The Soaring Society of South Africa

Authority to Fly (ATF).


Q: Who is the Recreation Aviation Administration of South Africa (RAASA)?

A: RAASA is the body designated by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) to perform the issuing of recreational and glider pilots licenses and non-type certified aircraft authorities to fly. It also performs oversight functions over Aviation Recreation Organisations (ARO’s), airshows and soon Part 62, 68 and 69 flying schools.

Q: Who is the Soaring Society of South Africa (SSSA)?

A: The SSSA is the recognised ARO for the activity of gliding in South Africa. It is a member based organisation whose function is to develop, support and maintain the sport of gliding in SA.


Q: In which Part of the Civil Aviation Regulations (CARS) can I find the details for Glider Pilot Licenses?

A: Part 68 – Glider Pilot License

Q: Where can I find the requirements to become a glider pilot?

A: The regulations containing the requirements to complete a GPL can be found in Part 68 of the Civil Aviation Regulations.

Q: Where can I do my training for a Glider Pilot License?

A: Only an Aviation Training Organisation (ATO) who is approved by the CAA/RAASA to offer Part 68 training. The SSSA is an approved ATO and all SSSA gliding clubs have the facilities and personnel to complete the training towards a Glider Pilot License.

Q: I am new to gliding, what should I do first?

A: First you have to apply for a Student Glider pilot license. The form to use is RA-GPL 03. It must be completed and signed by the applicant and instructor and the original submitted to RAASA.

Q: Where can I find the application forms?

A: All forms are available on

Q: Must the application documentation be original or can they be copies when I apply for a license?

A: The official documentation which is to be completed by the applicant and instructor must be submitted in original format. Supporting documentation can be copies.

Q: How do I know which supporting documentation and fee to submit with my applications?

A: The details for the supporting documentation are indicated on the application forms. The fees are as per those as indicated in Part 187 of the CARS.

Q: What class medical must I hold to become a glider pilot?

A: At least a class 4 medical must be held, the other acceptable classes of medicals are Class 1 and 2.

Q: Can a General Practitioner (GP) who is not an Aviation Medical Examiner complete my class 4 medical assessment?

A: Yes, the regulation pertaining to a GP completing a class 4 medical can be found in Part 67. The GP must complete the correct form as required and the original submitted to the Aviation Medical Department (AVMED) at CAA, while a certified copy is sent to RAASA and a second certified copy kept with the pilot.

Q: Can I fly solo without a student license

A: No, you must have a valid student license to fly solo.

Q: Can I fly anywhere, anytime with my student license?

A: No, as a student you are still undergoing training, therefore any solo flights must be authorised by an instructor through an approved ATO.

Q: How long is my initial issue of my glider pilot license valid for?

A: The initial GPL is issued at first for one year; thereafter it can be renewed every two years.

Q: Can I renew both my conventional glider and touring motor glider with only a single flight test conducted in a touring motor glider?

A: Yes, the instructor conducting the test must however be instructor rated on both touring motor gliders and conventional gliders.

Q: Can I renew either my conventional glider or touring motor glider with only a single flight test conducted in a conventional glider?

A: No, the aircraft must be suited for gliding and powered flight as in the case of a touring motor glider, therefore a conventional glider will not be suitable for the purpose as the aspects of powered flying cannot be tested.

Q: Do I have to provide a 12 month flying hours’ summary in my logbook when applying for a license renewal?

A: Yes, the summary must be complete in your logbook and a copy supplied when applying for a renewal. The summary must be for each specific category that is being applied for, i.e. TMG, GLD etc.

Q: How do I see a summary of the ratings on my license?

A: When your license is issued a separate page called a “file copy” is also included, this page summarises the categories, ratings and validity dates of your glider license.

Q: Can I fly a Touring Motor Glider (TMG) on a Glider Pilot License?

A: Yes, your license will be issued under the requirements of Part 68. You can also fly a TMG on a Part 62, National Pilot License. The training of the latter will have to be done through an approved Part 62 ATO. The requirements for a TMG license on both a GPL and NPL are contained in Part 62, Subpart 17.

Q: If I fly Touring Motor Gliders does my license have to indicate a type rating?

A: Yes, your license needs to indicate each type you are rated to fly on. If there are types not indicated in your license, bring your logbook with the appropriate endorsement and RAASA will assist to add the ratings.

Q: How do I renew my instructors rating?

A: The SSSA brevet booklet is still in use and a sign off on this booklet will be accepted as renewal of the instructors rating. Alternatively a completed RAASA instructors’ renewal application form will also be sufficient.

Q: How long is an instructors’ rating valid for?

A: The instructors’ rating is valid for two years.

Authority to Fly (ATF).

Q: What is an authority to fly (ATF)?

A: An authority to fly (ATF) is a document issued to non-type certificated aircraft, including certain gliders which, and is similar to that of a certificate of airworthiness use by certified aircraft.

Q: Must a glider have an ATF or Certificate of airworthiness?

A: All gliders who were previously issued with an ATF will continue to be issued with an ATF certificate. New gliders are subject to the registration process of the Civil Aviation Authority and may either be imported as a NTC glider or a certified glider depending on the country of original registration.  A certified glider will require a certificate of airworthiness to be issued.

Q: In which Part of the Civil Aviation Regulations (CARS) can I find the details of an Authority to Fly?

A: Part 24 – Airworthiness standards: Non-type certificated aircraft.

Q: In which Part of the Civil Aviation Regulations (CARS) can I find the details of the maintenance of non-type certificated aircraft?

A: Part 44 – Maintenance rules: Non-type certificated aircraft.

Q: How long is an ATF valid for?

A: An ATF is valid for a period of 356 days from the date of inspection.

Q: Who can conduct an annual inspection?

A: Only an Approved Person (AP) in terms of the Aero Club Approved Person scheme who is appropriately rated on gliders.

Q: I am an AP and aircraft owner; can I conduct my own annual inspection?

A: No, a dual inspection must be carried out by another AP – Part 44.01.6.

Q: My AP still uses the SSSA AP stamp, will this be accepted?

A: No, all SSSA AP had the opportunity to convert their SSSA AP status to the Aero Club AP scheme, the latter being the only accepted scheme for AP’s.

Q: How long after the annual inspection was done must I submit the original application forms?

A: The forms must be submitted within 30 days of the annual inspection having been done – Part 44.01.6.