Touring Motor Glider (TMG)

Touring Motor Gliders (TMG) combine the advantages of sailplanes with the independence of motorised aircraft and are particularly attractive to glider pilots who wish to fly autonomously. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the technical characteristics, licensing requirements and proper recording of TMG flights as defined by EASA.

A TMG in the Swiss Alps

What characterizes a TMG?

EASA article FCL.010 defines the characteristics of TMGs as follows:

"Touring motor glider (TMG)" means, unless otherwise specified [...] a specific class of powered sailplanes that has an integrally mounted, non-retractable engine and a non-retractable propeller. It shall be capable of taking off and climbing under its engine power according to its flight manual.

The FAA describes TMGs in a very similar way in its Glider Flying Handbook and provides some additional descriptions:

Touring motor gliders are equipped with a fixed, nose-mounted engine and a full feathering propeller. [...] Touring motor gliders resemble an airplane to the untrained eye. They do have some basic airplane characteristics but are not certified as an airplane. On other types of self-launching gliders, the engine and propeller are located aft of the cockpit.

Both definitions thus clarify an important difference that distinguishes TMGs from high-performance self-launching gliders: The fixed-mounted and non-retractable engine.

The Grob G109B or the Diamond HK36 "Super Dimona" are both modern examples of a TMG.

Which licenses and ratings are required to fly a TMG?

In principle, a TMG can be flown with an SPL TMG extension, a class rating TMG with a LAPL (A) or also with a class rating TMG with a PPL (A).

If you have both an SPL TMG extension and at least a PPL (A) with SEP Land, it is generally worth applying for the class rating TMG (A). On the one hand, this exempts you from the recency conditions of the SPL TMG extension, and on the other hand, both the SEP and TMG class ratings can be fully credited for the biannual revalidation. This is remarkable, as not only the hours for flight time and PIC time can be split as desired, but also the refresher training with the instructor. Another nice side effect is that flights on TMGs can always be entered in the same logbook as your SEP flights.

The TMG extension SPL is suitable for glider pilots who never want to obtain a SEP (A) or similar. However, anyone who flies less than 12 hours per year can acquire the TMG with the LAPL (A). As soon as a SEP Land is available or under discussion, the TMG (A) class rating is recommended.


  • No expiry date
  • Experience in the last 24 months before expiry: Proficiency Check or 12h total, whereby on TMGs at least 6h, 12 take-offs and landings and a training flight with instructor of at least 60min
  • Up to 6h of gliding hours can be credited
  • Recency not necessary if Class Rating TMG (A) valid
TMG with a LAPL (A)
  • No expiry date
  • Experience in the last 24 months before expiry: Proficiency Check or 12h total, 12 take-offs and landings and a refresher training with instructor of at least 60min
  • LAPL limitations: max 3 pax
  • No other flight hours can be credited
TMG with a PPL (A)
  • Validity 2 years
  • Experience in the last 12 months before expiry: Proficiency Check or 12h total, 6h PIC time, 12 take-offs and landings and a refresher training with instructor of at least 60min
  • Refresher training is not required if a Prof Check is completed in any other class (also applies to IR SEP Prof Check)
  • Full cross-credit with SEP Land

In which pilot logbook should TMG flights be recorded?

Although TMGs as such are at home in both the airplane (A) and sailplane (S) categories, each individual flight must be recorded in exactly one category, as it must not be counted twice. If you hold a licence in only one of the two categories, you must record the flights in the appropriate logbook. If you hold a PPL (A) with a class rating of SEP (A), you should record the TMG flights in the same logbook as your flights on piston aircrafts and apply for the TMG class rating.

With, flights on TMG aircraft can be recorded in the airplane and sailplane categories. The TMG recency is calculated and displayed directly, both with SPL and LAPL (A). The combined revalidation of SEP Land and TMG is processed fully automatically, taking into account the rules for credibility.

Did you know?

In the past, pilots flying motorized aircraft recorded the block time, while gliders recorded the usual airborne time. Today, the block time, as defined by EASA in FCL.010 as flight time, must be recorded on TMGs. This in turn confuses some glider pilots because they equate flight time with the time in the air (airborne time) that used to be common. See our article on flight time for more information, which is linked below.

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Flight Time

There are a number of terms around flight time that can lead to confusion for various reasons. Learn more about Flight Time, Block Time, Hobbs Time, Airborne Time and Rotor Turning Time.