PLEASE REFRESH TO ENSURE YOU ARE LOOKING AT UP TO DATE INFORMATION
Royal Aero Club Awards 27th February 2015
The Royal Aero Club has announced the winners of its awards for 2014 and we are delighted to announce that glider pilots have, once again, featured strongly in the list. The Prince of Wales Cup for the most meritorious team performance has been awarded to the British Gliding Team and the only RAeC Gold Medal awarded this year has gone to Steve Jones for outstanding achievement over a number of years. A RAeC Silver Medal goes to the BGA Chief Executive, Pete Stratten. The President’s Breitling Trophy for outstanding achievement by a person under 21 is awarded to Alex Harris and Certificates of Merit have gone to John Bradley and Hugh Woodsend. The winners will receive their awards at the Club’s annual ceremony at the RAF Club on 12th May.
BGA Annual Report 25th February 2015
The BGA has published its Annual Report for 2014 giving details of the Association's Activities during the past year.
EAS Newsletter 25th February 2015
Europe Air Sports has published its latest newsletter, providing a
useful summary of current regulatory movements.
Southend Class D Airspace 29th January 2015
The BGA deeply regrets that the CAA has seen fit to impose Class D airspace at Southend. We believe that a Radio Mandatory Zone (as had been temporarily in force) was a more appropriate solution to the needs of all airspace users. It is hard to understand why the CAA has imposed Class D airspace and, following their earlier decision regarding Class F airspace, represents a worrying trend of ignoring the carefully expressed needs of General Aviation. One consolation is that Sarah Kelman has already been in discussion with Southend and has been met with a constructive willingness to create letters of agreement which will hopefully make some of the new CAS available to us on a tactical agreed basis. More information from those discussions will be published as it becomes available. Details of the new airspace are in the CAA Decision Letter and a fuller comment from John Williams, BGA Airspace Committee Chairman can be found here.
FLARM Update 28th January 2015
FLARM has announced that a scheduled and mandatory firmware update is soon to be released for all FLARM devices. The update is required for all FLARM-compatible designs, including classic FLARM, PowerFLARM and FLARM manufactured by LXNAV, LX Navigation, Garrecht/AIR Avionics, and others. The update will be released by early March 2015 at no cost. If the free FLARM update is not applied, the device will no longer operate after March 31, 2015. Full details of the update are on the FLARM web site.
January BGA Newsletter 13th January 2015
The January 2015 edition of the BGA Newsletter is now available.
BGA Trophy Winners Announced 12th January 2015
The winners of BGA Trophies for flights achieved in 2014 have been announced. You can see the full list of winners here.
Part-FCL Derogation 19th December 2014
As previously announced (9th October, below), the requirement to hold a Part-FCL licence has been deferred until 2018. When this was announced, the BGA stated that it would engage with the CAA to ensure that no pilot who had already converted to a Part-FCL licence would be disadvantaged. The CAA has now issued a derogation in ORS4 No 1075, effective 1st January 2015, which allows pilots holding a Part-FCL licence to continue to fly under UK national legislation if they chose to do so. Fuller details are on the EASA Licensing page.
December BGA Newsletter 10th December 2014
The December edition of the BGA Newsletter has been published. You can read it here.
2015 Nationals Entries and Other Competitions News 4th December 2014
The online Nationals entry procedure is now up and running. Entries must be received by 31st January 2015. You can apply online and renew your FAI licence at the same time by clicking here. Separate online FAI licence application/renewal can be done here. As per last year, entry fees for Juniors are approximately halved - the total fees being £145 for any of the nationals (Juniors are those who are not 26 years old or older on 31st December 2015).
This and other competitions news (2015 ratings, submissions for BGA Ladder trophies and information about the 2015 Two-Seater Nationals) is available on the Competitions News page.
Office Christmas and New Year Closing 21st November 2014
The BGA Office will be closed for the holiday period from 24th December and will re-open on 2nd January.
Juniors Newsletter 21st November 2014
The first edition of what is planned to be a bi-annual Juniors Newsletter has been published. You can read it here.
Experimental Aircraft Proposals 18th November 2014
The CAA is proposing a new set of proportionate requirements and guidance to support the proof of concept flight testing of prototype and modified light/sport aircraft. The proposal is the result of collaboration with the RAeS General Aviation (GA) Group, with which the BGA is deeply involved, as well as comments received from the Government’s GA Red Tape Challenge. It is hoped that the proposals will result in a reduction in the procedural and financial burdens on individuals and organisations in securing airworthiness approval under the existing requirements, thereby encouraging innovation and the development of aerospace excellence in the UK light/sport aircraft field. Full details of the proposals are on the CAA web site.
Team for 2015 World Junior Championships 13th November 2014
The British team for the 2015 Junior World Gliding Championships has been announced. Matt Davis, Sam Roddie, Mike Gatfield and Tom Arscott will be representing the UK at the championships, which are being held at Narromine, Australia from 1-12 December 2015.
November BGA Newsletter 6th November 2014
The November 2014 edition of the BGA Newsletter is now available.
Competitions Committee Vacancies 27th October 2014
The BGA Competitions and Awards Committee is responsible for the policy and administration of all BGA-recognised competitive, record, and badge flying activities in the UK and for the annual flying awards, as well as the selection criteria, procedures and management of British team entries to international competitions. The committee is now seeking two new members to help with its work. If you have a strong interest in competitive gliding and feel that they can help with the continued development of a five year strategy than the committee chairman, Mark Holden, would like to hear from you. More details are here.
RAeC Awards 13th October 2014
The BGA is responsible for submitting nominations for the Royal Aero Club’s awards in respect of gliding. Nominations are now being sought for the 2014 awards and we would welcome submissions from member clubs in respect of any of these as well as nominations for any FAI Awards. Nominations must be received by the RAeC by December 8th and we would ask that any club who wishes us to make a nomination completes the nomination form and returns this to the BGA office well before the closing date. Details of the various awards are given here.
Part-FCL Licensing and Approved Training Organisations 9th October 2014
The CAA has informed us today that the EASA Committee has voted in favour of the proposed changes to legislation previously described which will have the effect of deferring until 2018 the need to convert to Part-FCL licensing and the need to implement ATO requirements. The main effects of this vote include the deferment of the need to hold a LAPL(S) or SPL in order to fly EASA sailplanes after 8th April 2015 and deferment of the need to establish an Approved Training Organisation by the same date.
Fuller information is in a BGA Newsflash
BGA October Newslettter 8th October 2014
The October edition of the BGA Newsletter has been published. You can read it here.
Updated BGA Fees and Charges 30th September 2014
BGA fees and charges have been updated and include a number of changes aimed at helping young pilots in particular, as well as the membership fees agreed at the BGA AGM earlier in 2014.
Inverness Airspace Consultation 30th September 2014
Highlands & Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL) has launched a consultation about their plans to request a Class D Control Zone (CTR) and Control Area (CTA) surrounding Inverness Airport. The BGA is concerned about these proposals and is working with our GA Alliance partners to consider the implications with the aim of developing an appropriate response. Full details of the consultation are on the HIAL web site.
GASCo Safety Evenings 25th September 2014
The initial schedule for the 2014/5 season of GASCo Safety Evenings has been published. The list of dates and venues is available on the GASCo web site.
RAeC Newsletter 25th September 2014
The autumn edition of the Royal Aero Club Newsletter has been published. You can read it on the RAeC web site.
September Newsletter 10th September 2014
The September edition of the BGA Newsletter has been published. You can download it here.
CAA GA Unit Update 1st September 2014
The CAA General Aviation Unit has completed its consultation on a GA policy framework, setting out its proposed approach to delivering its commitments on GA regulation and ensuring that a more proportionate approach to the regulation of GA is permanently embedded within the culture of the CAA and Government. The responses are being studied and they aim to publish a final policy framework by the end of October. More information about this and other achievements in reducing regulation to date is available in CAP 1192. Meanwhile, a dedicated GA gold-plate email address, email@example.com, will be established on 1st September inviting stakeholders to identify EU rules which they believe the CAA may have gold-plated and how the issue could be rectified.
Update - TAG Farnborough Airspace Change Proposal 29th August 2014
TAG Farnborough has now completed its initial analysis of the responses to the recent airspace consultation. Over 2500 overwhelmingly negative responses were received and a summary of these, along with a more detailed analysis, are available on their web site. According to TAG, the second part of its feedback report, which will provide more details of changes to the airspace design or procedures that are being considered, based on the responses received, will be published during 1st Quarter 2015. The BGA and its partners in the UK GA Alliance will be considering our next steps and engaging in dialogue with TAG and other key stakeholders. We will provide updates as available via the BGA website and other appropriate channels. In the meantime, thank you to all who took the time and trouble to respond to the consultation.
Safety Alert - Control Column Grip 21st August 2014
To maintain proper control of a glider it is important that the control column grip is secure. Control column and other control grips should be fitted in accordance with the instructions supplied with the product. If during a daily inspection a grip is found to be insecure, please seek expert advice and rectify the fault before flight.
Flying Single-Seat Microlight Powered Sailplanes 20th August 2014
Following recent dialogue between BGA, BMAA and the CAA, the CAA has published an Information Notice that explains why pilots holding an SLMG class rating or a LAPL(S)/SPL can fly single-seat powered sailplanes that are within the microlight mass limit. You can view the CAA Information Notice here.
August BGA Newsletter 14th August 2014
The August 2014 edition of the BGA Newsletter is now available.
More World Championship Success 11th August 2014
The British Gliding Team has followed last month's World Championship successes with another World Team Cup and a silver medal at the championships for the 15m, 18m and Open classes which finished this weekend at Leszno in Poland. The team won the overall Team Cup, matching the success of the Standard, Club and 20m pilots in Finland while Andy Davis was narrowly pipped at the post to the Open Class gold medal, winning a silver medal to go with the gold medals he won in 1993 and 2003. In a strong all-round performance, Pete Harvey finished 6th in the Open Class while Russell Cheetham narrowly missed out on a medal in the 18m class, finishing 4th with Mike Young 12th. In the 15m class, Leigh Wells and Phil Jones were 11th and 12th respectively.
Class F Airspace Changes 8th August 2014
The CAA has recently published its decision on class F airspace. While the words in the letter at http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/2111/20140807DecisionLetter_FINAL.pdf say TMZ, it is in fact a Radio Mandatory Zone. So as long as pilots maintain VMC the new airspace does NOT require permission to enter, or a transponder - just a radio call to say that you are there.That's little different from our current voluntary policy of giving them a call when in class F. However, there are two particularly troubling aspects to the decision.
1. At the lower end of N560D controlled airspace has been created where there is just one commercial flight per day in either direction. As a precedent that is dreadful and simply disproportionate. A similar issue exists on the Inverness to Wick dogleg.
2. The scope of the consultation exercise was the existing class F airspace at the southern end of N560D that was between FL60 and FL195. The decision letter has created Class E+ airspace starting at FL55. As a point of principle this is newly created airspace which has not been consulted on and flies in the face of the CAA's own processes.
The BGA is working with the GA Alliance to consider how best to act on the troubling decisions by CAA.
Competitions Survey - Your Feedback Wanted 17th July 2014
The Competitions Committee would like to see more pilots flying more competitions and are inviting all pilots to give feedback on what competitions they fly and why, what competitions they don't fly and why or, if they don't fly competitions, why they don't. The committee is also asking for feedback on competitions and venues so that they can help clubs improve the competition experience. Note: they can't fix the weather! To collect this information, we have set up two surveys.
The committee looks forward to hearing from you all and will feed back the results later in the year.
EASA Update 16th July 2014
EASA has RECOMMENDED a number of changes to regulation that aim to alleviate concerns about training and licensing requirements raised collectively by the BGA and other members of air sport community. The package of recommendations, including a deferment in the need to convert to Part-FCL licensing and implementing ATO requirements until 2018, will be voted on by the Member States in October 2014. Meanwhile the BGA remains close to and engaged in the issues and will advise the membership of any new developments. An update is available here.
World Champions! 6th July 2014
Congratulations to the British Gliding Team on their success at the World Gliding Championships which ended yesterday at Rayskala, Finland. After two weeks' racing, the British team won the overall team cup, winning by a large margin from France and Sweden. Brothers Steve and Howard Jones took the gold medal in the newly inaugurated 20m multi-seat class, having dominated the event from start to finish. Britain took bronze in the very closely-fought Standard Class, with Jez Hood (3rd) narrowly pipping his brother Richard (4th) for a medal spot. G Dale and Tim Milner finished in highly creditable 5th and 9th places in the Club Class, completing a great fortnight for the team. Attention now turns to Leszno in Poland where the world championships for the other three classes (15m, 18m, and open) begins in a fortnight's time.
Full results are available on the World Gliding Championship web site.
July BGA Newsletter 4th July 2014
The July 2014 edition of the BGA Newsletter is now available.
Part-FCL Licence Conversion Update 4th July 2014
A number of new developments are effective immediately:
- the Part-FCL Sailplane Cloud Flying Rating is now available
the previous requirement to provide copies of logbook evidence for various SPL or LAPL(S) qualifications has been replaced by a single, certified declaration as part of the application form
- there is a new version (July 2014) of the licence conversion application form. Applications can only be accepted on this form; others will have to be rejected.
The EASA Licensing pages have been updated to reflect these changes and a summary describing these and other current matters can be read here.
Southend RMZ 4th July 2014
The CAA has confirmed that a temporary Radio Mandatory Zone (RMZ) will be put in place around London Southend Airport. The RMZ, which was requested by the airport operator, will go live on 18th July 2014 and will remain in place until a decision is made regarding the Southend application for controlled airspace, which the BGA has already objected to. The CAA will review the RMZ in spring 2015. Although an ATC clearance is not required to gain entry to an RMZ, a pilot must establish two-way communication with air traffic control before entering and they must then remain on frequency while in the zone unless instructed otherwise. Pilots planning to fly through the Southend RMZ will need to contact Southend on 130.775MHz before entering the zone. Aircraft not fitted with radios can still operate in the RMZ providing the pilot is able to co-ordinate arrangements with Southend ATC prior to departure. A chart showing the extent of the RMZ is here.
BGA Comment on the Southend RMZ and Other Airspace Issues 4th July 2014
The Southend RMZ approval (see news item above) is the first real application of the CAA's recently published RMZ policy, a policy that we supported as it creates the opportunity for a less restrictive regime than the Class D alternative. John Williams, Chairman of the BGA Airspace Committee, has written a paper giving our thinking on this and discussing other current airspace developments. In it, he examines the possible various possible outcomes and how these bode for the future of UK controlled airspace policy. You can read the paper here.
15m Nationals Change of Venue 4th July 2014
A note from BGA Chairman Peter Harvey describing the reasons behind the change in venue for the 2014 15m Nationals can be read here.
EAS Newsletter 2nd July 2014
Europe Air Sports has published its latest newsletter. The newsletter contains interesting information and commentary on some of the regulatory reviews which were reported upon in our June newsletter.
June BGA Newsletter 11th June 2014
The June 2014 edition of the BGA Newsletter is now available.
Royal Aero Club News 6th June 2014
The Royal Aero Club has published its Summer 2014 newsletter. You can read a copy here.
Deregulation of Single Seat Microlight Aeroplanes 2nd June 2014
The CAA has issued an exemption for the deregulation of single-seat microlight aeroplane airworthiness. See a summary of advice from the BGA here and CAA Information Notice IN2014/091 for full details. Some single seat microlight self-launching sailplanes fall into the deregulated category. The BGA recommends that owners of such deregulated microlights carefully maintain the aircraft in accordance with manufacturers’ recommendations and discuss their operation with their club and with their insurer. Formal guidance will be published when BGA Laws and Rules changes later this year.
CAA Launches Consultation on Future GA Policy 2nd June 2014
In addition to the EASA review (see below), the CAA has announced the launch of a consultation on its future policy for General Aviation (GA) regulation. It builds on the recent GA Red Tape Challenge and the formation of the CAA's first dedicated GA unit and will define how the CAA regulates GA on a day-to-day basis. Details of the consultation are at on the CAA web site. The CAA approach outlined is very much in line with what the BGA has been championing and we will, of course, be responding to the consultation. We will update you on progress via the BGA web site; at the moment we are not asking clubs and individuals to respond although these groups are, of course, free to do so if they wish.
RAeC Trust Scholarships 21st May 2014
28 bursaries have been awarded by the Royal Aero Club Trust to enable young air sport enthusiasts to advance their existing air sport qualifications and, once again, glider pilots have featured strongly in the awards. The Peter Cruddas Foundation Scholarship was awarded jointly to Joseph McCarron (Kent GC) and skydiver, Emma Dayman. Edward Eveson (Norfolk GC) received the Bramson Bursary and Gareth Furlong (Kent GC) the MacRobert Trust Bursary. Other bursaries were awarded to Liam Telfer (Essex GC), Lewis Horsley (Staffs GC), Jon James Young (Bristol & Glos GC), Jake Toomer (Lasham GS), Matthew Jump (Windrushers GC), and Amy-Joanne Randalls (Angus GC). Congratulations to the winners and thanks to the RAeC Trust and its benefactors who do so much to encourage young people to develop their potential through air sports.
TAG Farnborough ACP Proposal 15th May 2014
The BGA was asked by the GA Alliance member organisations to take the lead, while continuing to work closely with the other air sport bodies, in responding to the recent consultation on the TAG Farnborough airspace change proposal. In doing this, we also worked closely with a number of clubs in the south in order to provide accurate information to as many stakeholders as possible to help them make their own informed responses. We have been advised that this effort has helped encourage more than 3000 responses from across the gliding, general aviation and non-aviation communities. We will report on further developments in due course but, for the time being, many thanks to everybody who took the time and trouble to respond to this most important consultation.
RAeS Scholarships 14th May 2014
Once again, the Royal Aeronautical Society Centennial Scholarship Fund generously provided funding which enabled us to offer up to 10 flying scholarships in 2014 to young glider pilots, both pre- and post-solo. Following an application process, ten Scholarships of £300 have now been awarded to pilots between the ages of 14 and 21. The winners of these Scholarships are: Lucia Gray and William Andrews (both Yorkshire GC); Conrad Morris (Mendip GC); Sarah Aze (Wolds GC); James Taylor (Buckminster GC); Alistair Lounds (Seahawk GC); Rozanna Toomer (Lasham GS); Jamie Carruthers (Essex & Suffolk GC); George Hunter (Booker GC); and Nat Ridgeway (Essex GC).
May BGA Newsletter 8th May 2014
The May 2014 edition of the BGA Newsletter is now available.
TAG Farnborough Airspace Change Proposal 23rd April 2014 UPDATED 24th April
NEW DEADLINE FOR CONSULTATION SUBMISSIONS - 10am on Monday 12th May. Because of their web site problems (see below for details), TAG Farnborough has extended the deadline for consultation submissions. However, it remains imperative that as many glider pilots as possible respond to make their views known.
There are now just
9 19 days left for clubs and individuals to make their submissions to the TAG Farnborough ACP consultation. If you have already submitted your response, thank you very much, but be aware of an issue that has affected submissions made between 11 and 16 April. We have confirmed with TAG Farnborough that unless you received a confirmatory EMail which included details of your responses, a problem with their web site means that your submission will not have been logged and you will need to resubmit.
If you have still to respond, then please consider taking a few minutes of your time to get to understand the issues and make a representation. Full details are on our Farnborough Consultation page.
LAPL(S)/SPL Processing Times 23rd April 2014
The BGA office is processing SPL and LAPL(S) conversion applications and sending recommendations to the CAA within a week of receipt. Unfortunately, the CAA is currently experiencing a significant backlog of licence applications. SPL and LAPL(S) applicants can currently expect CAA-induced delays of 5-6 weeks. The CAA has advised the BGA that they intend to clear the backlog by adding additional resources to the task. Any applicant who is facing difficulties through not receiving their SPL or LAPL(S) should contact the BGA office.
LAPL Medical Refusals - Appeal Process 22nd April 2014
If you think that you have been unfairly refused a LAPL Medical, you can appeal the decision. We recommend that pilots first take advice from the BGA LAPL Medical Advisor. More details are on the EASA Medical page.
Flying in France 17th April 2014
The advice on the website for pilots intending to fly in France has been updated. The update is here.
Cardiological Testing for Diabetic Pilots 14th April 2014
Since 2012 it has been possible for pilots requiring insulin or other medication which can cause hypoglycaemia (a drop in blood sugar levels causing incapacitation) to regain a medical certificate. In January, the CAA issued guidance in relation to this subject which suggested an increase in the cardiological evaluation and test requirements for all diabetic pilots applying for an EASA Class 2 or LAPL medical certificate. Following discussion with the CAA by Dr Frank Voeten, one of the BGA Medical Advisors, the CAA has amended the additional requirements. Full details of the certification requirements are available on the CAA web site.
BGA April Newsletter 8th April 2014
The April edition of the BGA Newsletter has been published. You can download your copy here.
EASA Regulation of GA 8th April 2014
Evidence of EASA’s new approach to the regulation of general aviation, including gliding, can be found in the presentations that the agency will be giving at the Aero exhibition being held this week in Friedrichshafen. During the show the Agency will unfold its plans for concrete action and measures towards simplifying the regulatory structure concerning GA. The initial focus will be on the lighter end of GA. The interests of UK glider pilots are being addressed in this welcome development by EASA through BGA engagement with Europe Air Sports, whose representatives are actively working with EASA to develop a revised approach to the regulation of GA.
Farnborough Airspace Change Proposal 3rd April 2014
The BGA has now published its guidance to help pilots formulate their response to the TAG Farnborough Airspace Change Proposal consultation. This guidance, together with other useful links and a new message from BGA Chairman Pete Harvey is available on the Farnborough ACP consultation page. Please consider making a response against this attempted airspace grab. Please do not imagine for one moment that this will not affect you. If you are ever likely to fly in the southern part of England, it will. And please do not imagine for one moment that others will sort the situation out for you. They will not be able to do that unless you play your part and actively oppose TAG.
RAeS Centennial Fund Scholarship 3rd April 2014
The RAeS has awarded the British Gliding Association with a Centennial Fund Scholarship to the amount of £3,000. We are therefore pleased to announce we have 10 bursaries, of £300 each, to award to pre-solo pilots to help them further their career in aviation. This year's bursaries are available to those aged 14 to 21.
Please complete and submit the online application form, the closing date for which is the 30th April 2014.
2014 BGA Waypoint List 28th March 2014
The 2014 BGA Waypoint list has been published. There has been one deletion, 3 minor changes of wording and 23 new points. The deletion is NTN - Newton, near Nottingham, which is now a business park and the alternate point is a big roundabout at BNG - Bingham. The new points are near the following places: Bath (1), Berwick (2) , Edinburgh (1), Exeter (4), Leicester (1), Plymouth (4), Shrewsbury (8), and York (2). The 2014 BGA List contains a total of 1265 Waypoints and can be downloaded here.
Safety Briefing - Spring Is Here 20th March 2014
Now that spring is upon us (?) many gliders are emerging from their winter hibernation. Before jumping into your glider, think about how it might have fared over the winter. Please read the new season safety briefing here.
Torch Trophy Trust Award 20th March 2014
Congratulations to Roy Woodhouse of Norfolk GC who was presented with a Torch Trophy Trust Award by HRH the Princess Royal at a ceremony at the Army & Navy Club last night. The awards, which are now in their 51st year, are made to volunteers who have shown outstanding dedication to sport in their local communities. More information about the awards and details of Roy’s citation are available on the Sport & Recreation Alliance web site.
RAeC News 20th March 2014
The spring 2014 edition of the Royal Aero Club newsletter has been published and can be downloaded here.
BGA March Newsletter 18th March 2014
The BGA Newsletter for March has been published. You can read it here.
Farnborough Airspace Proposal Meeting 12th March 2014
An information meeting re the Farnborough airspace change proposal for ALL aviators is being held at Lasham at 1pm on 23 March 2014. For full details including for those planning to fly in, please click on the link. Please pass this on to your air sport and GA flying friends.
BGA Annual Report 28th February 2014
The BGA Annual Report for 2013 is now available for download.
EASA Pilot Licence Conversion Presentation 27th February 2014
We have published a presentation, originally used during our recent regional meetings on Part-FCL pilot licence conversion and designed to help pilots understand the basics of the EASA Part-FCL pilot licence conversion process. Although not intended ed to replace the detailed conversion guidance supplied on the EASA Licensing web page, it provides an easy to understand guide to the basic principles and procedures. Well worth a read.
