London Gliding Club

Flying Operations - Local Regulations

Table of Contents


Motor Gliders

Pre-Solo Pilots

Two-Seater Dual Command Pilots

Logging Flights

Ground Handling & Canopies

Early Solos & Progress Assessments

Launching Instructions

Winch Launching & Aerotow Launching

Movement on the Airfield

Restrictions on Flying

Routes to Launch Points

Break From Flying

LGC Operational Areas

Solo flying in Club Gliders

North East Run Access


Luton Control Zone

Daily Inspections

Local airways system


Hill soaring


Operations control and organisation

Private ownership


Introduction (revision May 2014)

In everyday life we are governed by increasing numbers of rules that often seem un-necessary and overbearing. We like to escape from these pressures in our spare time and if we find yet another excess of rules, the refreshing quality of our pursuit is lost. However, all games need rules if the players are to achieve a satisfactory, safe outcome and in our sport this is especially so. Flying demands an extra quality in those that practise it, one that rules and regulations cannot instil self-discipline. It is self-discipline that makes our sport safe and this is more important that rules per se, which should be kept to a minimum.

It is against this background that the LGC Operational Rules are set. The "thou shall not" rules are kept to a minimum and hopefully the reasons for those that do exist will be self-evident. For the majority, the exercising of self-discipline and common sense is all that is required; for the few, these guide lines will help them become worthy of the title, Pilot.

The Chief Flying Instructor, London Gliding Club.


Pre-Solo Pilots

Before commencing the training programme, student pilots must be a member of the club. They must sign a declaration of physical fitness, undertaking to inform the club of any change in his or her medical status. This self-declaration must be countersigned by the pilots General Practitioner. Appropriate forms are available from the BGA web site or the club office. Members of affiliated BGA clubs may receive instruction by paying a daily fee.

Pre-solo check card. Before flying solo, students must demonstrate a high standard in the subjects listed on the pre-solo check card. The order in which the exercises appear on the card does not necessarily represent the order of progression through the training programme. The card must be kept with the student’s logbook to be available to instructors before flying. The card is used in conjunction with the log book entries to help instructors assess student progress.

A sound knowledge of the rules of the air is essential and all pilots should possess an up to date copy of the BGA publication, laws and rules for glider pilots. This publication can also be downloaded from the BGA web site in pdf format. A THOROUGH UNDERSTANDING OF THE LUTON AIRSPACE REGULATIONS IS MANDATORY.


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Logging of Flights

Each pilot must maintain an up to date logbook detailing each flight made. Logbooks must be made available to instructors on request.

Each take-off and landing from the site must be logged on the day's flying sheet.  Each pilot is responsible for seeing that his or her flight(s) are logged correctly.  Once a pilot leaves the site he or she deems log entries to be correct and he or she will be charged and must pay accordingly.  Maximum charges will be applied to incomplete log entries. 


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Early Solos 

The first solo session is flown in either an ASK 21 or ASK 23.  Two seater assessment flights are required before each solo session until completion of progress assessment 1 (See progress assessment and the post solo training programme).

Progress assessments.  A series of progress assessments are required to progress from stage to stage. 

Progress assessment 1.  Assessment flights are required before every solo session until progress assessment 1 is attained (See post solo to bronze badge notes for details).  Pilots apply for this assessment after a minimum of twenty five launches or as recommended by an instructor.  Assessment 1 is conducted by the CFI, deputy CFI or a designated full rated instructor.

Progress assessment 2.  This is equivalent to and includes the bronze badge flight test. It is usually conducted by the CFI, Deputy CFI or designated full rated instructor.

Progress Assessment 3. Required before approval is given to train for Basic or other instructor rating. It is conducted only by the CFI or Deputy CFI.


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Winch Launching

Two-seater check flights are required before flying the first solo winch launch. Pilots must demonstrate a good launching technique, cope with launch failures at varying heights and posess an understanding of the principles and theory of winch launching and the importance of maximum launch speed and weak links.


Aerotow Launching.

Two-seater check flights are required before flying a solo aerotow for the first time. Pilots must demonstrate good launching technique, station keeping, have the maximum height above the tug demonstrated, cope with launch failures. They must understand the various signals between the glider and tug (see laws and rules 5.9. to 5.11.) and the dangers of getting out of position particularly too high. The need to keep ropes knot free and weak links in good order should also be understood.


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Restriction on flying.

