Updates to 20th-22nd editions
Beware of a glider who is on the opposite circuit or who is making a much longer final approach.
When set to QFE the vertical distance is known as height above an airfield;
Some pilots will be able to see two altimeter readings by setting their flight computers to QNH and keeping QFE on their altimeters. Using QFE gives an extra margin of safety when landing in a field. Their flight computers set at QNH will correctly warn them when they are approaching controlled airspace
Class D Crossing Form no longer on BGA web-site
The airfields that have ATZs are marked on the half million scale chart by a circle of dots and the whole zone is shaded in the same colour. (They can be either blue or maroon)
Since the removal of prohibited zones around many nuclear power stations, there are only two prohibited zones in the UK: Dounreay on the north coast of Scotland and the base for Trident submarines at Faslane on the Clyde. In prohibited areas all flight is prohibited. Both are unlikely areas for gliding.
Fylingdales in Yorkshire emits 800KW (compare with your microwave oven) and so staying close for a long period could conceivably be dangerous.
After 6 April 2012 gliders have had to use a Mode S transponder when flying at or above Flight Level 100 (unless it is in an active Temporary Reserved Area for gliding and permission from ATC has been given)
In my opinion it is essential to have in a device on any cross-country flight to alert you to nearby restrictions to airspace but you must be sure that the computer has been accurately loaded with the latest data about airspace
It is legal for a glider to enter cloud in the UK in uncontrolled airspace, but if you have an EASA licence, you will need a cloud flying rating. Whatever your licence, cloud-flying is a big risk without adequate training.
KEY OPERATIONAL PROCEDURES
If you are flying with another pilot with similar experience and qualifications, agree on who is P1 before take-off.
If you are talking to a mythical station called Anytown, this is what you might say during the first call which starts with the words "Anytown, Glider 123...."
When approaching any airfield to land
Entering ATZ (with A/G or Information)
Entering ATZ (with an ATC)
Class D transit "....Request transit"
Courtesy call (eg transit near or above airspace) "....Courtesy call. No service required"
Parachute zone "....Is drop zone active?"
After the response 'Pass your message', you can provide further information about your position, altitude and intentions, eg to land, to pass through, or to climb.
If you are offered a Basic Service by a controller, ie to be told who else is nearby, you can accept, or say "No service required"
From mid-June to mid-July, there may be few landable fields in some parts of the country. Novice pilots should seek advice before attempting cross-countries in these conditions.
PRINCIPLES OF FLIGHT
An increase in the angle of attack initially increases the amount of lift produced by a glider's wings, but beyond a specific angle of attack the lift generated will decrease.
I should have spotted this change sooner. The new rules on a Silver Distance flight state that distance is measured from the point of release from the launch. This means that if you then fly further from your goal to a remote start, the additional distance will not count. However if you are aero-towed all the way to this same point, the distance will be measured from there. Mad, but true.
BGA 100km DIPLOMA
The 100 km Diploma consists of two parts which can be claimed individually or together; a) Completion of a 100 km declared closed circuit flight, set either as a triangle or as an out-and–return and starting and finishing with the crossing of a 1km start/finish line. You can't use cylinders at the start or finish. b) Completion of a similar flight to that above, but at a minimum handicapped speed of 65 km/h.