2017 World Games - 24th February 2014
The World Games 2017 will take place in Wroclaw, Poland. Air sports, in the form of paragliding and parachuting, have featured in past games and there is currently a campaign underway to convince the 2017 organisers to include gliding in these games. The campaign is asking glider pilots (and others) from around the world to show their support by completing the form at http://www.smykinastart.pl/in-english/41.html. More information about the World Games and the International World Games Association can be found on the IWGA web site.
BGA Awards Dinner 2014 - 21st February 2014
Tickets for the BGA Awards Dinner are selling out fast - the deadline for online bookings is 4pm on Monday 24th February. Telephone bookings can be taken no later than 3pm on Tuesday 25th February. Please contact Debbie on 0116 289 2956. We look forward to seeing you there.
Aim Higher Coaching the Coaches Seminar 17th February 2014
As part of the BGA Aim Higher initiative, which aims to help clubs to support pilot development, we will be running two 1 day ‘Coaching the Coaches’ events in March. Each event will include a number of presentations and discussion facilitated by Kevin Atkinson, the BGA Aim Higher lead who is himself an experienced club soaring and cross-country coach. The events are on 29th March & the the 30th March at the Gliding Centre, Husbands Bosworth. Anyone who coaches at their club or is an aspirant coach is welcome to book onto one of these free, full day events. To book, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Catering will be available on site.
Gliding on Blue Peter 13th February 2014
Alex Harris (Essex GC), who was the first pilot under 16 to solo after the legislation was changed in 2012, features this evening on Blue Peter at 5.30pm on CBBC. If you miss it, you can catch up with the show on BBC iPlayer.
BGA Annual Awards 13th February 2014
Please can last year's trophy winners ensure that all trophies are either returned to the BGA Office before 28th February or taken along to the Nottingham Belfry on 1st March for presentation to this year's winners .
BGA February Newsletter 12th February 2014
The BGA Newsletter for February has been published. You can read it here.
Farnborough Airspace Consultation 10th February 2013
The operator of Farnborough Airport, TAG Farnborough, has begun the formal process of applying for controlled airspace. Their proposals directly affect current controlled and uncontrolled airspace across a large area of southern England – not only in the immediate vicinity to Farnborough Airport. The base of many areas of existing airspace would be lowered, and large areas of new airspace would be introduced. Their plans represent the most substantial redesign and increase of airspace in the UK for many years. If TAG get what they want, the likely impact on gliding (and other forms of general aviation) would be significant. Pilots and clubs will be affected. The impact would range from catastrophic for some gliding clubs through to extremely disruptive for other clubs and pilots flying in the area. The BGA is appealing for all pilots to familiarise themselves with the proposals and be prepared to submit a response to the consultation process when advised. More information is available here.
Philip Wills Memorial Fund 7th February 2014
The Philip Wills Memorial Fund has for many years helped the development of UK gliding by providing loans to BGA clubs at favourable rates, to help them with capital projects. This year, in addition to its other activities, the Trustees of the Fund have agreed to earmark some of its funds for gliding scholarships specifically aimed at helping post-solo gliding development in younger members - those aged 30 or under on 1 April 2014. Up to 20 scholarships, each of up to £500, are available and applications should be received no later than 15th March. Full details about the fund and the scholarships available are available on the Philip Wills Memorial Fund pages.
Royal Aero Club Awards 6th February 2014
The Royal Aero Club has announced the recipients of its medals and awards for 2013. Once again, gliding is strongly represented with Mike Randle and Paul Conran both being awarded RAeC Diplomas; Ayala Truelove is awarded an RAeC Silver Medal; and Dr Sally Evans and Ian Dandie both receive RAeC Certificates of Merit. The awards will be presented at the Society’s annual awards ceremony at the RAF Club on Tuesday 13th May. A full list of recipients can be found here.
Farnborough Airspace Change Proposal 3rd February 2014
TAG Farnborough has published an Airspace Change Proposal that will have a significant impact on General Aviation including gliding. The BGA is reviewing the detail and in due course will offer guidance to gliding clubs and their members. You can read the consultation here.
Safe Winch Launching Videos Subtitled 2nd February 2014
Deaf Pilots UK has produced subtitled versions of the BGA safe winching videos. Read more here.
Red Tape Challenge Interim Report 30th January 2014
The Department for Transport has published the GA Red Tape Challenge interim report. It can be read here.
EASA Licence Conversion FAQs 27th January 2014
The EASA licence conversion Frequently Asked Questions which can be read here have been updated with the following detail
Which Licence should I apply for – SPL or LAPL(S)?
Do I need to wait until an EASA sailplane cloud flying rating (SCFR) is available before I apply for an SPL or LAPL(S)?
I fly aerobatics. How do I ensure I can continue to do so under Part-FCL?
Also included is an update on examining and the EASA examiner standardisation course
Peter Hearne 26th January 2014
It is with regret that we announce the death of Peter Hearne FREng. As a long term member of Lasham, a BGA Vice President and an outstanding practitioner and leader in the sport, Peter contributed an enormous amount to gliding over very many years. Professionally, he spent a lifetime working within a widespread range of aeronautical industry activities from shop floor, design office, cockpit, Chief Executive and Chairman of the Board of Europe's then largest avionics company.
The funeral will be held at the Wateringbury Church, near Maidstone, Kent at 2pm 20 February, followed by a wake at his home, The Limes, Wateringbury
Our thoughts are with Peter's family.
BGA January Newsletter 8th January 2014
The BGA Newsletter for January has been published. You can read it here.
Don Spottiswood 5th January 2014
It is with sadness that we announce the death of Air Vice-Marshal Don Spottiswood CB. Don was Chairman of the BGA between 1990 and 1996 and up until his death was one of the BGA’s Vice-Presidents. He was Chair of the Instructors Committee during the 1980s and, as well as being a competition pilot, was a past Executive Committee Chairman of the RAFGSA. The funeral service will be at Bournemouth Crematorium at 1230 on 16th January (details here). Our thoughts are with Don’s family at this time.
BGA December Newsletter 9th December 2013
The BGA Newsletter for December has been published. You can read it here.
BGA November Newsletter 7th November 2013
The BGA Newsletter for November has been published. You can read it here.
GA Red Tape Challenge 7th November 2013
Following the General Aviation Red Tape Challenge, which found that the current regulatory regime is often too prescriptive, impractical and inappropriate, the Government and the CAA have announced plans to transform the way in which the UK General Aviation (GA) sector is regulated. Measures that are being put in place include the creation of a new GA Unit within the CAA, focussing entirely on the sector, to help ensure that the regulatory regime for GA will take a different path and be less onerous to that applied to the commercial aviation sector. A guiding principle will be to deregulate and/or delegate wherever possible, including identifying what it might be possible to exclude from EASA oversight. An independent Challenge Panel, reporting directly to ministers, will be created and which will, among other tasks, test and critique the CAA programme for GA reform and consider opportunities for reducing the regulatory burden on GA. The 6 person panel will include the BGA Chief Executive, Pete Stratten. Follow these links for the full responses from the CAA and the Department for Transport.
BWPA Award for Ayala Truelove 4th November 2013
The British Women Pilots Association (BWPA) awards a number of trophies every year, the most prestigious of which is the Brabazon Cup, presented to the BWPA by Lord Brabazon of Tara in 1959. It is awarded for one particular outstanding or noteworthy performance in aviation and this year the Awards Committee have chosen Ayala Truelove to receive it in recognition of her achievement in winning silver at the Women’s World Championships in July. She has previously been the recipient of the BWPA’s OP Jones gliding trophy for her exceptional performance at the 2009 World Championships as a rookie pilot.
RAeS Light Aircraft Design Conference 5th October 2013
The Royal Aeronautical Society is holding its 2013 Light Aircraft Design – Methods and Tools conference in London on 11th November. As the BGA is sponsoring the conference, a discounted rate of £50 (+VAT) is available to members of BGA clubs. Full details are available on the RAeS web site.
BGA October Newsletter 4th October 2013
The BGA Newsletter for October has been published and can be downloaded here.
Breitling Youngster Award 4th October 2013
British glider aerobatics prodigy Robbie Rizk (15) has been awarded the first ever FAI Breitling Youngster Award. When 13, Robbie became the youngest pilot in the world ever to fly in a national aerobatics competition, won the beginners class in the 2012 UK Nationals and, this summer, finished 9th in the World Advanced Glider Aerobatic Championship in Finland. Robbie was presented with his award at the FAI General Conference this week in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Many congratulations.
Southend Airport Controlled Airspace Consultation 1st October 2013
Southend airport has published a consultation that proposes a large piece of controlled airspace. You can read the consultation here. The BGA is working with General Aviation Alliance colleagues in responding to the proposals. A map showing the proposed airspace can be seen here (copyright Cyrrus Ltd).
BGA September Newsletter 4th September 2013
The BGA Newsletter for September has been published and can be downloaded here.
Exeter TMZ 29th August 2013
A temporary Transponder Mandatory Zone (TMZ) is being put in place around Exeter Airport during a planned outage of its Primary Surveillance Radar from 16 September for up to 28 days. Anybody intending to fly adjacent to/or within the TMZ should consult NOTAM B1828/13. Anybody unable to comply with the NOTAM and regulation should contact Exeter ATC for advice on routing or timing of the planned flight. Follow the link for a chart of the TMZ.
Blackpool RMZ 29th August 2013 UPDATED 2nd September 2013
The UK’s first Radio Mandatory Zone has been established at Blackpool from 27 August to 23 September to cover the replacement of the airport's radar. Full details are on the CAA web site. RMZs are a new airspace feature designed to enhance flight safety without the need to establish a higher category of airspace. Follow the link for details of the CAA policy re RMZs. The BGA was involved in the development of this and you can see the BGA input to an earlier consultation here.
The CAA has announced that the Blackpool RMZ has been has been withdrawn, more than three weeks ahead of schedule. The project to replace the radar was completed sooner than the airport expected.
EASA Licensing Guidance 28th August 2013
In addition to existing guidance for licence conversion applicants, specific guidance for new holders of the SPL or LAPL(S) has been published here.
Light Aircraft Design Courses 16th August 2013
Coventry University, in conjunction with the LAA, has developed 8 specialist courses, designed for those who wish to have a wider and more in-depth understanding of light aircraft and the academic theory behind flight and aircraft design. Each course combines academic theory with practical exercises to ground your new knowledge (and then help you take to the skies!). The courses are delivered by experts from Coventry University in the £55m new Engineering and Computing building, using facilities in its High Performance Engineering Centre, including a closed single return wind tunnel – designed and supplied by the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS Formula One team – and the flight simulation centre.
Discounted rates are available to BGA club members; to book at the lower fee, please quote your BGA club name or BGA inspector number.
For full details, see the course prospectus.
AAIB Report 16th August 2013
The AAIB has published its report into the fatal winch accident caused by a wing drop and subsequent cartwheel last year. The report made a number of safety recommendations regarding the design of cable release mechanisms and also widely quoted the existing safe winch launching advice from the BGA. While the safety recommendations are being acted upon, the BGA reiterates the winch launch advice relating to wing drops. A summary of this advice, together with more information about the AAIB report is here. Full information about safe winch launching is on the Safe Winch Launching page.
BGA August Newsletter 14th August 2013
The August edition of the BGA Newsletter has been published and is available here.
TV Exposure for the Air League and Boeing Flying Scholarships 1st August 2013
The Air League and Boeing were at the London Gliding Club at Dunstable yesterday celebrating the success of the young people who have completed (or nearly completed) their flying scholarships.
The scholarships are designed to use the skills acquired to fly gliders as a way to boost interpersonal skills and self-confidence while sparking an interest in aviation. Targeted at students who might not have considered taking up gliding, let alone considering a career in aviation, the scheme has been a huge success and we are grateful to Boeing as part of their Global Corporate Citizenship work (www.boeing.co.uk/community) for providing the funding to enable this scheme. ITV were there to record the day and you can see the footage on the ITV London News web site.
Inter-Club League Finals 29th July 2013
The Inter-Club League Final will be held at Bidford on Saturday/Sunday August 31st/September 1st. Enquiries etc to Mike Jefferyes - contact details available from the BGA office.
World Gliding Aerobatic Championships 27th July 2013
Gliding Aerobatics Team GB are on their way home from the World Gliding Aerobatics Championship in Finland with a highly creditable 9th out of 40 position in the Advanced competition for 15 year old Robbie Rizk, and with Richard Brown, Jack Newman and Christopher Bowden half way up the field. Full results are on the championship website.
Short-Notice Airspace Restriction in the Oxford AIAA 24th July 2013
An area of restricted airspace in the Oxford AIAA, centred near Thatcham, Berkshire, has been announced at short notice. The restriction, which has been promulgated via NOTAM, will run with immediate effect until 2359 on 7 August. Under the restriction, aircraft are forbidden from flying below 4500ft amsl in a 1.5 mile radius circle. Fuller details are available in a CAA Briefing Notice.
European Gliding Championships 22nd July 2013
There were no medals for Gliding Team GB at the European Gliding Championships for the unflapped classes at Ostrow, Poland. Our highest placed pilot was Tim Milner who finished 11th in the club class with Liz Sparrow 16th. The winner was Roman Mracek from the Czech Republic. In the standard class Sarah Kelman came 18th and Howard Jones 21st. The first 3 places in this class all went to Polish pilots with Sebastian Kawa the winner. Full results are on the championship web site.
Badge Certificates 17th July 2013
It has been suggested during discussion within the Aim Higher project team(see the Aim Higher page for details of the initiative) that the BGA should provide paper certificates (A5) for BGA sporting badge claims, etc. With this in mind, we would welcome A5 certificate designs to be used for a variety of BGA sporting badge achievements. Designs should be submitted as an email attachment to email@example.com. The successful designer following the closing date of 31st August 2013 will receive a £50 BGA shop voucher.
Another Medal for Ayala 15th July 2013
Ayala Truelove has won her second successive silver medal in the Club Class at the Women’s World Gliding Championships, held at Issoudun in central France. Going into the final race with a slim lead, Ayala finished the fortnight-long competition in equal second place along with German pilot Doerte Starsinski and just 14 points behind gold medallist Christine Grote (GER). The Club Class was one of the most closely fought championship classes ever, with the lead changing on an almost daily basis. Team mates Claudia Hill and Helen Hingley finished 7th and 10th respectively. In the Standard Class, Kay Draper and Gill Spreckley were 7th and 8th overall which meant that TeamGB was able to see off the competition from Poland to take second place in the overall team placings, behind Germany. Well done to the whole team and to Team Manager, Melissa Jenkins. Full results are on the championship web site
BGA July Newsletter 9th July 2013
The BGA Newsletter for July has been published and can be downloaded here.
MBE for Joe Fisher 1st July 2013
Joe Fisher has been awarded the MBE in the Birthday Honours List for services to disability sport. Joe is the founding member and technical director of Walking on Air, the Portmoak-based charity that has made gliding available and accessible to hundreds of people with disabilities. Many disabled pilots, including the ten or so solo disabled pilots trained by WoA, owe Joe a tremendous debt of gratitude for helping them enjoy equal opportunities in aviation. Joe was instrumental in the development of the K21 disability conversion, particularly by insisting on and assisting with the development of a rear seat hand control conversion to ensure that disabled pilots had the opportunity to become instructors. Many congratulations, Joe.
Schools and Colleges Lead 1st July 2013
We are delighted to announce that Yvonne Elliott, a former gliding instructor and, until very recently, a teacher and manager in schools and further education colleges, has taken on the voluntary BGA role of Schools and Colleges Lead. Yvonne will be working closely with others involved in developing opportunities for young people in gliding.
European Championships 24th June 2013
The European Gliding Championships (flapped classes) concluded at Vinon in SE France on 21st June. Phil Jones finished in an excellent 4th place in the 15m class, behind a French trio that benefited from in-depth experience of the local mountain conditions. Team mate, Stephen Ells, flying in his first international championship, was 11th. In the 18m Class, Russell Cheetham and Derren Francis finished 9th and 18th respectively. Steve Jones, our sole representative in the Open Class following the withdrawal of Pete Harvey finished just out of the medals in 5th place. Full results are here.
RAeC Newsletter 24th June 2013
The summer edition of the Royal Aero Club newsletter has been published.
Safe Aerotowing 19th June 2013
Following a seven-fold increase in tug upset incidents over the last 10 years, each of which had the potential to result in a very serious accident, the BGA has launched a Safe Aerotowing campaign. A new leaflet on safe aerotowing has been produced, with a particular emphasis on avoiding tug upsets. If you aerotow, please collect a copy from your club (your CFI has stocks) or download a copy from the BGA website. The leaflet, together with advice and graphic simulations of what can go wrong and just how quickly things can get out of hand and thus endanger the tug pilot are available on the Safe Aerotowing web page.
BGA Shop 19th June 2013
Please note that the BGA On-Line Shop will be closed for stocktaking from Tuesday 18th to Friday 21st of June. All orders placed during this period will be sent on Monday 24th June. This closure does not apply to the sale of Trial Lesson and Go for Gliding vouchers which can be ordered normally by clicking here. Vouchers will continue to be despatched by the next working day.
New Field Landing Video 17th June 2013
The Ted Lysakowski Memorial Trust has sponsored the production of a new training video about all aspects of field landings. The 47 minute video is available as a single file or, alternatively, you can view individual chapters in high resolution. The Field Landing page has full details and links.
BGA Office Email 6th June 2013
The BGA office is upgrading its broadband connection. There may be email connection problems over the next two or three days. Our apologies on behalf of BT Business for any inconvenience caused.
BGA June Newsletter 6th June 2013
The June edition of the BGA Newsletter has been published and is available here.
EAS Newsletter 4th June 2013
The May edition of the Europe Air Sports (EAS) Newslettter has been published. This contains a wealth of information about the progress being made in dealings with EASA and the European Commission and Parliament. EAS represents the interests of all recreational pilots in Europe and its work is fully supported by the BGA which plays an active role in EAS activities. If you would like to receive future issues of the Newsletter direct to your inbox, please sign up on the Europe Air Sports website.
BGA Safety Organisation 28th May 2013
In their April 2013 meeting, the BGA Executive Committee agreed to develop and adopt a formal safety management system. The BGA 'Safety Organisation' webpage has been updated.
BGA May Newsletter 8th May 2013
The May edition of the BGA Newsletter has been published and is available here.
Parachute Drop Zones 26th April 2013
We have received notification from the BPA that an updated list of parachute drop zones nationwide has been published. The list, which contains contact telephone numbers and radio frequencies, is available for download from the BPA web site.
GA Red Tape Challenge 11th April 2013 - updated 1st May 2013
Following representations from the General Aviation (GA) community, the Government has launched a Red Tape Challenge to help inform them about how they can cut red tape relating to the GA sector. The Red Tape Challenge is a Government-wide programme to tackle unnecessary, over-complicated regulation with the default that regulation should go unless it can be well defended. The first phase of the Aviation Red Tape Challenge, launched last year, looked at regulations across the wider aviation sector, of which 58% will now be scrapped or improved. Based on your feedback, we hope that the Government will work with the DfT and the CAA to bring in reforms that will have a real impact on the GA community. The challenge will be open for comments on the Red Tape Challenge website for five weeks from 11 April to 15 May 2013; alternatively private submissions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org The BGA response is available here.
Bristol Airspace Guide 10th April 2012
Bristol has issued an updated version of the guide to their airspace. This will be of interest to glider and SLMG pilots
although, please note that it is intended as a general guide and in no way over-rides or supersedes the existing Letter of Arrangement regarding glider flying within the Bristol CTA
. The guide is available on the Fly on Track website (part of the Airspace Safety Initiative).
BGA April Newsletter 9th April 2013
The BGA Newsletter for April has been published and can be downloaded here.
Pilot Currency 2nd April 2013
Just a reminder that a pilot currency barometer and other helpful publications can be downloaded here.
EGU Newsletter 2nd April 2013
EGU Newsletter. The latest edition of the European Gliding Union has been published. You can download it from the EGU web site.
Aim Higher 28th March 2013
Aim Higher is a wide-ranging and long term BGA project which aims to help clubs to support the development of their club pilots by meeting their developmental needs and, in doing so, encourage everyone to raise their sights on what is possible given the necessary skills, knowledge and confidence. It's targetted at
any post-Bronze or licensed pilot - no age limitation. Details of the initiative, together with a wide range of resources are on the new Aim Higher page.
Review of Norwich Controlled Airspace 27th March 2013
Following the establishment of controlled airspace for Norwich Airport in 2012, the CAA is carrying out a Post-implementation Review. This is a normal part of the Airspace Change Process. The CAA states, 'The purpose of the Review is to determine if the airspace change, as approved, has been implemented and whether the anticipated benefits have materialised. Whilst the PIR does not constitute an opportunity to revisit the original decision to approve the change, the views of those within the aviation industry are an important part of the Review.' The BGA will contribute to the review during May. If you have any comment to make about the Norwich Airspace and how it has affected your flying, please email John Williams, the BGA Airspace Committee chairman by the end of April.
RAeC Spring Newsletter 20th March 2013
The spring edition of the Royal Aero Club newsletter has been published. It is not yet available on the RAeC web site, but you can read a copy here.
2012 Accident Review 17th March 2013
The BGA review of accidents in 2012 has been published. Particular areas of concern are the continued occurrence of accidents in gliders that were not correctly prepared for flight, particularly incorrect or incomplete rigging; an increase in potentially lethal tug upsets; and, although stall/spin accidents associated with winch launches have reduced significantly, the frequency of accidents following a wing drop shows no signs of decreasing. Bulk copies of the leaflet have been mailed to all CFIs; please ask for a copy. Alternatively, you can download a copy here.
BGA March Newsletter 6th March 2013
The March edition of the BGA Newsletter has been published and is available here.
BGA and Other Awards 4th March 2013
A number of BGA awards were made at the BGA Conference, held last Saturday. BGA Gold Medals were presented to Patrick Naegeli (Lasham GS) and Roger Coote (Southdown GC). BGA Diplomas were presented to Richard Brickwood (Cambridge GC), John Giddins (Banbury GC), Bruce Stephenson (Vintage GC), Jon Hall (Midland GC), Sam St Pierre (Yorkshire GC), and Phil Sturley (Four Counties GC). The Bill Scull Safety Award was presented to Colin Cownden (Cambridge GC). A full list of all the BGA Trophy Winners (who were presented with their trophies at the post-conference Awards Dinner) is on the Annual Trophies page.
A number of national and international awards, awarded to members of our community were also highlighted at the conference: an FAI Companion of Honour Award to Peter Saundby (Black Mountains GC), an FAI Tissandier Diploma and the OSTIV Morelli Award to Hugh Browning (Lasham GS); a Royal Aero Club (RAeC) Silver Medal to Andy Perkins (Windrushers GC); the RaeC Anne Welch Memorial Award to Colin Davey (Four Counties GC); and a RAeC Certificate of Merit to Anne Burgess (Highland GC).
Congratulations to all the winners.
BGA Executive Committee 3rd March 2013
Following the BGA AGM on 2nd March, the BGA Executive Committee now comprises: Pete Harvey (Chairman), Andy Perkins (Vice-Chairman), Ron Bridges, Matt Cook, David Fidler, Sharon Kerby, Tony Smith (Company Secretary), and John Williams. Welcome to new members, Sharon Kerby from Stratford-upon-Avon GC and Dave Latimer (Yorkshire GC). Robert John and Chris Gibson both stood down after many years of service; our thanks to both of these. Leslie Kaye continues as the BGA Treasurer.
Flight Crew Licensing 1st March 2013
From April 7th 2015, all pilots who intend to fly EASA sailplanes will have to hold one or other of the two new EASA Part-FCL sailplane licences – the Light Aircraft Pilot Licence (Sailplanes) – LAPL(S) – or the Sailplane Pilot Licence – SPL.
The BGA has, along with its colleagues within the European Gliding Union, fought long and hard to achieve as proportionate, low complexity and low cost an outcome as possible. To ensure that all pilots will have the correct licences, ratings and certificates by the 7th April 2015, the BGA has agreed with the CAA that we will shortly begin the process of conversion from the existing BGA pilot certification system to the EASA Flight Crew Licensing system.
Although there are still a few issues to be clarified, the process is sufficiently well-established for us now to provide details about how the conversion will happen, how it will affect you and what you need to do. Please look at the EASA Licensing page.