The duty instructor may restrict solo flying when the weather conditions make flying difficult. Individual pilots are responsible for insuring they do not fly in the weather conditions that are outside their experience level. Different coloured wind socks may be displayed at the Control Tower to indicate experience levels required. Their meaning is:

Green Windsock  -  PA1 pilots and above may fly without check flights.

Yellow Windsock - PA2 pilots and above may fly without check flights. PA1s require briefing/check flight.

Red Windsock     - PA3 - Instructors only may fly without briefing or check flights.

Aerial Filming.

No aerial filming is to take place in flights originating from Dunstable airfield without the permission of the CFI, Chief Tug Pilot or the instructor in charge on the day. It is not anticipated that reasonable requests will be denied but guidance and advice may well be offered and some guidelines may be given which will be strictly adhered to.

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Break From Flying

All pilots should have regard to the BGA advice on currency (see - copy on LGC Safety noticeboard.)  To fly Club owned gliders the 'advice' should be treated as mandatory.


In addition Solo Pilots who have passed Progress Assessment No.1 but are pre-Bronze (not passed Progress assessment No.2) and who have not flown for a period of two months or more, must obtain a dual check. After a break of this length instructors may, at their discretion, revert pilots to pre-Progress Assessment 1 status.

Private owner/pilots are expected to use their discretion but should use the BGA advice (above) as their guide, or refer to the instructor in charge on the day.




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Solo flying in club gliders.

Glider types owned by the club are: the two-seat Duo Discus, K21, K13, and the single seat K23, a high performance single seat glider , ASW24 for cross country and competition flying and a Pilatus B4 for aerobatics use.

Duo Discus. This is a high performance two seat glider for cross-country flying. It may be flown by pilots who are full members of the club. The pilot in command must hold a BGA instructors rating, 300 hours in gliders and the CFI’s authority.

To fly the Duo Discus cross country the pilot in command must hold a BGA instructor rating, 300 hours in gliders, a Gold Distance and the CFI’s authority.

Nationals Competition pilots who do not hold BGA instructors ratings may be invited at the discretion of the CFI to fly as pilot in command of the Duo Discus.

The K21. This is the clubs training aircraft. Priority use is to be for flying and cross-country training. The commander must be a full member of the club. First solos are flown on the type. Solo flying in the K21 is charged at the K23 rate when the glider is not required for two seat flying or if the pilot is not cleared to fly a K23.

K13. The primary use for the K13 is for stall and spin training and instructor development. These uses will take priority over any other club member use.

The K23. The type may be flown by any qualified pilot who is full or reciprocal (member of another BGA affiliated club) member of the club. Reciprocal members must undertake site checks and if their experience is less that 100 hours in command of gliders, approval from the CFI, Deputy CFI or a full rated instructor is required. Probationary members are not entitled to fly solo in this type.

ASW 24. This is a high performance single seat glider for cross-country flying. It may be flown by pilots who are full members of the club and who have CFI’s authorization. A specific series of flights will be required in a high performance two seat glider such as the Duo Discus. The glider must be handed on to another qualified pilot or washed and derigged after use. Failure to comply will lead to a black mark. Three black marks will result in a permanent ban.

Pilatus B4. This glider is primarily for aerobatics use. Soaring fees are not capped at two hours. Any solo full flying member of the club is cleared to fly if they have been cleared to practise solo aerobatics. A briefing is required. All LGC instructors are authorised to fly the Pilatus. This glider is normally kept outside.

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Basic aerobatics (positive "g" manoeuvres) are permitted by pilots who have received formal instruction and are cleared for solo practice by a qualified instructor. Clearance will normally be by logbook entry or completion of the blue Aerobatics Rating Progress Sheet. All aerobatic manoeuvres must be completed by 1500 ft above the ground (QFE). The CFI may authorize manoeuvres below this height for suitably qualified pilots. Advanced aerobatics (rolling and inverted flight) may only be flown by qualified pilots with specific clearance of the CFI. Flick manoeuvres are not permitted in club gliders. Parachutes must be worn and the glider must have a serviceable ‘g’ meter. Aerobatics during trial lessons are prohibited unless authorized in each case by the CFI. (See Laws and Rules RP 16 to RP18).


