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Cross Country Flying using Club Ships & the Importance of Preparation

Posted: Sun Jun 27, 2021 10:28 am
by Wayne Hewison
This is a public service reminder to all members considering Cross-Country tasks with club ships. It is important that you are prepared in every aspect for your task before you attempt it. Here are some of the major items to consider.

1/ Bronze Badge Training
This course is a mandatory prerequisite for anyone attempting their Silver C badge requirements and beyond. It introduces new pilots to many aspect of cross-country flight which include short field spot landings, final glide exercises & off-field landing field selection.

2/ Cross Country Mentoring Flights

We have a number of highly experienced Cross County pilots who are available to assist you in preparing for your task. I strongly recommend that you take advantage of this opportunity to use them and their extensive knowledge to prepare yourself for cross country flight.

3/ Assemble Your Crew
Cross country flight is a team sport. As we are all aware, a flight may end with an off-field landing and you must be prepared for this event. That means having a support team ready if a land-out occurs.

4/Your Trailer is your Best Friend
As pilot in command it is your responsibility to make sure that you and your crew are familiar with rigging, de-rigging and placing your glider in it's trailer. You must also ensure that the trailer is road-worthy (i.e. the tires are good, the lights work, you have a car capable of towing the trailer and your designated driver is familiar with towing the trailer). If you land out at a registered airfield like SOSA, Toronto Soaring or Stratford Municipal airport, we may be able to retrieve you via an aerotow but don't bet on it. Your trailer and crew are always your primary plan in the event of an off-filed landing and they will be able to retrieve you wherever you land.

5/ Declare your Task and Inform the Office or a Responsible Person at the Club of your Intention
Before you make you attempt, make sure the club knows where you are headed. We need to know your flight plan. During your flight, you may have to change your original plan based on weather conditions and other factors (and that's ok, welcome to soaring flight).

6/ On Game Day, your Game Face is your Only Face
Cross country soaring is a sport, and like any sport, training & preparation are extremely important. Your flight will require skill, stamina and sound decision making skills. When you get into your glider you want to be in a good frame of mind, ready to complete your task. Good preparation will put your flight on a path to success and help you set your personal standards for future cross country flights.

Wayne Hewison
Chief Flying Instructor