· These Operating Procedures are intended to ensure that all ground operations are carried out safely and in a timely manner. Most of the following has been taken from The Gliding Centre FLYING ORDER BOOK and re-arranged to provide these specific guidance notes for the LPC and members carrying out the tasks specified.

· All members on the airfield share in the responsibility for the safe launching of gliders. If a member is not confident they can carry out a requested task they should decline the request and seek help and advice from the Duty Instructor (No1 of the day) or the LPC.



· Manage the setting up and running of the launch point operation in a safe and efficient manner.

· The LPC should primarily direct operations, in particular managing the flying list to ensure all those wanting to fly, get to fly, meanwhile directing other members to carry out the tasks specified below.






· See that NOTAMS and weather information are ready for the briefing. Check with Duty Instructor

· Arrange unpacking of hanger; getting gliders daily inspected (DI’d) and moved to the launch point.

· Arrange getting out, and DI’ing of ground vehicles from  the MT shed.

· Agree with Duty Instructor Launch vehicle position and getting of same onto field. Set up the visitor fence and set out the cone for winch cables.


· During the day determine if any gliders have finished being used and can be taken back to the hanger early.

· Tell the winch driver when winch launching has finished for the day.

· Make sure all equipment/ gliders/buggies etc are packed in the hanger / MT shed as appropriate and that batteries are on charge; parachutes stowed in their own bags and ground vehicles plugged in and on charge.

· Ensure gliders are cleaned before putting in the hangar.

· Check the log sheet has been fully completed and all pilots have been logged back in the cross country log.



· When operating on 27, vehicle parking is confined to downwind of the launch point, in the approved area. Enough space must be left at all times for gliders to be towed past the control box on its dead side.


· To avoid congestion and maintain the launch rate landed gliders should be cleared quickly.

· When towing a glider ensure the glider is pointing at the tow vehicle, especially when starting off.

· Always try to leave the southern edge of the grass area clear for tug landings.

· Gliders and power aircraft may decide to use the tarmac strip unannounced at any time.

· When operating on 27, if a glider has landed long, retrieve it by towing it alongside the southern boundary.

· Note: When the landing area is congested, or if a glider has landed in the tug run, the glider should be rotated through 90 degrees after landing to maximise the remaining landing area.


· All spectators and others not involved in the launch should be kept behind the “visitor fence”.

· Winch launching and cable runs will normally be confined to the North side of the grass.

· All aircraft shall launch or take off from abeam the launch point control vehicle.

· Glider and tug wings must be well clear of the cable runs.

· Vehicles must not use the tarmac runway strip (peritrack) when flying operations are in progress.

· The midfield gate at the right of way must be kept closed at all times when flying. However, care must still be taken to ensure that the right of way is clear before commencing a launch.

· LUNCH BREAK – If there are sufficient resources; winch drivers; tug pilots; ground crew etc., schedule people to take staggered lunch breaks so that the operation does not have to stop.  

· Human factors – ensure you and others have water, suncream, warm clothes etc. according to the weather to minimise stress and fatigue.

· Note: If a person or other object /vehicle comes into contact with any flying machine, no matter how slight the contact may seem, it must be reported to the Duty Instructor so that a qualified person can inspect for hidden damage before the aircraft flies.

· EMERGENCIES: Consult the manual in the launch vehicle and immediately direct activities as necessary.


· Check that the pilots on the flying list have filled in the I/C column as required to determine who require instructional or check flights, as well as which pilots want to fly the K21, DG, Junior, Discus etc..

· Together with the Duty instructor determine how many consecutive flights per pilot will be the norm, (In winter typically 1 or 2 winches or 1 aerotow) and which instructor will do the checks/ instructing etc.

· Aim to schedule flights in flying list sequence, merging in air experience and scheduled training as appropriate; refer to the Duty instructor if there is a clash of requirements.

· Inform the waiting pilots who are next to fly so they can be ready (with weights, log book, training record as necessary) when an aircraft and instructor (if required) becomes available.


· Each glider take-off and landing at the site must be logged by the launch point log-keeper.

· Each pilot is responsible for ensuring that his or her flight is correctly logged, including launch height for aero tow launches.

· Typically the Log Keeper will also operate the lights for winch launching and also the radio for aerotows as well as keep a listening watch on the Airband radio.

· If a glider is spotted landing with the wheel not lowered, DO NOT attempt to radio the pilot.

· Cross country flights must be entered in the ‘cross country log’ as well as in the daily log).

o It is the responsibility of the pilot to close the entry on their return.

o THE LAUNCHPOINT MUST BE NOTIFIED UPON RETURN (or landout). Launch point telephone number is 07842 467892.

o In the event of an outlanding the pilot’s crew should be asked to inform the Duty Instructor and suitably endorse the ‘cross country log’. This is to ensure pilot safety; overdue action will be taken in the event of gliders not being accounted for at the end of the flying day.