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Daily Inspections

A glider must be inspected each day for serviceability by a qualified person. A qualified person is defined as a pilot with Bronze Badge. This is likely to change under EASA rules to a licenced pilot. Training may be undertaken and gliders inspected by those not holding a licence but only under supervision of a qualified instructor.  For club gliders the Daily Inspection (D.I.) book for the glider must be signed by the person conducting the inspection. The D.I. book only attests that the glider was serviceable at the time of the inspection. Pilots should satisfy themselves that a glider is serviceable before they fly it. (See Laws and Rules 3.4.)

No glider may be taken onto the airfield unless it has been inspected. Gliders that have been rigged should have control connections checked by an independent person who is cleared to conduct Daily Inspections. A positive force control check must also be carried out at this stage. To obtain the Daily Inspections rating a pilot should be of solo standard (pre solo pilots may be approved with the CFI’s specific authorization), attend a Daily Inspection course and have his log book endorsed.

Gliders in the Hangar and rigged may be considered to be airworthy in respect of Annual Inspection, ARC, Insurance, Lifed items and Radio Licence unless notified as U/S in the DI book.


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The Winching Operation

Winching takes place under a dispensation from the National Air Traffic Services. The maximum height allowed is 2000ft above the ground (QFE). Launching may not take place into or through cloud. Cables must not be allowed to drift outside the boundaries of the airfield. The winch may only be operated by persons approved by the CFI or Chief Winch Driver and who have completed the club training programme. (See Laws and Rules 4.1 to 4.7).



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The Aerotowing Operation

Tugs must be D.I.’d each day and the technical logs signed. Defects must be reported at once. After flying, the Technical Log of each aircraft must be completed as required and signed. Tug pilots must ensure that the conditions are suitable for the intended flight and the level of experience of the glider pilot. An aerotow take-off must not cross or fly close to the winch cables unless the tug pilot is in radio contact with the winch driver. Gliders must not be towed into cloud or out of gliding range of the field unless previously arranged with the glider pilot. Tug pilots must fly varied patterns to avoid noise concentration. On approach, tug pilots must ensure the tow rope is clear of persons and obstructions. Minimum tow rope length is 160 feet, tug pilots are responsible for ensuring ropes comply with this rule. (Refer to LGC Tug Pilot's Manual and Laws & Rules).


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Motor Glider Operation           

Motor gliders must be D.I.’d each day of use by a licenced pilot or trainee under the supervision of a qualified instructor and the Technical Log completed and signed. Defects must be reported at once. After flying, the Technical Log must be completed as required and signed. The pilot must ensure that the conditions are suitable for the intended flight and under no circumstances should an attempt be made to take off with wet wings. Whilst the Motor Glider is operated as a powered aircraft it will have anti-collision lights operating prior to engine start up. If operating as a glider the anti-collision lights will be off so as to avoid ambiguity. All operations must comply with the current Motor Glider Operating Manual.


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Two-seater dual command pilots.

The commander of a two-seater glider, flown dual, shall be determined by the pilot with the highest instructor rating. If two pilots of equal status fly together the commander shall be determined by seating position, i.e. the occupant of the rear seat for tandem seating aircraft, or the left-hand seat for side by side seating aircraft or as agreed by the CFI in each case. The commander is responsible for the safety of his aircraft and its occupants throughout the flight.

Pilots who aspire to command a multi-seat glider must meet experience and skill levels as may be determined from time to time by the BGA and the club. Before approval is given to train for any of the higher ratings Progress Assessment 3 must be successfully undertaken.

The LGC only recognises instructor ratings for multi-seat commanders (Basic, Assistant and Full). To qualify for training a pilot must have a minimum of 100 hours solo time in gliders, a silver badge certificate, attain Progress Assessment 3 and attend a course of training as determined by the BGA, and CFI which may be in addition to statutory BGA requirements. LGC requirements are more stringent than those of the BGA, which are to be regarded as the absolute minimum.        

The commander of a two-seater glider who only holds a P1 Rating must fly the glider throughout the entire flight. Furthermore, if he flies with a P2 who is not a joint owner of the glider he may not accept or demand payment for the flight in any shape or form. Flying outside the limitations of this rating may invalidate the glider’s insurance and expose all concerned to possible litigation.

Privately owned two-seaters must be insured against third party risks for at least £2,000,000. See- BGA Laws & Rules 1.8, 2.5, 6.8, and 7.4. Air Navigation Order in general and specifically Articles 23, 51, 90      


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Ground Handling of Club Aircraft

Moving club aircraft on the airfield requires a minimum of one person when using the single-handed towing system. Two people if moved by hand and three if towed by a vehicle using a rope. 