Roger Coote Retires 14th February 2013
Roger Coote has very sadly had to step down from his role as BGA Development Officer. Roger has been suffering ill heath for some time and made the decision a few weeks ago to retire from the BGA. Roger had held his position for 20 years and was a key member of our development team where his knowledge and experience were invaluable to us and clubs. We hope that with the removal of the responsibility and time commitment of the BGA work, Roger will be able to concentrate on getting well and that he will be back enjoying his flying and other activities before very long.
RAeC Trust Bursaries - Deadline Extended 14th February 2013
The deadline for submitting applications for 2013 Royal Aero Club Trust bursaries to the BGA office has been extended. Applications now need to be received at the office no later than 17th March 2013. Full details of the bursaries, which are available to pilots aged 16-21, are on the Trust's web site.
EAS Newsletter 14th February 2013
The latest edition (Nov/Dec 2012) of the Europe Air Sports Newsletter, containing a raft of regulatory background and information, is now available for download. You can sign up to receive your own copy of the newsletter on the EAS site home page.
BGA February Newsletter 6th February 2013
The February edition of the BGA Newsletter has been published and is available here.
BGA AGM 2nd March 2013 31st January 2013
The BGA AGM agenda and associated documents have been emailed to BGA member club secretaries. The AGM will take place at 2.15 on the 2nd March 2013 at the Nottingham Belfry Hotel.
BGA Conference 2nd March 2013 17th January 2013
Preliminary details describing some of the terrific presentations which will be featured at the 2013 BGA Conference (2 March at the Nottingham Belfry) have been published. With presentations from George Lee, Uys Jonker, Gliding Team GB, John Williams and more, this is definitely not a day to miss. More details, including how to book lunch, the awards dinner and overnight accommodation are all on the main conference web page.
BGA January Newsletter 6th January 2013
The January edition of the BGA Newsletter has been published and is available here.
Follow Team GB at the World Championships 4th January 2012
The World Gliding Championship for the unflapped classes starts this Sunday, 6 January at Adolfo Gonzales Chaves near Buenos Aires. The competition website is at http://www.wgc2012.com.ar/ You can follow and support the team on the team Facebook page and via Twitter @GBglidingteam. Team GB pilots are Jez Hood and Howard Jones (Standard Class) and Ian MacArthur and Ken Barker (Club Class).
Airborne Use of Radio 3rd January 2013
As our airspace becomes busier and new classifications of airspace are developed, it is becoming evident that glider pilots will be able to enjoy greater freedoms through use of radio. Even in the current airspace environment, not being able to use the radio can be limiting in respect to airspace access, including ATZs, and can result in unnecessary risk when flying near busy airfields including where IFR procedural traffic is operating in class G, in which case for example a quick call to ATC can improve awareness. Whilst there are no plans to mandate the general use of radio, the BGA is keen to provide support to pilots who choose to learn more about the use of radio and, indeed, to those who choose to obtain a radio licence. As such and following discussion with experts, guidance has been published on our new Radio Licensing page.
Follow Team GB at the World Championships 19th December 2012
The first pilots representing Team GB at the World Gliding Championship for the unflapped classes have arrived in Argentina. The competition gets underway on 6 January at Adolfo Gonzales Chaves but the team Facebook page where you can follow their exploits and show your support is now live. Team GB pilots are Jez Hood and Howard Jones (Standard Class) and Ian MacArthur and Ken Barker (Club Class).
BGA Office Holiday Closing 17th December 2012
The BGA office will be closed from Monday 24th December until Tuesday 1st January and will be open for business as usual from Wednesday 2nd January.
New Drop Zone Proposal 17th December 2012
The CAA are seeking views from stakeholders regarding a proposal to operate a parachute drop zone near Oxford. Having carefully considered the issues, the BGA airspace committee will be responding to the CAA opposing the proposal. A number of clubs in the local area have done so already.
RAeC Newsletter 13th December 2012
The winter edition of the Royal Aero Club newsletter is now available for download from the RAeC website.
TAG Farnborough Airport 13th December 2012
TAG Farnborough Airport has advised that it is in the early stages of developing a formal proposal to establish an area of class D airspace. The implications are serious for gliding and all others who currently fly in or need access to and from class G airspace in the south east of England. Lasham and the BGA are working together with others to properly inform the issue and to respond accordingly.
More information will follow in due course.
Airworthiness Quality Assistant – Northern UK. 11th December 2012
The BGA is seeking to recruit the remunerated services of an airworthiness Quality Assistant. The role is to support proactive oversight of BGA airworthiness quality management compliant with Part M. This home-based, flexible and part-time Quality Assistant task includes elements of site visits and liaison as well as some administration reporting to the Quality Manager. More information is here . The closing date for applications is
8 February 2013.
BGA December Newsletter 7th December 2012
The BGA Newsletter for December has been published and is available here.
2013 Team GB 3rd December 2012
Team GB members for 2013 international competitions have been decided:
Europeans Flapped (Vinon, France)
15M Class: Phil Jones and Leigh Wells. Reserve: Stephen Ell
18M Class: Derren Francis and Russell Cheetham. Reserve: Mike Young
Open Class: Peter Harvey and Steve Jones. Reserve: Kim Tipple
Europeans Unflapped (Ostrow Wielkopolski, Poland)
Club Class: Tim Milner and Liz Sparrow. Reserve: Matt Davis
Standard Class: Luke Rebbeck and Howard Jones. Reserve: Jez Hood
Womens Worlds (Issoudin, France)
Standard Class: Gill Speckley, Sarah Kelman and Kay Draper
Club Class: Ayala Liran, Claudia Hill and Helen Hingley
Junior Worlds (Leszno, Poland)
Matt Davis, Luke Dale, Sam Roddie, Charlie Jordan. Reserves: Oli Barter, Matt Waters
(final Junior Team composition still under discussion with coaches)
British Team Manager 3rd December 2012
We are pleased to announce that Graham Garnett (Lasham GS) has been appointed as the new manager of Gliding Team GB.
Pilot Language Proficiency Endorsements Available at the Flying Show 28th November 2012
Further to the news item (Power Flying News, 12 November), the CAA has announced that it will be offering GA pilots attending this weekend’s Flying Show at the Birmingham NEC a free language proficiency check with a Flight Examiner. The pilot could then receive a Level 6 non-expiring endorsement on their Licence which they will need when applying for a new EASA Licence such as an EASA PPL or the Light Aircraft Pilot Licence (LAPL) or a radio licence (FRTOL) renewal. Pilots seeking an endorsement at the Flying Show should bring photo ID, such as a passport or driving licence, as well as a photocopy of the ID for endorsement. Pilots should also have their pilot licences and radio licences with them. The examiner will be on the Airspace & Safety Initiative stand (23-24) on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 December 2012.
Tug Upsets 27th November 2012
BGA incident data analysis has identified that the rate of tug upset incidents - ie those that result in loss of control by the tug pilot - has markedly increased. As such, all glider pilots and tug pilots are encouraged to consider the factors identified in this poster in addition to guidance published in the BGA instructors manual, in the BGA tug pilots guidance notes and in other training volumes.
NPA2012-15 EASA Part 66 L Licence 20th November 2012
EASA Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) 2012-15 proposes requirements for sailplane airworthiness maintenance staff operating under Part M. Naturally, the finally agreed requirements will impact BGA inspectors. As such, the BGA is looking closely at the proposals and is discussing the way forward, including its response to the NPA, with the European Gliding Union and with the UK CAA. BGA inspectors were advised about this NPA in the November 2012 Engineering News.
The Flying Show UPDATE 20th November 2012
The seminar programme for the Flying Show has been announced. It's a well balanced programme - well worth making the trip to the show for.
You can catch the BGA at the Flying Show which is being held at the NEC on 1st and 2nd December and club members can benefit from reduced price admission. There will be a wide range of exhibits from all spheres of sporting aviation, as well as trade stands, a full seminar programme and many other attractions, BGA club members can purchase reduced price tickets (£6, saving over 50% on the £12.50 at the gate fee) by visiting the Flying Show website; enter your club name in the Membership Number field.
BGA Administration Assistant 19th November 2012
The BGA is seeking to employ an administration assistant working from its Leicester office to specifically support the transition of glider pilots to European pilot licensing requirements from early 2013 through 2014 and ending in April 2015. Working as a member of a small professional team, the role includes processing and quality checking applications, managing queries and updating data. More details, including the closing date for applications, are here.
Club Management Conference Agenda 12th November 2012
The agenda for the 2012 BGA Club Management Conference can be found here.
BGA November Newsletter 8th November 2012
The BGA newsletter for November has been published and is available here.
The Flying Show 8th November 2012
You can catch the BGA at the Flying Show which is being held at the NEC on 1st and 2nd December and club members can benefit from reduced price admission. There will be a wide range of exhibits from all spheres of sporting aviation, as well as trade stands, a full seminar programme and many other attractions, BGA club members can purchase reduced price tickets (£6, saving over 50% on the £12.50 at the gate fee) by visiting the Flying Show website; enter your club name in the Membership Number field.
Approved Training Organisation Quality Manager 5th November 2012
During 2013, the British Gliding Association will require the remunerated part-time services (approximately one day per week) of an Approved Training Organisation Quality Manager, whose primary task will be to establish and maintain compliance with the applicable regulatory requirements. The right person to provide these services will have experience of managing quality, have held a gliding instructor rating, be very familiar with glider pilot training in both winch launch and aerotow environments at clubs and have good knowledge of the EASA regulatory requirements for non-complex Approved Training Organisations and for pilot licensing. More details, including closing date for applications are here.
SERA 5th November 2012
The draft Standardised European Rules of the Air (SERA) regulation was adopted by the European Commission on 26 September and will apply from 4 December 2012. However, the UK has elected to use the provision not to apply the regulation until 4 December 2014. The CAA is developing detailed plans for implementation by that date. The BGA will provide advice and guidance nearer the date and will update Laws and Rules accordingly.
Single D&D Cell 31st October 2012
The Distress and Diversion (D&D) Cells located at Swanwick and Prestwick currently provide emergency coverage throughout the London and Scottish Flight Information Regions (FIRs) respectively. However, as of 12 December 2012, the Scottish/Prestwick D&D Cell will close, with the London/Swanwick D&D Cell taking responsibility for both the London and Scottish FIRs. The emergency frequency (121.5MHz) will be unchanged and we are assured that service levels will be unaffected. From 12th December, pilots in both FIRs should use the call-sign “London Centre”. More detail is in CAA Information Notice IN-2012/178.
Laws and Rules, Edition 18 9th October 2012
Edition 18 of BGA Laws and Rules has been published. This contains significant changes from the previous edition, reflecting the 2012 changes to the Air Navigation Order, as well as developments relating to future EASA requirements and a number of associated BGA changes to instructor revalidation requirements and glider pilot certification. The new edition has been completely reformatted with the aim of making information easier to find and to highlight information that the BGA feels is particularly important. It is strongly recommended that all pilots familiarise themselves with this significantly changed Edition 18 in its entirety. Further changes are predicted, as EASA licensing and other requirements continue to be developed. This edition will, therefore, only be made available for download from the Laws & Rules page of the website.
BGA Club Management Conference 5th October 2012 UPDATED 9th October
This years BGA Club Management Conference is on Saturday 17th November at Warwick University. Details including a booking form have been sent to club officials. You can also download the booking form and a descriptive flyer. Please note that the deadline for bookings is Friday 2nd November.
BGA Fees Updated 8th October 2012
Following the 1st October start of the BGA financial year, the BGA fees have been updated as reflected in the budget presented and accepted at the AGM in March 2012.
BGA Conference, AGM & Awards Presentation 5th October 2012
The BGA Annual Conference, AGM and Awards Presentation will take place on Saturday 2nd March 2013 at The Belfry Hotel, Nottingham. There is some information here with details to follow in due course. Meanwhile please put the date in your diary. And don't forget that early bookings on hotel rooms can result in savings...
BGA October Newsletter 4th October 2012
The BGA newsletter for October has been published and is available here.
Liz is No. 1 1st October 2012
With the results of the UK Club Class Nationals entered into the IGC Rankings, Liz Sparrow is now the number one rated female pilot in the world. This is the second time that a UK pilot has topped the female rankings and the UK now has three pilots (Gill Spreckley, 5th and Ayala Liran, 9th) in the world top 10. This is a great testament to the improving skills and activity levels of women in competition gliding. Much of this increasing interest is the result of initiatives by the girls in the British team to promote women in gliding.
EAS Newsletter 1st October 2012
The latest edition of the Europe Air Sports newsletter has been published. You can download it from the EAS web site.
Flight Verification 1st October 2012
Following the recent downgrading of certain flight recorders by the IGC, it can be confirmed that all flight recorders previously approved by the IGC may still be used for flight verification in UK rated competitions during 2013 and subsequently.
Having reviewed the available information, the BGA has with effect from the 1st of October 2012 approved the EW Avionics EWFR Models A-D to be used for the validation of flights up to and including Silver and Gold Badge performances only. The approval includes specific operational requirements which must be read and complied with. It should be noted that all BGA approvals are periodically reviewed. The approval is available here.
LAPL Medical Certificate 1st October 2012
Some glider pilots may choose to hold a LAPL medical certificate, which is of course recognised as an option under the ongoing BGA pilot certification and medical requirements, including for instructors. A common question is 'how does my GP register his or her involvement with the CAA?'. Read more here.
EGU Newsletter 1st October 2012
The latest edition of the European Gliding Union newsletter has been published. You can download it from the EGU web site.
EASA Pilot Licensing 27th September 2012
Those commercial air transport pilots within BGA clubs who are exchanging their UK commercial aeroplane licences for EASA commercial aeroplane licences and are concerned about adding towing or other gliding related EASA ratings to those EASA licences are advised to apply for those ratings at a later date. Read more here.
British Gliding Team Manager 24th September 2012
After a number of successful years in the role, Phil Sturley intends to hand over to a successor as the Gliding Team GB Manager at the end of 2012. If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact the BGA Competitions Committee Chairman, Russell Cheetham.
BGA September Newsletter 17th September 2012
The BGA newsletter for September has been published and is available here.
Visit ATC Day 17th September 2012
The popular Visit ATC Days will once again take place this autumn, giving UK pilots the opportunity to view proceedings at Air Traffic Control units around the country. Pilots curious to see life from an air traffic controller’s perspective are encouraged to sign up for a tour at their nearest unit during October and November. The scheme, now in its fourth year, aims to increase the mutual understanding of pilots and controllers. All visits will require prior registration and are open only to holders of pilot licences (NPPL, PPL, BGA certificate etc and student pilots). Those attending will be required to show their licence or evidence that they are learning to fly. Pilots who have not pre-registered or cannot produce their licence or evidence on the day will not be admitted. ATC units already confirmed include Swanwick, Prestwick, Manchester, Farnborough, Bristol, Birmingham, Belfast and Norwich. A full list of participating units, with dates when each unit is open for a visit, and contact details for pre-registration, are available on the ASI website.
Light Aircraft Pilot Licence (LAPL) Medical Certificate 17th September 2012
Information about the new EASA Light Aircraft Pilot Licence (LAPL) Medical Certificate has been published on the CAA website. The LAPL medical certificate is the minimum required to hold a LAPL. As previously reported, our activities - flying gliders and powered aircraft - are subject to a UK derogation that temporarily exempts us from the EASA pilot licensing rules and associated medical requirements until April 2015. The BGA's EASA Pilot Licensing webpage has been updated with the latest information. The BGA recognises that the LAPL Medical Certificate meets existing BGA medical standards and as such the LAPL medical will be identified as an option for BGA glider pilots and instructors in Edition 18 of BGA Laws and Rules.
Light Aircraft Design Conference 12th September 2012
The Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) is hosting a light aircraft design conference on the 19th November. Details including a special deal for BGA members are available here.
EASA Flight Crew Licensing 6th September 2012
The CAA will apply EASA Flight Crew Licensing rules in the UK from 17th September 2012. It's important to note that this will have no immediate impact on gliding, motor gliding or towing as our activities are subject to a UK derogation that temporarily exempts us from the rules until April 2015. The BGA's EASA Pilot Licensing webpage has been updated with the latest information.
Paralympic Airspace Files 23rd August 2012
A Winpilot (Open Air) format Airspace file is now available which has Olympic Airspace reduced to that required for the Paralympics. Checks of the file notes and NOTAMs will be necessary for applicable dates for the Paralympic Airspace. The two main areas that cover the bulk of the Paralympic duration are supplemented by very temporary restrictions at Brands Hatch, Eton Dorney and Egham.
World Championships 21st August 2012
The GB Gliding team won silver in the Team Cup at the World Gliding Championships (flapped classes) at Uvalde in Texas, reflecting the strength in depth of British Gliding. The top individual performance was Mike Young’s bronze in the 18m class, just pipping Russell Cheetham who finished 4th. In the 15m class, Ed Johnston came 6th, with Matt Cook 23rd. Pete Harvey was 5th in the Open Class. Full results are at http://soaringspot.com/wgc20112/
World Aerobatics Championships 21st August 2012
Not to be outdone, the GB team at the World Gliding Aerobatics Championships achieved some excellent results at Dubnica in Slovakia. Richard Brown finished 8th and David Morgan 17th, while in the Unlimited Class, Maz Makari was 14th and Paul Conran 20th. Full results are at http://www.wgac2012.sk/results
InterClub League Final 21st August 2012
The InterClub League final will be held at The Gliding Centre at Husbands Bosworth on 2nd and 3rd of September 2012. Please contact the club for details.
Instructor Course Late Availability 20th August 2012
Due to cancellations, we currently have two places available on the Assistant Instructor course to be held at Lee-on-Solent (Portsmouth Naval GC) from 8th to 16th September. There is also one place available on the course being held at Lasham on the same dates. To book or for more information, please contact Debbie Carr at the BGA office.
Medical Certificates and Insulin-Treated Diabetes 16th August 2012
The CAA has announced that pilots with diabetes treated with insulin (and other medications that significantly lower blood glucose), may now be considered for medical certificates. For more information, see the CAA web site. (The latest BGA guidance regarding the incoming EASA medical requirements that have to be in place for private pilots including glider pilots by April 2015 is on the EASA Medical page of this web site.)
OSTIV Award for Hugh Browning 10th August 2012
Hugh Browning has been awarded a special OSTIV prize for his “outstanding safety work which thoroughly investigated and significantly contributed to understanding glider winch launch dynamics which improved the training of pilots to reduce accidents during the launch.” The presentation was made by OSTIV President, Loek Boermans, during the opening ceremony for the 2012 OSTIV Congress at Uvalde in Texas. As Hugh couldn’t be present, the award was accepted on his behalf by Pete Harvey, who had come straight from winning that day’s 700km race in the World Gliding Championships open class. Hugh’s work has, of course, been instrumental in the success of the BGA safe winch launching initiative and we send him our heartiest congratulations.
Olympics Airspace Restrictions Change on 16th August 10th August 2012
The main airspace security arrangements covering the London Olympics are scheduled to be withdrawn at midnight on 15/16 August. However, a smaller set of restrictions will remain to protect the main Paralympics sites and various shorter-term airspace restrictions will cover other venues. Airspace users are also asked to be prepared for the change and a potential increase in activity as many pilots resume flying.
At 00:01 local on 16 August the Olympics prohibited (P111) and restricted (R112) airspace security restrictions are withdrawn. However, R005 at the Weymouth sailing venues remains in place until 18:00 local on 8 September. The restricted and prohibited airspace is immediately replaced by a much smaller set of restrictions covering the Paralympics that runs until 12 September. Primarily these are a smaller Prohibited Zone (P114) centred on the Olympic Park and two smaller prohibited zones over the rowing at Eton Dorney and the athlete’s village at Egham. There is also temporary restricted airspace over other venues, some of which, such as Brands Hatch, have not previously been subject to airspace restrictions during the Games.
Colditz Glider Programme 6th August 2012
The Channel 4 documentary about the plan to escape from Colditz using a glider will be screened this coming Monday, 13th August at 9pm. The programme follows the attempt to build a full size replica of the glider in two weeks, exactly to the original POW plans and material specifications and the subsequent launch from the roof of the castle. Full details about the project and the programme are in the current edition of S&G.
Use of Radio 6th August 2012
The BGA has received a small number of complaints about incorrect use of the radio frequencies assigned to the BGA. Pilots are reminded that the frequencies we are allocated should be used in accordance with BGA Laws and Rules RP32 to RP34 at http://www.gliding.co.uk/forms/lawsandrules.pdf. On a decent day there can be hundreds of glider pilots airborne and monitoring the limited number of frequencies. To avoid confusion and to help each other, we should aim to use aircraft call-signs and keep messages to the absolute essential. It can become intensely distracting and annoying when maintaining a listening watch on a frequency to have to put up with unnecessary background chatter and banter. Before pressing transmit, it probably makes sense to think about whether it’s necessary or helpful to do so. The CAA publishes a guide to RT phraseology which may be of interest.
Olympics Airspace 1st August 2012
All pilots are respectfully reminded of the ongoing need to be aware of and comply with the Olympic airspace restrictions, including CAS(T) and RA(T)'s, that have been established until 15th August 2012. Significantly reduced airspace restrictions are in place to protect the Paralympic Games from 16th August until 12th September 2012. Full details are available here.
BGA August Newsletter 1st August 2012
The BGA newsletter for August has been published and is available here.
2013 Conference 23rd July 2012
Advance notice: the 2013 BGA Conference, AGM, Exhibition and Awards Ceremony will be held on Saturday 2nd March. The venue, once again, will be the Nottingham Belfry. Put the date in your diary now!
European Pilot Licensing 16th July 2012
Pilot Medical requirements are set to change under new European pilot licensing rules. As previously noted, we have to comply with the new requirements by April 2015. As we gradually move from BGA pilot certification and medical requirements to the European requirements over the next couple of years, we'll be communicating lots of helpful guidance through this website and all other BGA media. We've set up two new web pages - see under 'Pilot Licensing' and 'Medical Requirements' in the righthand menu bar - which include some opening information.
Cabinet Office Red Tape Challenge 13th July 2012
The Govt's Red Tape Challenge is designed to allow us to identify aviation regulations or requirements that are stifling enterprise and activity in recreational aviation and in GA generally. You have until 30th July to suggest areas that need attention. Please go to:
There you can enter you suggestions in various areas related to aviation. For example, under CAA, if there is anything in the ANO that you don’t like or want removed, now is the time to challenge it!
BGA July Newsletter 4th July 2012
The BGA Newsletter for July has been published. You can view it here.
RIAT Fairford 29th June 2012
The 2012 Royal International Air Tattoo will be held at Fairford on the 7th and 8th of July. Due to the large number of aircraft involved, temporary airspace restrictions are in place throughout the period 4th to 9th July. These include temporary airspace for the Red Arrows (on 6th, 7th, and 8th July) and for a large flypast of military aircraft on the 7th and 8th to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee. This flypast will form up to the south of Telford, route via Cheltenham, overfly Fairford and then route south to disperse in the Swindon and Chippenham areas between SFC and FL65. Details of the temporary restricted airspace are in AIC M061/2012 (Red Arrows), AIC M057/2012 (RIAT) and AIC M095/2012 (Flypast). All of these are on the NATS web site. Please ensure that you are aware of the airspace restrictions for this and other events throughout the summer by regularly checking the NATS web site or the BGA RA(T) calendar.
Glider Interception Procedures During Olympics 29th June 2012
Details of glider interception procedures to be used should any glider infringe the Prohibited or Restricted zones set up to protect the London 2012 Olympics have been published on the official Olympic Airspace site. All pilots are urged to familiarise themselves with this and all the other information about the restrictions. Please also see the BGA Olympic Airspace page for more glider specific details.
BGA June Newsletter 8th June 2012
The BGA Newsletter for June has been published. You can view it here.
Aerodrome Traffic Zones 8th June 2012
The BGA Airspace Committee has published a briefing document covering just what Aerodrome Traffic Zones (ATZ) mean in practice for glider pilots, how to deal with them, and what the consequences might be if we get it wrong. Even if you think you know all this, please take a look.
Oxford Radio 31st May 2012
Sarah Kelman’s excellent article ‘Avoiding Airspace’ published in the current edition of S&G recommends listening to the Oxford Kidlington approach frequency on 125.32 when in the area. Since going to press, this frequency has changed to 127.75. Pilots should always refer to the current chart and associated chart amendments for the latest information. Amendments can be accessed via the NATS/AIS web site (follow the top menu link for VFR Charts).
UK PPLs Issued Prior to 2001 28th May 2012
The CAA has reviewed arrangements for SLMG rating revalidation and decided to extend authorisation for 13 month revalidations for a further year. Details are in ORS 4-905. Note: there is no change for NPPL holders.
