BGA FRTOL course

Welcome to the BGA Flight Radio Telephony Operator License (FRTOL) course. This course is intended for three sets of people.

  • Glider pilots who want to know how to use the radio whilst flying a glider (and to get their FRTOL)
  • Glider pilots who have a FRTOL and want a reminder on what to say and when
  • Experienced radio users who are prepared to help others learn these skills

The first course online course ran in April and May 2020. We intend to run a second - probably in February and March 2021 - with sessions once a week in the evening. If you're interested, sign up and we'll email with news of new courses.

The test

The existing FRTOL test is designed around a powered aeroplane flight. This is a somewhat different operation from a glider flight, but the CAA intend to change the test so that it can be taken by a glider pilot as if they were operating a glider. As of March 2020 it is unclear when this will happen. This course is designed around the new test, and has the benefit that it is directly useful for glider operations. If you do this course, you will know everything that is required for a full FRTOL though - and if there is a delay in introducing the new test, we will add a module to brief you on the differences between new and old.

The course

If you want, you can just read the material, watch the videos, and practice on your own.

But we will be running one or more on-line courses to provide coaching and practice opportunities using videoconferencing.

We also intend to link students with mentors to give some one to one teaching opportunities.

You can find all the course material here.

The course assumes a Bronze badge level of knowledge. If you haven't done that, go to the Background Theory page, where you'll find some things to help you catch up.

Coaching scheme - and signing up

Particularly given the current (March 2020) enforcement of no gliding and lots of spare time, we intend to try and link people wishing to do the course with people who can help them.

So, if you want to do this course, and hear about what support might be available, please sign up here

And if you know how to use the radio, and are prepared to coach people (remotely), then please let me know at We'll try and link you to suitable students. Or you can organise something directly at your club.