Gliders are to be withdrawn from the club hangar by hand only and taken off the apron for Daily Inspection. Vehicles are not to be used to tow gliders out of the hangar.

Only approved persons may use the towing system. Approval is obtained by attending a Daily Inspection Course, or by a briefing from an instructor familiar with the equipment. Written information can be found in the Post Solo Notes or obtained from the office.

When a glider is moved by hand the person in charge must ensure that it is handled only by those parts of it strong enough for the purpose. There must be one person on the into wind wing or as determined by the person in charge of the aircraft.

When towing with a rope, the rope must be a minimum of 20 ft in length. One person must be stationed by the nose at all times: this person is in command of the combination. An important responsibility of the commander is to prevent overrunning on gentle slopes: it is preferable to manhandle to glider on steep slopes. The wing tip holder is responsible for steering under direction of the person in charge and is stationed on the into wind wing. The driver of the towing vehicle must keep to a steady walking pace, avoid sudden braking or acceleration and listen for instructions from the commander. If the towing vehicle is a car the windows should be open and the radio silent.

The person in charge of the glider in any of the above modes of operation is responsible for the safety of the aircraft. It must not be towed too fast, close to any other aircraft, across rough ground or in any way that he knows, or ought reasonably to know, might cause it damage.

Gliders on the landing area must be retrieved without delay. They must be towed back to the launch point by the shortest possible route keeping clear of the take-off paths of other aircraft except when towing up the steep slope of the gully. The combination must stop for gliders and tug aircraft landing: it is not necessary to stop for aircraft taking off unless, by continuing, the take-off path will be obstructed. Gliders being towed should arrive at the launch point in such a way as not to delay launching or hazard launching gliders. They should be towed to the rear of the launching grid. Retrieve vehicle drivers must make adequate allowance for the wingspan of their gliders when close to obstructions.

Gliders returning to the hangar or the trailer park must do so via the launch point, keeping clear of take-off paths. Towing across winch cables is prohibited.

Gliders not being flown must be securely parked well clear of the launch point. A club glider is parked by positioning it across the wind such that expected changes of wind direction come from aft of the wing. Gliders will be parked with the into wind wing up and no tyres placed on the wing tips. Further tyres are placed under the nose or by the tail and in front or behind the main wheel to prevent the glider moving. In stronger winds more tyres are required. In winds above 30 knots (20 knots in the case of the K13) gliders should not be left unattended in the open. Private owners may park their gliders as they see fit provided they do not hazard others.

When the glider is not parked as above it must be constantly attended. When the glider is positioned across wind, the wing tip holder must not leave the wing tip unattended. When the glider is positioned with the nose in the intended take-off direction someone must be stationed by or in the cockpit.

Canopies. Cockpit canopies are fragile and expensive. Canopies must be opened fully to gain access to the towing cable release. Reaching through the Direct Vision panel can result in damage if the glider is suddenly jerked forward or towed over rough ground. Canopies on club gliders are fitted with fingerplates to facilitate opening. When towing the canopy should not be locked as releasing the tow rope in an emergency will be delayed. The exception to this is when using the single-handed towing system. In strong winds guard against the wind snatching the canopy open: the rear cockpit canopies of K21s are particularly prone to damage in this way.

Private owners may handle their own glider as they see fit provided this does not interfere with, or cause hazard to others.


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Launching instructions.

Instructions for both launch methods are given via radio link. The frequency used is 119.90. The frequency may only be used for launching and airfield control purposes by Dunstable based stations. Only those members who have been briefed on the radio procedure may operate the system. Only instructors or duty pilots may giver these briefings. Launch point radio operators must monitor the frequency closely to ensure that winch and aerotow launches do not occur simultaneously. Tug pilots and winch drivers are equally responsible for monitoring the frequency to ensure winch and aerotow launches do not occur simultaneously. All messages must be as brief as possible. Pilots may not give their own launch instructions.

A Triangle Bat signalling system is used for aerotow clearance on the Northeast run (see Northeast Run for details).


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Movement on the Airfield


All movements on the operational areas of the airfield are under the control of the Chief Flying Instructor or his nominated deputy.


Visitors. Members are required to assist visitors and help ensure their safely. Visitors must be directed to the main office reception before going onto the airfield.