BGA Chief Tug Pilot 24th May 2012
After a number of years successfully supporting the BGA as its Chief Tug Pilot, John Marriott is stepping down from that role. The BGA is very grateful for all John’s efforts. We’re delighted that Derren Francis has agreed to take on the role following a handover process that is currently underway. Derren is a very experienced tug pilot, Single Engine Piston Class Rating Instructor, gliding instructor, cross country pilot and, in his day job, flies business jets.
Olympic Airspace Enforcement 15th May 2012
The CAA has published information concerning its enforcement policies in the event of Olympic airspace infringements. These include the suspension of the licence of any pilot infringing either the prohibited or restricted zone, pending investigation of the incident.
Black Mountains on TV 11th May 2012
Black Mountains GC featured in a BBC1 programme, Wales in Four Seasons. The programme will be shown again next Tuesday 15th May on BBC 2 Wales but those not in the reception area can see it until 30th May on BBC iPlayer. The gliding feature starts at about 20minutes, 30 seconds into the programme.
BGA May Newsletter 8th May 2012
The BGA newsletter for May has been published and is available here.
EAS Newsletter 1st May 2012
Europe Air Sports (EAS) has published its latest newsletter. You can read this here.
EASA Future Medical Requirements 15th April 2012
EASA flight crew licensing requirements that will apply to private pilots, including gliding, by April 2015 include changes to the medical requirements. Pilots currently operating on a JAA Class 2 medical will automatically changeover to a very similar EASA Class 2 medical. Pilots who use a GP endorsed self-declaration medical will, in due course, see a change to an EASA GP medical. In both cases, the EASA medical is only required at the point of application for an EASA licence. The BGA anticipates that the transition from BGA to EASA licensing for glider pilots will take place from late 2013. The BGA will provide detailed advice prior to this on both licensing and medical requirements. For interest, the EASA medical requirements are described in CAA Information Notice IN–2012/063.
Mode S Update (Transponders above FL100) 1st April 2012 UPDATED 15th April
The Air Navigation Order (CAP 393) Schedule 5, Radio Communication and Radio Navigation Equipment to be carried in Aircraft, Gliders & Self-Launched Motor Gliders has changed with effect from 6 April 2012. The changes refer to the carriage requirements for Secondary Surveillance Radar Transponder equipment from that date. In essence, the CAA has ended the general exemption that allowed SLMGs and gliders to operate above FL100 without transponders. In parallel with this, the CAA and the BGA have agreed a number of non-transponder areas above FL100 for use by SLMGs and gliders as detailed at AIC Y 007/2012. The BGA anticipates that airspace files will be developed for these non-transponder areas. When operating above FL100 outside of the non-transponder areas described in the AIC, pilots equipped with a mode S transponder should use the conspicuity code of 7000 unless otherwise specified by an air traffic service provider.More information is in CAA Information Notice IN-2012/061.
CAA Web Site 30th March 2012
The CAA has recently undertaken a major revision of their website. As a result, some of the links used in BGA publications, website etc may no longer work. We would be grateful if you could report any broken links that you may encounter so that we can correct these (it would help of you could also provide details of the new link, if possible). Please report to Keith Auchterlonie.
Europe Air Sports and IAOPA Joint Initiative 29th March 2012
Following a recent decision by the EASA Management Board to respond to a joint paper presented by Europe Air Sports and IAOPA seeking a proportional and risk based approach to rulemaking, Europe Air Sports has released a press statement. You can read it here.
Flight Recorder Approval Downgrades 15th March 2012
The IGC has issued details of changes to approvals to certain types of flight recorder. With effect from 1st October 2012, the following types of recorder will no longer be approved for badge claims: EW A-D with separate GPS receiver; Filser/LXN LX20, batch 1 without RSA; Print Technik GR 1000 without RSA; and Print Technik GR 1000A with RSA. At the same time, approvals for the following types will be downgraded to Diamonds level (only acceptable for claims up to and including Diamond legs): Cambridge 10, 20, 25; Filser/LXN DX50; Filser/LXN LX20, later models with RSA192; Filser/LXN LX21; Filser/LXN LX5000 IGC; LXN Colibri 1; SDI/LXN Posigraph; Zander GP940. More information is available at www.ukiws.demon.co.uk/GFAC
BGA March Newsletter 7th March 2012
The BGA Newsletter for March has been published. You can view it here.
Italian Tax on Aircraft 6th March 2012
The Italian authorities have introduced a property tax which will apply to privately owned aircraft. The rate of tax is based on the MTOM of the aircraft; for light sporting aircraft, including gliders, tax will be at a flat rate of €450 per annum. This tax will be levied on any aircraft, irrespective of country of registration, which land in the country and stay for more than 48 hours. Europe Air Sports believes that this is an unfortunate step and has asked the European Commission to study the tax carefully and to request that Italy deletes the provisions concerning the taxation of visiting aircraft. EAS has also drawn the European Commission’s attention to Council Directive 83/185/EEC concerning tax exemptions within the Community for certain means of transport temporarily imported into one Member State from another.
New BGA Chairman 5th March 2012
At the BGA AGM on Saturday, Pete Harvey was elected as the new BGA Chairman, taking over from Patrick Naegeli who had served for the maximum six year period of office. Pete will be well known to gider pilots as one of our leading competitors (three time European champion in the open class) and as a long-term BGA volunteer.
EASA Licensing - CAA Information 2nd March 2012
The CAA has published some information describing the transition from UK CAA/JAR licensing to EASA licensing. The information is here. A key point for gliding and other recreational flying is of course that there is no requirement to comply with EASA licensing rules until April 2015. Meanwhile, the BGA continues to be engaged with CAA in establishing suitable transition arrangements for our sport and its pilots.
Olympic Airspace 29th February 2012
The first set of official supplements to the UK Air Pilot (AIP) on the airspace changes during the London 2012 Olympics has now been published. The supplements are the legal notification of the temporary changes to controlled airspace in areas around the London Terminal Control Area which will be in place from 16 July to 15 August 2012. Some of this controlled airspace will be in low levels of what is currently Class G airspace. Pilots operating in this area during the Olympics period need to be aware of these changes. Full details are on the CAA web site.
BGA Annual Awards Dinner 3rd March 2012 24th February 2012
Tickets for the Evening Dinner and Awards Ceremony are selling out fast!. Please book tickets online before 28th February 2012 to avoid disappointment
Gatwick Airspace Change 13th February 2012
Gatwick Airspace Change. We are delighted to report that, following a joint approach from the BGA and NATS, the CAA has approved the release of a 1000ft vertical section of controlled airspace to the south of Gatwick Airport. Details of the airspace change are shown in the CAA decision letter . We are very grateful to the BGA volunteers who worked so hard to effect this change and for the assistance provided by NATS.
BGA February Newsletter 10th February 2012
The February 2012 edition of the BGA Newsletter has been published. You can download it here.
CAA Proposed Changes to the Light Aircraft Maintenance Programme 7th February 2012
The CAA have issued a News Release announcing a consultation period for the proposed withdrawal of the CAA LAMP maintenance programme that is used by BGA Self Launching Motor Gliders, Touring Motor Gliders and Glider Tug Aircraft. You can read BGA guidance here.
Royal Institute of Navigation (RIN) Olympics Airspace Briefing 29th January 2012
The RIN is hosting an event in London on 10th March during which pilots can hear about plans for airspace restrictions in the SE during the Olympics.
As has been described in a letter to CFI's, the BGA Olympic Airspace Education working group will over the next few months be working with clubs to ensure that any BGA club pilot who is likely to be flying close to the area will be aware of the issues and of his or her responsibilities.
Current CAA information is available at http://olympics.airspacesafety.com
3rd March BGA Conference and AGM 27th January 2012
Full details of the 2012 BGA Conference and AGM event including the programme for the day are available on the conference webpage at www.gliding.co.uk/bgainfo/notices/conference.htm
The evening event, which is of course limited by available space, is filling fast. To avoid disappointment please make your booking as soon as possible. Full details are on the conference webpage.
Junior Pilot Development Training Opportunity 23rd January 2012
The BGA is pulling together some Junior pilot development training during 2012 that aims to prepare pilots for their first competition. This is in addition to the coaching effort that takes place alongside the Junior Championships. The plan is to offer some practical guidance in a briefing/discussion event on the 18th of February, following which some of those involved in the February event could have access to funded training during the spring.
More details are available here.
BGA January Newsletter 5th January 2012
The January 2012 edition of the BGA Newsletter has been published. You can download it here.
Hugh Browning Wins CAA GA Safety Award 5th January 2012
Hugh Browning has been awarded the 2011 CAA general Aviation Safety Award. This award is made to individuals who have either made a lasting contribution to safety, or in recognition of one-off acts of skill or bravery. Hugh’s award is in recognition of the work that he has carried out as part of the BGA Safe Winch Launching initiative – a project which has seen serious and fatal winch launch accidents drop significantly in recent years.
Joan Cloke MBE 1st January 2012
It is with deep regret that we report the passing away of Joan Cloke on the 31st December.
Joan was a truly exceptional lady who gave much of her life to the support and advancement of gliding at the Southdown GC and throughout the entire UK. Joan started gliding in the early 50's and obtained her 'C' certificate on the 26th July 1953 soaring the sea cliffs. She was treasurer of the Southdown Gliding club for 23 years (1955-1977), and Chairman from 1982 through 1984. In 1965, Joan was part of the organising team for the World Gliding Championships at South Cerney. She was Chairman of the BGA Development committee in the 70's as well as Treasurer of the British Gliding Association. In 1979 she was awarded a BGA Diploma and in 1981 was awarded the MBE in recognition of her outstanding contribution to sport.
Her strategic vision and commitment achieved much for both the Southdown GC and the wider gliding community. Our thoughts are with Joan's family and friends.
Keith Mansell MBE 29th December 2011
It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Keith Mansell at his home two days ago. Keith joined the Midland GC in 1958 at the age of 24, enjoying more than 53 years of unbroken membership. He gained his Silver Badge the following year, qualified as an instructor the year after and become Chief Flying Instructor the year after that, holding that position until 1968. He only gave up being CFI to become club chairman, a position he held for twenty years. Keith was treasurer from 1988 to 1996, then again from 2005 to 2009. Throughout that time Keith has continued to serve both the BGA and the RAeC in a number of key roles, including Treasurer and, more recently, as the BGA Company Secretary. In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Midland GC, to the BGA and to his wider local community, Keith was the recipient of a number of awards and honours, including the MBE. Keith's wise counsel, dry wit and constant smile suggesting there’s a joke you’re finally going to understand just around the corner will be missed by everyone who has had the pleasure of his company. Our thoughts are with Keith's wife, Christine and their son & daughter, Scott and Crystal. You can read an obituary here.
Olympics Airspace 14 July - 15 August 2012 19th December 2011
The Olympics security and CAS(T) airspace changes planned for 14 July - 15 August 2012 will require the gliding community to be even more diligent than usual when operating in the SE of England. Everyone will hear more about this during 2012, including practical guidance. The BGA has provided a link to http://olympics.airspacesafety.com under 'BGA Activities' on this webpage righthand menu.
CAA Future Airspace Strategy 16th December 2011
The third in the series of booklets on ‘Airspace for Tomorrow’ providing the background and progress of work associated with the CAA’s Future Airspace Strategy (FAS) is now available on the CAA website at www.caa.co.uk/FAS.
Note to all Glider Pilots re NPA 2011-16 15th December 2011 - updated 27th December 2011
The BGA response to NPA 2011-16 can be viewed here.
December Newsletter 7th December 2011
The BGA Newsletter for December has been published and can be read here.
UK Airprox Board Update 2nd December 2011
The number of airprox incidents involving commercial passenger aircraft remained static in 2010, noted the UKAB in a recent report. There were 35 incidents involving passenger aircraft in 2010, the same number as 2009. The majority of these incidents involved the airliner conflicting with a military or general aviation light aircraft. However, for the first time in over 10 years none of these incidents were regarded as ‘risk-bearing’. You can read more here.
The BGA remains committed as a stakeholder in the ongoing success of UK airspace safety initiatives, including pilot education and awareness of the needs of the wide variety of class G airspace users.
EASA Consultation re Instrument Flight 30th November 2011
As previously reported, the UK is required to comply with European Law requiring glider pilots to hold licences. In many respects, the EASA glider pilot licensing requirements, applicable to us from 2015, will do little more than formalise gliding’s current good practice.
It has taken a serious piece of work by BGA and others with EASA to ensure that the privilege of flying in cloud is not swept away by EASA pilot licensing rules. The outcome of that work is described within NPA 2011-16 as EASA’s proposals for cloud flying in gliders. The BGA recognises that defending our existing privileges is a crucial issue for the sport. The cloud flying proposals within NPA 2011-16 do not present us with significant issues and are strongly supported by the BGA.
However, as it is likely that not all airspace users or European regulators understand the need for continuation of our privileges, it is critically important that EASA’s cloud flying proposals receive the widest possible written support.
The BGA urges ALL glider pilots to consider its guidance published here. This includes the two steps you need to take to make a difference.
The consultation closes on the 23rd of December 2011.
Note - when using the EASA Comment Response Tool, we recommend preparing responses off-line (and saving them), then copy and paste the responses into the CRT. In this way, if the EASA CRT access goes down during response writing, all is not lost.
BGA November Newsletter 11th November 2011
The November 2011 edition of the BGA Newsletter has been published. You can download it here.
Parachute Safety Warning 7th November 2011
The BGA has received details of a safety issue regarding a particular design of parachute. More information is available here.
BGA Advice on EASA Flight Crew Licensing 7th November 2011
The BGA has updated its advice on EASA Flight Crew Licensing requirements as they will impact on gliding around 2015. You can read the advice including FAQ's here.
Airspace Release South of Gatwick 2nd November 2011
Following work led by the BGA Airspace Committee and supported by NATS, we anticipate that the release back to class G of a significant piece of controlled airspace to the south of Gatwick will be formally announced later this month. Full details will follow at that time.
EASA Reviews Part M 2nd November 2011 (updated 3rd November)
The BGA recently attended an EASA workshop that considered the issue of Part M maintenance rules as applicable to general aviation. EASA has somewhat relunctantly accepted that Part M could be overly complex. An EASA working group will be formed to consider the issues, including regulators and GA representatives, and as a priority will identify cost increasing practices, areas where no real benefit accrues and quick fixes. EASA anticipates proposing change during 2012.
You can view the presentations here including a speech made by David Roberts, President of Europe Air Sports.
Decision Making & Collision Avoidance Advice 30th October 2011
The European GA Safety Team has produced two new guidance leaflets on two important subjects - pilot decision making & collision avoidance. Follow the link here and scroll down that page.
ARC Expiry EMails 28th October 2011
A number of EMails informing owners that the ARC for their aircraft had expired were sent this morning in error. If you received an EMail telling you that your ARC had expired on a date between June of this year and yesterday, please ignore it. The problem was caused by our software house running a test against a historic back-up copy of our main database and omitting to switch the EMailing routine off. We apologise for any confusion and inconvenience.
Class E Airprox Report 26th October 2011
The Airprox Board report into the airprox between a glider and a Boeing 757 reported in Class E airspace has been published. The report, which apportions no blame, makes interesting reading, serving to remind pilots of how Class E airpace may be used and what they may encounter while flying in it. This report is the final entry in the latest AirProx Board report at http://www.airproxboard.org.uk/docs/423/201109142011009Reports.pdf
Flight Radiotelephony Operators Licence (FRTOL) 25th October 2011
There is no requirement to hold an FRTOL when using the allocated gliding frequencies. Pilots and clubs occasionally contact the BGA seeking guidance on FRTOL training and how to access FRTOL examiners. With winter (and perhaps spare time) approaching, it may be of interest to note that LASORS section B describes the FRTOL in detail, including how glider pilot FRTOL holders can renew their FRTOL via their club CFI. A CAA list of FRTOL examiners is available here.
Links to AICs 24th October 2011
There is currently an issue with the Eurocontrol web site which meansd that a number of links from this site to Aeronautical Information Circulars (AICs) may not work. We, together, with NATS are seeking a resolution to this problem. In the interim, if you are affected, you can access AICs via the NATS web site, following the links, firstly, to AICs and then to the category of AIC required.
Airworthiness Quality Manager 24th October 2011
The BGA is seeking to recruit a part-time airworthiness Quality Manager to replace our
current quality manager who is moving on after a highly successful period of service. The
fundamental aim of the role is to continue to deliver proactive oversight of BGA airworthiness
quality management compliant with Part M. If this remunerated and flexible part-time position is of interest, please look at the details here.
The Wally Kahn/BGA Library Project - Update 19th October 2011
Wally Kahn and Peter Redshaw are making great progress in developing the previously reported eBook library. You can view the first example here. Any feedback re readability of text and photos would be gratefully appreciated by Peter Redshaw.
You can still make a donation to this work in support of the UK's gliding heritage via this webpage.
Young Gliding Instructors 18th October 2011
Two young glider pilots have recently qualified as Assistant Gliding Instructors;
Vicky Smith, 22, who splits her gliding time between a BGA club and helping to fly Cadets at an Air Cadet gliding squadron, recently completed a BGA assistant instructor course and following acceptance checks by her club CFI has qualified. Vicky completed a Silver badge at her BGA club this summer.
Charles Jessop, 19, who has spent some time as a BI in both the UK and in NZ, completed a BGA assistant instructor course a month or so ago and has also qualified. Charles competed in the Junior Championships for the first time this year.
Details of BGA courses for 2012 will be published later this year.
Airspace Safety 18th October 2011
As we all know, every qualified glider pilot has an obligation to understand and respect the rules and regulations concerning UK airspace. Please note that details of airspace developments can be found in the Airspace pages of this website.
BGA Forms 13th October 2011
A number of BGA application forms have been updated to correct minor issues. As queries generated by missing detail will slow down application turnaround times at BGA HQ, we strongly recommend that forms are printed as required rather than kept in stock by clubs.
BGA Fees and Charges 10th October 2011
The updated BGA fees and charges for 2011-2012 including applicable CAA fees have been published here. Please note that unless otherwise stated, these will apply to applications for services received by the BGA on and from Monday 17th October 2011. The BGA takes great care to keep fees and charges at the lowest level commensurate with continuing to meet the needs of the entire Association.
BGA October Newsletter 7th October 2011
The October 2011 edition of the BGA Newsletter has been published. You can download it here.
IMC Flying Qualifications 21st September 2011
EASA has opened the consultation period for NPA-2011-16, Qualifications for Flying in Instrument Meteorological Conditions. This includes details of a proposed cloud flying rating for glider pilots. The BGA is studying these proposals and will issue guidance on what response is appropriate. The NPA is available at http://hub.easa.europa.eu/crt/docs/viewnpa/id_135
Response to Consultations 21st September 2011
The BGA has this week responded to a number of consultations: on CAA proposed changes to the ANO re radio operators; on HSE proposals regarding Adventurous Activities; on CAA proposals re gliding & transponders above FL100; and, with the GA Alliance and the Sports & Recreation Alliance, on the Government's draft National Planning Policy Framework.
BGA Supporting Airspace Safety Initiatives 21st September 2011
Following the tragic fatal accident where, according to an AAIB report, an RAF Tutor carrying out aerobatics in a busy piece of airspace and flown by an instructor with lookout limitations and other medical issues struck a glider that was cruising in clear air, a number of AAIB recommendations were made on the RAF and the CAA. The BGA has worked positively with the CAA as they have responded to those recommendations. In doing so, the BGA has, thanks to John Bridge and others, developed a task notification tool which was tested this year. The BGA has also drafted an AIC describing UK gliding operations which has been submitted for publication.
Conspicuity Trial 20th September 2011
The CAA has agreed to fund research into making light aircraft and gliders more visible to other pilots. Through the Airspace & Safety Initiative (ASI), the CAA has engaged with the BGA and the MoD to explore ways of improving the visibility of light aircraft, especially gliders. The work will build on previous research carried out by Dr Tony Head of Cranfield University on behalf of the BGA. The new research will involve a joint CAA/MoD trial, with support from the BGA, which will concentrate on the visual conspicuity of gliders and light aircraft. Results are expected before the end of the year.
Exemption from Transponder Requirement 20th September 2011
The BGA response to a CAA proposal which would extend our current exemption from the requirement to carry transponders above FL100 for a further 3 years after April 2012 (but only in northern latitudes), is in final drafting. We are arguing strongly for the exemption to also apply to regular wave flying areas over southern areas of the UK. In this respect the availability of data via the national ladder is proving crucial to our arguments. If you want our existing airspace freedoms to continue please lean on your colleagues to make sure they post all flights above FL100 - without this data we cannot make convincing cases to keep our freedoms.
Pilot Licensing 19th September 2011
As previously reported, the BGA is currently working with the CAA to ensure a smooth transition from BGA glider pilot certification to EASA glider pilot licensing by April 2015. The BGA will advise in detail how to transition long before this date.
Holders of a UK PPL or NPPL will have to obtain an EASA licence by April 2015. Again, the BGA will advise how to transition long before this date.
Meanwhile, the CAA intends to begin where feasible issuing EASA pilot licences and medical certificates from 1 July 2012. Existing JAR-FCL PPL licences will become EASA Part-FCL licences on 8 April 2012. JAR-FCL licences issued in the UK up until 1 July will also be deemed to be EASA Part-FCL licences. Pilots with JAR-FCL licences will not receive a new EASA Part-FCL licence until they submit their JAR licence for renewal or amendment after 1 July 2012.
Existing JAR medical certificates will automatically become EASA medical certificates on 8 April 2012. From 1 July 2012 EASA medical certificates will be issued by UK AMEs.
Pilots who want more detail at this stage can read this CAA guidance.
RAeS Light Aircraft Design Conference 15th September 2011
The Royal Aeronautical Society’s 2011 conference Light Aircraft Design Conference - Methods and Tools will be held in London on 21st November. The conference, like those preceding it, will focus on information useful to the would-be designer of light aircraft. While the intent is the same, the content will be new and will complement material presented previously. A principal aim of the RAeS GA Group is to encourage light aircraft design and manufacture in the UK. More information is on the RAeS web site.
BGA September Newsletter 5th September 2011
The September 2011 edition of the BGA Newsletter has been published. You can download it here.
Limbach Engines Closure 6th September 2011
The BGA has been advised that Limbach Flugmotoren GmbH is to cease trading at the end of October 2011 with manufacturing, overhaul and maintenance coming to an end. There will be a stock clearance sale until end of December. Owners are urged to place orders for spares as soon as possible to fulfil future requirements. It is not known yet if the business will be sold as a whole or in part and the future supply of parts is uncertain. Please contact the UK agents, Anglia Sailplanes, to place orders.
NPPL SLMG ICAO Endorsement 30th August 2011
Holders of an NPPL SLMG rating may operate UK registered SLMG's outside the UK providing they demonstrate the ICAO requirement. The BGA's long standing advice on this subject has been updated here.
New Simulator at the LAA Rally 26th August 2011
The new BGA simulator will make its public debut at the LAA Rally which is being held at Sywell from Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th September. Our attendance at the rally is part of our effort to attract power pilots to try gliding or, perhaps, to come back to the sport.
Our stand will be manned by volunteers and we would be grateful to hear from anybody who would like to come along to help (especially on the Saturday and/or Sunday). You will be among the first to fly the simulator and there will be plenty of opportunity to have a look around the rest of the rally. If you are interested, please contact Keith Auchterlonie.
Buying and Selling a Glider 25th August 2011
The BGA factsheet on buying and selling gliders has been updated and is available here.
Gliding Team GB European Championship Bronze Medal 15th August 2011
Russell Cheetham flying a JS1b in the 18M class has won a Bronze Medal at the 16th FAI European Championship in Pociunai in Lithuania. Results from the 15m, 18m and Open classes are available here. Our congratulations go to all the Gliding Team GB pilots and crews involved.
BGA August Newsletter 11th August 2011
The August 2011 edition of the BGA Newsletter has been published. You can download it here.
Pegasus 4th August 2011
The BGA has written to clubs describing the Home Office security project titled Pegasus. An information video is available here.
Donations to Aerobility 3rd August 2011
Aerobility (formerly the British Disabled Flying Association) works with people of every conceivable disability turning the dream of flying into a fulfilling reality. As part of their fund raising efforts, they are happy to accept your old GPS and other flying equipment for recycling via eBay. Details are available here.
