Daily Inspections

What is a daily inspection?

A daily inspection is not intended as a C of A, but a check that the glider is fit to fly. It is also a record of any work carried out and any minor
snags or damage. All gliders should carry a DI book or log for this.

Why do we carry out DI's

How about the following couple of reasons!

  1. “It is a club glider so it was left rigged in the hanger, why do we need to check again, it was fine yesterday?”
    BGA Accident/Incident Report 113 and 114 During a daily inspection cracking damage was found to the airbrake box. This and possibly additional damage may be found after detailed inspection. Possible cause unreported heavy landing. Both gliders are K13’s damage to both found on the same day. Was the second glider checked more thoroughly after the first was found?
  2. “I have been rigging this glider for years” BGA Accident/Incident Report 048 The visiting pilot rigged his glider but did not carry out control checks, as there was no one to assist him. (Why not at the launch point?) During the winch launch the starboard airbrake opened. Inspection showed the hotelier pin in position although the control rod was not connected.
The above are just a couple of incidents that where reported, there are lots that don’t. Do I need to mention the pilot who uncomfortable on airotow reached under his seat and found his main spar pin!

All gliders must be inspected and positive controls checked.

How and what to check.

Cockpit Start with the DI book usually kept in the cockpit pocket.

  1. Check when it was last inspected, any comments or work carried out over the last few entries. You can save a DI if someone has already declared glider US, awaiting inspection for a defect or maybe find an inspector to carry out the work and get the glider back in service.
  2. Check the glider C of A has not expired. All gliders must display a valid C of A usually found stuck to inside of cockpit coaming.
  3. Check all straps for security to floor and rear, possible cuts, excess fraying and all harness connections are locking and releasing OK.
  4. Check instrument panel for broken glass, damaged instruments and loose panel locking nuts.
  5. Check main spar pins are locked correctly.
  6. Check battery for charge and security.
  7. Check floor, rear spar area and seating for loose articles, pens, coins, drink bottle lids all have the potential to jam a control.
  8. Check controls, stick, rudder pedals, release, trimmer, brake lever and flap lever for full and free movement.
  9. Check the canopy locks and locking wire, hinges for wear and Perspex for cracks. All cracks start off small and a hole drilled now is better than a
    new canopy tomorrow.
  10. Fuselage - Move around the glider systematically checking fuselage for damage, trailing and leading edges of wings and rudder, cracks in the gel coat
    especially around under carriage and airbox for heavy landing damage.
  11. Check inside airbox for loose nuts etc (airbrakes can be locked open with strap around brake lever)
  12. Check aileron and rudder hinges. All locking wire or safety pins are fitted and locked.
  13. Check all main, nose and tail wheel tyres for pressure (do not check in long grass, as main wheel has a limited view and may appear correctly inflated)
  14. Check rudder post for damage.
  15. Positive Control Checks -Check all controls with a positive control check (you will need someone to help with this) Check ailerons, rudder, flaps and elevator all resist pressure and move in the correct direction, have no excessive wear and are not maladjusted. Check that the airbrakes resist both opening and closing pressure, have no excessive wear and are not maladjusted. Make sure when resisting closing pressure and after inspection, that brakes are closed carefully, not slammed shut and that fingers are not trapped.
  16. Check trimmer, this will depend on the glider type as to whether spring loaded or a trimmer tab type, but check resistance in trimmed forward and back position. If it is a tab type, check movement and wear.

DI finished?

Date it, note down any minor defects found, any work done, write in your name and initial the entry in the DI book. If you find any minor defects, report them to the office And Finally, as an extra check Check parachute. Ripcord is secure (usually held in harness with Velcro)
The last packed detail is usually found in flap over centre inside parachute, check date and serviceability.

A few golden rules for Daily Inspections

  1. If you are interrupted for any reason during your DI then start from the beginning again to ensure nothing is missed.
  2. Never rush a DI just because the glider was not out and its now soarable.
  3. Always get help for positive checks, they can be done at the launch point if no one is available at the hanger or rigging area, although it is not a
    good idea to wait till you are at the front of the launch queue.
  4. Report any heavy landings or hanger packing incidents, it’s a lot easier if a problem is known about than having to find them.
If you’re not sure ask! Nobody ever died of embarrassment.
from the Wolds gliding club
Life Insurance for Glider Pilots


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