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Cross Country Flying

At first thought, Cross Country Flying in a glider might seem highly unlikely.  However, in the right hands and conditions, modern gliders are capable of phenomenally fast, long and high flights.

From Portmoak a few flights of over 1,000 km have been done entirely in Scotland, height gains of up to 10,000m are possible as are speeds of up to 150kp/h.  See the epic flights page for more about these amazing flights, and bear in mind that gliders do not fly at night!

Zero to hero

However cross-country flying starts with far less ambitious flights, and there are a series of stepping stones to help you on your way.  Obviously the first requirement is to take up gliding, followed by going solo!  Further steps include:

  • Widening your experience by graduating from the K21 2-seater to the Junior single-seater, and flying in a gradually increasing range of conditions;
  • Gaining your Bronze badge, which is a BGA-specific qualification that is approximately the equivalent of a PPL;
  • Adding your cross-country endorsement - this allows you to fly out of glide range of the airfield after a briefing from an instructor;
  • Gaining your Silver badge, which is internationally recognised and consists of three components:
    • A height gain of at least 1,000m from a low point to a following high point;
    • A flight lasting at least 5 hours from point of release to landing;
    • A flight from point of release to any logged point more than 50km from the point of release, which must be no more than 1% below the point of release.
  • Your Silver badge can be followed with Gold & Diamonds.  Unsurprisingly these are gained with longer and higher flights!
  • The FAI regulate Badge and Diploma flights.
  • Some club members have also flown in other countries, including Argentina, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

Happy flying!

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