Black Mountains Gliding Club

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Flying rules

A few things that you should know

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The club




Daily briefing

A short daily briefing will be given at 10am in the briefing room. All pilots should attend. In the event of poor weather the duty instructor may announce re-briefing at a later time. Any visitor who has missed the daily briefing must have an individual briefing from the duty instructor before flying.

On arrival

If you arrive with a trailer, please park it in the trailer park at the east end of the field (towards the hill). As space is limited, please park closely and within the notice boards. If there is no space left, then use the overspill area. Gliders can be picketed out using the chains near the eastern boundary of the airfield.

Airspace restrictions

Before you fly, make sure that you are familiar with the few airspace restrictions that apply to us. Airway N684 passes directly overhead the site with its base at FL125. Gliders are NOT allowed to fly in airways even under VFR. This means that gold and diamond height climbs have to be made away from the airway. In practice, this is not a problem as the wave is usually present over large areas. The map in the clubhouse shows the details ... learn them and respect them please!

When wave is extensive, the controlled airspace is high enough to allow cross country flying over all of central Wales and does not restrict a return to Talgarth. When thermal flying, avoid the military training ranges of Sennybridge D203 and the SAS training area south west of Hereford D147. RAF low level fast jet training takes place most week days, but is mostly below 500 ft and follows the valleys.


All gliders flying from Talgarth must have a serviceable radio on board. 130.1 MHz is used for all communications. It is normal procedure to call on the downwind leg stating circuit direction and runway for landing.


All launches are by aerotow using our 235hp Pawnee (registration G-AZPA). The dropping zone will normally be suggested during pre flight briefing and is at the discretion of the tug pilot who will normally be listening out on 130.1Mhz.

Being located in a National Park, we are naturally very careful to keep aircraft noise to an absolute minimum so climb out patterns are varied. For this reason, and also because of the short field, self launchers are not permitted to take off under their own power.

All powered arrivals are strictly 'Prior Permission Required' and limited to approved aircraft and pilots, with the exception of specified local pilots, aircraft in emergency situations and emergency service and police helicopters. Approval is given by the CFI or his nominated deputy

Before flying, take the opportunity to walk around the airfield. Because of sloping ground, the choice of runway for both take off and landing will not always be into wind. The runways in use will be mentioned in briefings and shown on the magnetic board in the clubhouse. In wave conditions, the local wind can be very variable, so always check the windsock immediately before take off and from the downwind leg before landing. We usually launch away from the mountains to take advantage of the slope.

In the unlikely event of a failed launch or rope break, remember that we are well above the valley floor where there are plenty of large fields. There is plenty of time to sort things out and select a nice field. At the risk of stating the obvious, don't even think of landing back on the airfield unless you have enough height to fly a proper circuit.

Circuits and landing

Whilst not mandatory, circuits are generally to the north or west of the airfield so that landing gliders can be seen more easily from the launch point. It also gives you some options in the event of strong sink. We suggest you fly circuits a little higher and closer than is usually taught. In wave conditions, complete all your pre landing checks in smoother air at altitude. With a glider ahead in the circuit, call number 2 so that it is aware of the need to land long.

When landing on the east, south west or south east runways, care should be taken to touch down after the white markers. When the wind is strong, there is sink over the down slope below the approach. With a moderate wind from the north west, we favour landing through the gap in the trees on the west runway. A cross wind is preferable to a short runway with a downward slope and also take offs by other gliders are not obstructed. Landing on the north west runway over the entrance gate should only be attempted in a wind which exceeds 20 Kts. If there are aircraft behind you in the circuit, land long and allow plenty of room behind.

The north east runway is never used for landing, use the east runway and accept the cross wind. Try and touch down at about the road and run on past the clubhouse where there is more space for following aircraft. There is sometimes an electric fence raised on the threshold of the east runway. The field short of the threshold can be used in an emergency. Watch for cars or people on the road that crosses the airfield. On all runways in wave conditions, be prepared for strong turbulence on the approach which generally does not continue all the way down to the ground.

Clearing the landing area

It is a priority to clear the landing area as soon as possible. All pilots are expected to help each other using the car in the summer or manpower if the field is wet.

Use of club gliders

Permission for visiting pilots to fly BMGC's single or two seaters solo will be at the instructor's discretion taking into account the hours flown from site and P1 on type. This will vary from pilot to pilot but typically might be 10 hours on site, or 15 hours P1 on type and 5 hours on site.

Medical certificates

Visiting pilots who wish to fly P1 in a BMGC club glider must provide a copy of their medical certificate to the club before flying.

Visiting instructors

Any instructor with the relevant experience who wishes to instruct at Talgarth must obtain prior permission from the CFI.

Updated: 27 January 2011 MF