Reserve your shares for the Single Seater Scheme and get an EarlyBird Discount!

Dear All

There are some exciting changes to the Single Seater Scheme for next year. The Discus, DM, is being refinished and will be returned to the club in January 2020.

In addition, a second Discus is being acquired to replace the ASW24. Although a few of us will miss FLY, the conversion step required to fly it will be removed by the change, and the Discus fits a wider range of pilots.

This will mean that we will have the Pegase and one Discus in the hangar, as now. We will still keep one Discus in its trailer, which is great for early-morning rigging on a big day (reducing hangar rash and dust) expeditions and retrieves.

After this year’s successful introduction, flying the two Juniors is included in the scheme all year round, and are charged for like the other aircraft. Booking one of the Juniors may be done through the Junior booking system. This also makes the Single Seater Scheme attractive to pilots who are in the process of converting from Juniors to the other scheme aircraft.

As before, you can purchase from one to three shares. Each share gives you the right to make an advance booking for any of the high performance single seat gliders. One share is ideal if you expect to fly only occasionally but want to ensure you have access to a glider. Three shares entitle you to unlimited solo flying and the ability to hold three advance bookings (including one weekend booking) – ideal if you plan to fly a lot, or want to maximise your chances of having a glider available when you have a few days holiday planned.

The scheme year runs from 1st April to 31st March in the following year. In order to allow scheme members to use any unused hours towards the end of the season, solo flying in two-seaters after 30th September will be rebated at the end of the scheme year.

So the improved Single Seater Scheme offers members an excellent opportunity to enjoy some of the benefits of syndicate or private glider ownership without the initial capital outlay. Your flying costs are reduced and the booking facility offers you the certainty of having a glider available for your sole use on the days of your choosing.

The Single Seater Scheme is now open for applications for the next season starting on 1st April. After a number of years where the price has been held or decreased, prices will rise slightly next season. However, we are still giving members the option to secure a generous discount by paying in full in advance. The deadline for next season’s EarlyBird discount will be 1st March.

SSS charges 2020

Alternatively members may pay in monthly instalments during the season. Either way, please let me know your intentions as soon as possible so that your shares can be secured.

Last year we had a record number of 27 members going solo, so it is likely that the scheme will be over-subscribed this year. 18 shares out of 30 are already allocated. To avoid disappointment, reserve your shares now by emailing me at

Mark Lawrence-Jones

Managing Flying Risk

As you are hopefully aware, the BGA collates the various bits of good practice guidance including relevant recommended practices that have been hard-learned over many years into a single publication titled ‘Managing Flying Risk’.

This year, several topics have evolved resulting in further good practice guidance that also need to be ‘captured’ in the same place. These revisions have been consulted on with club CFIs and other subject matter experts.

A copy of the updated Managing Flying Risk (v12) is available at Please read it. The amended items are in blue.

The main changes are;

  • Page 5 – Pilot responsibility
  • Page 6 – Pilot equipment
  • Page 12 – Safe aerotowing
  • Page 16 – Supervision
  • Page 17 – Visiting pilots
  • Page 22 – Landing & take-off areas
  • Page 24 – Hill, ridge and mountain soaring
  • Appendices;
  • Page 29 – Site hazards
  • Page 30 – Soaring protocol

The background to the updates is as follows;

Accidents from late take-over. The most common instructing accident cause is late take-over. In this publication the core ‘safe pilot’ description now includes an appropriate line for instructors.

Aerotow hazards. We’ve recently learnt more about aerotow hazards. So we’ve updated that guidance.

Supervision. Unqualified pilots, ie those who have yet to qualify to BGA Cross-Country Endorsement standard (so equivalent to a licence standard) including young pilots, should be actively supervised. The publication includes very carefully developed supervision guidance that all instructors need to be aware of.

Visiting pilots. Experience demonstrates that gliding culture is changing, including habits re expeditions, where increasingly we’re seeing individuals or small groups of relatively inexperienced pilots heading off to somewhere exciting and often without their own supervision in tow. Great that pilots are keen and of course we need to encourage them, but we also need to adjust our supervision guidance accordingly to both help to set their expectations and support CFIs. So we’ve updated our supervision guidance including re visiting pilots with an emphasis on supporting CFI’s and their instructors, particularly at expedition sites.

Hill, Ridge and Mountain Flying. We recognise that pilots are increasingly seeking the fun that hills, ridges and mountains provide for glider pilots. So to pull existing core safety info around that activity into one place, we’ve added some guidance. Public safety is the number one BGA safety priority. You’ll be aware that a CAA exemption from SERA low flying rules is in place to permit hill soaring. It’s very important that exemption is understood by pilots, and so we’ve included some new guidance.

Investigations in the past have identified shortcomings in pilot equipment following a remote accident. And the Sailplane Air Operations rules now clarify the situation re ELT/PLB. So we’ve updated an item re pilot equipment.

And we’ve included two appendices re detail highlighted within the document to again ensure that all the guidance is in one publication.

As well as having a read yourself, please do encourage other pilots within your club to at least read the updated guidance which is clearly highlighted in the publication.

Kind regards

Colin Sword, chairman of the BGA Instructors Committee

Tim Freegarde, chairman of the BGA Safety Committee