Soaring is supported by the Alberta Sport Connection and the Alberta Soaring Council. It’s important to understand those who are participating in the sport of soaring in Alberta.
If you wouldn’t mind answering the following few questions and reviewing the ‘Hazards and Risks of Gliding’ below the survey.
insert google form with ASC participation questions
Hazards and Risks of Gliding
Hazards to Persons on the Gound
Tow Planes – Tow planes may start at any time. Stay well back from the propeller, even when it is stopped and the plane is empty. The propeller is invisible when the engine is running. Walking into a running propeller will maim or kill you.
Runways – Aircraft may land or take off at any time, and landing aircraft are usually silent and in the case of single-seat gliders, quite difficult to see. Further, the pilot may not see you or be unable to avoid you. Stay off the runway unless you are under the supervision of a senior club member. If you must walk beside the runway, stay at least 50 ft. (15m) off the runway – if a pilot loses control, the aircraft may veer off the runway. If an aircraft hits you, you could be maimed or killed.
Tow Ropes – When the tow plane returns to the field, it trails the 200 ft tow rope. Stay out from under the flight path when a tow plane is landing. You could be severely injured by the rope and it’s metal connectors.
Glider wings – Stay out from under wings – you could get a bad cut or bruise from the wing or the spoilers, and the aircraft might be moved without warning.
“Gopher” Holes – Watch your step! The ground-dwelling animals on our field leave holes that could turn your ankle or twist your knee – maybe even break your leg.
No Smoking – Tow planes can spill fuel anywhere on the field. If your cigarette ignites spilled fuel, you could be burned or killed.
Risks to Persons on the Ground
Though it is very rare, aircraft accidents do occur. If an accident occurs at Cu Nim it will probably happen on or near the runway. assuming that you are not personally involved in the accident, you could still experience severe psychological trauma, particularly if people are hurt or killed.
Hazards to Passenger in Aircraft
The greatest single hazard to the safety of your flight is you, the inexperienced passenger. Be sure that you remain clear of the controls – interference with the pilot could result in injury or death. Respect your pilot – if they say no, they mean no, and distracting them with arguments will put you at risk. Finally, if you opt for flight instruction, return control to the pilot immediately when requested – a moment’s hesitation could be fatal. It is not possible to fly a glider safely without extensive training.
Risks to Passengers in the Aircraft
When you fly as a passenger in an aircraft, your fate becomes linked to that of the pilot. Guiding is one of the safest of aero sports, but accidents do happen. An in-flight problem, however caused, could result in anything from psychological trauma due to a joy ride turned frightening, to injury or death. Because of the low speeds at which gliders operate, combined with their excellent landing qualities and tremendous strength, most in-flight problems result in nothing more than a slight scare and an exciting story.
Pilot error – Flying gliders is complicated and involves many subtle judgments. Occasionally, a pilot makes an honest mistake. Very rarely, a hidden medical problem incapacitates a pilot.
Mid-air Collision – While glider pilots watch carefully for each other, we cannot guarantee the same of power pilots passing through on the way to somewhere else.
Aircraft Malfunction – Cu Nim’s fleet is maintained to government standards, and we would not knowingly fly a deficient aircraft. However, airplanes are highly stressed and quite complicated, and sometimes systems fail.
Rope Break – Tow ropes sometimes break. This may result in an emergency landing.
Sudden Changes in Wind or Other Weather Condition – The air is invisible, and pilots are not gods. While we fly conservatively and take precautions to avoid the invisible surprises in the air, sometimes that is not enough.