Glider Safety

Flight safety is of foremost importance to the CAP operation and must be constantly promoted. Careless behavior on the ground or in the air is not tolerated.

All Participants:

  • Follow all instructions of the Operations Director and Ground Operations Manager.
  • No driving with golf cart on the runway.
  • Ensure the tent is at least 300 feet from the runway and 50 feet from the taxiway.
  • Stay clear of the tow rope dropping area.
  • Always watch for approaching aircraft.
  • Stay clear of all aircraft on the field. Other aircraft will use the fuel pump behind the tent. Do not interfere.

Pilots, Passengers and Wing Runners (Cadets will be wing runners):

  1. Currency: To carry passengers, PIC must have made at least 3 take-offs and landings in a glider within the last 90 days (FAR §61.57). FAR Flight Review (FAR §61.56) and CAP requirements must be met before flying CAP equipment. Otherwise, insurance coverage is not valid and PIC would be totally financially responsible for the glider.
  2. Preflight: Before any glider is flown, it must be thoroughly inspected. Give the glider a good preflight check and not just a quick walk-around-look, even though it has just been flown. Prior to the first flight of the day, perform a flight control system integrity check. No CAP aircraft will be flown without an operable radio.
  3. Check the Cockpit: Make sure items have not been left in the cockpit by the previous pilot or passenger. Loose objects could slip and jam the controls. When flying a two-seater solo, ensure that the rear seat harnesses are secured and that C.G./ballast limitations are met.
  4. Checklist: After the canopy is closed, relax and review the pre-takeoff checklist. Never let yourself be rushed to take off!
  5. Tow Rope: While hooking up, check the tow rope for knots and general condition. Do not hesitate to reject a tow rope!
  6. Signals: Each member is expected to know the SSA standard ground handling, towing and emergency release signals.
  7. Wing runner Procedures. The following wing runner procedures will be practiced. Launch Procedure Standardization is critical for a safe operation:
    • The wing runner will examine the tow rope and rings. Wing runner will show the rope end to the PIC. Rope attachment to the glider will not be done before the glider PIC and passenger, if any, are strapped in. After hookup, the wing runner will move immediately to the left wingtip of the glider.
    • The wing runner will wait for a thumbs-up signal from the glider pilot before leveling the wing. While waiting, the wing runner should inspect the glider for removal of tail dolly, closed spoilers, proper tire pressure, canopy flush and locked and general condition. While waiting, the tow pilot may be taxiing forward to partially take out the slack of the rope.
    • When the wing runner receives the thumbs-up signal, he must check the traffic pattern to make sure it is clear. No persons are in front of the glider wing. The glider’s wing is to remain on the ground until the traffic pattern has been checked and the pilot has given the thumbs up signal.
    • Only after the traffic pattern has been checked and all is clear, the wing runner will lift the glider wing, and give the “remove remaining slack” signal.
    • When the glider pilot is ready, he shall waggle his rudder and the wing runner will give signal to take off. The tow-pilot will begin the take-off only with the proper signal from the wing runner.
  1. A second member will be located at the edge of runway and next to the tow plane to relay the wing runners signals to the tow pilot.
  1. Rope Break: Know your critical rope break point on tow: from 50 to slightly less than 200 feet above the runway (depending on airspeed, location on runway and type of glider).
  1. Before takeoff, assess the terrain to determine desirable turn direction, if any. Do you know the terrain at either end of the field? Consider both the close-in areas adjacent to the runway and the nature of more distant terrain!
  1. Low thermalling in CAP equipment is prohibited below 1,500 feet AGL.
  1. Aerobatics are prohibited in any CAP equipment.
  1. Damage to CAP Equipment -  be familiar and follow CAP rules and regulations.
    The pilot in command of any CAP aircraft is required to immediately report any damage incurred to the Operations Director (DO) and a CAP officer, and to ground the aircraft immediately (WMIRS).   Should a hard landing occur (defined as ground contact at vertical velocity exceeding 500 fpm i.e. a big splat!), the incident should be reported to the DO. An appropriate inspection of the equipment must be performed before further flight. The CAP Maintenance officer will notify the membership ASAP of the grounding or return to service of the glider.

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