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pilot qualifications

Old 02-16-2012, 01:16 PM
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Default pilot qualifications

I need some help finding some guidelines for glider pilot qualifications. I am a club safety officer and we are trying to find some qualifications for new pilots and or new members that are joining our club. We need some guidelines so if a new member joins our club they will need to be able to demonstrate that they can fly safely. I have no glider training or experence. Any information would be great, I have already checked the AMA sight but was unable to find anything just about gliders.

Old 02-16-2012, 01:22 PM
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Default RE: pilot qualifications

I'm not sure if my glider club has such a thing but I would want a new pilot to be able to demonstrate a winch or hi-start launch and land in a 20 ft circle before the instructor signs them off.
Old 02-16-2012, 01:29 PM
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Default RE: pilot qualifications

Hay speedracerntrixie thanks for the advice. Would you have the new pilot do any other basic flight manuvers?
Old 02-16-2012, 01:59 PM
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Default RE: pilot qualifications

You mentioned that AMA has nothing for sailplanes. Do they have something for power? Other than the obvious, the engine, I would think you could go with modification of power guidelines. As already mentioned, the ability to launch safely via a winch or hi-start, but don't forget the powered sailplane in your wording. I'm interested in this myself as I have just become the Safety Officer at our club. There are many aspects to sailplanes that power doesn't have though. How to handle a pop-off for one. Don't park a vehicle right behind the winch as a pop-off could end up with a nasty dent in a door, etc. I've seen that happen. Same issue, vehicles in the final approach area. Seen dents there too. Make sure the pilot can show ability to turn 360 in both directions with minimal loss of altitude and maintain control of the sailplane. I don't know that "spot landings" are critical for newbe pilots. Lat them take as much of the field as is available, just stay away from the winch lines. Asking them to spot land may end up with over concentration on hitting the target and not on their surroundings. You could do it in a grade method. grade one: ability to control the plane in the air (once launched by you or insructor, and landed by you or instructor after demonstration of ability), and so on. I flew full scale sailplanes as a teenager in England and was winch launched, and there are some commonalities between the two winch methods. Cable break in full scale would be like a pop-off on RC. I can tell you that you don't "come over the top' (loop) with full scale though. My mind is going in overdrive for what you could do, but you don't want to run off pilots. then again, you want safety too. My two penneth
Old 02-16-2012, 02:01 PM
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Default RE: pilot qualifications

ORIGINAL: rduff55

Hay speedracerntrixie thanks for the advice. Would you have the new pilot do any other basic flight manuvers?

Been a member of a couple of glider clubs. They didn't have anything remotely like a test. Reason being that they didn't ever have powered sport flyers on the field. Gliders only don't have a problem with each other or their launch systems.

The glider in flight is far less apt to suddenly become a ground bound missle as a result of pilot error. So there is little need for glider pilots to prove a level of flight skill. And glider fields don't usually have an area where everyone wants to do lazy eights and such. So there is little need for glider pilots to prove they can fly around other gliders in the same maneuver zone.

What you do need to consider is the impact to your runway and flight area of the glider lauch system. No problem if all the gliders have motors, but it really doesn't work to try and operate high starts or winches with or near power model runways (or parking lots).

If you don't try to overlap high starts / winches off active runways, but do want to fly motor gliders with power models in the same area, then ask yourself what requirements of your present test do apply to gliders. No need to see if the pilot can maneuver or stunt. There is a need to see if he is proficient at takeoffs and landings. His landings will take more time to do is about all. If he's flying a motor glider he has the capability to go around just like powered. However once down, he won't be taxiing, so you gotta consider the problem he introduces until he's cleared the runway.

Can he launch safely and reliably into whatever outbound path you club wishes gliders to follow. Can he safely keep his glider away from any power planes. Power maneuvers are basically horizontal with some limited vertical component. Glider maneuvers require more vertical. You'll probably want the gliders to stay away from the power area because of that. There's going to be a speed differential almost always. And as mentioned already, the landings differ in a couple of details. You'll basically want to see the glider pilot show he can launch without conflict with power models, get to the glider areas without conflict, and return to land without conflict, and clear the runway after landing.

It'll probably be more problem trying to work out how to combine the two disciplines over your facility than to come up with what a glider pilot should be demonstrating he can do.

If you're not worried about the problem of mixing two different envelopes, then just require the glider guy do a number of flights. If you are, figure out if and where the gliders will fly, how they'll get there, how they'll get back and how the landing and taxi off are to be accomplished and require the glider go do a number of simulated flights that deal with those details.

Old 02-16-2012, 02:51 PM
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Default RE: pilot qualifications

Contact TPG Torrey Pine gulls.

They almost lost rights to fly at Torrey years back. ( I refuse to say the "P" word )
Had to have a new system of inspection and qualification for rc pliots to continue.
They have done well.
Old 02-16-2012, 03:08 PM
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Default RE: pilot qualifications

RDuff, I have some glider stuff from our club, just need to dig it out and send it to you. You can PM me.


Old 02-24-2012, 08:30 PM
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Default RE: pilot qualifications

Here is what we use. We created this to establish a standard for all flight examiners to follow. The primary goal is to have the pilot demonstrate control throughout the flight. We are no concerned about his thermal soaring ability. We are concerned about safety and competence as well as a solid understanding of how the field operates.

New pilots get this along with their new member packet so they know what will be expected. ALL new members must pass flight examination no matter how experienced they say they are. No pilot may fly alone, unsupervised until they pass this. If Daryl Perkins joined our club, he would have to pass this.

Not every single line item need be completed if, in the judgement of the examiner, the pilot demonstrates solid and consistent control.

Probably the most important things I look foris the ability to keep the plane up-wind, smooth control, no problem with control reversal when fling toward the pilot,and the ability to land in the designated landing area.

LISF Senior Pilot Examination Report

Flight Examiner ________________________________________ Date ___________

Tested Pilot _______________________________________ AMA #

Oral Test – Based on the new member packet Pass ____ Fail _____[/b]

1) Describe the type of flying that is permitted at the LISF Field

2) Describe the field layout and safety guidelines

3) Describe where pilots should and should not be flying

4) Who may fly at the LISF/Stillwell field

5) Describe the flight plan for the flight test.

Airplane Check – Preflight Pass ____ Fail _____

Pure gliders may take multiple launches to complete test. All others should be completed within one launch.)

Electric ___ Glider ____ Meets LISF Guidelines ______

Frequency control properly completed ______

Does airplane appear air worthy? _____ Battery charged and well secured _____

Control Surfaces operating properly _____ Successful Range Check _____

Flight Examination - Pass ____ Fail ____ [/b]

Safe, controlled launch _____ safe, controlled climb to 50 feet minimum ______

Left circular flight with good altitude control _______ right circle ________

Safe, controlled flat figure 8 in center of the field ________

Safe controlled flight toward pilot exiting left _____ exiting right _______

Safe, controlled glide – power off for 30 seconds minimum _______

Safe, controlled set-up for landing ______

Safe, successful power off[/b] landing within a designated landing area ____________

Plane flight worthy after landing ________

Flight Examiner’s Signature _________________________________________

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