Badges System


Gliding offers you a life time of challenges – from training through to cross-country competition flying, and attempting national and world records!

For the pilot-in-training there are the Gliding New Zealand certificates to recognise your development and to help track your progress:

  • The Solo Pilot certificate celebrates your early development in being able to safely fly a glider solo in close proximity to the airfield
  • The Soaring Pilot certificate celebrates your ability to safely soar a glider locally
  • The Cross-Country Pilot (XCP) certificate celebrates your arrival as a glider pilot able to fly beyond gliding range of the airfield, ready to develop your cross-country soaring skills further to task flying.

FAI Awards System

The FAI awards system is a means of setting goals for cross-country flying development. It is a graduated system of badges, certificates and diplomas which recognise a pilot’s achievements in cross-country soaring.

The ultimate challenges lie in attempting National and World Records.

The FAI badges are internationally recognised, and the same standards are applied in every country.

Silver image Gold image 3D image 1000km Diploma

Silver badge

  • Distance flight to a finish or turn
    point at least 50 km from release
  • Duration flight of at least 5 hours
  • Height gain of at least 1,000 m

Gold badge

  • Distance flight of at least 300 km
  • Duration flight of at least 5 hours
  • Height gain of at least 3,000 m

3 Diamond badge

  • Distance flight of at least 500 km
  • Goal flight of at least 300 km over an out-and-return or triangle
  • Height gain of at least 5,000 m

750+ km badges

Minimum distance 750 km
Increments of 250 km

[1000 km shown, others similar]

The full requirements for badge flights are detailed in the FAI Sporting Code Section 3

Application should be made on the appropriate form, and must be accompanied by the correct payment (see Paperwork Corner below). Claims will only be processed if the pilot is currently a financial flying member of an organisation which is itself a financial member of GNZ.

Individual “legs” for badges may be claimed separately and will be held in GNZ’s records pending completion of all “legs”. All claims must be lodged with the GNZ Awards Officer, within 6 months of the date on which the flight was made.

On achieving a Silver distance flight, pilots may be eligible for a contribution towards launching fees in their first competition.  Click for details of the GNZ First Competition Award.

All cross country flights entered for record or FAI awards are automatically entered for the Air New Zealand Cross Country Championship, even if the record or award is not homologated, provided the distance portion of the claim is valid.

Official Observers

Official Observers (OO’s) are the volunteers who ensure that the requirements for FAI badge and record flights are met, consequently being an OO is a very responsible position in the gliding movement. Click for a list of Official Observers.

Becoming an OO requires an understanding of the Gliders Section of the FAI Sporting Code, and the approval of your club’s Chief Flying Instructor. Being an OO is not an onerous task, and greatly assists your fellow club members in their quest to meet their goals. The IGC has a video presentation based on the Sporting Code that is suitable for training new or existing OOs.  The emphasis is on the OO’s actions on the airfield.

Gliding New Zealand maintains a register of Official Observers. From time to time, as significant alterations to the Sporting Code occur, the register may be cancelled and a new one created. See Paperwork corner below for application to become an Official Observer.

Paperwork corner

Application forms and prices here.

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