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.
solo, student pilots may qualify as a Private Pilot-Glider provided
Are at least 16 years of
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
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
Certified Flight Instructors-Glider
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.
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.
Foreign Glider Pilot
Licensing in US
glider pilots may still receive reciprocal privileges in the United
States. However, the necessary steps for receiving these documents have
changed as a result of the attacks of September 11th. New security
protocols are in place and the processing system has been changed to
include direct verification of home country privileges as well as
submitting the name of the pilot to law enforcement for verification of
Please note: The general process may take up to 60
days, or even longer. However, closely following the steps indicated below
will help reduce the length of time necessary to complete the
Go to the Federal Aviations Administrationís web site.
there, scroll down the page to the link that says 'Verification of
Authenticity of Foreign License, Rating, and Medical Certification.'
There you will find complete instructions as well as links to the
forms that must be completed and faxed to the Airman Registry Office in
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Follow this link, FSDO, to another Federal
Aviation Administration web site that lists all the available Flight
Standards District Offices (FSDO). You will need to pick an office in
which to appear in person for verification of your identification and
foreign airmen documentation. The FSDO that you pick will be requested on
the form that you submit to the FAA in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
will be most helpful and less time consuming if you provide the FAA with
complete information on how to contact the organization or government
entity that issued your glider license.
If you have any questions
please feel free to contact the Soaring Society of America at any time. You may send usa
fax, e-mail or call by phone.