Slope Grading System

Requirements for the Slope grading system.

Please keep note that at all times we are only trying to prove the capability of the pilot concerned and that this is not essentially an aerobatics “ test ” as per competition, but rather a test of capabilities. Can he/she do the manoeuvre or can they not. It’s that simple.

You will get only one attempt at a grade per day as this a test of your abilities and not a practise session, all moves must be done in sequence as per badge requirement. Landing patterns are not a necessity as per agreement with Lionel Brink as this only introduces the spectre of damage to gliders.

One landing is sufficient and the score carries for each stage.

1. One page per achievement badge, even though they are all listed on the same page, so please fill out each one individually and submit as individual documents.

2. A single instructor or two higher badges combined may test a pilot of lower badge.

3. Instructor grading requires a gold rating first off. Then a request from club committee for instructor rating for the individual/s. Note that this is not about flying skills, but more about teaching/Instructor skills and needs to be seen in that light



Pilots must perform the schedule of manoeuvres in the order listed, to be judged by at least two higher Gull holder or by at least one competent judge, who will score each manoeuvre out of 10

· To pass a grade, an overall average of 5 per manoeuvre must be achieved, subject to a minimum of 3 on any one manoeuvre.

· As many attempts may be made on any one outing as the pilot wishes and/or his judges will allow, but the schedule must be completed in the correct, unbroken sequence

· The Diamond `A’ grade must be achieved flying an aircraft designed and built by the pilot, flying the Diamond schedule but he must score an average of 6 per manoeuvre with a sub-minimum of 4 for any one manoeuvre. He must also submit a written article on his aircraft’s design and development and must place in the first three in the Expert Class in a National Slope Aerobatic Championship

· All manoeuvres are described in the Aerobatic Contest Rules, with the exception of the inverted rectangle, which is the same as the landing pattern but starts and ends with half-rolls, which are part of the manoeuvre, and without the loss of height



The training framework have been established so that glider pilots can apply for their Solo proficiency as verification that a satisfactory level of skill has been achieved by the pupil pilot, to permit them to fly on their own, and as per SAMAA Insurance requirements.

As the assessment of a level of skill is the only qualitative measure for gliding achievements, it is necessary that a suitably authorised instructor is delegated responsibility by the MGA to ensure that the pupil has the required level of skill to achieve the Solo criteria.



· No proficiency test may be conducted by an Instructor who has instructed the Pilot under test.

· Only the MGA Committee is authorised to appoint Instructors upon written request from a club



· Proficiency and achievement application sheets are attached. The sheets are designed to record the achievements that the Pilot has completed, and need to be independently witnessed.

· Solo tests must be arranged and conducted in a formal manner, with only the appropriately approved persons present at the tests

· Solo test results must be submitted to the MGA together with the Instructor’s recommendation

· An Instructor rating should only be applied for after the relevant Gold achievement badge has been achieved.

· The Club Committee may recommend a glider pilot to the MGA for Instructor proficiency consideration. It sole discretion of the MGA Training Committee’s to award Instructor status & the Pilot may be requested to attend a panel interview prior to approval



· Pilots who have been flying for some time will not be required to complete the Solo test.

· A “Grandfather Clause” is provided whereby glider pilots who have been flying regularly for years, or who have an appropriate achievement badge, and who in the view of the club safety committee, are adequately experienced, will be awarded Solo status upon written application to the MGA, retrospectively.

· All prospective Instructors are to apply to the MGA, with their club recommendation.


· All written applications must be sent to the MGA office. The MGA will inform SAMAA of the relevant proficiency/achievement.

· All 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 mean you are Solo for gliders.

· A scroll will be issued to all successful applicants and can be displayed in

conjunction with the relevant Achievement Badges. The proficiency scrolls must be displayed above the gliding discipline round-all badge.

· Instructors must have a good understanding of how to trim a model to fly “hands off” and be able to teach this to beginners.

· Instructors must be able to demonstrate how the various control actions operate and how they affect a model in flight.

· Instructors must 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.


The Instructor rating does not reflect a proficiency level, but it does suggest that the individual is a reasonably capable pilot and is able to adequately teach others to fly sufficiently safely. An Instructor applicant must first have achieved the Gold Achievement Badge as a minimum.

Applications for this grade must be submitted by the applicants club in writing to the MGA, detailing the individuals’ potential to be a Glider Instructor. The MGA training committee will evaluate the application and may decide whether to award the rating.

The applicant may be invited to attend a meeting with the MGA committee to discuss their case.

As a guide the following pointers have been prepared:

· Possibly the best quality any Instructor must have, is the desire to teach others how to fly.

· Instructors must 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. They must also be able to recognize sink and how to react when flying through these areas.

· Instructors must be able to teach a beginner how to fly their model in a variety of conditions and such 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 defined previously.

· Instructors will be required to teach a beginner all aspects of the safety code and explain the importance of frequency control.

· Instructors 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 only)

· Instructors must be capable of communicating all aspects of power train

management and safety to pupils (electric only)


Promotion & 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 MGA Instructors. To compensate for this, the following equivalence table is suggested as a minimum standard for onsite instruction purposes:

Current level Goal Assessment

Student/Solo: 1 x Bronze & 1x Silver, or 1 x Instructor

Solo/Bronze: 2 x Silver, or 1 x Instructor

Bronze/Silver: 2 x Gold, or 1 x Instructor

Silver/Gold: 1 x Instructor


1. All Student pilots that have not yet achieved their Solo rating, should always be accompanied by at least a Silver rated pilot in that discipline

2. During the Assessment or “test”, should the club not have Instructors available, up to the Silver proficiency application, two independent pilots with the suggested minimum proficiencies between them, can substitute for an instructor

3. For Gold application, only an Instructor can assess the pilot


The MGA has a proud history of its pilots’ sporting achievements, and specifically SA has been represented with honour internationally by our RC Glider Pilots. It is recognised that to achieve at the highest level within a discipline inherently implies that a reasonable standard of proficiency has already been achieved.

On written application by the pilot/club the following rating equivalence

will be considered by the MGA:

Badge Local International

Gold: 1st place National Championships Placed top 30% WC

Silver: 2nd place National Championships National Team Pilot

Bronze: 3rd place National Championships National Team Trials top 10 position


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”. This does NOT provide grounds for application for an MGA badge. Due to the safety hazards of winch operation, 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.

The similarity between fixed wing and electric gliding is obvious, bar the potential differences between ROG/hand launch. The MGA therefore recognises that any SAMAA fixed wing proficiency is sufficient for piloting an electric RC glider without the need for assistance.

The strict discipline and accuracy of flying powered aerobatics is such that the MGA recognises fixed wing Bronze & above SAMAA badges as being sufficient for RC Slope Flying.

Due to ecological and site control reasons, further qualifications may be

requested for local Slope site use by the relevant clubs!


· One large circle (left or right . . . not less than 100m diameter)

· Two consecutive loops

· 10 seconds straight & level across wind

· One roll

· Landing pattern


· Overhead eight

· Stall turn

· Three consecutive loops

· Immelman turn

· Two consecutive rolls

· 5 seconds inverted flight

· Landing pattern


· Double Immelman

· Inverted rectangle

· Three consecutive rolls

· Vertical eight

· Three consecutive loops

· Cuban eight

· Three turn spin

· Landing pattern


· Slow roll

· Vertical eight

· Six turn spin

· Inverted eight

· Four-point roll

· Four consecutive loops

· Figure-M

· Landing pattern

· Horizontal eight

· Place in `Expert’ in a Championships


· As per Diamond Gull, but with aircraft designed & built by pilot