Routes to launch points. All launch points are accessed via the boundary of the airfield. Southwest, West and Northeast run access is via the Southeast (hill) boundary, east run via north boundary. Movement to and from launch points must be as close to the boundary as possible. Movement on the landing area other than by aircraft, or by vehicles for the purpose of retrieving gliders or cables is prohibited. Particular note should be taken of the Northeast run access procedures detailed elsewhere in this publication.


Right of way. Aircraft on the ground, vehicles and pedestrians give way to aircraft landing and taking off.

Aircraft on the ground not taking off or landing shall give way to vehicles towing aircraft.

Vehicles and pedestrians must give way to aircraft taxiing or vehicles towing aircraft. 

When two vehicles towing aircraft are on a converging course the one with the other on its right gives way. 


Lookout. It is important to maintain a good lookout for aircraft approaching to land when moving across the airfield as they may do so from any direction. Particular care should be taken in the area of the active final approach. When crossing the active final approach path, keep as close to the boundary as possible.


Avoidance of aircraft landing or taking off.  If an aircraft is approaching to land close to a vehicle or person, that vehicle or person must stop just before the aircraft commences its final turn and hold position until the aircraft has stopped after landing or has passed. Vehicles and persons must keep clear of the take-off path of aircraft at all times. Crews must remove gliders from the landing area as quickly as possible.

Crossing winch cables. Gliders and vehicles may not cross winch cables. An aerotow combination or motor glider must not take-off across winch cables in any circumstances.


Retrieving gliders. (See ground handling). Gliders must be retrieved from the landing area without delay. Vehicles should be driven directly to the glider to be retrieved while maintaining an all round lookout. Vehicles and Vehicles towing aircraft must stop for aircraft approaching to land. Retrieving gliders must be kept clear of take-off paths. Provided the retrieve is clear of the take-off path and will not cross it, it is not necessary to stop whilst aircraft are taking off.


Towing out winch cables.  The vehicle towing out winch cables is exempt from stopping for aircraft approaching to land. On Northeast run and Southwest run operations the cable retrieve must ensure that it will not conflict with aerotow launches.


Dogs. Dogs must be kept on leads whilst on the operational areas of the airfield.


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LGC Operational Areas.

Details of the LGC operational areas can be found in the printed version of the Flying Operations - Local Regulations.

North East Run Access.


Due to the uneven nature of the airfield, the Northeast run launch points are out of sight of the clubhouse and trailer park areas. Because aircraft take off toward these areas the following rules apply. All traffic must strictly observe these rules whilst moving on the airfield when this launch point is active.


Access to the launch point. Vehicle and pedestrian traffic may only access this launch point via the Hill boundary (follow the marker arrows). There are no other routes available whatever the circumstances. This is because the launch point is blind to traffic in the clubhouse area. Aerotow launches are vulnerable to obstruction as they pass low and close to this area. Any traffic on the Tring Road side of the airfield will be in direct conflict with these launches.


Mid-field bat. The mid-field bat indicates to the tug pilot or motor glider pilot that his take off path is clear. Tug and motor glider pilots must not take off unless they receive a clearance signal. Mid-field bat clears such launches as follows: On seeing an aerotow combination or motor glider ready for take-off (glider canopy close, wings level, tug in front with engine running), mid-field bat checks the take-off path. He checks both sides of his position as the take-off may go either side. If the take-off path is clear he holds the ‘Clearance Bat’ above his head and rotates it. He continues this signal until the aerotow combination or motor glider has passed his position. If it is not clear he holds the bat stationary above his head with either face towards the launch point. The signal is maintained until the obstruction has cleared when the all clear signal is given as above.  The provision of a mid-field bat is an additional safeguard for the aerotow or motor glider take off. Its presence in no way absolves traffic from adhering to the prescribed routes.


Eligibility for mid-field bat. Only full flying members of the club (which includes members of Holiday Courses) may undertake this task. The instructor in charge of the launch point controller must ensure that any member asked to do the job fully understands his responsibilities. Similarly, any member asked to do this job must obtain a clear briefing if he is unsure of the exact requirements. Under no circumstances may temporary members do this job.

See the paper version of LGC Flying Operations - Local Regulations for diagram.




Luton Control Zone and Area

As Luton Airport has expanded over the years it has acquired more and more airspace until today the Club finds itself in the position of being inside a Control Zone which is Class D airspace. (See laws and rules 6.16 to 6.26). A Letter of Agreement between LGC, Luton Airport and the National Air Traffic Service signed by all the parties, is the instrument that controls air traffic in the area. However, the fact that gliders operate only a mile from the approach path of large passenger carrying aircraft puts the situation in the spotlight. Each glider pilot must therefore know, understand, and fly to the procedures agreed for the safety of all traffic using the airspace. The rules are complex but to contravene them in any way will jeopardise the future of the club.

