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The SSA ABC Training Program was developed at the prompting of Society members to have a standard of training available. It is designed to provide a basic approach to flying for the student glider pilot as well as to give the accomplished power pilots the necessary points unique to soaring so that the transition may be made safely.

This program is administered by designated SSA Instructors who must have 50 hours of glider time with 100 flights and hold a current CFI-Glider.

The SSA Instructor is responsible for ascertaining that the training requirements have been met. The appropriate pins and blue cards are awarded to the students who achieve the level indicated by A, B, C, and Bronze, each designated to develop skills and experience necessary for future safe flight and FAI Badge attempts.


A Badge Requirements
Preflight Phase

Applicant Demonstrates Knowledge of:

  • Sailplane Nomenclature
  • Sailplane Handling Procedures
  • Sailplane Pre-flight Check
  • Airport Rules and Federal Aviation Regulations
  • Tow Equipment, Signals, and Procedures
  • Hook-up of Towline
  • Launch Signals
  • Pilot Responsibilities

Applicant Possesses:

  • Valid FAA Pilot Certificate
  • Pilot Logbook or Suitable Permanent Record

Presolo Phase

Applicant Has Completed the Following Minimum Flight Training Program:

  • Familiarization Flight
  • Cockpit Check Procedure
  • Effects of Controls - Ground and Flight
  • Takeoff Procedures - Normal and Crosswind
  • Flight During Tow
  • Straight Gliding Flight
  • Shallow Turns
  • Circuit Procedures and Landing Patterns
  • Landing Procedures - Normal, Downwind, and Crosswind
  • Moderate and Steep Turns Up to 720 Degrees in Both Directions
  • Stall Recognition and Recovery
  • Conditions of Spin Entry and Recovery
  • Effective Use of Spoilers/Flaps/Slips
  • Emergency Procedures
  • Oral Examination on Federal Aviation Regulations
  • Solo Flight


B Badge Requirements
Practice Phase

Applicant Demonstrates:

  • Soaring ability by a solo flight of at least 30 minutes duration after release from a 2,000-foot tow (add 1 1/2 minutes per 100 foot tow altitude above 2,000 feet).


C Badge Requirements
Pre Cross-country Phase

Applicant Has Completed the Following Flight Training:

  • Dual Soaring Practice, including instruction in techniques for soaring thermals, ridge soaring, and wave (simulated flight and/or ground instruction may be used when suitable conditions do not exist).
  • Has Knowledge of:
    • Cross-country Procedures
    • Sailplane Assembly, Disassembly, and Retrieves
    • Hazards of Cross-country Flying
  • Demonstrates Soaring Ability by Solo Flight of at Least 60 Minutes Duration After Release From 2,000 Foot Tow (add 1 1/2 minutes per 100 foot of tow above 2,000 feet).
  • While Accompanied by an SSA Instructor, Demonstrate the Following:
    • Make a Simulated Off-field Landing From the Approach Without Reference to the Altimeter
    • Perform an Accuracy Landing From the Approach, Touching Down and Coming to a Complete Stop Within an Area No Greater Than 500 Feet in Length.


Bronze Badge Requirements
Cross-Country Readiness

Applicant Must:

  • Complete the ABC Training Program with the C Badge Awarded.
  • 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.
  • Log at Least 2 Flights, Each Having Duration of Two Hours or More.
  • Perform at Least 3 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 Schweizer 2-33 Glider.
  • Log Dual Time in Gliders with an Instructor during which at Least 2 Accuracy Landings are Made without Reference to the Altimeter to Simulate Off-field Landings.
  • Pass a Closed Book Written Examination Covering Cross-country Techniques and Knowledge. The Minimum Passing Score is 80%. This Examination is Administered Only by an SSAI.
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