MGA Glider proficiencies - rating framework

The MGA RC Glider training framework was established so that aspirant RC glider pilots can achieve a Solo proficiency as verification that a satisfactory level of skill has been achieved by the RC pilot, permitting them to fly on their own, and as per SAMAA Insurance requirements.

As this assessment of a level of RC pilot skill is a qualitative measure , it is necessary that an MGA authorised and independent instructor ensures that the pupil has achieved the required level of skill to achieve the relevent rating.

  • No proficiency test should be conducted by an Instructor who has instructed the Pilot under test
  • Only the MGA Committee is authorised to appoint RC Glider Instructors upon written request from a club
  • Proficiency and achievement application sheets are available from the MGA
  • These application sheets are designed to record the achievements that the Pilot has completed, and need to be independently witnessed
  • Rating tests must be arranged and conducted in a formal manner, with the appropriately approved persons present at the tests
  • Rating test results must be submitted to the MGA together with the evaluating individual(s)recommendation
  • An Instructor rating may only be applied for after the relevant Gold achievement badge has been achieved
  • The Club Committee may recommend any RC Glider Gold rated glider pilot to the MGA for Instructor proficiency consideration
  • It remains the sole discretion of the MGA Training Committee’s to award Instructor status

  • Already competant RC Glider pilots are not expected to complete the Solo test
  • The retrospective application is intended to provide Solo status to already competant glider pilots who have been flying regularly for years, and who in the view of their club's safety committee, are adequately RC Glider experienced
  • The Club Committee may recommend any competant RC glider pilot to the MGA for retrospective Solo consideration
  • It remains the sole discretion of the MGA Training Committee’s to award Solo status
  • All applications must be forwarded in writing to the MGA using the appropriate channels
  • The MGA will inform SAMAA of the relevant proficiency/achievement, but is not responsible for ensuring that the SAMAA membership card is updated/produced
  • All RC Glider rating applications will be recorded and kept in a central data base at the SAMAA offices
  • As and when your SAMAA Cards are re-issued they should reflect the Pilot’s gliding proficiency
  • Remember that Glider Solo does not mean you are Solo for other types of aircraft, nor does holding a Solo badge for any other types of RC aircraft automatically imply you are Solo for RC gliders (please refer to the Cross Skills section below)
  • A scroll will be issued to all successful applicants and can be displayed in conjunction with the relevant Achievement Badges.
  • The proficiency scrolls should be displayed above the gliding discipline round-all badge
According to the MGA, an Instructor rating does not reflect a proficiency level; it only suggests that the individual is adequately able to teach others to fly RC Gliders and/or is capable of independently assessing the level of skill of a RC Glider Pilot. Any Instructor applicant must first have achieved the Gold Achievement Badge in the relevant MGA discipline.
Applications for this rating must be submitted by the applicants club committtee in writing to the MGA, detailing the individuals’ potential to be a Glider Instructor. The MGA training committee will evaluate all applications on a case-by-case basis and may decide whether to award the rating.  In general all RC Glider instructors should be able to comply with:
  • Possibly the best quality any Instructor must have, is the desire to teach others how to fly
  • Instructors must be able to teach a beginner how to fly their model in a variety of conditions and ensure that safety is maintained at all times
  • Instructors must be able to take a beginner from assisted flights all the way through to preparing the Pupil pilot for the Solo test (the requirements of Solo & other achievement badges are available from the MGA)
  • Instructors will be required to teach a beginner all aspects of the safety code and explain the importance of frequency control
  • Instructors should have a good understanding of how to trim a model to fly “hands off” and be able to teach this to beginners
  • Instructors should be able to demonstrate how the various control actions operate and how they affect a model in flight
  • Instructors should be able to set up a model before its first flight and be able to recognize if the model is unsafe, warped or out of trim
  • Instructors must be able to teach a beginner how to test radio equipment and to carry out range checks
In addition, specific RC Glider disciplines also requires of the instructor: 
  • For thermal RC Gliding, the Instructor must be able to teach a Pupil all aspects of bungy, hand tow & winch operation and how to set it out, particularly when they are used in conjunction with others lines at competitions
  • Thermal RC Gliding also requires the Instructor to possess a good understanding of how thermals work and be able to recognize when their model encounters one and be able to pass this knowledge on to others. The Instructor must also be able to recognize sink and how to react when flying through these areas
  • Electric assisted RC Gliding requires the Instructor to be capable of communicating all aspects of power management and safety to pupils 
Promotion and development of RC Gliding within SA is a key focus area for the MGA, but it is recognised that not every club has access to RC Glider Instructors. To compensate for this, the following equivalence table is suggested as a minimum standard for onsite instruction/application purposes:
  • All Student pilots that have not yet achieved their Solo rating, should always be accompanied by at least a Bronze rated pilot in that discipline
  • The equivalent independent assessors above are based on MGA awarded proficiencies in the specific discpline only
  • Up to the Silver badge assessment level, either an Instructor or the identified equivalent independent assessors can sign off the application - for the Gold application, the MGA will only accept an suitable Instructor's assessment for the application
The MGA is very proud of our sporting achievements; SA has always been represented with honour internationally by our RC Glider Pilots. It is recognised that to compete at this highest level within a discipline inherently implies that a reasonable standard of proficiency has been achieved. On written application by the pilot/club the following rating equivalence will be considered by the MGA:
The MGA will treat each "competitive equivalence" application on a case-by-case basis.
CROSS SKILLS (new from 2011)
The MGA recognises that a certain inherent level of skill from other disciplines would enable an RC pilot to safely fly an RC Glider under similar circumstances and without the need for “assistance”. Note that this does NOT provide grounds for application for an MGA badge.
Due to the safety hazards of winch operation & hand tow, the MGA views that NO other RC discipline provides sufficient safety background or understanding, and a Solo rating remains the minimum proficiency level required to fly thermal RC gliders.
There are reasonable similarities between power fixed-wing and electric gliding, bar the potential differences between ROG/hand launch. The MGA therefore recognises that any SAMAA fixed wing proficiency (SOLO or greater) would be sufficient for piloting an electric RC glider without the need for assistance. As always, site access & local rules may require further qualification for use of the local field by the relevant or associated Club(s).

There are also reasonable simialrities between power fixed-wing and RC Slope Soaring; such that the MGA recognises SOLO and above SAMAA fixed-wing badges as being sufficient to participate in RC Slope Flying without assistance. Please be advised that due to ecological and site control factors, further qualification may be required for local Slope site use by the relevant or associated Slope Club(s).
 Fly Safely
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