Information for pilots

Information for pilots flying at Shalbourne gliding club.

Guidelines for flying at ShalbourneMutual flyingLanding AreaPilot Briefing

Guidelines for flying at Shalbourne


  1. General Operation
  2. Check Flights
  3. Solo Flying
  4. Aerobatics
  5. Cross-country
  6. Rigging
  7. Type Conversions
  8. Driving
  9. Annual Checks
  10. First Solos

  • General Operation

    Operational regulations of the BGA are mandatory for all members.

    Operational regulations (ORs) are to be found in Laws and Rules for Glider Pilots (L&R), copies of which can be found in the control caravan, in the clubhouse and on the BGA web site. In the interest of safety and operating efficiency recommended practices (RPs) will be complied with.

    The minimum number of persons required to operate the airfield safely is four, a BGA approved instructor, an launch point controller (lights and log), a club approved winch driver and one other member to hook on cables and run with wings.

    On setting up the airfield, consideration must be given to where the cable, or parts thereof may fall. Under no circumstances may launching take place if there is any risk of anything arriving near the road. (i.e. winds with a notable Easterly component)

    Club aircraft which have been subject to adjustment, repair or annual CofA inspection will be test flown by an instructor before being made available to club members, This test flight will be flown solo.

    Glider ground handling will be with either one-man tow out gear or one person on the wing and one at the nose of the aircraft. Vehicle windows will be down/open and radio off.

    On landing, pilots should maintain their landing direction during the ground roll – do not clear to one side during the ground run.

    All Pilots wishing to fly sign the flying list with day’s intentions eg: Training – Local soaring – rigging private aircraft and or X-country Flying. The list will be presented to DI between flights who will then either initial permission to fly on the list or request briefing with individuals. Pilots must check before joining the launch queue – Duty Team and Log Keepers check NO signature NO fly.

  • Check Flights – annual and currency checks

    Every club member who is off checks and not an instructor is required to have an annual check. The ‘check year’ runs from 1 October to 30 September, it makes sense to complete annual checks during the winter to take advantage of more testing conditions and to leave the soaring season clear for other training.

    The following guidelines for currency check flights apply to all club members. In poor conditions these should be reduced but this should be on an individual basis.

    Solo – early solo pilots should have a check flight every day they fly, but when conditions are appropriate and the pilot has flown within the last week (that is less than a week ago) they may fly first at the Duty Instructor’s discretion. The pilot must have a check flight during the day to continue their post solo training.

    Other pilots may fly solo without a check if they have flown:

    • Off Checks – within the last 3 weeks ie can miss 2 weekends; but take a check
    • flight at least once per month to continue post solo training.
    • Bronze – within the last 4 weeks ie can miss 3 weekends
    • Silver – within the last 6 weeks ie can miss 5 weekends
    • Basic Instructors – within the last 6 weeks solo but for instructing they should have flown within the last 3 weeks, have a solo flight first.
    • Ass/Full Cats – should have enough sense to sort it out for themselves, I would suggest 8 weeks for solo and 4 weeks for instructing.

    Any pilot regularly going to these limits should have more frequent check flights.

  • Solo Flying Limits

    Before flying starts the duty instructor will determine the standard of pilot whom he considers can adequately cope with the day’s conditions. We use Off checks, Bronze, and Silver as standards. To ensure all pilots are aware of this, this information will be posted on the side of the control van. It should help to ensure no pilots fly in conditions which may be beyond them. Variance from the day’s standard is at the Duty Instructor’s discretion. The Duty Instructor may take a solo Met Flight before setting the standard.

  • Aerobatics

    Aerobatics in any aircraft must be completed by 700ft. The CFI is responsible for the authorisation of all aerobatic flights carried out from the site whether they be in club or privately owned aircraft. See L&R 6.6, 7.11, RP18-20 (15th Edition). The Trial Lesson is the foundation on which all future training is based and is designed to encourage new members into our sport, Aerobatics are advanced exercises and as such should not be part of the repertoire of any instructor teaching a trial lesson.

  • Cross-country Flying

    Club aircraft will be made available to suitably qualified pilots for cross-country flying; this will be at the discretion of the duty instructor.

    Before flying cross-country pilots must satisfy themselves that the flight can be safely made taking into account the latest information available from NOTAMS/TNWs.

    Priority at the launch point will normally be given to pilots attempting pre-declared badge tasks. This will be at the discretion of the duty instructor. On appropriate days, the Duty Instructor will operate a Grid Launch when single seaters will have priority. Training launches will be suspended while other members launch. Relights (but not cable breaks) go back to normal priority.

    The authority to fly cross-country at all times remains firmly with the duty instructor.

  • Rigging and Trailer Parking Areas

    When we are operating from the north end of the airfield, the rigging of all gliders should take place in the ‘bowl’ beside the windsock. The only exception will be when we are using this area as a launch point in E/SE winds, rigging area will be at the Duty Instructor’s discretion.