World Sailplane Grand Prix Final 23rd July 2011
The World Sailplane Grand Prix Final kicks off on Saturday the 23rd July at the historic gliding airfield of the Wasserkuppe in Germany. Please visit the contest web site at http://sailplane-grandprix-2011.aero/?lang=en where you will be able to follow all the live action, race commentary, pilot interviews, videos and results. Live racing should start each day after 13.00 Central European time and race highlights and the winner's story will be on the web from 19.00 CET each evening. The final contest day will be Saturday the 30th of July
Response to Consultations 21st July 2011
The BGA has this week responded to a number of consultations; on CAA proposed changes to the ANO re flight crew licensing, on a CAA proposed development of their Safety Plan, and on a NATS proposal to change Irish Sea airspace.
Olympics Airspace - Update 19th July 2011
Following effective lobbying by the BGA in concert with other organisations including the GA Alliance, the Government has re-considered the Olympic security airspace. The shape of the security airspace and applicable dates have changed. The revised security airspace requirements are described here. Significant problems remain for clubs located well within the security airspace, but now over a shorter timescale than originally proposed.
Jet Displays Aeronautical Information Circular 18th July 2011
AIC M (Mauve) 066/2011 has been published describing jet (primarily Red Arrows) displays from 5th August through to 19th September that are subject to RA(T) . This AIC and others are available here.
RIN Pilot/Controller Forum 14th July 2011
On 28th September, the Royal Institute of Navigation (RIN) are holding a forum in conjunction with NATS on integrating AWARE (the NATS GPS airspace warning device) into conventional navigation techniques. It will be held at the ATC Centre at Swanwick and will include visits to London Information, D&D and RADAR Control Centres. GA pilots and instructors are invited to attend but only 20 places are available. More details, including how to book are on the RIN web site.
EASA Safety Information Bulletin re Mode S 13th July 2011
As a small number of aircraft operating at BGA sites are equipped with mode S transponders, an EASA Safety Information Bulletin recently published here may be of interest.
Oxford CAS(T) 8th July 2011
As previously reported, the BGA has been working with others in responding in detail to various proposals associated with temporary controlled airspace associated with the 2012 Olympics. The CAA's formal announcement that the proposed Oxford CAS(T) has been withdrawn can be read here.
BGA July Newsletter 5th July 2011
The July 2011 edition of the BGA Newsletter has been published. You can download it here.
EASA Reviews Impact of Part M on General Aviation 4th July 2011
EASA has recently contacted stakeholder organisations seeking comments relating to their experience of implementing Part M in general aviation. The BGA is one of the organisations that has been approached and will be submitting feedback in anticipation of an EASA workshop on the subject later this year. The BGA will also be working with our European Gliding Union and Europe Air Sports colleagues in support of their comments.
Team GB World Championship Silver Medal 27th June 2011
Ayala Liran, flying a Standard Libelle in the Club Class, has won a Silver Medal at the 6th FAI Womens World Gliding Championship at Arboga in Sweden. In what was undoubtedly an extremely challenging and hard fought for competition, all our pilots achieved great individual results, including Elizabeth Sparrow who finished in 5th place in the Club Class and Francesca Aitken who finished in 8th place in the Standard Class flying her first International competition. Our congratulations go to Ayala and all the other members of Team GB. Not forgetting of course the tremendous efforts made by crews, coaches and other supporters.
The Air League Awards 2011 26th June 2011
At The Air League Annual Reception held at St James Palace on 21st June, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh presented awards to a number of Main Award Winners, including a number of glider pilots.
The prestigious Jeffrey Quill Medal was presented to Terry Holloway, formerly a leading light in the RAFGSA, for his ongoing outstanding contribution to the development of air-mindeness in Britains youth. Illuminated Scrolls were presented to Andy Perkins (Windrushers) for his work with Leading Edge, to Mike Miller-Smith (Lasham) for his work with flying for the disabled, and to Steve Noujaim (Bristol & Gloucestershire) for his record breaking flight in his homebuilt aircraft to South Africa and back. The BGA sends its congratulations to all the award winners and scholarship recipients, and thanks The Air League and its generous sponsors for their ongoing support of young glider pilots
Gill Tops the Table 24th June 2011
Britain's Gill Spreckley has been ranked No 1 in the world in the latest FAI Female Pilot's Ranking List. Gill took over the top position following her win in the French championships last month. The full ranking list, which features four British pilots in the top 20 is available on the FAI web site.
ITV Countrywise 24th June 2011
Gliding from Talgarth will feature in the next edition of ITV's Countrywise programme. The edition, which focuses on the Brecon Beacons, will screen on ITV1 on Tuesday 28th June at 8pm (timings may vary between regions).
Transition Altitude Changes 20th June 2011
All pilots are reminded that recent changes to the Transition Altitude in UK airspace have resulted in wholesale changes to controlled airspace. These are depicted on the latest 1:500,000 VFR charts (Scotland will be updated in the next issue). The key issue for pilots is to ensure that they correctly identify whether the base of controlled airspace is referenced to altitude or flight level. Clearly any mistake on this important airspace awareness and altimetry issue could result in an infringement. Users of GPS equipment are reminded that they should ensure that they are using software that reflects the latest permanent changes to UK airspace.
CAA News - EASA Pilot Licensing 13th June 2011
The CAA has published some news relating to the conversion from JAR, National and unregulated pilot qualifications to EASA Flight Crew Licensing requirements when these apply from April 2012 in general, and specifically to sporting aviation and GA from April 2015. The details including FAQs are here.
The FAQs include the point that CAA and BGA are working together to develop conversion criteria for gliding based on BGA qualifications. This is part of an ongoing long term BGA project that aims to minimise any negative impact that EASA licensing rules will make on our sport.
Wally Kahn MBE 13th June 2011
The BGA sends its heartiest congratulations to Wally Kahn who has been awarded the MBE for services to gliding in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. Wally gained his 'A' badge in 1946, Gold badge no 10 in 1952, and Diamond badge no 50 in 1975. He held a number of UK records during the 1940s and 50s and was active in a multitude of roles at both club and national levels. He was awarded an FAI Paul Tissandier Diploma in 1969 and the Royal Aero Club Silver Medal in 1995.
Medical Examination by HM Forces Medical Officer 8th June 2011
The CAA has issued exemption ORS4-857 regarding the issue of a Medical Declaration by a Medical Officer in HM Forces. The exemption can be viewed here.
BGA June Newsletter 6th June 2011
The BGA Newsletter for June has been published. You can read it here.
Further Olympic Airspace Proposal 2nd June 2011
Oxford airport has published a stakeholder consultation document describing a proposal for temporary controlled airspace (CAS-T) for the 2012 London Olympic Games, at this stage describing dates of 24-28 July 2012 and 11-14 Aug 2012. The document is available on the Oxford Airport website here. BGA Airspace Committee members are reviewing the detail and will respond for the BGA. The consultation period ends on Friday 22nd July 2011.
Royal Flights 27th May 2011
Guidance regarding Royal Flight restrictions is supplied in the CAA Guide to VFR in the UK (pages 11 & 12). Details of specific restrictions appear in NOTAMs. The BGA is aware of developments at Kemble which have the potential to significantly disrupt gliding activity. We are engaged with BGA clubs, the RAF and others on this issue. Please note that, as usual, ignorance is no excuse for a pilot inadvertantly finding him or herself in restricted airspace. Kemble airfield (Cotswold Airport) information including tel no's and VHF frequency is here.
BGA Response to Olympics Airspace Proposals 26th May 2011
The BGA has responded to the proposals to establish temporary restricted airspace for the 2012 London Olympic Games. We believe that the current proposals would compromise safety in Class G airspace and cause severe operational issues for affected clubs. You can read the response here. Our thanks to Nick Hoare, Bruce Cooper and Gordon MacDonald for their hard work in producing this response.
Volcanic Ash 24th May 2011
The CAA publishes guidance regarding volcanic ash issues including any restrictions on its website at www.caa.co.uk/volcano. Although the BGA is not anticipating restrictions on gliding activities, pilots are advised as usual to carefully consider NOTAM and other information relevant to their planned flying activities. Further CAA detailed guidance regarding volcanic ash is available via links on this CAA website page dedicated to General Aviation.
Chris Wills Flying Day 23rd May 2011
The Vintage Glider Club is organising a special flying day open to all who knew Chris to commemorate and celebrate his life. This will be held at Lasham on 25th June. After the day’s activities, which will culminate in a flypast of vintage gliders, there will be an evening buffet in the clubhouse. Bookings for this are required by 17th June. More details are here.
BGA May Newsletter 7th May 2011
The BGA May Newsletter has peen published and is available here.
Chris Wills 5th May 2011 UPDATED 9th May
The BGA is sad to report that Chris Wills, the President and one of the founders of the Vintage Glider Club, died last night. Chris, who soloed in 1951 was instrumental in the development of the VGC resulting in today's influential international organisation. Chris was awarded a BGA Diploma in 1976 and, In recognition of his particular contribution to the sport in general and the preservation of vintage gliders in particular, the BGA presented Chris with a special award in 2009.
The funeral, at the family's request, will be a small affair for family and invited guests only. No details of date or place have been announced. The VGC is planning a celebration of Chris' life and achievements at a later date.
Cayley Glider on TV 3rd May 2011
The Cayley Glider will make an appearance on BBC1's The One Show tomorrow evening (4th May). The flight is only the second that has been made by this replica, which was built in 2003 to mark the 150th anniversary of the original. The pilot is Dave Holborn of Wolds GC. More, including iPlayer links, at the programme web site.
BGA April Newsletter 7th April 2011
The BGA April Newsletter has peen published and is available here.
Olympic Airspace 31st March 2011
The Olympic restrictions at http://olympics.airspacesafety.com have resulted in the CAA and DfT seeking input from industry. The BGA has responded by proposing a number of alternative measures that reduce the impact on air sport whilst supporting the Governments objective of holding a safe and secure Olympic Games.
In addition, there are a number of areas of temporary controlled airspace associated with the flow of increased traffic expected for the Olympics that have either been agreed, proposed or are about to be proposed. The BGA Airspace Committee is engaged with the relevant authorities with the aim of where possible reducing the impact on air sport whilst maintaining CAT traffic flow requirements during this important event for the UK.
2011 Turn Point List 21st March 2011
The 2011 BGA Turn Point list is now available here.
The Wally Kahn/BGA Library Project 17th March 2011
The BGA is supporting both a hard copy and eBook library project being organised by Wally Kahn of Lasham and Peter Redshaw of the Lakes GC. The key project objectives are a catalogued BGA HQ library specialising in UK gliding books and a website eBook library of all out of print UK books subject only to copyright. Both magazines and eBooks will be freely available and searchable through a BGA website facility and follows the completion of the major scanning project of all UK gliding magazines from 1930 to 2000. We are advised that the project has made rapid progress. Nearly £7000 has been raised in 7 weeks to allow professional scanning of the books; scanning work should start at the end of May and project completion should be before the year-end, subject to raising the rest of the £10000. This is where you can help. Further donations can be made online; those making larger donations will be offered a free set of CDs containing a copy of all the UK magazines at high resolution (for personal use only). A letter from the BGA giving more detail is here and you can make a donation, and check out progress here.
BGA Systems Upgrade 17th March 2011
We will be installing a new server next week. Whilst this will improve our operations going forward, it will mean an unavoidable disruption to our activities while the new server is commissioned and our back office systems are migrated. There will be some delays in receiving and sending EMails during Wednesday 23rd March and office staff will not have access to our main member database from midday on the 23rd until around the same time the following day. This will impact our ability to answer queries and process orders during that period. CFIs will also be unable to access the web based instructor revalidation system during this period. We will endeavour to minimise our down time and thank you in advance for your understanding.
8.33kHz and Gliding 16th March 2011
Eurocontrol has published a consultation on the draft Implementing Rule for 8.33kHz channel spacing in the VHF band below FL195. These proposals indicate that 8.33 will definitely be rolled out in Europe from 2014-2018, and will in due course even impact on occasional users of VHF radio including gliding. The change from 25khz to 8.33khz opens up the number of available VHF frequencies, which of course significantly benefits commercial air transport while imposing significant but zero benefit costs on taxpaying private pilots and owners. The BGA is working with GA Alliance partners in responding to this subject. One issue we are focussed on is the continued use of 25kHz channel spaced radios in class G airspace beyond 2018. It’s clear to us that commercial air transport is the beneficiary and logically therefore should pay. Meanwhile, the long standing BGA advice remains that if you plan to replace your radio, consider an 8.33khz compatible product. Consultation details are at http://www.eurocontrol.int/enprm/public/standard_page/enprm_11001.html
Consultation Response 12th March 2011
The BGA has worked with its partner organisations in the GA Alliance to produce responses to the CAA consultations on Future Airspace Strategy and the CAA Strategic Plan. Here are links to the GA Alliance responses to the CAA DAP Future Airspace Strategy and the CAA Strategic Plan
London 2012 Airspace Restrictions Announced 7th March 2011
Planned airspace security restrictions covering the London Olympic and Paralympic Games for 2012 were announced today by the UK Government, as part of its commitment to deliver a safe and secure Games. The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), air traffic control provider, NATS, and the Ministry of Defence (MoD), will now work with the aviation community through the Airspace & Safety Initiative (ASI) to ensure the restrictions are effectively implemented.
Details of the restrictions, which have been initially identified as being in place from 13 July to 12 September 2012, are now available on the ASI website www.airspacesafety.com/olympics .
The BGA will be working with affected clubs to help to mitigate the impact of the restrictions. It is recommended that affected clubs carefully consider the available detail and in due course contact the BGA describing their key points of concern and thoughts. The BGA is a stakeholder in the ASI.
BGA Conference 2011 7th March 2011
We would like to thank everyone who attended, participated and volunteered at this years BGA Sporting Conference. We hope that you found the programme interesting. We also hope that you enjoyed browsing the products on display as well as interacting with the various exhibitors and traders.
We are keen to improve the experience each year and as such would welcome your constructive comments directly to Lizzie Pike at the BGA Office.
BGA March Newsletter 2nd March 2011
The BGA March Newsletter has peen published and is available here.
BGA February Newsletter 7th February 2011
The BGA February Newsletter has peen published and is available here.
Instructor Courses 17th January 2011
The 2011 schedule of BGA Assistant Instructor courses has been published. This year, we are running 15 courses throughout the UK. The courses fill very quickly every year – if you want to attend, please book now.
BGA January Newsletter 13th January 2011
The BGA January Newsletter has peen published and is available here.
MBE for Keith Mansell 31st December 2010
The BGA sends its congratulations to Keith Mansell, who has been awarded the MBE in the new Year Honours List. The award is for services to gliding and recognises the immense contribution that Keith has made to the sport, both to the BGA - as Treasurer for 23 years and now as Company Secretary - and to his club, Midland GC - as CFI, Treasurer, Chairman and now President - as well as to the Royal Aero Club. Well done Keith - a well deserved honour.
BGA Conference 5th March 2011 23rd December 2010
The 2011 BGA conference will take place in Nottingham on Saturday 5th March. More details including online booking for the event are available here. If you need a hotel room, don't foget to contact the hotel as soon as possible to make your room reservation.
Future Pilot Licensing 19th December 2010
Following a significant amount of lobbying from gliding regarding our specific needs, most of which has been successful, the EASA Committee of the European Commission (which includes a UK DfT delegate) has completed its deliberations on the pilot licensing requirements proposed by EASA. The next step is for these requirements to be approved by the European political process. There will be a 3 year transition window between 2012 and 2015 following which compliance will be mandatory. As you would expect, the BGA and the CAA are already discussing how the transition to EASA FCL in 2015 can be made with the minimum of hassle and cost to individuals. There's a lot to consider and a few years to go.
EASA proposed pilot medical requirements are the next set of regulations to be deliberated by the various national agencies within the EASA Committee prior to political approval. The CAA has demonstrated that the medical incapacitation risk of the current UK self declared GP endorsed medical is the same as (if not slightly better than) the JAR Class 2 medical. It's vital that the finally agreed EASA GP pilot medical standard and process is proportional. Meanwhile, we would encourage clubs and members to remind themselves of their MP and MEP contact details in the event of contact becoming necessary on this important issue. Please stay in touch with this website for more information over the coming weeks.
Club Management Training 11th December 2010
The BGA is running a series of club management training seminars this winter. Funding from Sport England allows us to run 6 seminars throughout January and February. We hope that the choice of venues will make the seminars as accessible as possible to clubs from all corners of the UK. Follow this link for more details.
LASORS 2010 11th December 2010
The CAA's LASORS 2010 publication appears to include a small number of typos, including a suggestion that a GST is required to revalidate an NPPL SLMG rating. The revalidation requirements for the NPPL ratings remain unchanged - a GST of course is only required if the revalidation experience in terms of hours etc has not been met.
Buying and Selling a Sailplane 9th December 2010
The BGA has published a useful briefing document describing the main things to remember and actions to be taken when buying and selling a sailplane, including export and import procedures. You can download the document here.
BGA December Newsletter 9th December 2010
The BGA December Newsletter is now available here .
Regulatory Update 24th November 2010
The BGA continues to be engaged with the authorities over two high profile regulatory issues currently affecting gliding – standardised European rules of the air (SERA) and pilot licensing. Eurocontrol has modified its stance on SERA and, although much detailed work and negotiation remains, the BGA now has confidence that an acceptable solution will be found. Changes to pilot licensing are unlikely to affect UK glider pilots until 2015 at the earliest. Although we are generally content with many of the proposals, we are continuing to work to address a number of outstanding issues of concern, including those associated with pilot medicals and flight in IMC.
RAeC Trust Press Officer 16th November 2010
The Royal Aero Club Trust, which
does wonderful work in encouraging young people to achieve their full potential through air sports and in maintaining the nation’s aviation history, is seeking a volunteer press officer to help them raise their profile and reach out to a greater number of young people. Full details of the role and how to apply are here.
Gliding on Channel 5 12th November 2010
The Channel 5 series Your Sport follows Windrushers member Simon Jones as he completes his first solo at Bicester. The programme was transmited on 13th November but is now available online at http://www.five.tv/shows/your-sport/clips/episode-4
BGA November Newsletter 8th November 2010
The BGA Newsletter for November has been published and is available here.
Consultation on Future Airspace 5th November 2010
The CAA has announced its consultation on future airspace that closes on 7th Feb 2011. The consultation is available here, including a presentation made at the RAeS a few days ago.
The future airspace strategy that is being proposed aims to provide a 'modernised air traffic management system that provides safe, efficient airspace, that has the capacity to meet reasonable demand, balances the needs of all users and mitigates the impact of aviation on the environment'.
Threat to Booker 28th October 2010
Wycombe District Council are currently working with a number of stakeholders to develop a new stadium in the area to cater for the needs of Wycombe Wanderers FC and London Wasps RFC. The options have been narrowed down to four, one of which is Wycombe Air Park, home to Booker Gliding Club. A development here would mean the end of gliding at Booker. The club is asking its friends in the gliding movement to support them by responding to the council's consultation. Booker has created a web site giving background to the project - nostadiumbooker and have provided additional information which may help you to respond to the consultation.
Follow this link for the Council's consultation response tool. Booker GC thanks you but please note that time is short - responses have to be received by 29 October - you do not have to be resident in the area to respond.
CAA Consultation Amending BCAR Section A 25th October 2010
The CAA are consulting on a proposed amendment to BCAR Section A. The proposals, which aim to align BCAR Section A requirements with those of EASA, have potential implications for clubs that use Annex 2 tug aircraft. The BGA is reviewing the consultation and will be responding before the consultation closing date of 24th December 2010. Details of the consultation are available on the CAA website here.
BGA Shop 22nd October 2010
The new BGA online shop is now live at www.bgashop.co.uk The new shop will fearure an expanded range of products and these will be added over the next few weeks so do keep checking to see what is available.
BBC Unsung Heroes Award 7th October 2010
Each year the BBC honours individuals from the grassroots of sport at the Sports Personality of the Year Awards through its Unsung Hero Award. This recognises people who go the extra mile to change the lives of others through sport and who deserve to be recognised for their selfless work for their sport. We know that there are many within our membership whose work deserves this recognition and we are asking that you consider a nomination for any of your club members that you think suitable. Nominees should be people who, on a voluntary basis, work tirelessly behind the scenes so that the rest of us can enjoy our sport. Nominations for the award can be made at www.bbc.co.uk/sportsunsunghero using a printable form. There is also a low-cost phone number you can call to request nomination forms – 03700 100 800. These are also available from BBC Local Radio stations and BBC Regional and National Centres. The closing date for nominations is Friday 29 October.
BGA October Newsletter 6th October 2010
The BGA Newsletter for October has been published and is available here.
2010 Chairmen's Conference 2nd October 2010
The BGA Office is now taking bookings for the Chairmen’s Conference and Treasurers’ Forum 2010 which runs from 9.00-5.30 on Saturday 20th November at Woodside, Kenilworth. The event is designed for volunteers and staff who manage gliding clubs in the UK. With a packed agenda and lots of people who understand what really goes into making gliding clubs tick, this is an event not to be missed! Cost £20 per person. More information is on the Club Management News page. Bookings close on Friday 5th November.
BGA Fees Update 2nd October 2010
An updated list of BGA fees, effective 15th October, has been published. To ensure that there are no delays in processing applications for badges, ARCs, etc., please check the current fees before submitting your application.
Update on Regulatory Changes 23rd September 2010
The BGA has published a brief summary to update pilots on the latest developments regarding the three major regulatory changes under discussion that affect us all - pilot licensing, pilot medicals and SERA. You can view it here.
AI Course Availability 15th September 2010
Due to a cancellation we now have one place available on the Assistant Instructor Course running at Husbands Bosworth on 9-17 October. Please contact Debbie at BGA office.
BGA September Newsletter 13th September 2010
The BGA Newsletter for September has been published and is available here.
Rigging Safety Alert 3rd September 2010
The BGA has issued a safety alert concerning rigging of SZD Foka, Cobra, Bocian, Jaskolka, Schempp-Hirth SHK & Austria series and any other sailplane with an expanding pin/cone main rigging pin. Owners and operators should read the Safety Alert identifying a possible safety issue with the rigging procedure.
EASA Flight Crew Licensing 2nd September 2010
EASA has published its opinion on proposed Flight Crew Licensing requirements at http://easa.europa.eu/agency-measures/opinions.php. The BGA Future Licensing working group is currently reviewing the text. As this rulemaking activity continues to progress towards adoption by the European Member States, the BGA will be working with its colleagues in the GA Alliance as well as the European Gliding Union and Europe Air Sports to identify and to resolve issues of concern.
BBC Breakfast Show (Saturday 4 Sept) 1st September 2010
Gliding will feature on the BBC1 Breakfast Show this coming Saturday. Mike Bushell went to Booker where he flew (with some aerobatics thrown in) and met a number of their cadets. We understand that the gliding story will be repeated at around 20 minutes before each hour during the show.
Motor Gliding Seminar 31st August 2010
The 2010 Motor Glider seminar will be held at Bicester on 13th November. The principal topic will be Lookout, with a keynote presentation from Dave Rae, a light aircraft pilot who is a member of the RAF team investigating last year’s Air Cadet mid-air over South Wales. The seminar will also include an update on all the latest issues concerning motor gliding. The fee for the day will be £9, which includes coffee on arrival and lunch. Please book via the BGA SRE(MG), Andy Miller who can also provide more details.
Vacancy - Airworthiness Quality Assistants 27th August 2010
The BGA is looking for two Quality Assistants to support the BGA Quality Manager with the implementation of the BGA Airworthiness Quality System. There are two positions: one centrally based in the north of the UK, and the other in the south. This remunerated role includes inspector and site auditing, aircraft audits, and general support of the BGA Quality Manager. Full details can be found by following this link.
AI Course Availability 24th August 2010
Due to a cancellation we now have one place available on the Assistant Instructor Course running at Lasham on 11-19 September. Please contact Debbie at BGA office.
Vacancy - Office Administrator 23rd August 2010
As Terry Eato is moving on to pastures new (the British Model Flying Association), the BGA has an immediate vacancy for a general administrator. The job involves a diverse range of administration activities in support of the BGA membership. This is a full time position working as part of a small team based in the BGA’s new office in Leicester (5 mins from Junction 21 M1).
Follow these links for further details and an application form.
