Hi Guys and Gals,
I’m sure many of you have already seen the following information from many sources but I would just like to summarise some recent developments in the area of “flight crew licensing”.
In the last couple of years the UK has been experiencing a gradual transition from our previous flight crew licensing over to EASA* regulations.
We have already seen some important changes such as the solo age falling from 16 to 14 two years ago. Originally it was planned that the UK would fully adopt EASA flight crew licensing (EASA FCL) in April 2015. This would mean from April 2015 onwards all glider pilots would need a LAPL (Light Aircraft Pilots License) in order to be considered licensed pilots, where as at the moment a Bronze Badge is sufficient. It would also mean the basic DVLA medical declaration would no longer be valid for solo flight and we would all have to obtain a LAPL medical certificate in order to fly solo (although under 16s already need one of these).
A vote was held this week by EASA on a proposal to delay the introduction of EASA FCL until 2018, allowing time to consider an amendment to the current aircrew legislation that would deregulate general aviation – including gliding – making flying easier and less paperwork-heavy for pilots who only fly recreationally and not commercially.
The vote received a “yes” vote, and the introduction of EASA FCL has been delayed until 2018. This means that there is no longer a requirement for pilots to gain EASA licenses and medicals in 2015 as previously thought. The current gliding structure; with the Bronze Badge acting as the near equivalent of a “gliding license” will stand and the basic DVLA medical declaration will remain valid.
*EASA: The European Aviation Safety Agency – the body of the European Union responsible for regulating aviation within its member states, including the United Kingdom.
The BGA have announced this week that with immediate effect the minimum age for a pilot to apply for a Bronze Badge has been lowered from 16 to 14.
This means that the Bronze Badge is now available to all solo pilots who meet the experience requirements and pass an Oral Test, the Written Tests and the Flying Test.
Previously we stated that the Bronze Written Tests could not be started until a pilot reaches the age of 15, due to the requirement to complete them within a year. This is now no longer the case. The written tests can be stared at any point once the pilot is solo. It should be noted however that the tests will still lapse after one year so you should not start completing the tests until you are sure you can complete the entire Bronze Badge within one year from that point.
The minimum age for the Cross Country (XC) Endorsement still stands at 16. This means although the Bronze Badge can be gained as soon as you are ready, you will still need to be 15 to begin completing the requirements for the XC Endorsement, as these also need to be completed within a year.
The original article from the BGA can be read here:http://old.gliding.co.uk/bgainfo/newsletters/newsletteroct14.pdf
The updated version of this section of the BGA Laws and Rules can be read here:http://old.gliding.co.uk/bgainfo/Lawsandrules/LR2012Part2GliderPilotCertification.pdf
-The EASA changes planned for April 2015 will not happen until 2018 any may change from what is currently planned before then.
-You can now apply for your Bronze Badge at 14 instead of 16, but the age for the XC endorsement still stands at 16.