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