Human Powered Flight Conference 17th August 2010
The Royal Aeronautical Society is holding a full day conference about the future of Human Powered Flight, and how this might achieve greater interest in the modern world. We believe that this may be of interest to glider pilots and have negotiated a special rate of £47 for BGA club members (a discount of a third on the normal price). Full details are at http://www.raes.org.uk/conference/indexconf.html
EASA Proposals for Medicals 16th August 2010
EASA has published revised proposals concerning medical requirements for the proposed Light Aircraft Pilots Licence (which would encompass glider pilots). The BGA is extremely concerned at the impact that these new proposals, which include regular, complex clinical examinations for all pilots, will have on our sport. The BGA asks all clubs and pilots to look at the information on our Consultations page and consider whether they wish to respond. Thank you.
Instructor Course Availability 16th August 2010
Due to a cancellation we have a vacancy on the Ass Cat Course running at Husbands Bosworth on 21-29 August. Enquiries to email@example.com or tel: 0116 289 2956
New BGA Office 16th August 2010
The BGA office move is now complete. Here are our new contact details:
British Gliding Association
8 Merus Court
Meridian Business Park
Tel: 0116 289 2956
BGA August Newsletter 6th August 2010
The BGA Newsletter for August has been published and is available here.
World Gliding Championships, Hungary 26th July 2010
The World Championships started yesterday in Szeged, Hungary, although the first day was cancelled due to bad weather. On the British Team, we have Pete Harvey and Steve Jones in the Open Class, Russell Cheetham and Phil Jones in the 18 Metre Class, and Leigh Wells and Tim Scott in the 15 Metre Class. You can keep up to date with the British Team at www.glidingteam.co.uk. Results can be found at the official site, by clicking here.
Team Bronze in Slovakia 21st July 2010
The World Championships in Prievidza, Slovakia have come to a close. The British Team managed an excellent third place in the team prize, behind Poland and Germany. Final individual positions were, in the Club Class, G Dale 6th (narrowly missing 5th by 2 points), Ian MacArthur 14th, and in the Standard Class, Jay Rebbeck 10th and Howard Jones 13th - some excellent results all round. For news from the British Team, go to www.glidingteam.co.uk and for official results, go to www.wgc2010.sk.
BGA July Newsletter 9th July 2010
The BGA Newsletter for July has been published and is available here.
BGA Child Protection Lead 6th July 2010
The BGA is looking for a volunteer leader for Child Protection, to continue Phillip Burton’s good work. Ideally we need someone with experience of CP work in a relevant environment, and with knowledge and understanding of CP legislation and practice. Full details of the role and requirements are available by clicking here. Please apply in confidence or request further information from Diana King on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Farnborough and RIAT 6th July 2010
Two large, high-profile events take place this month: the Farnborough Airshow and the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) at RAF Fairford (16th -19th July). Temporary airspace restrictions are in place for both of these.
For Farnborough, there are restrictions every day from July 12th to July 26th in Hampshire, Surrey and the Berkshire and West Sussex borders. – see www.nats-uk.ead-it.com/aip/current/aic/EG_Circ_2010_M_033_en.pdf and, for Fairford, there are restrictions from 14th to the 19th July, which extend down to ground level from a few miles west of Aston Down right over to south of Oxford Kidlington – see www.nats-uk.ead-it.com/aip/current/aic/EG_Circ_2010_M_035_en.pdf. Further details about Farnborough, in the form of a NATS-produced briefing for CFIs (but applicable to everyone planning to fly in the area), is available by clicking here.
Laws & Rules, Edition 17 6th July 2010
A fully revised edition of Laws & Rules has been published and is available immediately for download by clicking here. A printed edition will be available shortly from the BGA shop.
World Gliding Championships 5th July 2010
The World Championships started yesterday in Prievidza, Slovakia. Jay Rebbeck and Howard Jones are flying in the Standard class, and in the Club Class, we have Ian MacArthur and G Dale. You can keep up to date with the British Team at www.glidingteam.co.uk. Results can be found at the official site, by clicking here.
AI Course Availability 16th June 2010 updated
Due to a cancellation we now have one place available on the Assistant Instructor Course running at York (Rufforth Airfield) on 31st July – 8th August. Please contact Debbie at BGA office. The previous vacancy at Bicester has now been filled.
GPS Guide 12th June 2010
The GPS Guide produced by the CAA-led Airspace Communication and Education Programme (ACEP) and referred to in the last BGA newsletter is now available online at http://www.airspacesafety.com/GPS_Guide/content/. The BGA believes that, used correctly, GPS is a significant aid to avoiding airspace infringements, particularly so in the complex UK airspace structure. The BGA is an active participant in ACEP and recommends this guide to all qualified glider pilots.
CAA Class G Airspace Survey 12th June 2010
The CAA Airspace and Safety Initiative project has launched a survey to collect accurate data on the use of Class G airspace in the UK for the first time. This will enable bodies such as the CAA to have better information available when taking decisions on issues like airspace design. The information gathered will also be helpful to the BGA’s airspace negotiating teams. The BGA fully supports the survey and hopes that as many glider pilots as possible will participate at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/G5Z9BNB More information is available in the Airspace Section of this website.
SERA 6th June 2010
Eurocontrol's SERA workshop on 3rd June was, as planned, attended by the Royal Aero Club (John Brady) and Europe Air Sports (Gunter Bertram), both officially representing air sports including gliding. It became clear at the workshop that Eurocontrol believes that regardless of how useable, or indeed safe, the proposed standardised rules of the air (SERA) are, Eurocontrol sees their deadline to deliver SERA within the wider project to standardise European airspace as a key priority. Eurocontrol claim that national differences to SERA can be incorporated after SERA is established. This has yet to be proven. A further draft SERA consultation response document will be produced by Eurocontrol. We will provide a copy on this website.
Meanwhile, the BGA will continue to work with colleagues from the RAeC and EAS as well as the CAA to establish what the legal and practical issues are, and to establish what further work is needed to limit the damage Eurocontrol can do to our sport through SERA. Further information will follow.
BGA June Newsletter 2nd June
The BGA Newsletter for June has been published and is available here.
SERA 1st June 2010
Eurocontrol has published a draft summary of responses document which indicates a wholesale rejection of the responses to the SERA consultation by general aviation and air sports across Europe. Eurocontrol plan to discuss the outcome of the recent SERA cosultation at their workshop on the 3rd of June. The UK's air sports will be represented by the RAeC representative, John Brady, an airspace expert within the GA Alliance. John, a former glider pilot, recently retired airline pilot and current powered pilot, has received inputs from all air sports including of course the BGA. Air sports will be represented at European level at the workshop by Marcel Feltin and Gunter Bertram, who are both board members of Europe Air Sports. Eurocontrol plan to update their summary of responses document following the workshop on the 3rd June.
The BGA is currently reserving judgement until we have been fully briefed after the workshop by the RAeC and EAS representatives, and after we have reviewed the revised summary of responses. Further information will follow.
BGA May Newsletter 5th May 2010
The BGA Newsletter for May has been published and is available here.
Volcanic Ash Risk 22nd April 2010 UPDATED 25th April
The CAA has issued a Flight Operations Communication (FODCOM 11/10) to provide guidance to general aviation pilots on deciding whether and where to fly when volcanic ash may be present. The FODCOM is of particular relevance to operators of motor gliders and tugs. (25/4 - FODCOM 11/10 superceded by FODCOM 13/10 with revised information on the use of carburettor hot air and maintenance actions.)
Flight Crew Licensing CRD Published 15th April 2010 UPDATED 30th April
EASA has published the Comment Response Document (CRD) relating to NPA 2008-17, its proposals for flight crew licensing following last year’s consultation which attracted over 10,000 responses. The CRD contains around 1000 pages of text and is the normal, second stage in the EASA rulemaking consultation process. The BGA will be responding to the CRD before the 9th June deadline. The BGA future licensing working group has started to review the document and there are many within the gliding community who individually are planning to do the same if only to check that their own comments have been considered by EASA. The BGA is very interested in hearing about any significant issues affecting gliding that individuals may identify when reviewing the detail within the CRD document. Please submit your any comments by email to FCLCRD@gliding.co.uk, identifying the relevant document, page number and paragraph. We are unable to reply to the information you submit, but thank you in advance for your observations that will help us ensure that all the issues are identified and responded to.
BGA April Newsletter 7th April 2010
The BGA Newsletter for April has been published and is available here.
SERA Consultation - Latest 28th March 2010
The BGA team working on the BGA response to the proposed Standardised European Rules of the Air consultation has published the BGA response. Clubs and members are encouraged to respond to the consultation in their own words. Details of the consultation and how to respond are on the BGA consultation page. The consultation closes on 12th April.
2009 Accident Review 17th March 2010
The review of 2009 gliding accidents has been published and can be downloaded here. By being aware of the nature and causes of the most common accidents, individual pilots may be able to anticipate the possibility of these accidents and avoid them. The accident review document offers advice in the hope that lessons can be learned from past accidents and that future accident levels can be reduced. This is recommended reading for all glider pilots.
See Hear 17th March 2010
See Hear, the BBC magazine programme for the deaf community will feature gliding as it takes to the sky with John Donovan at Shenington GC. John, who is profounndly deaf, holds a BGA Assistant Instructor rating as well as an NPPL. The programme will be transmitted on Wednesday 24th March at 11am on BBC2.
Eurocontrol Proposals - Standardised European Rules of the Air 15th March 2010
This news item requests action by clubs and members in response to a significant threat. It is a different issue from the other European regulatory proposals that currently concern us.
Eurocontrol, the ‘European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation’ is currently consulting on its proposed Standardised European Rules of the Air. Given the nature of the proposals, we are asking that as many glider pilots as possible take the time to respond in order to highlight our very significant concerns.
As the name implies, the proposals seek to unify rules of the air across Europe by cancelling all agreed national differences from current ICAO standards. This will result in the removal of decades of appropriate and sensible national modifications and differences to the ICAO Rules of the Air. These national differences – as seen for example in the UK ANO and in the series of exemptions put in place by UK CAA - are appropriate and safe. The safety, operational and economic impact associated with inappropriate Standardised European Rules of the Air is likely to be significantly damaging to gliding.
- normal gliding flight would be classed as aerobatic and would, therefore, be prohibited unless specific permissions were obtained
- no more field landing training in motor gliders
- no more ridge soaring, as we know it
- the potential closure of unlicensed aerodromes
- having to file flight plans with ATC
If established, these rules would affect all pilots from 2012.
While the BGA will be responding directly and in detail to Eurocontrol, you can hopefully understand why the BGA feels that it is necessary to ask as many glider pilots as possible to respond personally to this consultation, so that the regulators are left in no doubt about why these proposals are unacceptable.
More information, analysis and links together with details about how to respond to the consultation are on the BGA Consultations web page.
Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the issues and, if you care for the future of our sport, please respond to the consultation which closes on April 12th.
BGA March Newsletter 4th March 2010
The BGA Newsletter for March has been published and is available here.
Royal Aero Club Awards 4th March 2010
The 2010 Royal Aero Club Awards ceremony will be held at the RAF Museum, Hendon on Tuesday 27th April. This prestigious event will celebrate the achievements of UK aviators and behind-the-scenes workers from all branches of sport flying. Held in the midst of the historic collection at Hendon, the awards will be presented by the Club’s President, HRH the Duke of York. A number of achievers from the gliding world will receive awards and the RAeC to extends an invitation to anybody with an interest in sporting aviation to attend. Tickets, priced by the RAeC at £35 (£60 for a pair), are available via the BGA shop. More details of the awards are here.
Consultations 28th February 2010 (update 11th March))
The BGA is curently engaged with a number of consultations. More detail for those who wish to learn more is available through links on the BGA Consultation page.
Standardised European Rules of the Air - A BGA working group is currently assessing the recently published Eurocontrol SERA proposals. These proposals are potentially very damaging to gliding from 2012. The BGA will be approaching clubs and individual pilots with guidance on this issue over the next few weeks. The BGA will be supporting the European Gliding Union and Europe Air Sports response to this EU-wide consultation. The consultation closes on the 12th April.
Charging for use of the Radio Spectrum - Ofcom is currently consulting on charging for use of the radio spectrum used by aviation. Ofcom proposes in this very complex consultation that by charging for spectrum use, Ofcom will bring about more efficient use of the spectrum. This has been exposed by the BGA and the GA Alliance as nothing more than a cynical attempt to generate additional tax income. The BGA is supporting the GA Alliance response to this UK consultation. The GA Alliance includes the BGA, BHPA, BMAA, LAA and PPL IR among others. The consultation closes on the 22nd March.
Updating the Aviation Regulatory Framework - the DfT is consulting on its proposals to reform the regulation of aviation. There is concern that under the proposed framework, air sport will be further marginalised and overlooked as the needs of commercial aviation consumers (ie people who fly in airliners) would become the CAA's key priority. The BGA response supports the detailed GA Alliance response to this UK consultation. The consultation closes on the 18th March.
Aviation Security - The BGA has responded to the DfT consultation on an impact assessment regarding derogations to the Regulation (EC) 300/2008 aviation security requirements. The BGA response follows a potentially helpful meeting on the 19th February between the BGA and the DfT where the specific needs of gliding were considered in detail and follows a DfT/industry meeting on the 26th February. The BGA is also supporting the GA Alliance response to this UK consultation. The consultation closed on the 3rd March.
Simulator Requirement 27th February 2010
The BGA and its Junior Gliding Development Team wish to purchase a highly transportable gliding simulator that will be used to promote gliding to young potential pilots. If you are interested in building and supplying such a simulator or if you have any input which might help us, please contact Steve Pozerskis at email@example.com or by telephone on 07905 833564 (+44 7905 833564) before 14th March. We look forward to hearing from you.
Glider Archive Files 22nd February 2010
As the BGA now holds all incoming EASA and Annex 2 glider documentation electronically, we no longer need to hold paper copies of aircraft documentation. The BGA is therefore making their archive glider documentation available to glider owners. If an owner wishes to receive the hard copy archive documentation that the BGA has on file for their glider, they should complete the Glider Archive Request form and either post it to Lizzie Pike at the BGA Office, or scan the completed and signed request and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org . Unfortunately we are unable to supply electronic copies of glider Archive Documentation. This free of charge service will be available until 31st August 2010 following which unclaimed files will be shredded.
Renewal of Radio Telephony Licences
Glider pilots who do not hold any other forms of licence can now renew their Flight Radio Telephony Operators Licence using a BGA CFI for verification of experience. Previously, renewal could only be done via an Air Traffic Control Officer. The renewal application form (SRG 1106G) is available on the CAA web site.
Saturday 20th March BGA Conference 22nd February 2010
As previously reported , the BGA Conference & AGM is taking place this year at the Barcelo Hotel in Daventry on Saturday 20th March.
For all the latest details including hotel info see http://www.gliding.co.uk/bgainfo/notices/conference.htm . Please make your evening dinner bookings with Debbie Carr at the BGA office. Email or call 0116 2531051.
Flying Training from Unlicenced Aerodromes 19th February 2010
The CAA has announced that, subject to a change to the Air Navigation Order, flying training will be permitted at unlicensed aerodromes. Subject to the change, training will be allowed for fixed-wing aircraft up to 2,730kg Maximum Take-Off Mass (MTOM) and Helicopters and Gyroplanes up to 3,175kg MTOM. The decision follows a recommendation from the UK General Aviation community, including the BGA, a full public consultation, and an analysis of the safety record of flight training in the UK. The BGA will advise clubs in due course about ongoing SLMG PPL training that currently takes place under a CAA exemption and about other potential opportunities for powered flying training at BGA club sites. Meanwhile, more information is available on the CAA web site.
Standardised European Rules of the Air 16th February 2010
has opened a formal consultation on the draft SES Implementing Rule for the Standardised European Rules of the Air (SERA). The consultation details are available here. The BGA will submit a response following its own review of the proposals. Details will be provided on this website. The consultation closing date is 12 April 2010.
Advice for PPL Instructors 14th February 2010
Advice for instructors conducting training flights for PPL rating revalidation has been added to Power Flying>>Documents
Safeguarding Children & Vulnerable Adults 9th February 2010
Various media is currently focussing on new child protection legislation which is progressively being implemented over the next few years.
The BGA issued a statement last June about this incoming legislation and the situation has not changed - at the time of writing we are still awaiting specific guidance relating to voluntary roles within sport and details of how implementation of the new (mandatory) vetting and barring scheme will relate to gliding club operations, current child protection policies & procedures and safeguarding best practice. Once the BGA has received this specific guidance, we will be publishing information directly to clubs and via the BGA website. In the meantime the BGA strongly advises members to follow all BGA guidance on best practice in safeguarding children. This recommended best practice in relation to child protection remains the ideal and offers a greater degree of protection to club members and visitors than the new scheme will, when it has been implemented.
Further reading - the following two documents give useful background information:
BGA Child Protection Policies and Procedures
Countryside 2010 9th February 2010
COUNTRYSIDE 2010 is a new campaign to promote the wide range of recreational opportunities offered in the countryside of SE England. It is funded by the Rural Development Programme for England and coordinated via the regional tourist board, Tourism South East. There is no charge to join in. Clubs in the South East will be contacted by a representative from Countryside 2010.
BGA Child Protection Awareness Training 8th February 2010
A further child protection awareness course has been announced for the 18th March. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the seminar originally scheduled for 28th February in Newcastle has had to be rescheduled. It will now run on 11th April. Details are on the Club Management news page.
Saturday 20th March BGA Conference 8th February 2010
As previously reported , the BGA Conference & AGM is taking place this year at the Barcelo Hotel in Daventry on Saturday 20th March.
The sessions throughout the day really do look good and we are promised an excellent speaker from the microlight world for the evening event. For all the latest details including hotel info see http://www.gliding.co.uk/bgainfo/notices/conference.htm
Please make your evening dinner bookings with Debbie Carr at the BGA office. Email or call 0116 2531051.
European Aviation Security 8th February 2010
New aviation security requirements are being adopted by the European Commission. The regulation identifies how 'national derogations can apply re alternative security measures that provide an adequate level of protection on the basis of a local risk assessment at airports or demarcated areas of airports where traffic is limited to one or more of the following categories: 1. aircraft with a maximum take-off weight of less than 15 000 kilograms...'
The BGA is engaged with the GA Alliance in discussions with the UK DfT on this important issue. The GA Alliance includes the BGA, BHPA, BMAA, LAA and PPL IR among others.
BGA February Newsletter 3rd February 2010
The BGA Newsletter for February has been published and is available here.
2010 Instructor Courses 22nd January 2010
The 2010 programme for BGA Assistant Instructor courses has been published and is available here.
BGA January Newsletter 13th January 2010
The BGA Newsletter for January has been published and is available here.
Air Traffic Services Outside Controlled Airspace 8th January 2010
Glider and powered pilots who either occasionally need to talk to air traffic controllers or may find themselves having to talk to air traffic controllers might like to refresh their knowledge of the relatively new Air Traffic Services Outside Controlled AirSpace (ATSOCAS) requirements online at http://airspacesafety.com/ATSOCAS_web/
This includes an interactive training and testing aid.
World Sailplane Grand Prix 1st January 2010
The 3rd FAI World Sailplane Grand Prix Final is being held in the Chilean Andes between 2nd and 9th January. The races will be transmitted live on the Internet with commentary in English and Spanish. The race coverage includes an interactive chat channel allowing friends and competitors to talk with each other and send questions directly to the pilots. Live coverage is linked to the competition web site which will contain regular news and results.
OFCOM Second Consultation Re Radio Frequency Charging 23rd December 2009
OFCOM intends to generate income from the aeronautical radio spectrum. The BGA continues to be engaged with this subject alongside colleagues from the GA Alliance, which includes the BGA, BHPA, BMAA, LAA and PPL IR among others. OFCOM has recently published more information in a second round of consultation that closes on the 22nd March 2010. The consultation is at http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/spectrum_pricing/aip/
BGA December Newsletter 8th December 2009
The BGA Newsletter for December has been published and is available here.
BGA Office - Christmas and New Year 7th December 2009
Please note the following BGA office closing times over the Christmas / New Year holiday;
- Closed from 2 pm on Wednesday 23rd December - 8 am on Tuesday 29th December
- Closed from 2 pm on Thursday 31st December - 8 am on Monday 4th of January
Department for Transport Consultation on Aviation Security 3rd December 2009
A Department for Transport (DfT) consultation has been launched to seek views on how the DfT should apply mandatory European Commission aviation security standards that are set by Regulation EC300/2008 and effective from 29 April 2010.
The consultation explains options on ‘derogating’ (not applying common basic standards) to airports or their demarcated areas including where aircraft of less than 15000 kgs operate. The consultation is here.
The BGA is working with GA Alliance colleagues on this issue. The GA Alliance includes the BGA, BHPA, BMAA, LAA and PPL IR among others.
Change to BGA Airworthiness Organisation 25th November 2009
The BGA continues to develop its Part M compliant airworthiness organization to best meet the needs of glider, SLMG and tug owners in a safe and efficient way using predominantly volunteer resources, backed up by professional support. BGA inspectors can only work on, certify or issue an ARC to EASA gliders and other EASA aircraft that are within the BGA airworthiness organisation. All gliders in the UK are currently deemed to be within the BGA airworthiness organisation. However, from 1st January 2010, the small number of gliders or other aircraft whose ARCs are not renewed through the BGA can only be maintained or released to service by BGA inspectors if the gliders have been specifically brought into the BGA airworthiness organisation. Details about how to achieve this are on the BGA Part M web page.
BGA Marketing Plan 23rd November 2009
The BGA is committed to developing a marketing plan in support of its key strategic priorities of Supporting Clubs, Developing Participation and Protecting the Sport. Applications are sought from suitably qualified BGA club members who have the talent, experience and some time to join a small volunteer team developing a BGA marketing plan during the first half of 2010. Professional support will be provided. The aim of the project is to establish a marketing plan by mid 2010. If you feel that you are the right person to lead or assist with the delivery of this short term project, please initially contact Debbie Carr in confidence.
2010 BGA Conference 10th November 2009
Following on from the success of the conference this year, the 2010 BGA Annual Conference promises to be even more inspirational and aspirational. As ever, this annual event is free to attend and offers something for everyone, from club officers to competition and aerobatic pilots to instructors and club volunteers. Enjoy presentations from some of our leading pilots, see the upgraded BGA simulator, and browse around the many exhibition stands. Click here to find out more and to book tickets for lunch and the Annual Dinner.
BGA November Newsletter 8th November 2009
The BGA Newsletter for November has been published and is available here.
Report on Impact of Proposed IMC Restrictions 30th October 2009
The BGA has published its report about the impact that the changes to IMC glider flying proposed in
EASA’s NPA 2008-17b would have. The implications are significant to UK glider flights. The report is available here and a supplement containing member clubs' detailed responses to the survey that provided the information for the report is here. The BGA would like to thank all of the clubs who responsed to the survey.
BGA October Newsletter 13th October 2009
The BGA Newsletter for October has been published and is available here.
BGA Motor Gliding Seminars 12th October 2009
The programme for these seminars at Lasham on the 7th November & Gransden Lodge on the 8th November has now been finalised and is available here. Content will be the same at both venues, although the running order may vary. Both seminars start at 10am and finish at 4pm.
Opportunity for Gliding Clubs - £1000 Grants Available 28th September 2009
The BGA is delighted to announce that the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has allocated funding to enable 20 gliding clubs (in England) to take part in the Learning Revolution October Festival of Learning. The BGA has 20 grants of £1000 each available to English gliding clubs. Full details, including how to apply are on the Club Management News page.
RAeS Conference 23rd September 2009
The Royal Aeronautical Society is holding a one day conference, entitled Design Methods and Tools for Light Aircraft, on Tuesday 24 November. The event is designed to be of interest to amateur and professional aircraft designers, university students and lecturers, as well as those with an interest in the technical development of light aircraft. More details and a booking form are on the RAeS web site at http://www.raes.org.uk/conference/indexconf.html
Kidlington Airspace Threat 16th September 2009
The BGA is concerned at proposals for a significant expansion in commercial air transport activities from Oxford Kidlington. To help combat this potential airspace threat, the BGA wants to establish the number of glider flights that have been made in the area over the last 3–5 years. Could all pilots please spend a little time over the next few weeks looking through their log books and/or traces to work out a) how many flights transited within a 20km of Kidlington airfield over the last 3 or 5 years; and b)how many flights turned within 20km of Kidlington airfield over the same period. It would help if the totals could be sent in an Excel spreadsheet to email@example.com. Please be as accurate as possible with the totals as they may need to stand up to being scrutinised, i.e the flights should be in your logbook or have traces available. There is no need to include flights included on the BGA ladder as details of these will be included in our totals automatically.
September Newsletter 4th September 2009
The BGA Newsletter for September has been published and is available for download.
