Reply To: Newly Updated Policy & Procedures

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Don GrilloDon Grillo

    Hello Sky Soaring Members,

    The BOD has approved two changes to the Policy and Procedures Manual. I will summarize the changes.

    1. Gliders will not be moved to the grid until the aircraft and pilot/s are ready to launch. Meaning that we do not want gliders sitting in the middle of the displaced thresholds where they can be an obstacle for landing aircraft or have aircraft flying over the top of them when landing.  When departing runway 09, gliders will be staged either on the north or south sides, well clear of the runway centerline. When departing runway 27, gliders will stag on the north side, off the runway until ready to launch.

    2. When landing runway 27, stop the aircraft before the runway end threshold markings. The fuel tank will no longer be used as a stop point. If you can not stop the aircraft before the threshold markings, turn left to avoid obstacles and people.

    The changes in the Policy and Procedures manual are shown below in bold.
    Download the updated file here:


    Don Grillo (Flight Committee Chairman)

    Ground Safety Officer (GSO) Duties and Responsibilities:

    • The GSO is usually a job done by a rotating pool of qualified club members. They are qualified by knowing the club Policy & Procedures manual, the SSA Standard Signals and how to delegate duties to the Line Crew, which are the future GSO candidates.
    • The GSO must make runway safety the priority, and has the authority to insist that adhering to club procedures for all pilots is mandatory. Rushing to launch, distractions such as logging launch times, or using non-standard signals may lead to confusion and an accident.
    • A GSO will hold at least a Private Pilot Glider license or be authorized by the FCC to act as GSO.
    • A GSO, CFI-G or SSI BOD should be present when SSI gliders are operated.
    • Wearing the orange vest for positive identification.
    • Select the direction of takeoff and landing operations – after consultation with the Tow Pilot, PIC and/or Instructor/s.
    • Ensure the runway is well clear of any aircraft, vehicles or persons for takeoffs and landings.
    • Staged gliders will be moved to the grid only after both the glider and its pilot/s are ready to launch.
    • Appoint available helpers to tasks as necessary (Schedule, Rope, Wing-runner, Push crew, etc.).
    • Delay or terminate operations if conditions become unsuitable
    • Standard American Soaring Signals shall be used.
    • Proper use of radio communications is encouraged with these guidelines:
    • GSO shall carry or delegate the base radio and use the call sign “Sky Soaring” on field operations frequency of 123.3.
    • GSO and pilots understand that base radio is a means of providing operational information. Aircraft PIC responsibility remains with the pilot.

    Landing Patterns – Club Gliders

    • Enter the pattern on the upwind, crosswind, or downwind leg.
    • Complete the landing checklist before the downwind leg.
    • Make the radio call if possible.
    • Establish pattern speed of the recommended GFM/POH or 1.5 times the glider’s stall speed (Vso) plus half the wind velocity. If winds are gusting, also adding the gust factor is appropriate.
    • Fly the downwind leg with sufficient altitude to allow a normal base and final using spoilers/dive brakes as necessary to dissipate excess altitude and to clear all obstacles by a normal height so as to land on a predetermined area of the landing surface.
    • Land on the predetermined area with minimum speed consistent with glider characteristics and operating conditions.
    • Stop straight ahead near the runway edge, North side preferred, as soon as possible.
    • When landing on runway 27, stop before passing the runway 27 threshold markings.
    • If you cannot stop before the threshold markings, turn left away from the hanger and parked aircraft.
    • Move the glider off the active runway as soon as possible.