Dear all,

From Monday 29th March the club opens seven days a week and welcomes back green- and yellow- categorised pilots to fly solo. There’s no need to book but yellow category pilots are reminded they must be thoroughly briefed by a duty instructor prior to flying (this can be done in groups of up to five socially-distanced pilots at a time). Club gliders are available for those of you who have been unable to complete your own annual/ARC yet.

Simulator refreshers for orange-category pilots also kick off on Monday, you can book your session by clicking here if you haven’t done so already.

From 12th April we will be able to start catering for red category pilots, subject to no change in the Government’s timetable.

Please bear in mind we are currently reliant on just 14 instructors (38% of normal), 4 tug pilots and 7 winch drivers to cater for 45 green/yellow category pilots and 47 orange ones, so the operation may take some time to build back up to your usual expectations – please bear with us!

Weekend duty rosters come into effect from next Friday 2nd April (it’s the four day Easter bank holiday weekend), so if you’re rostered please remember to show up or arrange a swap.

We are taking a very reasonably cautious approach to the club’s return to flight. Our early experience during instructor recency flying days mirrors the wider aviation community, where lots of slips and mistakes have been made by even highly experienced pilots. Lack of currency means all of us are more prone to error and misjudgement than we’re used to or would probably like to admit, and applies equally to the duty teams as it does to pilots.

With this in mind, between 29th March and 11thApril the Flying Operations & Safety Committee (FOSC) have decided an instructor must supervise each launch queue to act as a final ‘safety barrier’. Both winching and aerotowing are planned to be available every day, however when a Team Leader is the only supervising instructor then concurrent winching and aerotowing cannot take place. The Team Leader may switch which launch point is active throughout the day as required, please be patient and allow them and their team to manage the operation in a calm and unhurried fashion.

Social Distancing remains according to government regulations. Please be particularly mindful whilst we operate under the restriction of “gatherings of no more than 6 persons”. We will be under some scrutiny so please try and avoid any unnecessary gatherings at the clubhouse or launch point.

The rules within the clubhouse and buildings regarding face coverings still apply. Masks and hand cleansing gel is available for purchase from the office.

Finally, CAA advice states that you should not fly within 12 hours following a vaccination or whilst experiencing any side-effects. It would seem prudent for Team Leaders and duty team members to follow the same advice.

We look forward to seeing you back at the club and in the air soon!

Peter (Chairman) & Oliver (CFI)