SAFETY FIRST

Please read these notes before you come along for your flights.

 

We want you to have a very enjoyable visit to our airfield, and hope it will be the beginning of a lasting interest in gliding, however our first concern is, and must be, your safety

Airfields are, by their very nature, potentially dangerous places, however by following a few, simple guidelines you will be able to avoid any hazards.

The airfield layout is shown on the map below.  You will enter the site from the B4000 and depending on the wind direction we will be launching our gliders either from the eastern end of the airfield, adjacent to the B4000, or from the south-western end (both shown hatched). Landings can occur on any part of the airfield so please keep a good lookout.

 

http://www.swindongliding.co.uk/phpfusion/images/content_graphics/airfield_safety.jpg

 

Arriving on the Airfield:

If you cannot see gliders on the ground in the area by the B4000 then it will indicate we are launching from the south-western end (or that you have arrived before we have started flying)*.  In that case please proceed along the track to the clubhouse and hangar area at the south-western corner of the airfield.  Provided you keep to the track you will be clear of any aircraft taking off or landing.

Please park your car in the area shown on the map, or as directed by any club members who may be organising parking, away from the front of the hangar and the glider trailers.  You should then proceed to the launch point, if flying is underway, or else the clubhouse.

*Note the direction of the windsock. The gliders will normally be parked at the down wind end of the field (the end towards which the wind is blowing)

 

Getting to and from the launch point:

To get from the car park to the launch point (where there will be a group of club members and visitors by the parked gliders) please walk across as close to the fence or hedge as reasonably possible, and do not stop to sightsee on the way across.  This is to keep you away from the areas of the airfield where gliders may be launching or landing.

Before crossing take a look out for gliders or our tug (a powered aircraft with a rope attached to its tail) which may be landing.  You should do this by looking out over the fence or hedge to see if any aircraft are approaching the airfield (on “finals” for landing).  If they are then wait for them to land before you start to cross.  If you are already crossing then either return to the car park area or proceed briskly to the launch point so that you are clear of the line of the landing aircraft before they arrive at the airfield.

Take extra care if the tug is landing because the tow rope which has metal rings on the end, trails below the aircraft and is often close to the ground as it crosses the threshold. 

Once you get to the launch point, introduce yourself to one of the club members who will provide you with further information about viewing our operations or flying with us; they can also tell you where the toilets are and how best to get there.  To return to the car park, cross in the same careful manner.

 

General safety Guidelines:

  • Keep to the edges of the airfield, do not walk out towards or onto the middle at any time, gliders are very quiet and you may not see or hear a landing glider.
  • Propellers are extremely dangerous, keep well clear of the front of our tug and any motor gliders which may be using the airfield, whether or not the engines are running, they may be started without warning.
  • Do not walk across in front of any gliders which are lined up facing towards the other end of the airfield – they may be waiting to launch. You are not necessarily safe behind the wing – there is a risk from being struck by the tailplane.
  • Follow the advice of club members at the launch point or elsewhere who will advise you of where you will be safe.
  • If you take a flight in one of our gliders then it is important that you walk back with your instructor and the glider to the launch point after landing. Family and friends must not run up the field to meet you. They may only go to the glider, to take photographs, for instance, if permission is given by a club member.
  • We launch our gliders by aerotow; the gliders being attached to the rope trailed by the powered aircraft, our tug, until they reach sufficient height to be able to release and seek out thermals and other sources of lift, typically at 2000’ above airfield level. Keep well clear of all ropes and cables, even if they appear to be lying safely on the ground.
  • Aircraft can pass quite close to the track at the narrowest point of the airfield so do not linger in that area.
  • Please ensure that children are supervised and that dogs are kept on a lead whilst flying is in progress. 
  • Cameras and loose articles in the glider – you are welcome to bring your camera on your flight. Ensure the strap is around your wrist when holding it and that it is safely stowed in the glider side pocket when not in use. Do not place on the floor or leave anything loose in the cockpit. Loose articles present a hazard.
  • Should you suffer any form of accident, or see one occur, or if you see anything which you think could expose anyone to any sort of danger then please speak to a club member as a matter of urgency. 
  • Common sense goes a long way towards ensuring safety on an airfield. Before you do anything think about whether it may expose you or your party to any danger. If you cannot see anyone else doing what you are thinking of doing check with a club member to make sure it is safe before you do it.  It is much better to be safe than sorry.

 

Finally – enjoy your visit!

Now that we’ve covered the key safety points let’s return to the central point of your visit.  We want you to enjoy your time with us, so let us know what you’d like to see, to learn about or to do, and we’ll do our best to make sure your visit fulfils your aims and provides a pleasant, memorable experience.  We hope that you’ll enjoy it so much that you’ll want to visit us again, and perhaps join us as a member and learn to fly.

 

Please feel free to print a copy of the above guidelines for when you visit the field. Click here to download the information in MS Word format, or here in Adobe PDF format.