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Soaring Proficiency Awards

The ABC Badge Program was developed by the Soaring Society of America as a standard measurement of achievement in the training of soaring pilots in the United States.

Simply speaking, the levels of achievement along the way in the ABC Program are recognized by awarding an A pin at first solo, a B pin for the first soaring flight, and a C pin recognizing that attainment of potential cross-country flight with increased solo time, instruction in various soaring techniques, and an extended duration soaring flight. The Bronze Badge reflects the recipient's proficiency for initial cross-country soaring.

This program is administered by designated SSA Instructors who are responsible for ascertaining that the requirements have been met. Pilots who achieved their B Badges are eligible to be Official Observers who record and measure badge, record and competition flights.

The Federation Aeronautique Internationale (F.A.I) in Switzerland is the record keeper of all soaring achievements. They set up tests of achievements that any pilot can attempt. Each country has its own organization to check and guarantee that the goals were honestly achieved.

F.A.I Badges are internationally recognized soaring awards that begin where the ABC Program leaves off. The Silver Badge requires the development of cross-country soaring skills. The Gold Badge is earned through even more stringent flight requirements. And the prestige and difficulty in obtaining a Diamond Badge can be understood when you realize that less than 7000 of these awards have been earned throughout the world! Working toward any of these badges can give the pilot extra incentives to excel and measure his skills against those of other pilots.

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