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British Gliding Team

Scholarships & Other Opportunities

Back to Juniors Page

There are a wide range of scholarships and other opportunities available to younger fliers to help you to learn to fly and advance your flying.The following describes some of the main opportunities and sources of funding. The information on this page is based on an article by Andy Perkins in Sailplane & Gliding, December 2006- January 2007, which also includes a list of powered flying opportunities. To obtain back issues, see the Sailplane & Gliding web site.

* for young people (16-25 years) ; ** for all ages ; ***for women only

Gliding Scholarships pre-solo

Post-solo and skills development

Upward Bound Trust* – has the specific aim of sending 16 to 21 year olds solo. Costs to solo vary depending on your circumstances. Disadvantaged youths who can demonstrate a desire to learn have previously been trained for no cost, with maximum costs to all limited to very affordable levels. All the Upward Bound asks in return is dedication in terms of help running the airfield and keeping the launch rate moving! Contact: Dave Bramwell on 07887 623529.

Royal Navy Gliding Scholarships* – These Awards cover the full cost of a gliding course (about eight days), food and accommodation in the Officers' Mess at the appropriate Naval Air Station, or Naval Establishment, and all travel costs. Held at Lee-on-Solent, Yeovilton and Culdrose.

Cadetships* – Most clubs around the country offer reduced rates to students learning to glide in exchange for help around the club and the operation. Availability is country wide. These range from free membership to free launches and/or soaring fees in return for a day of work. If the club near you does not offer such a scheme why not see if you can set it up yourself? The majority of glider pilots realise that for gliding to survive and grow, young members must be encouraged. Details of clubs in the Find-a-Club section.

Air Cadets* – The Air Cadets offer several different levels of training for 13 to 20 year olds; training in Grob Tutors, Vikings or the Grob 109b motorglider. These can take you from a novice all the way to becoming an instructor. For example, courses of 40 launches in a Viking or 8hrs in a Vigilant are available. Cadets have the opportunity of gliding camps in the summer, which can include rides in operational aircraft with the RAF. Some are even lucky enough to have a trip in a fast jet!

Royal Aeronautical Society Scholarships* – Once again, the Royal Aeronautical Society Centennial Scholarship Fund has generously provided funding for us to offer up to 10 flying scholarships in 2015. The scholarships are available to young glider pilots, both pre- and post-solo.  To apply, you must be between 14 and 21 years of age. Applications must be made to the BGA by 30 April 2015. Full details, including an application form are on the JuniorGliding web site.

The Girls Venture Corps Air Cadets*** - Scholarships for gliding via Ducat-Amos Gliding Scholarships. Last year six grants were awarded for 12-20 year olds. These comprised a weekend course at a local gliding club.

GAPAN* In 2014, the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators (GAPAN) are making five gliding scholarships available. The scholarships are available to help any pilot (or prospective pilot) aged 14 or over (on 1st June), who might otherwise not have the necessary resources, to achieve their first solo. Training can be carried out at any BGA Junior Gliding Centre between 1 July and 31 August 2013. The scholarships provide for a period of membership and 20 winch launches which could take a candidate to at least first solo. The scholarship funding does not cover the cost of travelling to London for interview or travel and subsistence costs during training.  Closing date for receipt of applications is 12 March 2014 and interviews will be held in London on 2 May 2014. Full details are on the GAPAN web site.

Aim Higher* - The BGA, in association with Marsh Insurance, has launched the Aim Higher programme. This is designed to help young pilots (aged under 26 at time of application) to improve their soaring skills and airmanship through coaching. As part of the initiative, we have a number of coaching bursaries available, each of a few hundred pounds.. These can be used at any BGA club in any appropriate and creative way to improve an individual young pilot's skills and aid progress towards one or more goals. If you would like to apply for one of these bursaries, please write to Mike Fox and Alison Randle (vi a EMail to describing your age, aims in gliding, experience to date, where you glide and explaining why you are worthy of the money. There is no application form and applications must be received by 11 August 2012.  At year end, recipients will need to write a short thank you describing what the programme has helped them with. This may appear in S&G and may be used by Marsh.

