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First Solo and the "A" Badge

Lesson Objective

Once you solo, you are well on your way to getting an "A" badge.   Receiving the "A" badge is not automatic.  All Skyline Soaring Club Instructors are certified Soaring Society of America Instructors (SSAI), and can issue you your first "A" badge after solo.

Regulatory Requirement

  • Pre-Solo: None
  • Private Pilot Candidate: None

Completion Standards

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
  • Appropriate Endorsements from Advisory Circular 61-65G (see below)

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

Required Sign-offs from the Instructor Before Solo

  • Pilots with a Student Pilots license require:
    • If the student pilot certificate is paper, then the instructor's signature must be placed on the student pilot certificate. An endorsement must be made for each aircraft to be soloed.
    • If the student pilot certificate is plastic, no endorsement is necessary on the certificate. 
    • Endorsement for the Pre-solo written test (See Lesson 7f )
      AC 61-65G Endorsement A.3
       Pre-solo aeronautical knowledge: section §61.87(b).
      I certify that [First name, MI, Last name] has satisfactorily completed the pre-solo knowledge test of section §61.87(b) for the [make and model (M/M) aircraft].
      /s/ [date] J. J. Jones 987654321CFI Exp. 12-31-19
    • Endorsement for safe solo-flight AC61-65G Endorsement A.4
      Pre-solo flight training: section §61.87(c).
      I certify that [First name, MI, Last name] has received the required pre-solo flight training in a [M/M aircraft]. I have determined [he or she] has demonstrated satisfactory proficiency and safety on the maneuvers and procedures required by § 61.87 in this or similar make and model of aircraft to be flown.
      /s/ [date] J. J. Jones 987654321CFI Exp. 12-31-19 
    • Endorsement for aero-tow AC61-65G Endorsement A.78
      Launch procedures for operating a glider: section §61.31(j).
      I certify that [First name, MI, Last name], [grade of pilot certificate], [certificate number], has received the required training in a [glider M/M] for [launch procedure]. I have determined that [he or she] is proficient in [list the launch procedure].
      /s/ [date] J. J. Jones 987654321CFI Exp. 12-31-19
  • Pilots with at least a Private Pilot rating in a different category require:
    • Endorsement for aero-tow AC61-65G Endorsement A.78
      Launch procedures for operating a glider: section §61.31(j).
      I certify that [First name, MI, Last name], [grade of pilot certificate], [certificate number], has received the required training in a [glider M/M] for [launch procedure]. I have determined that [he or she] is proficient in [list the launch procedure].
      /s/ [date] J. J. Jones 987654321CFI Exp. 12-31-19
    • Endorsement for solo when applicant does not hold a category rating, AC61-65G Endorsement A.71
      To act as pilot in command of an aircraft in solo operations when the pilot does not hold an appropriate category/class rating: § 61.31(d)(3).
      I certify that [First name, MI, Last name] has received the training as required by ยง 61.31(d)(2) to serve as a pilot in command in a [specific category and class of aircraft]. I have determined that [he or she] is prepared to solo that [M/M] aircraft. Limitations: [optional].
      /s/ [date] J. J. Jones 987654321CFI Exp. 12-31-19 

Next Lesson: 8b -- The B Badge
Previous Lesson: 7h -- Checkride Rating Endorsement
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