The Midland Gliding Club is a member of the British Gliding Association (BGA). It is a condition of membership of the BGA that all flying operations are carried out in accordance with the Operating Regulations of both the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the BGA. These Midland Gliding Club Standard Operating Procedures specify additional conditions that are more specific than those contained in the BGA Laws and Rules and ANO as deemed necessary by the MGC CFI and instructors for reasons of safety or operational requirements.

All members must be familiar with the Rules of the Air as defined in the current edition of Laws and Rules for Glider Pilots, published by the BGA, and/or the Air Navigation Order, published by the CAA and comply with those rules, including medical requirements

All members and visitors share the obligation to ensure smooth and safe flying operations. As such, they are expected to be familiar with these SOPs and are required to declare they have read the current version on renewal of their membership.

If any member observes anything that could affect their own safety or that of any other member/visitor, they must take appropriate action immediately, to prevent it developing into an incident or accident

Nothing contained in these SOP’s is to be construed as relieving the individual

pilot of their responsibility to take any action in emergency or unusual circumstances, which they consider necessary to preserve the safety of the aircraft, its occupants, or any third party.

This version of the Standard Operating Procedures replaces all previous versions of the Flying Orders book and also supersedes the previous publication “Midland Gliding Club Local Flying Rules”.

The MGC Standard Operating Procedures are to be reviewed, as a minimum, on an annual basis by the Chief Flying Instructor,


In these Rules, and unless context requires otherwise: –

(1) Reference to a “glider” includes: – Club owned, privately owned and all visiting gliders.

(2) Reference to a “member” or “members” of the Club includes a visiting pilot or pilots unless the context in any case does not require this.

(3) ‘Club’ means the Midland Gliding Club.


Section 1: Responsibilities

1.1 Chief Flying Instructor (CFI)

1.2 Club Safety Officer (CSO)

1.3 Duty Instructor

1.4 Launch Director

1.5 Main Winch Operator

Section 2: Flying Operations

2.1 Weather Limitations

2.2. Authorisation of flying

2.3 Flying when no Duty Instructor available

2.4 Pilot Responsibilities/medical requirements/logbooks

2.5 Mutual flying

2.6 Local endorsements

2.7 Radio procedures

2.8 Pre-landing checks

2.9 Pilot Currency Requirements

2.10 Annual Refresher Training Checks

2.11 Cross-country Flights/Cross country coaching

2.12 Wave and High Altitude Flight

2.13 Aerobatic training

2.14 Motor glider/powered aircraft movements

Section 3: Visiting Pilots

Section 4: Ground operations

4.1 Glider Rigging/Daily Inspections

4.2. Winches and Cables

4.3 Launch procedures

4.4 Vehicles

4.5 The Flying of Model Aircraft

4.6 Dogs

Section 5: Accidents and Incidents

5.1 Accidents

5.2 Incidents


Appendix A – Ridge flying procedures

Appendix B – Rights of way

Appendix C – Accidents procedure summary

Section 1: Responsibilities:

The following are the normal duties of the relevant individual, but these may be varied, as circumstances require.

1.1 Chief Flying Instructor

The Chief Flying Instructor (CFI) is appointed by the Chairperson of the Club Management Committee. They are the local Head of Training and are responsible to the Chair of the BGA instructors committee for training matters.

In addition to general responsibilities regarding oversight of safe flying operations at the club site, the responsibilities of the CFI include;

  • All aspects of flight safety (in conjunction with the club safety officer)

  • Supervision and standardisation of all instructors reporting to him
  • Appointment and re-appointment of all site instructors
  • Approving Club members to join a syndicate operating a privately owned aircraft and setting out any operating terms and conditions
  • Authorising gliders/visiting aircraft to be based to operate from the airfield
  • Bringing to the attention of the committee any problems which might affect flight safety or efficient operation of the Club

The CFI may appoint one or more deputy CFIs, as required, for adequate operational supervision, and other members as are necessary for safe and efficient flying management. This individual may act in lieu of the CFI when they are absent.

