Chairman’s Blog 7th November 2019

07 Nov 2019

Home » Chairman’s Blog 7th November 2019

Hi everyone
On Facebook The BGA tells us that the Charity Launch point is struggling for cash.  Running for many years as the Caroline Trust, it has allowed many youngsters at clubs across the country to learn to glide. Some have gone on to become instructors and compete at the highest level. It has made an invaluable contribution to our sport.  As the winter weather draws in think of the money you will save on launches.  If everyone who reads this, contributes one winch launch, or better still one  aerotow, or, if feeling particularly flushed, two of each, we can help make some young person’s Christmas and maybe in a few years they will be the ones helping you from the club house to the cockpit. Just twenty of us will make a difference.  Follow this link to make a donation:

Your Duty Teams this weekend are:
Saturday:  Neal Clements (No 1), Mark Jerman (TLs), Peter Salisbury (winch)
Sunday:  Mark Jerman (No 2), Charles Carter (TLs), Peter Salisbury (winch)

2019/20 Winter Lectures
Our 2019/20 series of winter lectures starts on Saturday 23rd November with Chris Gill, CFI and adventure pilot at Denbigh GC, showing us what a wonderful place Snowdonia is in which to fly gliders.  Starts at 18:00 followed by the Mynd’s renowed Saturday evening dinner.  You don’t have to be a member to attend, all are welcome.  But if you’d like to eat call the kitchen, or need acconmodation call the office on 01588 650206 before hand.  Weather permitting Chris is intending to fly in with the EuroFox so if you need some aerotow practice he is promising to oblige.68560910_10219439051583904_5841315630350860288_n

Members Evening
You will be aware that the club has established a members evening, taking place each year, to enable a free discussion with key committee members about the state of the club, its finances, the key projects for the coming year and plans for the future.  The next meeting will take place on Saturday 30th November.  Put it in your diary.

Drone Registration
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that the CAA are requiring all model aircraft and drones over 0.250kg  and their pilots to be registered.  I know that a lot of our members also fly model aircraft.  If you are one you may and are not  member of a model club you may not be aware that from 30th November 2019 you have to be registered with the CAA to fly an unmanned aerial vehicle over 250 grams. This includes any radio controlled aircraft including model gliders. You have to take an online test and pay a £9 fee.  If you are a member of the BMFA you can pay the £9 with next year’s subscription in December, if you are not a BMFA member you have to register by 30th November.  Further details and the online test are on the CAA website at

Mike Greenwood has the following useful coments:
‘I did the test and got my registration just to see what the process is like.  It was a very simple process, the website is well set out. There are 20 multiple choice questions, the pass rate is 16, you can take the test as often as you like untill you pass. If you read the drone code first at it contains all the answers, if you keep a copy of that window open when you go on to do the test you can just check back on this page if you are not sure of an answer in the test. As a BMFA member you don’t have to do this and pay the £9 until you renew in December/January but you will have to pass the test to get your registration number.  For £9 you get an operator ID valid for 1 year that has to be displayed on all aircraft that you fly over 250 grams, and an Flyer ID valid for 3 years.
You need an operator ID if you own an aircraft that flies, even if someone else always flies it, and it has to be displayed on the aircraft. You need a flyer ID to fly, even if it’s not your aircraft. The owner needs an operator ID, the pilot needs a Flyer ID. Of course in  most cases the flyer is the owner so you need both.  Everyone needs a flyer ID to fly, even children, they have to take the test to be able to fly but it’s free if you only want a flyer ID, so legally anyone who wants to come and have a go learning to fly someone else’s aircraft needs to pass the test and get a flyer ID.’

If anyone needs any help with this send Mike an email.  If you don’t know it send an email to and I will forward it on.

Safety Message from the BGA
We would be grateful if clubs would share the following important detail with all their club pilots including instructors and tug pilots. Please note that even if your club is winch only, your pilots may visit a site that uses aerotowing and therefore will benefit from this information.

If you fly gliders on aerotow or fly towing aircraft, PLEASE read this now.
Personal injury accidents to the glider pilot while aerotowing are rare – but the tug pilot can be killed if the glider gets too high and forces the tug into a vertical dive.
An educational campaign on safe aerotowing followed five fatal tug upset accidents between 1978 and 1985. The fatal accidents stopped and the frequency of tug upset incidents remained at less than one per year until 2008. Since 2009, however, there have been over 3 upsets per year. There were 7 in 2019. Recent tug upsets have included recovery ‘at 40ft’, ‘at 50ft’, and ‘ below the height of pylons’. The increasing rate of tug upset incidents is very concerning.  ALL tugs are vulnerable to an upset but light tugs are more vulnerable. The solution is at the glider end of the rope.
Glider pilot distraction during the tow and failure to check that the release has occurred at the top of a tow are significant factors. Please do not allow yourself to be distracted during the tow, and please check the rope has released before manoeuvring at the top of the tow. Instructors – please ensure that you are prepared to take control before a tow becomes dangerous.
A description of the cumulative hazards and how to mitigate them, including advice for pilots, instructors and tug pilots is at
Thanks for reading this important safety message.

The BGA Safety Team

Happy landings
Jon Hall