Starting the Day

If a decision whether or not to fly has not been made by the Chief Flying Instructor or other instructor by the time you arrive at the field, you should first establish what, if any, flying will take place. If you are an instructor you should make this decision based on the prevailing weather and field conditions. It is easy to make a decision if the weather is good (Go) or bad (No Go) however, it is not so easy if it is marginal. For marginal conditions you must consider the VFR minima:

For a 2,000 ft. tow you will require flight visibility of 3 miles, a ceiling of 2,500 ft. (with overcast or broken cloud conditions); or 1 mile horizontal clear of cloud (with scattered cloud conditions).   As a good guide, if you can see the microwave tower to the east on the north side of Hwy. 9 the visibility is 3 miles.

For a 1,250 ft. tow you will require flight visibility of 2 miles, a ceiling of 1,700 ft. (with overcast or broken cloud conditions); or 2,000 ft. horizontal clear of cloud (with scattered cloud conditions). 
 
Since it is not easy to measure cloud base from the ground it is usual to have a tow pilot go and take a look and report back.  This assumes the cloud base is estimated to be 1000 ft. plus.  If it is obviously much lower than this there is no point in sending a tow plane up to look. However, notwithstanding meeting these minimal criteria, you will also need to consider the winds and ultimately whether it is worth flying at all. Seasoned soaring pilots will not be interested in flying in such conditions and flying should only take place if an instructor considers it suitable for some student training opportunity. Under such conditions the number of aircraft in the air should be kept to a minimum by utilizing only one towplane. With flights being almost surely quite short there will not be more than two gliders in the air at any time and so the risk of collision is minimized.

If in doubt, seek the opinion of another instructor or senior club member before you make a decision. If you are not an instructor you must ensure that decision is made by an instructor.   

It is also necessary to consider the condition of the field.   At the beginning of the season the field may not be dry enough to operate from without creating ruts and covering the aircraft, especially the towplanes, with mud.  Under such conditions the few flights that may be obtained are not worth the damage caused to the field and the effort needed to clean the airplanes afterwards.  Remember, airplanes are not meant to get dirty.

Once the decision to fly has been made you can select the aircraft to be placed on the flight line and the circuit to be used.  Assemble a group of members with at least one senior member in charge to unpack the hanger as required to gain access to the aircraft you want to commence flying activities with.

Towplanes must also be selected and pilots allocated. Pilot and towplane selection is generally looked after by the Chief Tow Pilot or the tow pilots themselves, however, as Line Chief it is your responsibility to match the number of towplanes to the number of gliders being used and the number of tows expected. If you need more – put them on line, and if you need less, take one off line.