1.2 Club Safety Officer (CSO)

The CSO is appointed by the Chairperson of the club.

The CSO is responsible for:

  • Monitoring and making recommendations on safety in flying and ground-based activities
  • Overseeing the incident reporting system and looking for patterns and trends
  • The Safety Officer is also responsible for investigating and reporting flying related accidents to the BGA and Air Accident Investigation Board (AAIB)
  • In addition, the CSO also has responsibility for oversight of general club safety matters

1.3 The Duty Instructor

1.3.1 Qualification:

Must be a BGA Full Category Instructor or a BGA Assistant Category Instructor / EASA Flight Instructor (Sailplanes) authorised by the CFI to supervise flying operations.

1.3.2 Responsibilities

The Duty Instructor has overall responsibility for oversight of safe flying activity for the nominated period of their duty.

1.3.3 Duties

Before flying:

Check the National Air Traffic Services, “Notices to Airmen” (NOTAMS) information to ensure that the local area is free of Temporary Restricted Airspace.

Supervise unpacking the hangar or delegate this task to a suitably experienced pilot.

Liaise with main winch driver, regarding field layout with due regard to forecast weather conditions. The winches must be positioned correctly, to avoid the risk of cables landing outside the normal airfield operating area, particularly in the case of a broken cable. The final decision for field layout lies with the duty instructor.

Ensure a launch director is available for the duration of the flying period at weekends/bank holidays/winter flying. The launch director should have been trained and briefed.

Hold a Daily Briefing to ensure that pilots wishing to fly are informed appropriately regarding but not limited to: –

  • a) The duty team, including identifying a launch director for the day
  • b) Weather
  • c) Notams
  • d) Launch Direction, Circuit Direction, Preferred Landing Area and Launch Failure Options
  • e) Consider and brief issues of Threat and Error management, including potential operating hazards during the day
  • f) Ensure that any non-licensed pilots flying solo are correctly briefed and authorised
  • g) Ensure that visiting glider pilots are identified
  • h) Provide suitable site briefings and site check flights to visiting glider pilots and visiting instructors if necessary, or ensure these briefings and check flights are carried out by a suitably qualified, appropriately experienced MGC Instructor

1.3.4 Duties-during flying:

Ensure adequate supervision of the duty team, student and visiting pilots

Ensure all flights are authorised and logged

Ensure the “Airband” radio is monitored (on 129.980 MHz frequency.)

1.3.5 Duties-after flying

In conjunction with the duty team ensure that:

  • all gliders which have taken off from the MGC airfield are accounted for and initiate appropriate action for any which are not
  • all Club equipment is removed from the airfield and all Club aircraft are returned to the hangar and the doors closed
  • the electrical systems of any powered aircraft, including the Club Motor Glider, stored in the MGC hangar are “off”
  • all parachutes and batteries have been removed from the club gliders and that these items have been returned to the appropriate storage area and accounted for (batteries should be placed “on charge” in readiness for the next flying day)
  • “Incident Reports” are raised and submitted for all incidents where Operating Procedures were not complied with, or, where there was risk of injury to any person on the airfield

Arrange for gliders to be de-rigged if required.

1.4 The Launch Director

1.4.1 Qualification

Experienced pilot who has completed the MGC training syllabus.

1.4.2 Responsibilities

A Launch Director assists the instructor team in ensuring and facilitating safe and efficient flying and ground operations, under the supervision of the Duty Instructor.

They may, when authorised by the Duty Instructor, initiate and supervise unpacking of the hangar.

A Launch Director should ordinarily be present on the airfield during flying operations (if launches are taking place and/or if aircraft are airborne). The Launch Director may appoint a senior and experienced pilot as a substitute for any short periods if the Launch Director is absent for any reason.