Philip Wills Memorial Fund** (max age 30) - up to 20 scholarships, each worth up to £500, aimed at helping post-solo development in younger pilots, up to age 30. Full details are on the PWMF web page.

Caroline Trust** – Founded in 1999, The Caroline Trust awards bursaries to young people, generally under the age of 18 years old, and to disabled people of any age who want to try gliding. In 2006, 26 bursaries were awarded – 14 to cadets to allow them to go solo and 2 to disabled pilots. and

BGA Courses* – The BGA usually runs these courses for UK pilots every year, involving personal tuition. Briefings give a good insight into techniques for soaring and cross-country training for all age groups and abilities. Junior pilots (under 26) have generally been eligible for a saving of 50 per cent on soaring fees and in previous years an entire “young person’s soaring course” has been run at no charge to individuals. Course fees for Soaring and Instructor courses are 50% of full fee for Junior pilots. Keep an eye on for 2012 details

The Air League* - The Air League Educational Trust generously provides a number of Gliding Scholarships each year to help young people develop their gliding skills. Applications are now being accepted for 2014 scholarships and these must be received by the Air League by 22 February 2014. These are open to post-solo pilots, aged from 16 to 25, and are intended to help younger pilots widen their gliding experience. This year, awards are available covering basic aerobatic training, cross-country training and SLMG NPPL training. Full information and application forms are available on the Air League web site.

Royal Aero Club Trust* - The RAeC Trust annually awards bursaries to young pilots, aged 16-21, who have already reached solo standard to enable them to achieve greater competence in their particular air sport.  Bursaries of up to £1500 are available to help recipients advance from one recognized level of air sport to the next (for example, gain your bronze badge or XC endorsement).  Applications for 2015 bursaries in respect of gliding have to be endorsed by the BGA.  These need to be received at the BGA office 10 March 2015. Full details are on the RAeC Trust web site. Additionally, in 2015, the Trust is offering Follow-On bursaries available to previous recipients of Trust bursaries to enable well qualified air sports persons enter international or national competitions or other prestigious events. Follow-on bursaries are open to applicants up to 24 years old at time of application.

Air Cadet Scholarships* - The GAPAN scholarship scheme for Air Cadets has been extended for 2011 to include any junior pilot who first soloed during 2011. These provide £200 towards post-solo flying. See the Junior Gliding site for details.

Competition and Advanced Training

Junior Nationals* – These offer a tremendous opportunity for pilots under the age of 26 to gain competition experience (and have a great time!). The flying skills attained, personal life training and the friends made here are second to none. To become a part of the “Juniors” (as they are more commonly known) all you have to be is 16 to 25 years old with a Silver Badge or higher qualification. The Junior Nationals competition is held each year and owes its success to the dedication of many people. Through their relentless effort, generous sponsors and support from one donor in particular, last year each pilot received up to five launches and the entry fee, thus allowing young pilots of all backgrounds the opportunity to compete virtually for free! The success of junior pilots speaks for itself: UK pilots have won three World Junior Championships and have gone on to take medals at World and European level. So whether your ambitions are partying solidly or winning the worlds, this is the place to start. Haven’t got Silver yet? Don’t worry; you can still take part with a free place in the BGA two-seater scheme. The 2015 championship will be at Aston Down from 22-30 August and applications should be made by 30 April. Follow this link for more details and online entry.

Northern Regionals. Yorkshire GC is once again offering juniors 3 free, fully funded places in the 2014 Northern Regional Championships, which run from 26th July to 3rd August. Free means free entry and the first 5 aerotows. Applications should be made by emailing with the words ‘Free Junior Place’ in the title. The closing date for applications is Friday 18th April. Selection will be by ballot if oversubscribed and winners will be informed by Monday 21st April. Thanks to YGC for this generous offer.

Barron Hilton Cup** – (by invitation only) For pilots who achieve the greatest accolades possible such as world records or extraordinary flights there is an opportunity of competing in the Barron Hilton Cup. The prize offered is an invitation for the pilot to participate in the flying camp at the Flying M Ranch at the edge of the Sierra Nevada, with airfares provided from Honolulu to the ranch and return, and accommodation at the ranch for pilot and accompanying person.



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