    When rigging at the south end, trailers must not be parked too close to the western end of the rigging area so as to prevent other gliders from getting past. Park all trailers nose to the field.

    All other parts of the airfield are considered landable and therefore no trailer or other equipment is to be left in these areas, with the exception of the Winches and Roundout which are parked on the hard-standing in front of the clubhouse/hangar.

    Gliders must not be picketed under the northern approach when flying from the north end.

  • Type Conversions

    Anyone wishing to bring a new glider on site or to join an existing syndicate must first clear this with the CFI; I suggest you discuss it during the selection process.

    Over the years a large number of accidents have occurred in the UK during type conversions. An inadequate briefing and a lack of supervision of the conversion flight is quite often the cause. A type conversion whether it be to a club or privately owned aircraft must be with the authority and under the supervision of a club instructor. The briefing should be by an instructor familiar with the type being converted to and should contain only the minimum essential information that the pilot needs for the flight so there is a good chance of them remembering it.

    Read the flight manual!

  • Driving on the field

    Pilots and visitors should drive vehicles on the airfield in such away as to minimise the risk to flying, as per the instructions at the gate. This will include: driving around the edges of the airfield, stopping when an aircraft is landing or launching, reporting to the winch driver before proceeding down the field and always being mindful of the cables which may be in unusual position (for example during the DI before flying.)

Guidelines for Instructors

  • Annual Checks

    All flying members of the club who are off checks must fly with an instructor at least once a year for the purpose of their annual checks.

    The content of the checks will depend on the instructor’s assessment of the pilots flying but will always include:

    a) at least one launch failure. Simulate launch failures at height are not acceptable.
    b) at least two of the further stalling/spinning exercises one of which should cover spin recovery, preceded by a thorough briefing and followed by a debrief.
    c) circuit modified due to height
    d) special attention to lookout, HASSLL check and speed control at all stages of the flight.

    When the instructor is satisfied with the person being checked, they will sign them off on the list in the Control Caravan.

  • First Solo Flights

    When an ab-initio is approaching solo standard and the majority of the exercises on their pre-solo progress card have been signed off as satisfactory, the should finish off their training and be sent solo in the K13. These are far more forgiving than the Puchacz, and the transition to K8 is made much easier. If for any reason it is not possible to send a club member solo in the K13, for example it is offline or the club member does not physically fit into the glider, then the Puchacz will be used. If this is the case then two instructors, one of whom is a Full Cat must agree that the person concerned is up to solo standard.

Mutual Flying

We hope this will encourage more fun flying, bearing in mind that these are privileges which may be withdrawn at any time if any of the instructor team are unhappy about the conduct of mutual flights.

Medical requirements for mutual flying are identical to those for solo flying.

For local soaring:

      P1 – Always sits in the front seat, handles glider below 1000’ and meets the following requirements:

    • Permission from the CFI & log book signed to this effect.
    • ‘Mutual flying check’ which will include the ability to handle the
      A/C satisfactory from the rear seat (although P1 will fly from the front
      seat only) and a briefing on mutual flying. MFC to be given by a full cat.
    • Bronze with Cross-country Endorsement and 50 hours P1.
    • Current as per club guidelines.
    • Minimum of 15hrs solo in last 12 months (show logbook to DI).
    • Familiar with type to be flown and current with method of launch.

And importantly:

    • Consultation with the Duty Instructor on the day to check A/C availability.

P2 – always sits in back seat and:

  • Solo & Off Checks
  • Check flight to experience flying from the rear seat – signed up in
  • Current as per club guidelines – ie you can’t fly P2 mutual if you
    would not be able to fly solo on the day.

For cross country flying:

      P1 – as for local soaring except:

    • Silver and 50 hours P1.
    • Minimum of 20 hours P1 in last 12 Months ( show logbook to DI).
    • Current in cross-country – at least two cross-countries within last year.
    • Current in field landings – motor glider field landing practice or actual field landings within last year.
    • Knows how to rig/derig glider or has crew who does.
    • Ensures trailer is serviceable & toolkits etc checked before launch
    • Ensures crew are named on logsheet prior to launch.

P2 – as for local soaring.

Note: Pilots may get priority for cross-country flying based on their participation in cross-country group activities and approval of the Duty Instructor.

Advice to Pilots Landing at Rivar Hill

Rivar Hill landing strip
There are a number of (E/W) ridges across the eastern side of the airfield so, if possible, avoid landing in the area marked in red on the airfield map above.

If you have to land in this area, be prepared to delay touchdown if you are approaching a ridge. If landing uphill (from the South) you are advised to use sufficient airbrake to be able to avoid any hidden ridges that may become visible at the last minute.

Pilot Briefing

Shalbourne Gliding

Shalbourne Gliding