2009 Junior Gliding Championship 23rd August 2009
After its second race in two days, the 2009 Junior Championship is off to a great start at the London GC, Dunstable. The competition website is here.
Launching after the 45 competitors, the BGA Junior cross country coaching course is using a number of high performance two-seat gliders to provide coaching for a number of Junior pilots who have not yet gained the experience to compete alone. On behalf of the young pilots involved, the BGA would like to publicly thank the glider owners and coaches for their generous support during this important coaching event.
Norwich Class D Airspace 20th August 2009
As reported below during May, Norwich International Airport (NIA) has proposed a significant and disproportional piece of class D airspace. The consultation, which closes on the 28th August, is described here.
Individuals are encouraged to submit a response to the consultation. A number of BGA clubs have already submitted responses on behalf of their members. The BGA draft response can be viewed here. Please note that minor changes to this draft may occur prior to submission.
AAIB Thanks 12th August 2009
Following the AAIB request for logger traces and other information in the aftermath of the tragic collision near Didcot in June, the AAIB has asked us to publish the following:
“Thank you for broadcasting our request for information to the gliding community regarding this sad accident. We had a very positive response and are most grateful to all those glider pilots volunteering information. As with many of the accidents we investigate the cause is never straight forward and the 'solution' even less so. The result of this investigation will be published in due coursewhen the report will be available on our website www.aaib.gov.uk for all to see. In the meantime I wish to reassure you and your colleagues that it is always our intention to improve safety for all airspace users, regardless of type flown”. (Nicholas Dann,
Senior Inspector of Air Accidents (Operations))
Use of Gliding Frequencies 11th August 2009
The CAA allocates a number of assigned frequencies to gliding, principally to allow communication with gliders in the UK. The use of these frequencies is determined by the BGA. In particular, pilots are reminded that 129.975 is to be used as a common glider field frequency within 10 NM and up to 3000’ of gliding sites that do not have their own allocated frequency. The idea is that this frequency is used to improve situational awareness around gliding sites, leaving other frequencies to be used for starting, lead & follow, in flight reporting, etc. For anyone who is unsure about correct use of the gliding frequencies, the details are in BGA Laws and Rules under Recommended Practice 34.
Assistant Instructor Course 11th August 2009
Due to a cancellation we now have a place available on I/C15 running from 12th – 20th September at Lasham. Please contact Debbie Carr at the BGA office for more details.
A Badge Claims 7th August 2009
A new application form for Gliding Certificates with the A Badge endorsement is now available . From 1st October, applications will only be accepted on the new form. Please would clubs destroy older copies of these forms and, ideally, ensure that they always download the latest version of all BGA forms from the web site as required.
BGA August Newsletter 6th August 2009
You can read the BGA August Newsletter here.
EASA NPA 2009-02 23rd July 2009 (with v2 final response dated 24 July 09) and NPA 2009-02g comments added 30 July 09)
The BGA has now finalised its response to EASA NPA2009-02 re Operations. As already stated, we have some serious objections to the EASA proposals. As well as the generally disproportionate nature of many of these, the proposals relating to flight in or near cloud present a significant threat to UK gliding operations. We ask any pilot planning to make a response to the NPA to consider the BGA response before completing their submission via the EASA Comment Response Tool. The consultation closes on 29th July.
NOTE: The BGA has identified certain flaws within the Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) that it feels must be considered by EASA. Our submission concerning these is here.
Stansted TMZ 25th July 2009
Following consultation, the CAA has approved the establishment of a Transponder Mandatory Zone (TMZ) in the vicinity of Stansted Airport. The zone will extend from surface level to the base of controlled airspace (1,500 feet) beneath the Stansted Control Areas (CTAs) to the northeast and southwest of the airport. The existing class G airspace classification will remain unchanged. Note that the 1:250000 (England South) and1:500000 Aeronautical Charts (Southern England) will not reflect these changes until the next updates planned for 8 April 2010 and 11 March 2010 respectively. NATS has placed a chart showing the new airspace on its web site.
BGA Club Management Guidance 24th July 2009
Links to existing BGA flying operations guidance material have been added to the existing Club Management information here. Chairmen and CFI's in particular will find this ready-reference helpful.
Advice for all Glider Pilots 23rd July 2009
The Senior Regional Examiner in the North East region, Dick Cole, has recently circulated a short and very clear flying safety bulletin to the clubs in that region. His advice, endorsed by the Chairman of the BGA Instructors Committee, is obviously applicable to anyone in gliding and is recommended reading. Please take 5 minutes and read it here.
Archive Project 22nd July 2009
The BGA has a historically valuable collection of gliding related books and other publications. We plan to work with an appropriate library or similar to ensure that, going into the future, this collection is maintained to a good standard and available rather than hidden away in storage. We are looking for someone who is interested in taking on a temporary volunteer role of arranging and managing the re-homing of this collection of gliding books and publications. If you believe you are the right person to take the lead in preserving a piece of gliding history, please contact Pete Stratten.
BGA Cs of A and Transitioned Gliders 20th July 2009
As the transition to EASA C of A nears conclusion, it is possible that some owners will have a glider with both an EASA C of A and a BGA C of A document with an expiry date towards late 2009. Owners of gliders that have transitioned are reminded that a BGA C of A is not valid on a glider that holds an EASA C of A. A glider with an EASA C of A must have a valid ARC to be airworthy. A copy of the ARC should be held with the glider. BGA Cs of A are only currently valid for BGA gliders that have not transitioned, including Annex 2 types. After September 2009, the BGA C of A will only apply to Annex 2 types. If an owner or operator is unsure whether or not a particular glider has been transitioned to an EASA C of A, they can use the CAA G-INFO website. Advice regarding transition, ARCs and more is available in the airworthiness section of this web site.
Part 21 and EASA Gliders 15th July 2009
Owners, operators and inspectors are reminded that once a glider has been transitioned into Part 21 and therefore holds an EASA C of A, the manufacturer’s design or the glider’s declared transitioned modification state cannot be materially changed or added to, including through maintenance and repair activity, without formal EASA modification action by way of a manufacturer’s maintenance instruction, TN (technical note), SB (service bulletin), or an EASA approved modification. The BGA is developing guidance material to assist owners, operators and inspectors with the maintenance of instrument panel installations etc which will also include guidance regarding modification action where required. As soon as that information is available, it will be published and made accessible to all.
Two New European Champions 10th July 2009
Congratulations to the British team for a fantastic performance at the European Gliding Championships (flapped classes) which ended today at Nitra in Slovakia.
Pete Harvey has won the Open Class title for the third time in a row, with Steve Jones third and Ed Johnston fifth.
Russell Cheetham is the new 18m Class champion with Mike Young taking silver.
Leigh Wells was 4th and Tim Scott 9th in the 15m Class.
This strength in depth means that the team has a very good chance of winning the team trophy.
The European Championships for the unflapped classes start in Lithuania on 27 July, as does the Womens World Championships in Hungary where Gill Spreckley will be defending her world title.
July Newsletter 8th July 2009
The BGA newsletter for July has been published and can be viewed here.
Mode S 1st July 2009
The CAA has published what it terms its Final Decision on Mode S Expansion. This states that a) transponders must be carried by all aircraft except gliders in Class A-C airspace and above FL100; b) gliders will be included in this requirement from 6 April 2012; c) SLMGs will be treated in the same way as pure gliders; d) air traffic control service providers will be able to apply for specific transponder mandatory zones; e) air traffic control will have the option of allowing non-transponder equipped aircraft into airspace where transponders are otherwise mandatory.
There will therefore be no requirement for gliders to carry transponders, other than in Class A-C airspace, above FL100 and in TMZs. The current designated gliding areas above FL195 will continue to be excluded from transponder carriage requirements, including post-2012.
The CAA states that it will work with the BGA to consider additional transponder-free areas from FL100 upwards prior to 2012. The BGA will continue to work with the CAA and others with the objective of securing proportionate airspace freedoms. The full CAA decision and further background material is available on the CAA website.
RAF Air Experience Flights 24th June 2009
A draft Aeronautical Information Circular has been issued which describes the operating procedures of RAF AEFs and details the locations and operating days of such flights. Contact telephone numbers and VHF frequencies are also provided should any pilot wish to obtain more information. The draft AIC is on the AIS web site.
AIS Website User Guide 24th June 2009
The ANO requires that all qualified pilots are required to take reasonable steps to satisfy themselves that their flights can take place safely. This includes checking NOTAMs before flight. The AIS web site functionality does not appeal to everybody and the BGA continues to lobby for a graphical representation of NOTAM data, Meanwhile, the website does, however, supply the information that glider pilots need to comply with their airspace safety obligations. The AIS has recently published a printed AIS website user guide. We recommend that pilots who are not familiar with the site working review this. The guide is available on the AIS web site. Alternatively, printed copies can be obtained directly from AIS: 020 8750 3777.
Parachute Drop Zones 18th June 2009
We are aware of two infringements of parachute drop zones during the week-end of 13/14 June. A drop was in progress during one of the infringements. It does not take much imagination to understand the potential consequences of these actions. All parachute DZs should be treated as active at all times and avoided unless positive contact and entry agreement has been made on the designated DZ frequency. The only exception is where the glider pilot has been locally briefed and is flying under local agreement between co-located parachute and gliding club operations. You will NOT see a free-fall parachutist in time to take avoiding action. A list of all BPA clubs and their telephone and RF details is available om the BPA web site.
NPPL Revalidation 8th June 2009
As previously reported, NPPL holders, CAA SLMG FI's and CAA SLMG Examiners are reminded that they should note AIC White 146 which explains an ANO change affecting NPPL revalidation. Please note that the revalidation changes do not apply to existing UK (rather than NPPL) SLMG PPL's. As described at paragraph 6, please note that the transitionary arrangement put in place to allow NPPL holders to meet the new requirement ceases on the 30th June 2009.
June Newsletter 2nd June 2009
The BGA newsletter for June has been published and can be viewed here.
Instructor Courses 2nd June 2009
Due to a cancellation we have one place available on Assistant Instructor Course 6/09 running from 6-14 June at Lasham. Please contact Debbie Carr at the BGA office for more details. The previously advertised places on the course at RAFGSA Halton beginning 15 June have now been taken up.
Gliding with Red Kites 2nd June 2009
The BBC1 Countryfile programme due to be screened at 7pm on Sunday 7th June features the 20th anniversary of the reintroduction of red kites to the Chilterns. Part of this will involve the presenter flying with the kites in a glider from RAFGSA Halton.
Junior Cross Country Coaching 1st June 2009
The BGA is providing a small number of places on a junior cross country course being run alongside the Junior Championships by Mike Fox with supporting coaches. Aspiring young pilots who have their Bronze badge are invited to apply for a place on this BGA funded course, to be held at the London Gliding Club, Dunstable, 22-30 August. Please submit an application in writing, giving your age, gliding experience, home club, a good reason why you should have one of the very limited places on the course and confirmation that you can definitely attend. Signed applications should be clearly marked ‘Junior Coaching Application’ and sent to the BGA office.
In addition to the limited number of course places, BGA clubs are invited to join this BGA course with their own two seat glider and with a suitably experienced coach to fly one or more of their own Junior pilots. It’s a bit easier for all to teach cross country flying with lots of markers on track and other experts on hand for briefing and debriefing. And, importantly, the more people that get involved, the more fun everyone will have! Clubs can contact Pete Stratten by email for more details including available funding.
BGA Response to NPA 2008-22 25th May 2009
The BGA has finalised its response to the EASA NPA 2008-22 consultation which covers the EASA proposals for flight training organisation. Any individual who wants to make their own response via the EASA Comment Response Tool may wish to consider the BGA response which is available here. The closing date for comments is 28th May.
Stansted TMZ Proposal 22nd May 2009
NATS has published the Stakeholder Consultation Feedback report relating to proposals for Transponder Mandatory Zones under the Stansted CTA. Following objections from 139 of the 168 responders, including the BGA, NATS will now proceed with an airspace change proposal (ACP) to the CAA for the introduction of a TMZ that will initially cover only the two stub areas. The report will be available on the NATS web site.
Bronze Endorsement Form 20th May 2009
The Bronze endorsement form has been changed to reflect an additional test requirement related to airspace safety and regulatory development that is the subject of a letter sent to all club CFI's. Prospective applicants and instructors should note that the BGA office cannot accept Bronze endorsement applications after 1 July 2009 that are not submitted on this new form. The form is available here.
Norwich Class D Airspace 12th May 2009
Norwich airport has put forward a proposal for a significant area of class D controlled airspace. The BGA Airspace Committee will be responding. Guidance for those wishing to submit their own responses will be published on the web site in due course. Due to an administrative oversight, the consultation closing date has already been extended until 10 August 2009.
May Newsletter 6th May 2009
The BGA newsletter for May has been published and can be viewed here.
Glider Transition Update 24th April 2009
The exemption allowing EASA gliders to fly on a BGA C of A will be extended to 28 September 2009. The conditions have been revised. Only EASA gliders that are CAA registered and with a transition pack accepted by the BGA prior to 1 May 2009 may continue to operate on the renewed BGA C of A.
Any transitioning gliders with transition packs received and accepted after 1 May 2009 will not be issued with a BGA C of A and will not be able to fly until the transition process is completed and the CAA have issued the EASA C of A and ARC.
The revised exemption will be available on the CAA web site in Official Record Series 4 in a few days.
BGA Office Revised Opening Hours 20th April 2009
With effect from Tuesday 5th May 2009, the BGA Office will be open for business from 8am until 4pm Monday to Friday.
New President for Europe Air Sports 20th April 2009
David Roberts, a previous BGA Chairman, has been elected as the President of Europe Air Sports. John Allison, commenting on a gift provided to mark his retirement as the outgoing Europe Air Sports President, noted '
this is an enduring and ever-present reminder of my friends in Europe Air Sports, our shared passion for flying and all the things that we tried to achieve together for the benefit of air sports and recreational aviation'. Europe Air Sports represents some 700,000 air sport pilots.
VFR Charts 16th April 2009
The BGA would like to remind pilots of the need when operating beyond the circuit to fly with a current and appropriate VFR chart. The BGA recommends that where available, pilots buy the latest VFR chart from their gliding club. If that option is unavailable, a list of CAA recommended stockists as well as updates that effect published versions of charts is available here.
Pilots are also reminded of the need to update airspace software in use in GPS driven moving map devices. Further advice regarding use of GPS is available here.
BGA Response to the Stansted TMZ Consultation 14th April 2009
The BGA response to the Stansted TMZ consultation that closes on the 17th April can be viewed here.
April BGA Newsletter 9th April 2009
The April edition of the BGA newsletter has been published. You can read it here.
Stansted TMZ Proposal 9th April 2009
The team developing the BGA response to the Stansted TMZ proposal aim to have the final draft available to the membership with a few days to go before the deadline of 17th March 2009. Whilst recognising that there is an aeroplane infringement issue at Stansted, the detail within the Stansted TMZ proposal demonstrates a disproportionate approach by NATS. Individuals who intend to respond to the consultation are asked to consider the BGA response. Stay up to date on BGA Airspace issues here.
Good News from Europe 1st April 2009
The EU Parliament voted on 25 March to exclude aerodromes that are primarily used for sport and recreational flying from proposed pan-European regulation . After intensive interaction with the Commission, Parliament and the Council in the course of the EU’s law-making procedure (co-decision), Europe Air Sports is particularly pleased that the European decision-makers have listened to our good arguments and have recognised that it would be disproportionate to regulate aerodromes mainly used for sports and recreational flying at the European level. You can read more detail here.
EASA Glider ARC Renewals 31st March 2009
Further guidance to clubs and owners re EASA glider ARC renewals has been published here.
RSOs - Lincolnshire & Eastern Counties 31st March 2009
The BGA is seeking volunteers to act as Regional Safety Officers (RSOs), covering clubs in the Lincolnshire & Eastern Counties areas. The areas can be split if desired, or if more than one person from each area volunteers. Ideally candidates will be experienced glider pilots with good communication skills who are capable of liaising with club chairmen and CFIs. Training will be provided if required and the BGA will reimburse expenses incurred in the course of RSO duties. To apply, please email a resume of your experience to John Hull or fax 01264 773980.
Laws & Rules Update 31st March 2009
A revised version of Laws & Rules is now available for download. The new version contains the change to BGA Operational Regulation 1.9 relating to glider insurance which was agreed at the recent BGA AGM. This was prompted by the fall in the value of Sterling which has resulted in the previously recommended levels of insurance no longer being adequate to meet European legislative requirements. The new OR1.9 reads: Aircraft and gliders operating from BGA clubs are required to comply with the Law and BGA Operating Regulations. EC Regulation 785/2004 requires aircraft and gliders to be covered by third party insurance, full details of which are in the regulation. All gliders shall be covered by insurance that shall be extended to cover the legal liability of the pilot while flying or otherwise operating the aircraft and the legal liability of the individual members of the insured club / syndicate to each other. In the case of two seat gliders, the minimum combined liability insurance shall be £2,000,000.
EASA Consultations 31st March 2009
A number of EASA consultations are currently underway relating to pilot licensing and operations. These consultations are being responded to by the BGA through the EASA Comment Response Tool. To support individuals who may choose to respond to EASA, the BGA responses will continue to be published on the BGA website. Please note that EASA proposals are just that - proposals that following consultation and due process develop into rules and guidance material. EASA licensing and operations rules are not expected to apply to gliding before April 2012.
Temporary Restricted Airspace in London Area 31st March 2009
A substantial area of temporary restricted airspace has been created in the London area, effective from now until 4 April. The area is defined via NOTAM, although no AIC has been issued. You can see the NOTAM content here. As always, the BGA advice is to check NOTAMs before every flight.
Safety Flash - Ballast Weights 30th March 2009
A BGA Safety Flash has been published regarding use of moveable ballast weights and can be viewed here.
Buying and Selling Gliders 27th March 2009
In addition to the usual precautions to be taken by anyone when buying and selling anything either new or used, the BGA would like to remind owners or potential owners of the recently published guidance contained in a document for owners regarding Part M as well as the more general guidance published some years ago.
Safe Winch Launching 24th March 2009
The BGA Safe Winch Launching Initiative has been running since October 2005. The first three years have seen a marked reduction in the number of serious winch launch accidents. The challenge now is to consolidate the lower accident rate achieved in 2006-8 and to reduce that rate even further. As part of this effort, the BGA has launched a new communications package on how to winch launch safely. This package includes a new Safe Winch Launching guide, an interactive quiz and simulations of winch launch accidents. All pilots - no matter how experienced - are urged to read and digest the information. All club CFIs have been sent the information so, if you are unsure about anything, please ask an instructor. All the new information is available on the BGA Safe Winch Launching page.
BGA Airworthiness Organisation 19th March 2009
The BGA airworthiness organisation is currently being reshaped such that it will continue to meet the needs of the gliding community, despite the challenges presented by Part M. As the system develops, the BGA will continue to keep owners and inspectors advised. This note advises that for airworthiness certification purposes by BGA inspectors, all UK registered gliders, and motor gliders and tug aircraft operated at BGA clubs are currently recorded as within the BGA airworthiness organisation.
Airworthiness Transition 16th March 2009
As has been reported over a long period now, the transition from BGA airworthiness to EASA airworthiness (Part 21) for EASA gliders is still underway. The transition period ends in May 2009. This date was set by the CAA and, as a result, owners, inspectors and the BGA airworthiness organisation are working hard to meet a tight deadline.
Owners who have yet to submit a transition application are urged to do so as soon as possible. Please note that experience to date is that in many cases inadequate care with completing the transition paperwork results in unnecessary and time consuming queries. Owners who have submitted a transition application but have subsequently had a query raised with them during the BGA quality process should address that query with their inspector as soon as possible. Transition details are here.
Ralph Jones 9th March 2009 UPDATED 11th March
We report with sadness that Ralph Jones, a highly accomplished former member of the British Gliding Team, international competition medal winner and very well-known and talented glider repairer died in hospital early on the morning of Sunday 8th March. He was only 73 but had been very unwell for some time.
The funeral will be at St Lawrence's Church, Church Lane, Hungerford, Berkshire, RG17 0JB at 12:30 on Tuesday 17th March 2009. The family would be honoured to welcome as many people as possible to the service and to join them afterwards at The Three Swans Hotel, 115-117 High Street, Hungerford, RG17 0LZ on their return from the cemetery. Please do not send flowers. Donations are welcome and will be split between The Heart Foundation and The Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance Service. Donations will be gratefully received at the Church or via the Camp Hopson Funeral Directors, 90 West Street, Newbury, RG14 1HA. Tel 01635 522210.
March Newsletter 5th March 2009
The BGA Newsletter for March has been published and can be downloaded from here.
Airspace Letters of Agreement 3rd March 2009
Any club that is in the process of re-signing a letter of agreement (LOA) regarding access to airspace is advised to seek advice from Bruce Cooper, Deputy Chairman of the BGA Airspace sub-committee.
Airworthiness Transition 3rd March 2009
As has been reported over a long period now, the transition from BGA airworthiness to EASA airworthiness (Part 21) for EASA gliders is still underway. The transition period ends of course in May 2009. This date was set by the CAA and as a result owners, inspectors the BGA airworthiness organisation are working hard to meet a tight deadline.
Owners who have yet to submit a transition application are urged to do so as soon as possible. Please note that experience to date is that in many cases inadequate care with completing the transition paperwork results in unnecessary and time consuming queries. Owners who have submitted a transition application but have subsequently had a query raised with them during the BGA quality process should address that query with their inspector as soon as possible. Transition details are here.
Final Update to NPA 2008-17 BGA Response 27th February 2009
The BGA has finalised its response to the soon-to-close EASA consultation about pilot licensing. These final documents contain minor changes in detail to previous versions agreed after further discussions with our European colleagues. The BGA identified early on a number of serious problem areas within the EASA proposals and would urge any pilot who has still not yet done so to respond before the deadline of tomorrow. Pilots who have already responded can, if they wish, update their responses. The BGA response, along with summaries of our concerns, background information and links to the consultation documents and EASA response tool can be found on the Future Licensing page. The consultation closes on 28th February.
IGC Survey 25th February 2009
The International Gliding Commission (IGC) Country Development Working Group is conducting a worldwide survey of glider pilots. The survey aims to better understand the issues faced by glider pilots, assess the quality of experience enjoyed by members of our sport and map out the nature of the global soaring community. The results will help the IGC to better define its development strategy, as well as being of interest to the gliding community as a whole. Key to the success of the study is as broad a participation as possible, so we hope that you can find time to complete the on-line survey, which takes about 10-15 minutes.
Glider Airworthiness Review Certificate & Airworthiness Support Fee 25th February 2009
Please note that the BGA fee for an EASA glider ARC including 12 months of airworthiness support by the BGA and access to BGA inspectors is £95. ARC applications submitted with an incorrect fee are returned unprocessed. Owners are therefore urged to ensure that they or their inspector submit the correct fee when submitting any airworthiness application. For details of all BGA airworthiness and other fees click here.
Communications and Marketing Committee 24th February 2009
The BGA is seeking two volunteers to assist the BGA Communications and Marketing Committee (CMC) in the marketing and promotion of gliding.
The aim of the CMC is to provide advice and practical support by developing and implementing communication and marketing strategies for the BGA. These hands-on roles play a key part in the ongoing promotion of gliding as well as looking at all aspects of communication, both internally and externally. Prospective candidates should ideally have a knowledge and passion for the sport, as well as being able to attend approximately six committee meetings each year. If you would like to become involved, and have the time and enthusiasm to help out, we look forward to hearing from you.
Applicants for this voluntary role should apply to Claire Emson, Chairman BGA Communications and Marketing Committee via the BGA Office. A short CV outlining relevant experience should accompany the application.
ATSOCAS 18th February 2009
ATSOCAS. The new Air Traffic Services Outside Controlled Airspace (ATSOCAS) come into effect on 12 March. The suite of services together form the UK Flight Information Services (FIS), which (excluding aerodrome services) are the only ATS provided in Class F/G airspace within the UK Flight Information Region (FIR). A full description of the services is provided in CAP774 which can be downloaded from the CAA web site. The CAA has produced an interactive CD giving a complete guide to the new services. If any glider pilot would like a copy, you can download its full content from the ASI website or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with a name and postal address for a CD to be sent to.
