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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 61-65E (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 4J )
      AC 61-65E Endorsement #1
       Presolo aeronautical knowledge: section 61.87(b).
      I certify that (First name, MI, Last name) has satisfactorily completed the presolo knowledge exam of section 61.87(b) for the (make and model aircraft).
      /s/ [date] J. J. Jones 987654321CFI Exp. 12-31-05
    • Endorsement for safe solo-flight AC61-65E Endorsement #2
      Presolo flight training: section 61.87(c).
      I certify that (First name, MI, Last name) has received the required presolo training in a (make and model aircraft). I have determined he/she has demonstrated the proficiency of section 61.87(d) and is proficient to make solo flights in (make and model aircraft).
      /s/ [date] J. J. Jones 987654321CFI Exp. 12-31-05 
    • Endorsement for aero-tow AC61-65E Endorsement #69
      Launch procedures for operating a glider: section 61.31(j).
      I certify that (First name, MI, Last name), (pilot certificate), (certificate number), has received the required training in a (list the glider make and model) for (list the launch procedure). I have determined that he/she is proficient in (list the launch procedure).
      /s/ [date] J. J. Jones 987654321CFI Exp. 12-31-05
  • Pilots with at least a Private Pilot rating in a different category require:
    • Endorsement for aero-tow AC61-65E Endorsement #69
       Launch procedures for operating a glider: section 61.31(j).
      I certify that (First name, MI, Last name), (pilot certificate), (certificate number), has received the required training in a (list the glider make and model) for (list the launch procedure). I have determined that he/she is proficient in (list the launch procedure).
      /s/ [date] J. J. Jones 987654321CFI Exp. 12-31-05
    • Endorsement for solo when applicant does not hold a category rating
      To act as PIC of an aircraft in solo operations when the pilot does not hold an appropriate category/class rating: section 61.31(d)(3).
      I certify that (First name, MI, Last name) has received the training as required by section 61.31(d)(3) to serve as a PIC in a (category and class of aircraft). I have determined that he/she is prepared to serve as PIC in that (make and model of aircraft).
      /s/ [date] J. J. Jones 987654321CFI Exp. 12-31-05 

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