Airfield Safety

The first and most important rule is: IF YOU ARE IN DOUBT – ASK. Any of our members will be pleased to help you.

When you arrive please report to the clubhouse and stay within the clubhouse, the car park or the roped off area in front of the clubhouse until escorted onto the airfield. Please note that the taxiway immediately in front of the clubhouse on the airfield side often carries powered aircraft and vehicles so please keep clear of it.

Children under the age of fifteen are only allowed on the airfield and premises if they are in the continual care and supervision of their parents or an adult nominated by their parents.

Landing Area

Aircraft can land on any part of the airfield both on the runways or the grass even if aircraft are taking off from a different part of the airfield. So spend as little time as possible in the landing areas, being close to the Control Cabin at the launch point is one of the safest places to be.

Even powered aircraft make little noise whilst landing and gliders make almost none at all. It is therefore essential when on the airfield that you keep a good look out particularly downwind but remember, in an emergency aircraft will land in any direction including downwind so a 360º look out is needed.

Be especially careful of the tug aircraft as they tow a long rope with metal rings on the end. Keep well clear of these even when they are on the ground as the rope could get caught round your legs. Also stay well clear of all powered aircraft as their propellers can cause great damage and injury. Do not touch the propeller even when stationary. Aircraft engines have magnetos which stay switched on if they fail, a small movement of the propeller could cause it to start.

If crossing the airfield take the shortest possible route, do not cross runways diagonally but go straight across after checking for landing aircraft. If you fail to see an approaching aircraft and you are on a runway or landing area, stand still, remain calm and ascertain whether the pilot has seen you and is taking avoiding action. If you believe you have not been seen, move promptly and calmly in the most suitible direction away from the path of the aircraft.

Most car insurance policies exclude use whilst airside on an airfield so you are advised not to take your car. However should you want and get permission to drive on the airfield, remember that the speed limit is 20mph, keep to the side of a runway (not down the middle nor weaving about). Remember to give way to aircraft. Parking near the launch point is always 100 metres or so away from the control cabin, this is so that gliders can land on the grass close to the runway if necessary so be on your guard as you walk to the Control Cabin. Park parallel to any other cars. If there are no other cars then you shouldn’t be there.

At the launch point

Do not stand in front of a glider as it could move at any time, even the wind could cause movement. If it is being launched then it will accelerate very suddenly and could veer to one side especially if a wing touches the ground. It is also dangerous to stand close to the fuselage but behind the wing as you could be hit by the tail plane. The simple rule is to stand at least a wing span from the side of the aircraft and behind the wing line.

Keep well clear of winch cables at all times as they could start to move for no apparent reason for example: if another cable is being used to launch a glider and the two get caught up; or even just that the winch driver wants to go home and is pulling in unused cables. Also be aware of and avoid the cables that may be behind the cable retrieve vehicle


It is against the law to fly as a pilot or pupil in an aircraft with an alcohol concentration in the blood exceeding 20mg per 100ml. This is a quarter of the drink/drive limit. One drink will put you over this limit. This also applies to Trial Lesson students and even helpers at the launch point.

You must not have consumed any alcohol in the eight hours before the flight.

You must not have consumed more than 5 units of alcohol in the 12 hours before the flight.

You must not have consumed a substantial amount of alcohol during the 24 hours before the flight.


Your body is about two thirds water. When the water level dips below that level, you could be dehydrated and your performance suffers. Please ensure you take plenty of water.


If you are pregnant, consult your doctor before flying.

What to wear

In summer, protect the skin with high factor sun screen and a sun hat. Do not use baseball hats and other with large brims as these restrict your vision. Use sun glasses with UV protection when flying.

In winter use wind proof outer clothing, multiple layers and woolly hats.

Ladies, skirts are not suitable for climbing into and out of aircraft and putting on aircraft harnesses.

If you would like to take up gliding or even just help on the airfield, it is essential that you read and understand the other health and safety literature in the clubhouse.