1.  General It is a personal responsibility of pilots to be fit for flight. Especially to recognise the adverse effects of short term illness, alcohol, drugs, or fatigue.


It is an offence to fly with more than 20mg/100ml of blood alcohol; that is far less than the level permitted to private road drivers. Following recovery from serious illness or accident, future fitness to fly will require review.


Those pilots who are exercising NPPL or Part-FCL licence privileges are reminded of the need to ensure that they have demonstrated or declared medical fitness in accordance with the relevant legislation.


The BGA accepts differing levels of fitness matched to various risk exposures as stated below.

Photocopies of medical documentation of members, including driving licences, should be obtained and retained by clubs. Limitations applied to any other aviation license also apply to gliding unless otherwise authorised.


2. Pre-solo pilots - medical requirements before first solo

There are no specific requirements and almost anyone can safely be taken into the air, but club membership application forms should as a minimum require the applicant to ‘declare, in confidence, to their instructor, any medical condition that might adversely affect the flight’.


3. Acceptable evidence of fitness for pilots of gliders; solo flight or with another pilot


•   A driving licence issued by an EU nation (or the UK or the Crown dependencies)

•   For those under the age of 25, a self-declaration to DVLA group 1 standard to be held by the club (Annex A).

•  The CAA national private pilot medical declaration • A GP endorsed NPPL medical (where held with remaining validity based on age)

•  For visitors, any ICAO or non-ICAO medical document valid for gliding in their own country is acceptable but restricted to flight solo or with another pilot. Foreign (non EU) certificates are not accepted for permanent UK residents.

•  Any of the medical authorisations listed in para 4.


4. Medical Requirements for Instructors and pilots authorised to carry inexperienced passengers


•  A GP endorsed BGA medical declaration (Annex B). No renewal is required until age 45, then five yearly renewal until 65, then annual renewal.

• An EASA Class 1, 2 or LAPL, or an ICAO medical certificate that would be recognised by the UK CAA.

• An unrestricted GP endorsed NPPL medical (where held with remaining validity based on age)

• An Air Cadet gliding medical certificate or a NATO military aircrew employment standard.


5. Older or less fit instructors and pilots authorised to carry inexperienced passengers If an instructor is aged 75 or over, or is younger or cannot comply with paragraph 4 (above), and providing that the instructor can meet a requirement of Para 3, that instructor may continue as a BGA Restricted Instructor (undertaking ground supervision and instructing advanced pupils competent to recover the aircraft) subject to the consent of their Senior Regional Examiner. Over 75 year old instructors and pilots authorised to carry inexperienced passengers may continue without restriction provided that they hold an EASA medical certificate or an ICAO certificate that would be recognised by the UK CAA.


6. Competition pilots

Special provisions apply to competition pilots who come under the jurisdiction of the World Anti-Doping Agency. International competition pilots may be subject to testing at any time and some ‘recreational drugs’ may be detectable for a very long time after use. Some energy drinks or food supplements may contain prohibited substances. Other competition pilots may be subject to testing during competitions.


7. Disabled Pilots and those with specified medical conditions.

It is the policy of the BGA to encourage disabled pilots to fly within the limits of their disability and subject only to the limits of public safety. However these pilots will require individual consideration and perhaps aircraft modification. Further notes relating to specific medical conditions are on the CAA web site. Guidance concerning the driving licence standards is on the DVLA web site. Advice on specific problems can be obtained by clubs, general practitioners or individual pilots from a BGA medical adviser through the BGA office. The CAA does not allow pilots who are prescribed medication for psychiatric conditions to self- declare their fitness to fly – please contact a BGA medical Advisor for further advice.