How The Club Operates

By now you have hopefully read about all the great stuff the club does, and all about the fantastic sport of gliding, and have been persuaded to sign up. If so, you'll probably want to find out how the club does what it does, and how we get people flying and on all our trips. This page is intended to tell you exactly how!

Tuesday Signup

Every Tuesday during term time, we meet up in room D148 at 7:30. This is our weekly social event, where we get together, have a few drinks and then sometimes move onto another pub later on in the night. The main purpose for the event is to sign members up to the flying list for the following weekend, and organise transport for those signed up members!

Generally, the flying organiser will be there at 7:30, and signup works on a first come, first served basis - although there are exceptions to this. If you didn't show up on a previous week without explanation or giving us any notice, you will usually be given lower priority on the following week's signup. Money for transport is taken during signup as well.

If you are a driver, and are willing to take people to the airfield, you will probably end up being the flying organiser's best friend! Drivers are paid £0.25 per mile for taking passengers to the airfield, to cover petrol costs for the trip. Because drivers usually make several trips during the year, payment to drivers is made at the end of each term for all driving done within that term.

Saturday And Sunday Mornings

The club meets on flying days at 7:45am, on the steps of the Portland Building. Each day should have a duty committee member, whose job it is to make sure that the people on the list get to the airfield and back again, phone anyone who hasn't shown up to see if they are running late, and collect driving money from anyone who didn't pay on the Tuesday. The duty committee member will also make any decisions about flying based on the weather, if it is bad. If it obviously isn't going to happen, we will try to let people know the night before, or early in the morning, to save you coming out unnecessarily.

We leave for the airfield at 8am sharp, to ensure we get there in good time to help set everything up. When arriving, the first thing we need to do is get a temporary airfield pass for everyone, which will enable you to enter the airfield. For this, a photo ID will be required.

The airfield is run by the club on a voluntary basis, and it is important to be seen to be helping out when setting up (and putting everything away at the end of the day). This keeps the flying cheap for everyone. Once the airfield is set up, with the winch at one end, and the launch point bus and gliders at the other, it is time to get people flying! There are some things you will be able to help out with straight away, some that you can do after being shown how, and some which you need a bit of experience at the airfield before you can help with (for example, only solo pilots can drive the winch or perform a daily inspection on the gliders before they fly).

The duty committee member will let the duty pilot at the airfield know which university members are out, and the duty pilot will ensure that everyone gets flown during the day, and gets all the instruction they need. Flights are usually done in sets of 3 - this ensures there is enough time to review what was covered on a previous day, have a new concept demonstrated to you, and then allow you to practice for yourself.

Once everyone has done all the flying they need to (often you will get a chance to have a second set of flights during the day, once everyone has had one), things will start to get put away. Gliders that aren't needed any more will land near the hangar, to make them easier to put away. The vehicles and winch are taken back and refuelled, then put away.

Once the hangar doors are shut, the duty pilot will take everyone's payment for flying in the office, and the bar will open. After some socialising and drinking, the drivers will take everyone back to Nottingham, usually dropping people at their homes on the way back if it isn't too inconvenient!

Expeditions

The club will usually organise 2 or 3 expeditions a year to different clubs around the country. This is a fantastic opportunity to try flying somewhere new, visit new places and see some new scenery!

Expeditions will usually be announced 2 or 3 months in advance on our mailing list, and places for the trips can be signed up for at our Tuesday socials, alongside the regular flying activities. Specific details will vary from trip to trip, but usually we will organise transport and the towing of some gliders for us to fly when we are there (instead of relying on the fleet of the host club).