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A B C and Bronze Badges

By Don Beaton

I have recently been approved as an SSA Instructor and given the honor of awarding the A B, C and Bronze badges to qualified glider pilots. To my knowledge, these badges/pins have not been available in this area only because there was no one approved to administer the program. Thanks to the efforts of Linda Pate, Charles Pate and myself we have applied for approval and we have both received the necessary authorizations and materials. Although not particularly difficult to earn, these badges identify significant accomplishments in attaining the Private Glider Pilots License. To earn the badges you must make an application for each award and complete the following requirements:

"A" Badge

--This is the preflight and solo phase. There are twenty-five items, MOST of which are required by Federal Aviation Regulations prior to solo PLUS a solo flight to earn the A badge. Your flight instructor must advise me if all of these items have been complied with before the award can be given.

"B" Badge

--This is the practice phase. The glider pilot must soar for at least 30 minutes from a 2000' tow. No barograph is necessary but an SSA Instructor or an approved observer must verify the time and release altitude. A glider pilot, having earned the "B" Badge may be designated as an observer.

"C" Badge

--This is the pre cross-country phase. Among other things the "C" Badge applicant must soar for at least one hour from a 2000' tow and have at least two hours of solo time. The applicant, accompanied by an SSA Instructor, must demonstrate a simulated off-field landing approach witholt reference to the altimeter- He/she must also perform an accuracy landing, touching down and coming to a complete stop within an area no greater than 500 feet.

"Bronze" Badge

--Cross country readiness phase. The applicant must:

o Complete the ABC training program with he "C" Badge awarded.

o Log at least 15 solo hours in gliders. This time must include 30 solo flights with at least 10 flights flown in a single-place glider if possible.

o Log at least two flights, each having a duration of two hours or more.

o Perform at least three solo spot landings in a glider witnessed by an SSAI. The accuracy and distance parameters established should be based on glider performance data, current winds, runway surface and density altitude. As a guideline, a maximum distance of 400 feet would be acceptable for a Schewizer 2-33 glider.

o Log dual time in gliders with an instructor during which at least two accuracy landings are made without reference to the altimeter to simulate off-field landings.

o Pass a closed book written examination covering cross-country techniques and knowledge. The minimum passing score is 80% and may only be administered by an SSAI. The questions in the closed book exam are taken from the following publications (not all books need to be studied to gain the information in the test):

  • Aeronautical Information Manual--FAA
  • Federal Aviation Regulations Parts6l and 91 --FAA
  • SSA Flight Training Manual--FAA
  • Glider Basics From First Flight to Solo--Knauff
  • Glider Basics From Solo to License--Knauff
  • Off Field Landings--Knauff
  • Transition to Gliders--Knauff
  • Glider Performance Polars Made Easy--Wander
  • Learning to Fly Gliders--Wander
  • The Joy of Soaring--Conway
  • Cross Country Soaring--Reichmann
  • Gliding--Piggott
  • New Soaring Pilot--Welch & Irving
  • Soaring Cross Country--Byars & Holbrook
  • The test currently contains 50 questions but additional questions may be added to cover our local flying area and equipment.

    Don Beaton (620) 662-7261 Hutchinson, KS


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