Glider Pilot Ratings
FAA minimum requirements
Glider licenses are issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and in that regard is similar to that issued to power pilots or balloon pilots. The FAA maintains a list of frequently asked questions for new pilots and requirements for pilot licensing are included in Part 61 of the Federal Aviation Regulations. The basic requirements are as follows:
Student pilots may solo at a minimum age of 14 with a student certificate endorsed for solo flight at the discretion of a FAA-Certified Flight Instructor for Gliders (CFIG). Generally, 30 to 40 flights with a CFIG are required to solo. This is roughly equivalent to 10-12 hours of flight time and is dependent upon the progress of the student.
After solo, student pilots may qualify as a Private Pilot-Glider provided they:
- Are at least 16 years of age; and
- Have logged at least 10 hours of flight time in a glider and that flight time must include at least 20 total glider flights, and
- Have 2 hours of solo flight time in a glider, and
- Have passed the FAA written examination; and
- Have passed the flight exam with a FAA Examiner.
Commercial Pilots-Glider must be at least 18-years of age, pass a written FAA examination, hold a Private Pilot license with 25 hours of flight time in gliders and 100 glider flights as pilot-in-command, or a total of 200 hours of flight time in heavier-than-air aircraft including 20 glider flights as pilot-in-command, 3 hours or ten flights training in a glider, and five solo flights in a glider and pass a flight test.
Certified Flight Instructors-Glider
Certified Flight Instructors-Glider must hold a commercial rating, pass a written and flight test and have an endorsement from a qualified instructor of aeronautical knowledge and flight of proficiency.
Additional Pilot Rating
Holders of a valid FAA Power plane license with 40 hours as pilot-in-command need a minimum of 10 solo flights to qualify to take the glider flight test. No written exam is required to add a glider rating to a power license. In all cases, refer to the Federal Aviation Regulations for details on pilot licensing.
To extend the service life of the L13AC beyond its current 2000 hr limit, it is essential that our logbook entries contain a particular breakdown of its usage. To this end, I have sent a memo to all FLSC members. Please read it carefully.
|March 2 & 23||Members' Safety Meetings - 10 a.m.
All members must attend one meeting.
|March 16 & 17||FIRC|
|March 23||Spring Dinner|
|March 30||Flying Season Opens
|June 29 - July 14||Soarfest|
|July 27||Mid-Season Safety Stand-down|
|Aug. 31 - Sept. 1||Labor Day Rides|
|Oct. 12||Oktoberfest dinner at Clubhouse|
|Nov. 15||Fall Meeting and Dinner
FLSC Ground Operations
- Must be on field at 9:00am to get ready for 9:30 first launch. Towpilots – 9:00 too.
- Find OPS notebook – get fresh OPS log, cash receipt log & towplane log
- Make sure hand-held VHF radios are charged and ready
- Refile ETF cards
- Organize members to pull aircraft out of hangar before 9:30AM (what if only 1 available?)
- Confer with tow pilot and instructor(s) on operational conditions, active runway, etc
- Organize aircraft tie-downs (into wind, canopies down & latched) & the launch queue (tails towards fence)
- Select wing runners & towplane monitors – review their responsibilities
- Set priorities for training flights, check-rides, regular member flights, & commercial rides
- Keep the launch queue moving (make sure pilots & instructors are ready to launch) (delays cost gas & allow fewer flights)
- Keep children & spectactors off the runways & launch queue.
- Make sure landing gliders are quickly cleared from the active runway(s) (instructor debriefing student on runway)
- Supervise return of aircraft to hangar
- Mail OPS log, cash receipt log & towplane log to treasurer
- Fill out glider logbooks
- Your job is to organize & direct others
- Be tactful, but assertive
- VERY IMPORTANT JOB – CRITICAL TO SAFETY, AS WELL AS ALLOWING EVERYONE A CHANCE TO FLY
- If you cannot make assigned day, it is your responsibility to get coverage. Notify Secretary of swap.
- No-show problem (Board is planning to crack down)
Ground Tug Operation
- Constantly check for obstacles
- Make sure speed is not too fast for wing person
- Tie-down into wind
- Launch queue – tails toward fence
- High-wind operation
- Make sure canopy is down & latched, speed brakes open & tail dolly removed
- Always shut down engine
- If walking away, always disconnect glider
- Always cross active runways at 90 degrees (better visibility up & down runway; minimum crossing time)
- Picnic table talk-fest
- Everyone needs to pay attention to ongoing operations & volunteer to help (especially inexperienced Operations Manager)
Launch Procedures – Aerotow (graphic)
- Park gliders with tail towards fence while preparing.
- Ground delays are costing us in fuel and available launches. Only when completely ready (weights, cushions, instructor, student briefing, etc.), pull glider into launch area and board.
- Board and complete prelaunch checks to be ready when towplane approaches.
- Signal wing runner when ready for hook-up. Wing runner should not ask.
- Signal when ready to launch. Radio usage does not normally control launch
- If uncertain or if anything need to be looked at, PULL THE RELEASE and then sort things out.
- If the launch is not going well (wind, wing runner, etc) PULL THE RELEASE EARLY.
- Hook up tow rope, only when asked (check for fraying near ring)
- Check canopy, speed brakes, tail dolly (L13AC rear hatch)
- Check for traffic
- When to look
- Where to look
- How to look
- When to raise wing
- Signals: Take-up Slack, Go-Go, Stop (paddle use)
- What if traffic conflict or other danger is seen after wing raised? PUT THE WING DOWN AND STOP THE LAUNCH.
- Check for traffic
- When to repeat wing-runner signals
- Signals: Take-up Slack, Go-Go, Stop
Launch Procedures – Winch
- Winch line borders Launch/Land area – should not be a problem for landing gliders (straight run-out) and departing aerotow.
- Glider moved along fence to area indicated. Watch that wing doesn’t overlap runway end lights.
- Once aerotow traffic is clear glider may launch.
- Standard SSA Signals but launch is controlled by pilot radio communication with winch.
- When glider pilot is ready, 360 degree look-out by wing runner prior to lifting wing.
- Launch initiated by pilot once wing is level and slack is out.
Landing Procedures (graphic)
- Note landing area, aim point and displacement from runway threshold.
- Displacement gives room for winch launch glider and clearance from fence.
- Flaring at the aim point will land 100 – 200’ down range if at correct approach speed.
- Land straight ahead remaining in landing area if able.
- Exit glider and turn tail towards paved runway while waiting for tow back to tie down.
- Instructors – this is not the time for debrief.
- Do not relaunch from landing area unless you know there are no other gliders in the area and the turn-around will be rapid.
- Must be on field at 9:00am to get ready for 9:30 first launch.
- Wait until glider is secure in launch area, pilots aboard and line crew signals for tow.
- Keep prop blast away from line crew and glider. Suggest using towplane route (taxi towards wingtip, turn across glider, taxi away before turning, angle in so that you can see the rope end without mirrors.
- Ground crew controls launch. Glider pilot can confirm ready but all motion controlled by wing runner/towplane monitor.
- If you cannot make assigned day, it is your responsibility to get coverage. Notify Chief Pilot of swap.
- Operations with no towplane monitor
- Operations with no wing-runner
- Towpilots – If OPS is no-show, write OPS NO-SHOW on tow sheet and notify a Board member immediately.