Development Team Advisors 11th February 2009
The BGA is seeking volunteers to join the team of expert advisors attached to the Development Committee, which provides support and advice to clubs, assisting them with their successful management and development. In order to support the existing team of professionals and volunteers, there is a need for specialist experience and expertise in the following areas: Site moving; Club strategy development; Environmental management; Volunteer management; Financial management and funding; IT Management; Building and project management; HR. Individuals recruited to these positions will be asked to develop advisory packs for clubs, to advise individual clubs as needed and to attend occasional Committee meetings. If you think you could contribute to any of these voluntary positions, please initially contact the Chairman of the Development Committee, Diana King, via the BGA Office, specifying which area interests you and asking for a description of the role.
NPA 2008-22 10th February 2009
Please note that the consultation period for NPA 2008-22 affecting flight training under EASA has been extended and now closes on the 15th April 2009. As previously reported, the BGA is responding to this consultation.
February Newsletter 5th February 2009
The BGA Newsletter for February has been published and can be downloaded from here.
Tom Bradbury 2nd February 2009
Tom Bradbury, who will be remembered for his hugely influential textbook for soaring pilots, Meteorology and Flight, and for his seminal S&G articles, died in late January at the age of 85. Tom was an internationally renowned meteorologist, whose services to the sport were recognised by the award of the FAI Paul Tissandier Diploma, as well as a BGA diploma and life membership of his club, Bristol & Glos GC. Members of the gliding community who wish to attend Tom's funeral at 12 noon on Friday 6th February in Bath would be welcomed by the family. Anyone interested should contact Helen Evans for details. If anyone wishes to make a contribution in his memory, one can be made to the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust.
NPA 2009-02 (Operations) 30th January 2009
EASA has published the documentation relating to NPA 2009-02, its proposals for consultation concerning operations. The BGA is engaged with and planning to respond to this and the other closely associated NPA’s 2008-17 (pilot licensing) and 2008-22 (pilot training). Advice will be made available on the BGA website to those who may wish to respond to any of these consultations. The EASA consultation documents are available at http://hub.easa.europa.eu/crt/docs. The CAA has published an EASA presentation on the subject of EASA operations proposals on their website here.
BGA Courses 2009 22nd January 2009
The schedule for 2009 Assistant Instructor Courses has now been published. These will take place at clubs around the country. Courses should be booked via the BGA office – you are recommended to make your reservations ASAP to secure your choice of location. BGA coaching at locally organised club soaring and cross country courses can be arranged on an availability basis. Please initially contact the National Coach – email@example.com. BGA Motor Glider Instructor Rating courses and CAA SLMG Flying Instructor courses can be organised for pilots wishing to gain those ratings. Details are available here.
Nominations for the BGA Executive Committee 16th January 2009
All clubs have been advised in a letter dated 9th January that the BGA is required to seek nominations for positions on the BGA Executive Committee in anticipation of the BGA Annual General Meeting, which will take place on the 7th March 2009 at the Hellidon Lakes Hotel. The closing date for nominations is the 6th of February 2009.
January Newsletter 7th January 2009
The BGA Newsletter for January has been published and can be downloaded from here.
Part M 29th December 2008
Earlier this month, EASA published amendments to Part M that reduce some of the totally unnecessary requirements that previously existed. This followed successful lobbying by European air sport bodies. These amendments led, just before Christmas, to the CAA redeveloping their existing advice to, and requirements on, owners and maintenance organisations, in particular those maintaining aircraft under 1000kgs.
The BGA will publish hard copy advice for all owners and operators in due course. As an interim measure, to ensure that the latest information is available to everybody, a new Part M page has been created on this web site containing advice from the BGA together with links to other documents from EASA and the CAA.
RAeS Sailplane Aerodynamics Lecture 16th December 2008
The Royal Aeronautical Society is hosting a lecture on recent advances in Sailplane Aerodynamics at 6pm on Tuesday 17th February. The lecture, in the RAeS headquarters 10 Hamilton Place, London W1, will be given by Loek Boermans, the President of OSTIV and Associate Professor of Aerodynamics at Delft University. There is no charge to attend but you are asked to let the organisers know that you plan to attend. More details are on the RAeS web site.
European Mandatory Insurance Update 5th December 2008
As identified in BGA Operational Regulation 1.9, the European Commission mandatory insurance requirements are based on an aircraft’s MTOM and are set in Special Drawing Rights (SDRs). In 2004 an SDR was worth £0.80, so on single seat aircraft with a MTOM of 500 to 999 kg the mandatory minimum requirement of 1.5M SDRs produced a sterling equivalent of around £1.2M. The BGA Operational Regulation limit of £1.3M looked prudent and safe. The exchange rate has slipped so much recently that £1.3M is now insufficient to satisfy the EC 785/2004 requirement for single seat gliders between 500 and 999 kg. The relevant detail in BGA Operational Regulation 1.9 will be addressed in due course. Meanwhile, the BGA advises that aircraft and glider owners ensure that their insurance is in compliance with the EC requirements. We have been advised by a leading broker that the annual premium increase will be in the order of £15 or so per glider affected if cover is increased from £1.3M to £1.75M.
Mode S 4th December 2008
The CAA has published a summary of responses to the consultation on Mode S carried out in the first half of 2008. This also contains the CAA Directorate of Airspace Policy’s response to the key issues raised and sets out their proposed way forward for further development of Mode S policy. The summary documents are available on the CAA web site. The BGA is currently considering its position and will inform members about its response in due course. There was a total of 1982 responses to the consultation of which 1582 (79.8%) were from those involved in gliding. We thank everybody who took the time to understand the CAA proposals and respond to the consultations.
December Newsletter 3rd December 2008
The BGA Newsletter for December has been published and can be downloaded from here.
NPA 2008-17 re Pilot Licensing UPDATE 3rd December 2008
The deadline for submissions to EASA about its pilot licensing consultation (NPA2008-17) has been extended to 28th February 2009. It is likely that the draft BGA response will be updated within the next week or so. In view of the potentially serious implications of some of these proposals, we are asking all pilots to read and understand the issues with a view to making their voices heard via the consultation. (See the 13 Nov news item below). Please monitor the web site for updates and further details and, if you have not already subscribed to the BGA Email alerting system, consider signing up now.
NPA 2008-15 re Aviation Environmental Protection 22nd November 2008
The BGA has also responded to this consultation. You can view the BGA response here and the EASA consultation documents on the EASA Comment Response Tool page.
NPA 2008-17 re Pilot Licensing 13th November 2008
The BGA has now published its draft response and explanatory notes concerning the EASA consultation about its proposals for pilot licensing. These proposals, if accepted, will bring about significant changes to the way in which pilot licensing (including glider pilot licensing) is structured and managed throughout Europe. A number of these changes will directly impact us, including potentially removing our ability to fly closer than 1.5 km horizontally or 1000' vertically from cloud above 3000', the proposed new medical examination process, the removal of an instructor rating equivalent to the Basic Instructor, and restrictions on the ability of instructors without an ICAO class 2 medical to instruct for all classes of glider pilot licences. The BGA is encouraging all pilots to read and understand what is being proposed and appreciate the context and content of the BGA response. We hope that you will be encouraged to respond to EASA, in your own words. The final date for submissions is 15th December 2008. Full details, including a summary of the key issues, are on the Future Licensing page on this website. See also see below for details of a briefing being run by the RAec on 22nd November.
November Newsletter 13th November 2008
The BGA Newsletter for November has been published and is available here.
The EASA Consultation Deluge Continues 3rd November 2008
EASA has published its expected NPA 2008-22 proposals (another huge document) affecting flight training under EASA rules. The BGA is engaged with these issues and is working with the European Gliding Union and others to develop an appropriate response. The consultation closes in January 2009.
NPA 2008-17 Briefing 31stOctober 2008
The Royal Aero Club is hosting a briefing and workshop on the subject at Turweston on 22nd November (0900-1200). The briefing will help attendees to understand some of the key elements of the proposals and to be in a better position to respond to the consultation, which closes on 15th December 2008. The proposals affect all pilots of aircraft within the scope of EASA, but the briefing will focus on the impact on pilots flying non-commercially with aeroplanes up to 2mt MTOM, light helicopters, gliders and balloons. If you would like to attend, please Email the RAEc Secretary by 18 November. Please use an email header ‘NPA Briefing 22 Nov’. More details of the RAeC briefing are here.
DfT Consultation re Extension of EASA Remit 20th October 2008
The BGA has now responded to the Department for Transport consultation about whether the remit of EASA should be extended to include the safety or aerodromes, air traffic management and air navigation services. You can view the BGA response here.
Ofcom Radio Spectrum Pricing Consultation 14th October 2008
The BGA has responded to the current Ofcom consultation about their proposals about spectrum pricing to the maritime and aviation sectors. These proposals, if accepted, could result in significant extra costs for clubs and glider owners. You can view the BGA response here; the Ofcom consultation documents are availabe on the Ofcom web site.
Continuing Airworthiness / Maintenance 8th October 2008
The CAA has issued exemptions (Oct 08) from Part M requirements that permits the ongoing operation of EASA gliders under existing BGA maintenance arrangements. The documents are here.
Glider Registration 6th October 2008
The CAA exemption which allowed EASA gliders to fly unregistered in the UK has now expired. Any active EASA glider must now be UK registered, i.e. must have a G- registration. Any owner who is still unclear on this issue should review the existing advice in the EASA C of A Transition pages.
October Newsletter 1st October 2008
The BGA newsletter for October has been published and can be viewed here.
EASA Pilot Licensing Consultation UPDATE 1st October 2008
EASA has advised that the deadline for responses to the NPA (Notice of Proposed Amendment) concerning pilot licensing has been extended to 15th December 2008. The BGA is actively working on this critically important issue and asks all pilots to continue to monitor BGA news sources for the latest information. Information will appear on the Future Pilot Licensing page of this website.
ELTs in France 1st October 2008
The French DGAC (equivalent of our CAA) has issued a recommendation that all gliders flying in French airspace should carry an ELT operating on the 406MHz frequency. The recommendation (which is a mandate for many aircraft categories) can be viewed here.
RAeS General Aviation Conference 25th September 2008
The Royal Aeronautical Society is running a general aviation conference this weekend (27/28 September) at Marshall Aerospace, Cambridge. The conference
will look at the latest developments and techniques being used to design and build light aeroplanes, covering the complete range from light aircraft to microlights. There will be ten papers given by leaders in their field. Some are subject based, design and innovation, structures, project development and airworthiness; others will project based on recent new aircraft and engine developments, available now in the market place. Full details are available from the RAeS website.
Fuel Duty 24th September 2008
The BGA has learned that in relation to the Energy Products Directive and a subsequent consultation that there will be no increase on the duty applied to avgas. The rate of 30.35p per litre (the EU permitted minimum) is the rate that was proposed by the GA Alliance and its members, including the BGA. Unfortunately the duty applied to diesel will be increased to 50.35p per litre. Please note that this information is subject to confirmation by HMRC.
Ofcom Consultation 21st September 2008
Ofcom is currently consulting on the application of spectrum pricing to the aeronautical sector. Ofcom are proposing that frequency use will be subject to charging. This could result in significant cost being passed on to sporting aviation. Charging for the use of a small number of VHF radio frequencies that are solely, and efficiently, used in gliding to improve situational awareness and other safety purposes is disproportional and will impact negatively on flight safety. The BGA will of course be responding and encourages others to do the same. The consultation closing date is 31st October 2008.
Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELT) 19th September 2008
Pilots and operators with emergency locator transmitters (ELT) should check that they can operate on the new location frequency of 406MHz. From 1 February 2009, ELTs tuned only to the analogue frequencies of 121.5/243MHz will no longer be picked up by the international satellite system that guides search and rescue teams. Transmissions will only be recognised from digital beacons transmitting on 406MHz. The new frequency will transmit an encoded message that includes a unique identifier which may include location data if the unit is connected to a global positioning system (GNSS). ICAO have initiated the changeover because of the superior capabilities of the 406MHz alerting system. The inclusion of GNSS information ensures that very accurate location of an incident is possible, thereby facilitating rescue. New ELTs should still transmit on 121.5/243 MHz as these frequencies will continue to be used in the final homing stages of a rescue.
Safety Recommendation 18th September 2008
Following the publication of a report into a fatal accident in New Zealand, the UK AAIB has asked that we draw UK pilots’ attention to the recommendation made by the NZ CAA. The recommendation is in the accident report, available at on the NZ CAA web site.
FLARM Approval 16th September 2008
Following consultation, Ofcom has published their decisions regarding making certain radio equipment licence-exempt. These decisions mean that the use of FLARM will be approved under the Wireless Telegraphy Regulations 2008, with effect from 1st October.
ARC Issue 16th September 2008
We are delighted to announce that the CAA are now able to issue EASA C of As and ARCs for gliders. So far about 500 have been issued and we are working with the CAA to clear the remaining backlog as soon as possible. A number of owners who applied for transition early in 2007 should have received a transition refresh notification, following agreement from the CAA to allow these gliders to have their temporary BGA C of A renewed. If your glider’s BGA C of A is due to expire before 31 December 2008 and you have not received a refresh notification, please contact the BGA as soon as possible.
Parachute Theft 10th September 2008
York Gliding Centre was broken into on 6 September. All their computers were taken and, additionally, two parachutes were stolen. One was of fairly standard design while the other was designed to fit young people having a cross-over arrangement for the straps. Both were blue and had FFF embroidered on the left shoulder strap. If anyone is offered these parachutes or if they see parachutes answering this description coming into use, please would they contact the club chairman, Keith Batty.
Salisbury Danger Area Proposed Airspace Changes 8th September 2008
The Army intend in due course to operate UAV's in the Salisbury danger areas and are currently consulting on this issue through QinetiQ. The BGA has for some time been talking to directly affected clubs as well as the agencies involved, including QinetiQ and the CAA. The Army, unfortunately, are unwilling to discuss their needs with other airspace users. There are of course detailed elements of this consultation that could have significant implications for cross country flying. Since the BGA advised the LAA of this issue, their airspace advisor is now involved in discussion as well as those from the BHPA - this is a joint effort. Clubs who are not involved but feel that they want to know more should in the first instance contact Gordon McDonald of the BGA airspace committee who can provide detailed advice. The consultation closes on the 29th September.
EASA Pilot Licensing Consultation 8th September 2008
The BGA is continuing to develop a response to the EASA consultation on flight crew licensing & medicals (NPA 17a, 17b & 17c) and is currently in discussion with European Gliding Union, Europe Airsports, as well as other organisations and agencies within the UK with a view to maximising the consistency of European responses in support of our position. There are some very significant issues for UK gliding and it is important for the future of our sport that EASA responds to our representations. In this respect you are encouraged before the closing date to submit personalised responses either by e-mail or using the EASA on-line Common Response Tool. In due course you will find a summary of the BGA views on the Future Pilot Licensing page of the BGA website – there will be an announcement when the draft has been published. The EASA licensing NPA 17 response date is currently October 15th.
EASA Airworthiness 8th September 2008
Following a major effort by the UK’s EASA-glider owners and the BGA, many owners will by now have received their EASA C of A and ARC from the BGA. Those that have not received their EASA C of A and ARC by 28th September 2008 because the CAA is catching up with its workload will of course continue to fly on their BGA C of A under a CAA general exemption until their EASA C of A and ARC arrives.
In addition, the CAA announced very recently that it has decided to opt out of the EASA option offered to EU member states that would delay the implementation of the Part M (maintenance rules) to the light end of aviation by 12 months ie to 28 September 2009. This EASA proposed delay made sense as Part M is currently going through the European legislative process again having been significantly modified following lobbying by the BGA and very many other air sport and GA organizations across Europe. How does this affect UK gliding? The BGA is continuing to work with the CAA to try to ensure that this incoming EASA driven maintenance regulation is implemented proportionally, efficiently and at minimum cost to owners and operators. Where required an exemption will apply to ensure continued airworthiness via BGA process until the right framework ie one that works for owners and clubs, is in place.
More detail will follow in due course.
September Newsletter 3rd September 2008
The BGA newsletter for September has been published and can be viewed here.
Lottery Funding Consultation 3rd September 2008
Sport England is currently consulting about how to distribute future lottery funding - currently £45m pa - to sports club projects. If you are able to, we would really appreciate you taking time to respond. The document and response form are both available from the Sport England web site. The BGA has prepared s ome background and guidance notes. These are available here. The opportunity to respond is only open until 16th September.
RAeS EASA Forum 1st September 2008 UPDATED 3rd September ******* CANCELLED *******
Following successful events in 2006 and 2007, the Royal Aeronautical Society has arranged another EASA Forum on Wednesday, 17th September at the RAeS head-quarters at 4 Hamilton Place, London. This year the event will concentrate upon General Aviation issues. EASA attendees will include representatives from their Rulemaking and Certification Directorates. This event will have a similar format to previous years with brief presentations by senior EASA staff, followed by questions both submitted in advance and directly from the attendees. More information is on the RAeS web site.
Controlled Airspace at Robin Hood Airport 23rd August 2008
A reminder that new Class D Control Zones (CTRs) and Control Areas (CTAs) will be introduced around Robin Hood Airport (Finningley) on 28 August 2008. The 1:500000 Aeronautical Chart ‘Northern England and Northern Ireland’ (Sheet 2171AB) Edition 31, to be published on 28 August 2008, will incorporate the changes. Details of the changes are in Aeronautical Information Circular 67/2008 (Yellow 269) dated 17 July 2008 and in AIRAC 9/2008.
British Gliding Team Manager 20th August 2008
Phil Sturley, a recently retired RAF fighter pilot and senior officer, has been appointed as the British Gliding Team manager. Phil, an experienced glider pilot and ASH26E owner, flies with the Four Counties Gliding Club. Brian Spreckley, who is standing down from the Team manager role following many highly successful and busy years, will continue to work with the Team as the Head Coach.
RAeC Trust Bursaries 12th August 2008
The Royal Aero Club Trust has opened its Flying for Youth bursary scheme for 2009. Each bursary, of up to £500, is available to anyone between 16 and 21 years of age wishing to progress their interest in either air sports or aviation. The closing date for applications is 31 March 2009 but, as applications need to be countersigned and submitted by the BGA, please ensure that they reach the BGA office by the start of March. Many young glider pilots have benefited from these bursaries in previous years and they will again, this coming year, be available for a wide range of disciplines, including gliding and motor gliding. Full details are available from the RAeC Trust web site. We are very grateful to the Trust for once again making these bursaries available.
RAeC Awards 12th August 2008
Glider pilots featured strongly at the recent Royal Aero Club Awards ceremony. Awards were presented by the President of Europe Air Sports, Sir John Allison, to John Williams, the British Women’s Gliding Team, Derek Piggott, Pete Harvey, John Glossop, Jack Harrison, John Blackmore, Derek Platt, Jim O’Donnell, and Michael Bird. In addition, the FAI Pirat Gehriger Diploma was presented to Brian Spreckley and Keith Nicholson. Sir John made an impassioned speech about the importance of preserving the freedoms that allow air sports to flourish – a transcript is available here.
GETMET 12th August 2008
The latest edition of the pilot weather guide GETMET is now available. It can be can be requested or downloaded from the Met Office website free of charge. The new 2009 edition includes information for the Met Office on-line weather briefings, fax & telephone services, weather reports and en route information to help with flight planning. GETME' also includes important information on the forthcoming TAF changes due in November.
Air League Scholarships 8th August 2008
The Air League has published the list of the 11 Gliding Scholarships that it has generously awarded for 2008 . You can see the list here. Our thanks to the Air League for continuing to support young glider pilots in this way. The League is holding a Young Members Fly-in and Gliding Day at Bicester on 30 August. This has been a great flying day in previous years - full details are available on the Air League web site.
August Newsletter 6th August 2008
The BGA newsletter for August has been published and can be viewed here.
Aerodrome Safety Consultation 31st July 2008
The DfT is consulting on an EC proposal to bring aerodrome safety into EASA’s remit. The wording in the complex documents suggests that there may be an important issue regarding the scope of the proposed regulations. It is particularly important - as the BGA pointed out in an earlier response to EASA in 2006 – that air sport sites are not caught up in well-meaning safety regulation targeting commercial air transport activity. Key to us is that the text describing the scope of the regulation should clearly state that non-commercial air transport activity sits outside the regulation. Currently, this is not clear within the available text. The DfT and CAA are very supportive of the need to limit the scope of this regulation to commercial air transport. We are currently working on this issue and, when available, will publish information to support any members who may wish to respond personally. The consultation closes on20th October 2008.
Laws & Rules 31st July 2008
The 16th edition of Laws & Rules has been published. You can download a PDF copy or buy the printed version, which fits neatly in your gliding bag, price £2.50 (plus P&P) from the BGA shop or through many clubs.
UK Grand Prix 24th July 2008
The UK Qualifying Grand Prix will be held at Lasham from September 1-7. Preparations are going well and the public day is shaping up to be a fantastic day out - not just for gliding and aviation enthusiasts but for the general public as well. The public website is now live and taking bookings for free tickets and advance car parking tickets along with tickets for the evening party. Lasham's chairman, Chris Lewis, is inviting all UK pilots to come along and take part in the excitement - you can read his invitation here. Do try to be there.
Clued Up 18th July 2008
Clued Up is a new annual magazine from the CAA aimed improving safety awareness among pilots. It contains safety information, advice, facts and figures and much more and copies will be sent, by post, to all licensed pilots. You can view an online copy here.
Controlled Airspace At Robin Hood 4th July 2008 UPDATED 7th July
New Class D Control Zones (CTRs) and Control Areas (CTAs) will be introduced around Robin Hood Airport (Finningley) on 28 August 2008. The 1:500000 Aeronautical Chart ‘Northern England and Northern Ireland’ (Sheet 2171AB) Edition 31, to be published on 28 August 2008, will incorporate the changes. Details of the changes will be published in Aeronautical Information Circular 67/2008 (Yellow 269) dated 17 July 2008 (add in link) and in AIRAC 9/2008. In the meantime, a map showing the new airspace is available here. NOTE - The map published on 4 July contained an error (Scampton marked as Waddington). The reissued and corrected map is linked to above.
RIAT Fairford 4th July 2008
Please be aware of the airspace arrangements for the RIAT, Fairford between 7 and 14 July. As well as the usual air tattoo there will be a mass flypast involving 90 aircraft in three packages (11 July, rehearsals on 7/8 July). The area of temporary restricted airspace extends as far north as Birmingham and west almost to the M5. Please make sure that you are aware. Full details are in AIC 40/2008 (Mauve 264); in addition, the RAF has produced a briefing pack in PowerPoint format with more detail. This is available here.
July Newsletter 2nd July 2008
The BGA newsletter for July has been published and can be viewed here.
PIB Hints 20th June 2008
Following the change to the AIS web site (see news item, 11 May below), there is now a revised set of hints and tips for using the site to obtain a Pre-Flight Information Briefing (PIB). You can download here.
ATSOCAS 12th June 2008
CAP774, the official CAA publication describing the new Air Traffic Services Outside Controlled Airspace (ATSOCAS), has now been published. The suite of services detailed in the document together form the UK
Flight Information Services (FIS), which (excluding aerodrome services) are the only
ATS provided in Class F/G airspace within the UK Flight Information Region (FIR). The introduction of the new ATSOCAS will take place on 12 March 2009. You can download CAP774 from the CAA web site. In addition, the CAA has produced an interactive educational CD to allow pilots to learn how the new ATSOCAS services will operate. Licensed private pilots will receive their own copy by post, but you can access the full content now at on the Airspace Safety website. Alternatively, you can request your own copy of the CD by Emailing the CAA.
Queen's Birthday Flypast 11th June 2008
The flypast for the Queen's Birthday on Saturday 14th June (and rehearsals on 12th & 13th June) will involve large numbers of aircraft over a large part of the south of England. Please would all pilots in the area make themselves aware of the arrangements and the areas of temporary restricted airspace that have been established. More details are on the airspace news page.
Weston Under Threat 10th June 2008
Weston on the Green airfield, home of Oxford GC, is under threat from proposals to build a new Eco-town. The Weston-Otmoor proposal is one of 15 shortlisted sites, of which the government is proposing to build on 10. OGC is working closely with the local residents, elected representatives and the BGA team to try to prevent Weston being developed. Oxford GC's chairman is asking that pilots help them to oppose the threat. You can read his request, get more information and find out how you can help here.
BGA Team Supporters Kit 10th June 2008
Get the latest gliding must-have wear and support the British gliding team into the bargain. Team supporters T shirts are now available through It's a wing thing. 10% of the sale price goes to assist the GB team when they compete later this summer in the World Championships at Rieti, Italy (Club and Standard classes) and Lusse Germany (15m, 18m and open classes).