1.4.3 Duties- before flying

  • Check that all equipment (vehicles and retrieve winch) to be used at the Launch Point have been inspected and declared serviceable by the duty Main Winch Operator or another authorised member of the MT team
  • Ensure placement of all ground equipment (control vehicle, retrieve winch, other vehicles, gliders) at the launch point is as required by the Duty Instructor.
  • Ensure the following are in place at the launch point:
  • Flying list
  • Log sheets
  • Cable strops with red, blue, brown, black and white weak links

1.4.4 Duties during flying

The launch director should ensure that :

  • the main and emergency landing areas and launch area are kept clear of obstructions (including sheep)
  • aircraft are retrieved promptly after landing and either positioned for the next launch or parked safely
  • no pre-bronze pilot flies without their flight being authorised by a member of the duty instructor team
  • all glider flights are entered on the daily flying record log sheets
  • report any incidents or indiscipline in the air or at the launch point to the Duty Instructor
  • Suitable members are asked to carry out the tasks required for running the field
  • The flying list is managed, under the supervision on the duty instructor team, by allocating single seat club aircraft to appropriately qualified/authorised solo pilots

1.4.5 Duties after flying

  • Organise the removal of equipment from the airfield and packing gliders into the hangar
  • Ensure the daily flying log is fully written up and all gliders are accounted for
  • Inform the Duty Instructor immediately if any glider is not accounted for
  • Bring to the attention of the Duty Instructor any: – Safety related incidents, cross countries, badge flights etc.
  • Return the Daily Flying Log to the office

1.5 The Main Winch Operator

This section applies to both professional and volunteer winch operators authorised to drive the main winch.

Winch drivers must comply with all relevant statutory and regulatory provisions and also the Club winch operating manual requirements.

Movement/handling of the cable is under the control/at the discretion of the main winch driver at all times.

1.5.1 Qualification

The main winches must only be operated by a member who is either:

Authorised by the “Winch Master” as an operator


Under training and being supervised by an authorized trainer

  • 5.2 Duties before flying

  • Inspect the winches, associated airfield vehicles and ground equipment to ensure that they are safe and serviceable for use. All required checks must be within date limits
  • Liaise with the Duty Instructor to ensure the winches are sensibly and appropriately positioned for the intended launching operations
  • Position any temporary signs which may be required in the appropriate places whilst flying operations are taking place and recover them at the end of flying

1.5.3 Duties during flying

  • Provide a safe and effective winch launch facility
  • Raise any safety/operating concerns promptly with the relevant member of the duty team
  • Stop/Delay launching if any obstruction or danger to flight or personnel is apparent

1.5.4 Duties after flying

  • Ensure that the winches and all ground equipment are cleaned, re-fuelled and returned to their parking locations (including the warning sign(s))
  • Ensure any debris from the days winching operations (discarded cable etc) is removed from the airfield and disposed of correctly
  • Ensure all the airfield vehicles are refuelled and serviceable for the following days flying and then returned to the appropriate parking location
  • Report any serviceability difficulties to the Winch Master and also ensure these difficulties are notified to the next duty winch driver

Section 2: Flying operations

2.1 Flying Conditions – Weather Limitations

For unrestricted flying operations

Maximum Wind speeds

Wind speed averaging above 30 Knots: – Wooden gliders or lightweight/low wing loading glass single seaters (including the K23 and Junior) should not be flown

Wind speed averaging above 40 knots: – No flying should take place.

Weather minima for trial lessons/introductory flights

It is difficult to define absolute minimum weather conditions, but the following

should be taken into consideration:

  • Trial lessons/introductory/friends and family flights should be conducted in reasonably benign conditions e.g., not into turbulent winds or a significant crosswind.

Trial lessons or introductory flights should not take place:

  • if the cross wind is beyond the limits of the winch
  • into rain or into cloud
  • with snow/ or Ice on the glider
  • with a misted canopy
  • If cloud base is less than 1000’ agl
  • If in-flight visibility is less than 5km
  • In very strong/turbulent winds

2.2 Authorisation of Flying

2.2.1 Flying operations on any given day must be authorised by a BGA Full Rated Instructor, or by an “unrestricted” EASA Flight Instructor (Sailplanes) or by a BGA Assistant Rated Instructor who has completed their Post Course Review and has been authorised by the CFI.