All pilots operating from Dunstable must know and apply these rules. Each pilot must attend an Airspace Briefing every year and sign the "Airspace Book" to indicate that they have attended and understood the briefing. No pleas of ignorance or mistake will be accepted. For gliders to fly in the prohibited parts of the Luton Zone is both illegal (regulated by criminal law) and jeopardises the future of the club. Transgressors can expect to receive the club’s severest retribution.

There are two distinct operating conditions at Dunstable which are dependent on the runway in operation at Luton Airport. The airspace limitations for the two operating conditions are quite different and explained in detail in the clubs airspace presentation:


Default Airspace.

Until a pilot has an airspace rating he will be confined to the default airspace. This will be explained in detail during instruction to fly or by site check if the pilot is already suitably qualified. As a reminder this airspace can be described as:

Remaining to the north of the disused railway line from Aylesbury to Cheddington station, a line from the station to the pond to the north of Ivinghoe Aston, from this pond following to the north of the high tension cables which pass just to the south of Edlesborough church and the "pig farm", from the pig farm up the hill to the road which runs past the visitor centre, to the north of this road along to the roundabout on Tring road, through to the centre of Dunstable and to Junction 11 (Luton and Dunstable Hospital) of the M1 with the A505. This is detailed on a high resolution map in the briefing room.

07 Airspace

This airspace is available to all airspace rated pilots during any daytime hours that LTCC have been informed of our intention to use the airspace with the exception of the Spin Training Area. As a reminder this airspace can be described as:

Remaining to the north of the disused railway line from Aylesbury to Cheddington station, a line from the station to the pond to the north of Ivinghoe Aston, from this pond following to the north of the high tension cables which pass just to the south of Edlesborough church and the "pig farm", from the pig farm up the hill to the road which runs past the visitor centre and from this point along a line which would pass through the radio mast at the edge of the chalk quarry by the buildings at its western edge through the large communications tower at Zouches farm northwest of Caddington. This is detailed on a high resolution map in the briefing room.

To use the Spin Training Area the pilot MUST be on a listening watch on 119.905MHz and be able to respond to a directive to vacate the area.

25 Operation.

The use of 25 airspace is only possible when a trained tower controller is available and Luton are on runway 25 operation. The tower controller can allow or deny access to the 25 airspace and operates with the authority of the CFI. He must keep the LTCC phone with him at all times as this is the means by which LTCC will inform us of a change of operating conditions at Luton.

If the airspace is closed then the phone may be returned to the tower.

When Luton are operating on runway 25 the additional airspace may be used by "Airspace Rated Pilots" provided that they gain permission to enter the airspace from the Tower Controller on Dunstable Radio 119.905MHz. "Airspace Rated Pilots" will be familiar with the required procedures, but are welcome to seek advice or confirmation at any time from the CFI or Chief Tug Pilot. Rated pilots will have reaffirmed their understanding of the airspace limits and operating requirements annually.




Any aircraft or glider operated from Dunstable which is transponder equipped must be operated within the terms of the relevant legislation in place at the time. Presently within the terms of the Luton LOA the transponder must be set to a code of 7010 whilst within the Luton Zone. This code is recognised by Luton as a local operator’s code which does not require communication with the controllers of the airspace. Any aircraft entering the zone displaying any other code and not in verbal contact with the controllers will be seen as airspace infringement and it is current policy for the CAA to prosecute offenders. Entering the Luton Zone when the airspace is NOT delegated to LGC is also an infringement regardless of transponder code. The Club will assist the authorities in anyway required to identify offenders in order to protect its relationship with NATS and the CAA.


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Local Airways Systems


LGC Operating hours. Flying takes place from LGC. 15 minutes after notifying London Air Traffic Control Centre during daylight hours. Under the terms of the Agreement this does not constitute asking for permission, the right to operate is implicit but, as there are days when the weather prevents us flying, this system allows Luton to make maximum use of the airspace.

Airspace changes. Controlled airspace is subject to change at frequent intervals. A current CAA ½ million map should be used to define controlled airspace but does not define our operating agreement with Luton or LTCC. Changes made between chart issues are detailed on the CAA web site.


