FAA
examination, hold a Private Pilot license with 25 hours of flight time in
gliders and 100 glider flights as pilot-in-command, or a total of 200 hours of
flight time in heavier-than-air aircraft including 20 glider flights as
pilot-in-command, 3 hours or ten flights training in a glider, and five solo
flights in a glider and pass a flight test.
Certified Flight Instructors-Glider
Certified Flight Instructors-Glider must hold a commercial rating, pass a
written and flight test and have an endorsement from a qualified instructor of
aeronautical knowledge and flight of proficiency.
Additional Pilot Rating
Holders of a valid FAA Power plane license with 40 hours as pilot-in-command
need a minimum of 10 solo flights to qualify to take the glider flight test. No
written exam is required to add a glider rating to a power license. In all
cases, refer to the Federal Aviation Regulations for details on pilot licensing.