2.2.2 All pilots must ask one of the Duty Instructors for “permission to fly”.

2.2.3 Non-licensed/ pre-bronze solo pilots must not be authorized to fly solo on any given day unless they meet the currency requirements in section 2.9

2.2.4 All non-licensed and pre-bronze/cross country endorsement solo pilots must receive an individual pre-flight briefing from a suitably qualified member of the duty instructor team.

2.2.5 All 2 seat flights by “Cross Country Coaches” must be authorised by the Duty Instructor.

2.2.6 Trial lessons carried out by BGA Basic Instructors and Passenger flights carried out by EASA Introductory Flight Pilots may only be undertaken when a BGA Full Category Instructor or an unrestricted EASA Flight Instructor (Sailplanes) is the Duty Instructor.

2.3 Flying when there is no duty instructor available

On days when there is no instructor available the Club can operate as a soaring group (i.e., No flying instruction may take place) under the following conditions:

  • There is an ex-instructor, approved by the CFI, in charge of the airfield
  • Only Club members who hold a BGA Bronze C with a Cross Country Endorsement or LAPL(S) or SPL may fly
  • Normally only privately owned aircraft may fly
  • Use of Club aircraft is only permitted with the prior permission of the CFI or MGC residential professional instructor

2.4 Flying operations- Pilot Responsibilities

2.4.1 It is the pilot’s responsibility to ensure they hold the appropriate qualification and meet the medical requirements for the type of flying they are undertaking e.g., solo or instructing, in place at the time of the flight.

All pilots are required to provide the club with evidence of compliance with the medical fitness rules in place at the time of the flight

NB Currently, pilots over the age of 75 must have a CAA self-declared medical declaration as a minimum.

2.4.2 It is the responsibility of all pilots to ensure the aircraft they are about to fly is airworthy, as a minimum the following must be completed: –

  • DI book completed and signed off, including positive control checks
  • Launch point positive control checks and release checks completed

2.4.3 It is the responsibility of all pilots to bring to the attention of the duty instructor any item they observe which they believe may render an aircraft unserviceable.

2.4.4 Any pilot flying a type of glider for the first time is to be given a specific briefing on that type by either a rated instructor experienced on type or by a suitably qualified person.

2.4.5 All glider pilots are required to keep an adequate record of their flying to prove that they meet, as appropriate, BGA requirements for training and solo flying and for the renewal of ratings.

2.4.6 Logbooks are required to be made available to the CFI or the Duty Instructor, for inspection, on demand by pilots seeking “permission to fly” and to any instructor prior to any instructional or check flight.

2.5 Flying Operations- Mutual flying

Club Requirements for both Club and private gliders

2.5.1. P1 must meet the solo pilot medical requirements.

2.5.2. The prior permission of the duty instructor is required for the intended flight.

2.5.3 The P1 for the flight must be agreed by the pilots before they get into the cockpit and the following principles apply :

The pilot at the higher Stage having, as a minimum, a bronze/cross country endorsement and a minimum of 50 hrs PIC, must be P1.

If both pilots are at the same Stage, the duty instructor will decide who is P1

2.5.4 P2 must , as a minimum, be post-solo.

2.5.5 The CFI may authorise a P1 who is not an instructor to fly with a pilot at Stage 2 or above who does not hold a bronze badge with the cross-country endorsement for the purposes of cross country coaching.

2.5.6 The P1 must occupy the front seat, except that an instructor, ex-instructor, or IFP may occupy the rear seat.

2.5.7 The P1 must be at the controls at all times when the glider is below 1000’ agl , unless the P1 is an instructor.

2.5.8 The P1 must ensure that the launch point Logbook correctly records who is P1.

2.5.9 The P1 must be in command at all times but should take account of any observations made by P2 as may seem appropriate.