· Police 22 and powered aircraft.

· When blind radio calls are received it is good practice to acknowledge them such as “message received” or stating “gliding in progress”. Do not offer instructions,(we are not licenced for it).

· Radio calls (ground and airband) for launching

· These should generally be done using the fixed radios in the control point vehicle. The portable radios (ground and airband) are available for the LPC as supplementary resources to keep a “watching ear” on radio calls and use as appropriate.


· All glider launches should be under the supervision of the LPC.

· Pilots and Instructors should be encouraged to have completed their checks /briefing and to be ready for accepting a cable when it is available.

· Encourage the second-in-line glider crew (and maybe third) to get in and complete their checks rather than waiting until the glider is pulled onto line.

· Launches must be signalled to the controller by under-arm swings for UP SLACK and over-arm for ALL OUT.

· All calls should be clearly audible (i.e. clear and loud).

· If the wing holder finds he needs a lot of force to maintain the wings level he should stop the launch, by calling out “STOP STOP STOP” and alert the pilot by “banging on the wing”).

· If there are sufficient helpers, an additional person should do the signalling, the wing tip holder only concentrating on keeping the wings level, (ie horizontal).

· If anybody considers during a launch it is not safe to launch they should call out “STOP STOP STOP” and raise their arm vertically.





· Should be controlled from the control box using the light system.

· Must not take place when a motor glider is on approach. Motor gliders often ‘go around’.

· Must not take place when a visiting powered aircraft is on approach.

· Cables should not be touched if the winch strobe light is flashing.

· Cables should be pulled over so that the parachute and rope are in line with the glider.

· DG 500 – the tail should be held down before launch by holding the rear of the fuselage.

· K21 – cable to be threaded under fuselage when cable run is to the right of the glider.

· The person who is to attach the cable to the glider should retrieve the end of the cable and check that the coloured strop is the correct colour for that glider, and that the weak link is OK.

· When the cable has been attached to the glider, the Log keeper /person designated to operate the signal lights should call the winch on the ground radio identifying glider type and any special considerations such as launch failure requirement, 1st solo, two seater flown solo etc. (Example: “Winch, launch point K21 solo ready for launch”).Listen for winch acknowledgement. The winch driver may not be there!

· After the cable has been attached to the glider, the person who attached the cable should do a look out scan and if all is clear calls out “All clear above and behind” and moves to stand alongside the wing tip. He raises the wings to a wings level position, (holding the wing by the trailing edge) and only if he is satisfied that it is safe to launch he calls “Take up Slack” and also indicates by an under arm movement.

· The signaller pushes the “take up slack” button.

· When all the slack is taken out of the cable the wing tip holder calls “all out”, and indicates by signalling with his arm above his head.

· The signaller pushes the “all out button”.

· The wing tip holder should walk with the glider until it is taken out of his hand.

· The signaller should push the reset button once the glider is in the “Full Climb” attitude.

· Except as noted below, if a STOP is called push the red stop button.

· NOTE: If the glider is moving, do not give the ‘STOP’ signal UNLESS there is a genuine emergency.


· Is normally initiated by air band radio on the airfield frequency of 127.580.

· Radio communication should be established between the tug aircraft and the glider before launch.

· The person attaching the aero tow rope must check the weak link before attaching the rope.

· The “attacher” must then immediately clear from in front of the glider, and level the wings.

· The “attacher” checks clear above, behind and in front and then, when it is clear, initiates the launch by calling and signalling ‘Take up Slack’.

· The Launch Point Controller /the person using the air band radio to call the tug should also check if it is clear and if so initiates the launch by calling up the tug on the radio and calls “”TUG REG”Take Up Slack”. (Example: November Alpha take up slack).

· When all the slack is taken out of the rope the “attacher” calls and signals “all out” and the radio operator calls “ “Tug Reg” ALL OUT, ALL OUT” .

· The wing holder/”attacher” runs with the wingtip until the glider leaves them behind.


· Manoeuvres such as straight-in approaches, hangar landings and trailer landings must always be carried out in such a way as to avoid disrupting other traffic that may be launching or following the normal circuit pattern and advised by radio to the launch point in good time.

· When landing on 09 the area to the north of the extended winch line is also available for landing but be alert for pedestrians and ground traffic.

· Competition finishes must conclude with a normal approach. A radio call from 2 miles out is mandatory but does not absolve the pilot from total responsibility for avoiding conflict with all other traffic in The Gliding Centre and adjacent circuits. Pilots wishing to carry out task/practice competition finishes outside of formal competitions must refer to section 9 of the flying order book.





Normal (OK): There should be 2 wire links as shown. The second link will be in the middle of the elongated holes.

Broken: First link broken, likely to be missing. Second link will be at the end of the elongated holes. Do not launch with this rope.



WINCH WEAK LINKS – colour denotes strength. If the small hole in the middle is not round, the link has been stressed. Reject the strop and get another.


Launch Point Controller