Annual check flights

All glider pilots have to have a annual check flight with a suitably qualified instructor. This is to ensure that they have not forgotten how to fly!! It may seem a daunting ordeal for some, however the only point is the safety of the pilot, the aircraft and anyone on the ground!

This year there are three new exercises!

It is important that you make any check flight worthwhile and enjoyable, so please ensure that you work with your Instructor and have a thorough pre flight briefing to establish what can be practiced and what can be learnt, however the following exercises should be completed to an acceptable standard:- (carry out further exercises if either of you wish).


A good lookout must be maintained at all times. Turning without first looking out is unacceptable, as is prolonged straight and level flight without scanning.

Winch Launch:-

(main points to consider):-
- Take off in level flight - tail dragging is not acceptable.
- Gentle rotation into full climb attitude - pulling back to increase the climbing angle above normal in an attempt to reduce speed is not acceptable.
- Maintain correct climb attitude - too steep is not acceptable.

Cable break or power failure:-

(main points to consider):-
- Good decision making as to landing area.
- Maintain target speeds after releasing, especially in wind gradients.
- Reasonably co-ordinated controls. Over controlling and misuse of the rudder are unacceptable.

Circuit plan:-

(main points to consider):-
- Circuit takes account of wind strength and direction concluding with diagonal and base legs, giving a minimum 300ft final turn.
- Circuit takes account of traffic density and flow.

New 2006..Out of position in the circuit:-
(main points to consider)
- Good decision making when recovering to landable area.

Good speed control relative to the situation
300ft final turn….if possible.


(main points to consider):-
- Airbrake is not used as a "going in to land lever."
- Final part of approach should be flown with ½ to 2/3 airbrake.
- Target approach speeds maintained (relative to experience and conditions) down to roundout height.
- Fully held off landing


flown as part of checks for solo aerotow pilots only, solo winch only pilots may require a tow for safe height, (main points to consider):-
-Ground run on main wheel, assisting tug acceleration - wings level - if a wing is dropping, pilot must release, a wing touching ground is unacceptable.
-Climb relative to tug - too high on tow is unacceptable.
New 2006
Signals Tug/Glider, Glider/Tug, reminders in case non-radio.
-(Remember though, if you have radio, use it in preference to signals)

New 2006 Descend 500ft on tow
-Climbing turn left after release. Stress, climb and turn for rapid separation.

Spiral Dive and Stall / Spin Awareness:-
(main points to consider):-
-HASSLL checks! Update as necessary.
-Know why and how each one starts.
-Take correct recovery action for each.
-Recover with as little height loss as possible.

Sounds a lot when listed like this, but of course all the exercises listed above are just part of everyday flying and come naturally to most pilots. We just need to confirm once a year that they are still coming naturally!
If you are not yet solo aerotow, then complete the spinning exercises from a winch launch if you gain sufficient height or you are able to soar. Note:- Fright is not part of the check, so both you and your Instructor can agree that you do, in fact, have sufficient height for the spinning exercises! 1200ft min BGA regs.

Excitement! Don't forget the instructing team has developed two new exercises, one in relation to collision avoidance, and one in relation to cable break training. Talk to your Instructor and have a go! See what you think.

Chris Price C.F.I. from the Wolds gliding club

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