2.5.10 Mutual flying as P1 is a privilege, which may be suspended or cancelled in the event of any flying to a poor standard of airmanship or in breach of any rule.

Mutual Flying in Private Gliders

2.5.11 An instructor may be appointed by the CFI to authorise individual members of a privately owned two-seater glider to fly P1 in that glider and to carry out appropriate checks for members of the syndicate.

2.5.12 In a privately owned 2 seat glider it may be the case that the least experienced pilot is a syndicate member and consequently the aircraft insurance cover may dictate that they should be P1. In this case, P2 must satisfy themselves that the P1 they are flying with is capable of handling the weather conditions and any situation they are likely to encounter, otherwise the flight should not take place.

Family and Friends

Flying family and friends as passengers may only be undertaken by IFP or instructors except with the specific permission for each individual flights by the CFI or DCFI’s.

2.6 Local Endorsements

2.6.1 In order to ensure pilots are sufficiently trained and enhance flight safety the Club has devised a series of site-specific endorsements the requirements for which are based on previous experience.

2.6.2 Details of these local requirements are contained in the Midland Gliding Club Progress and Logbook.

2.6.3 The attainment of these endorsements should be recorded in the pilots training card and gliding logbook by an MGC or otherwise authorised instructor.

2.6.4 Pilots must NOT fly solo using launch directions/methods or in flying conditions requiring a local endorsement until these training requirements have been satisfied and signed off in the pilot’s logbook unless a satisfactory check flight has been carried out on that day.

2.7 Flying operations- Radio procedures

2.7.1 Flight Radio Telegraphy Operators Licence (FRTOL)

Pilots are recommended to obtain a Gliding FRTOL as part of their training especially if they intend to fly cross country

2.7.2 The Club’s home base frequency is 129.980 MHz This should be used only for communication with the Club, and only below 3000 feet and within 10 nm of the airfield.

2.7.3 To enhance flight safety pilots should make “downwind” calls when starting their circuit to land at the Club’s site.

2.8 Pre landing checks

Instructors should teach pre landing checks will be as per the Aircraft Fight Manual/Pilots Operating Handbook


W – Water jettisoned.

U – Undercarriage down and locked.

L_- Lookout

F – Flaps

Pilot Currency Requirements

To categorise pilots by skill level and experience the Midland Gliding Club has introduced a “Stage” system of grading pilots.

The Stages, Currency Requirements and Renewal Requirements are as follows.



Introduction to gliding and initial flight training to solo standard

Currency Requirements


Stage 2


Consolidation and development of solo flying skills


Current, valid medical declaration, cleared to fly solo in a particular aircraft on a specific day.

Currency Requirements: –

Up to 25 solo flights – Daily Check Flight before flying solo.

25 solo flights and above – Check Flight unless the pilot has flown solo, on type, in the last 5 days in similar conditions using the same launch direction.

All solo flights must be authorised by a member of the duty instructor team after a pre-flight briefing and noted on the Flying Authorisation Log.

Stage 3


Further consolidation of solo skills, preparation for Bronze General Flight Test.


Current, valid medical declaration.

Stage 2 – Stage 3 training completed and signed off by the CFI or his authorised representative.

Currency Requirements: –

Check flight required unless the pilot has flown solo, 3 times in the previous 3 weeks.

All solo flights must be authorised by a member of the duty instructor team after a pre-flight briefing and noted on the Flying Authorisation Log

Annual Renewal:

Annual Check Flight plus 5 solo hours and 12 solo launches or Annual Check Flight plus 3 solo hours and 24 solo launches.

Home » Visitors » Pilots » Standard Operating Procedures

All visiting pilots are required to have read and fully comply with our Standard Operating Procedures.  These may be viewed and downloaded here.

Visiting Pilots Notes can be downloaded here.

Our Ridge flying rules can be downloaded here.