|Wormingford Airfield, Fordham Road, Wormingford, Colchester,|
Essex CO6 3AQ Tel: (01206) 242596
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It's six months since the last issue, not counting the printout of my comments at the AGM, and although I am still fairly satisfied with the general attitude of members towards safety on the site, there are a number of issues that have been raised by recent events that are worth mentioning.
Circuit discipline: Some pilots have been performing poor (or non-existent) circuits, and when challenged have presented the "excuse" that they have seen other pilots do the same. In particular, pilots should not fly around the circuit the wrong way (i.e. opposing the circuit traffic), and pilots with anything other than a high level of experience should not under any circumstances, however tempting, try to thermal out of the circuit, and only then with great care, and NEVER after the first turn onto base leg. Although not ideal, it is however acceptable to do a circuit on either side of the airfield, even if a preferred circuit direction is listed on the daily safety board, particularly if crossing over would interfere with a launch or get you low (but be prepared for a possible tailwind on the base leg, and don't forget to look out for other gliders in the circuit on the other side, as well as up the approach). Circuits should, if it is safe, i.e. almost every flight, begin somewhere off to the side of the winch at approximately 750 feet depending on the conditions and glider, and your glider should be configured for landing by that time in order for you to be able to concentrate on flying the circuit rather than worry about undercarriage, water ballast, etc. Whenever you are soaring downwind you need to allow for a return to the airfield that will get you all the way to the winch, not just scrape onto base leg. Needless to say, any pilots who cannot (or will not) fly the safe circuits they have been trained to do will be required to demonstrate a proper circuit in a two-seater before flying solo again.
Car parking: In the summer we get lots of visitors. Please would members leave the visitors' car park empty. Otherwise we get visitors driving about looking for somewhere to park, which is obviously not safe. It is customary to leave your keys in your car if parked anywhere other than round the back of the clubhouse, in case it needs to be moved. An incoming sea breeze can easily force us to change ends, for example, while you are flying.
Launch marshalling: Thanks to the members who regularly don the yellow jacket. Those who do so have realised that it is a useful job to do, and not particularly difficult; however, certain people seem to end up doing it more than others. If you are qualified to act as Launch Marshal (i.e. full-cat/assistant/basic instructor, bronze pilot or above, or experienced solo pilot) then please help. This actually means that most club members are qualified to act as Launch Marshal. - don't leave it to the few who do far more than their fair share. I, and the BGA, consider it unsafe to launch without adequate launch point supervision.
Cross-country pilots: Be aware of all the usual issues regarding cross-country flying - Notams/TNWs (it is your responsibility to check the board in the clubhouse every time), means of rehydration (dehydration causes loss of judgement and is therefore potentially fatal) and means of urination (a heavy landing with a full bladder can be extremely dangerous, and occasionally fatal), lookout (in these days of complex GPS displays), new local airspace restrictions, frequencies to use, and particularly for the next couple of months the height of crops and the general state of the landing areas. Regarding heavy landings, pilots of syndicate gliders should all have energy absorbing cushions to sit on. These are not the same as the reconstituted hard sponge cushions, and for the sake of about £20 you could save years in a wheelchair in the event of a sharp vertical load to your spine.
Finally, no peaked hats may be worn when flying, and all gliders must be fitted with a serviceable audio variometer.
Have a good soaring season - it's going to be better this year... honest...
Safety Briefing 1
Safety Briefing 2
Safety Briefing 3
Safety Briefing 5
Safety Briefing 6
Safety Briefing 7
Safety Briefing 8
Safety Briefing 9
Safety Briefing 10