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Hill Soaring

Before flying solo on the hill for the first time a pilot must have completed twelve solo flights and pass a dual check. The first solo hill flight may be in a K21 or K23 at the discretion of the instructor. The check flight will ascertain airmanship, soaring ability, knowledge of hill soaring practices and the following local rules. All heights referred to in these rules are above airfield (QFE).

Airmanship.  A high standard of airmanship is expected at all times. Manoeuvres that involve high speeds and rapid changes of height such as competition finishes, ‘beat ups’ and ‘ridge running’ are prohibited when the hill is soarable. Gliders flying along the hill will give way to thermalling gliders.

Joining the hill.  The pattern formed by hill soaring traffic can be entered at any point along the length of the hill. A good lookout must be maintained in all directions.

Exit points. To enter the circuit for landing a glider should leave the hill at the ‘exit point’ for the circuit in force. There are two exit points; for the Southwest run the Club Bowl and for the west or northeast run, the Pig Farm. These are recommended exit points, however pilots may leave the hill at any point provided they do so in a safe manner.

Minimum height. The minimum height for soaring the hill is 400ft at or near the exit point for the circuit in force. When the Southwest run is operational, gliders may not soar the Zoo end with less than 600ft.

Circling. The minimum height for thermalling from the hill is 800 feet. This allows for the effective loss of height as the glider drifts back over the hill with the thermal. The glider should be ‘S’ turned in the thermal until the circling height is achieved. Begin all turns into wind.

The above rules will be strictly applied to early solo pilots. Should these pilots see a glider that appears to be flying in contravention of them they should understand that those with more experience can fly to finer limits. Instructors will interpret these rules and apply them to specific cases taking the experience of the pilot into account. Action taken by instructors is final and without appeal.

Separation. When passing another glider at least a two wing spans lateral separation must be allowed. One glider must not over fly another with less than 100 feet vertical separation, as in strong lift conditions rapid height changes are possible.

The hill is used by the Dunstable Hang Gliding and Paragliding Club. The relative speeds of gliders, hang gliders and paragliders are such that hang gliders and paragliders appear to be stationary. It is advised that the more manoeuvrable gliders do most of the giving way.

Thermalling behind the hill. When thermalling off the hill the glider will drift downwind with the thermal and may encounter down draft and turbulence behind the hill. The severity of the down draft and turbulence and the height to which it extends will depend upon the prevailing weather conditions. Pilots must ensure they leave thermals with sufficient height to regain the hill lift while avoiding the down draft and turbulence. As a guide, provided the face of the hill remains in view as the glider drifts back the hill lift can be regained easily. The glider must be kept clear of the prohibited parts of the Luton Zone at all times (see Luton Control Zone).

Operating practices. When taking avoiding action the glider that gives way into wind should expect to do most of the giving way to avoid forcing the other into the down draft behind the hill.

Remember that a beat along the hill will involve 25 airspace. Only qualified pilots with the permission of a trained tower controller can use the 25 airspace.


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Operations Control and Organisation


Chief Flying Instructor (CFI).  The CFI is responsible for all flying operations from the site and no flying may take place without his authority. His authority in flying matters is absolute. He may appoint rated deputies to carry out his instructions if absent, but he remains responsible for all flying matters. He is in overall charge of flying policy, training, airfield operations, tugging etc (See laws & Rules 7.1 – 7.7)


Instructors.            Rated Instructors (assistant and full) give formal flying training and may take charge of flying operations. They are authorized by the CFI to exercise discipline and enforce safety regulations on the airfield. All pilots must comply with their instructions on flying matters. The decision of an instructor is final and without appeal. A Basic Instructor conducts Trial Lessons. These are designed to give new and prospective members experience of the sensations of flying, before they commence formal training.

By invitation of the CFI Basic Instructors can upgrade to Rated Instructors. The CFI gives his approval to attend a BGA course with a national coach. A Basic Instructor rating does not imply and automatic right to upgrade.


Renewal and Medical Requirements.           Prior to the issue of an instructor rating candidates must obtain a medical certificate. Instructors must always possess a valid medical certificate. Ratings lapse when the medical certificate has expired. Medical requirements are now aligned with the NPPL. It is the responsibility of the individual instructor to ensure that medical requirements are met

Ratings are valid for one year, renewal depends upon the completion of a return of flying experience to the club and the BGA with CFI’s recommendation. The club will not accept renewals from instructors with less than forty hours flying in the preceding year. More information is available from the CFI.


Instructor Responsibilities.       The three categories of instructor carry the following responsibilities:


FULL                          Take charge of flying operations

                                    Responsible for flying discipline

                                    Authorizes first solos

                                    Conducts progress assessment checks

                                    Approves first solo cross countries

                                    Instructs as directed by the CFI


ASSISTANT              Takes charge in the temporary absence of a Full Instructor

                                    Exercises flying discipline

                                    Instructs as specifically authorized by the CFI


BASIC                        Instructs Trial Lessons and One Day courses only.


Basic Instructing.            Full members of the club who are in current flying practice (at least 40 hours in the year prior to application), have in excess of 100 hours in command of gliders and a full Silver Badge Certificate, can apply to the CFI for Basic Instructor training. Approval is not automatic. Applications are normally discussed with flying group leaders. Approval allows the applicant to attend a BGA approved Basic Instructors Course.

Tug Pilots.            Full flying members of the club who hold a Private Pilots Licence (Group A), have one hundred hours in command of powered aircraft and have gliding experience as required, may apply to the Chief Tug Pilot to train as a tug pilot. Approval is not automatic and will be discussed with the CFI. A high level of commitment and competence will be required. An assessment flight will be required. Successful applicants will receive further training as required by the Chief Tug Pilot. All cost involved must be borne by the trainee.

The tug pilot rating is renewed upon evidence of a reasonable amount of powered flying time and the endorsement of the Chief Tug Pilot. Medical requirements are those for the class of pilots licence held by the pilot. Renewal of such medicals is the responsibility of the pilot.

Motor Glider Pilots.  Full flying members of the club who hold a Private Pilots Licence (SLMG or TMG), have a suitable level of gliding experience from Dunstable and meet the insurance requirements, which may vary from time to time, may apply to the CFI to train to operate a motor glider that is available to the club. Training requirements that may cause nuisance to our neighbours will not be conducted in the locality and the cost incurred of conducting such training at an alternative location must be borne by the trainee. Instructing in motor gliders may only be conducted by BGA or CAA rated instructors.


All Powered Aircraft operating from the airfield must follow current regulations. Tug aircraft must be operated in strict compliance with the Tug Operating Manual in force, whilst motor gliders must be operated in strict compliance with the Motor Glider Operating Manual in force. The airfield is strictly Prior Permission Only for visiting aircraft. Visiting aircraft will only normally be given permission if flying in for Gliding Club business. A full briefing must be given by the CFI or experienced tug pilot.


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 Private Ownership.

Gliders.            Members may purchase gliders for their exclusive use from the site. It is recommended that members should have attained Progress Assessment two before contemplating private ownership. Inexperienced pilots (less that one hundred hours) must seek the advice of the CFI on suitable glider types and obtain his specific approval to fly the chosen type before purchase. More experienced pilots should inform the CFI of their intentions. The CFI may, at his discretion, prohibit the operation of any glider type from the site or pilots from flying types he may consider unsuited to them.

The Operating requirements and pilot qualifications for Club operated two seat gliders apply equally and without exception to privately owned two seaters. Owners of two seaters may not give or receive instruction, other than in cross country techniques, unless they are operating for and on behalf of the Club with CFI approval. Such flights must be charged at club rates and the proceeds paid to the club. Each glider is subject to a levy determined by the General Committee.

Powered Aircraft.            The term, powered aircraft, includes motor gliders, self launchers and self sustainers. Full flying members wishing to base powered aircraft on site must obtain approval from the General Committee. They may not operate without the approval of the CFI. The site is strictly “prior permission” (PPR) to visiting aircraft. Light aircraft and motor gliders with engine on must not overfly built up areas close to the airfield.

Light Aircraft. Light Aircraft based on site must be capable of launching the majority of gliders on site. They must be available to the club when required. All tug pilots must be permitted to fly the aircraft with Chief Tug Pilots approval. Light aircraft leaving the site or arriving on site must complete the Movements Book in the office.

Motor Gliders.            Motor Gliders, engine on, must operate as light aircraft. Engine off they must comply with the rules governing glider operations. Motor gliders leaving the site or arriving on site must complete the Movements Book in the office.

Self sustainers may not operate their engines within 5 nm of the site. Each aircraft is subject to a levy as determined by the General Committee.


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All local rules contained in this publication or posted or notified elsewhere governing airfield operations apply equally and without exception to any privately owned aircraft in the above category determined by Club Membership unless stated otherwise in these rules.