As we've all heard, there will be some differences in operations over previous years.
Some of these are permanent, some temporary and some will be an evolving work in progress.
- GRASS AREAS - The DEC has stated that due to it being protected habitat, most of the grass areas that we used previously are off limits. This includes the grass parking and staging areas, as well as the grass area alongside the paved runways. What the DEC has told us is that if out of safety there is a need to enter a protected area, that will be allowed (such as, needing to push your glider off the runway and into the grass to clear the runway for a landing aircraft).
The FAA has stated that there exists a required Runway Object Free Area, which extends for a set distance on either side of all runways. Within this area, we and our equipment, trailers, carts etc are not allowed. This includes areas that we previously staged sailplanes, trailers and cars adjacent to the runways. This also technically includes the grass strips we previously used. While technically they are not to be used, they are available if needed for safety.
- LEASEHOLD STAGING - All operations will now originate out of the leasehold properties. (Click Here to VIEW LEASEHOLD DIAGRAM)
- Access will be by driving to the parking area in the manner that we previously did (low speed, 4 way flashers on).
- Only vehicles with a two way radio and a rotating yellow safety light on the roof will be allowed past the lease hold hanger ramp. This includes the golf carts. They have been fitted with lights and club radios will be carried in the carts.
- You must have a valid drivers license to drive the carts (Sorry to our junior members).
- Saratoga Soaring - We will also be working in close cooperation with Saratoga Soaring, essentially functioning as a single overall soaring community.
- 32 Primary Runway - Conditions permitting, 32 will be the preferred runway.
- Gliders will be staged and assembled on the leasehold and brought out one at a time when ready to launch.
- Gliders will be lined up in sequence on the lease hold to await their turn.
- Once in line, gliders and pilots must be ready to go (fully preflighted, etc).
- When it is that gliders turn, it will be towed to the active runway for hookup and launch.
- Use of Runway 23/05 - When conditions dictate using 23/05, we will bring gliders to the tie down area closer to the runway intersection, stage there and when ready to launch, pull out onto the runway and launch from the runway intersection.
- When Ready to Launch - When ready to take the runway for hook and launch, the radio call "Glider XXXX, taking runway XX, line up and wait".
- Landing / Retrival - Depending on where you are once you have landed, you may either be pushed/towed back to the lease hold area, or instead forward to the intersection and follow the taxiway back to the lease hold.
- What's Expected from Members? - As these operations are more involved, more help will be needed, and it will be up to the members to provide this.
- We NEED TO BE PROACTIVE with having people available and ready to help move and stage aircraft.
- The general rule has always been members are expected to spend at least half the day at the airport, either arriving early to help set up or stay through the end of the day to help with closing down operations for the day.
- Also expected is to help throughout the day with staging, launching and retrieving operations.
- To help disperse work loads and ensure everyone is helping out, it will be expected that after a flight in a club ship, you will remain at the flight or staging line to help with operations for a few launch/retrieve cycles.
- Airport Duty Manager AND Air Boss - In addition to the airport duty manager, there will be another position, referred to as the "Air Boss".
- This person will help coordinate, and be the final word on, final activities in the launch line up, including ensuring communication and cooperation between the two clubs as we will be utilizing a single launch staging line.
- This maybe one of the two airport managers if both ADK and Saratoga Soaring have one, or if busy it may need to be a seperate individual.
- This person needs to be experienced with operations and hold at least a private pilot rating.
We all understand that there are a lot of changes and it will take a little time and practice to adapt to these changes. Safety will always be the number one priority above everything else. I think we can anticipate operations will be a little slow initially, but will become more efficient and speed up as time goes by. Again, some of these changes are works in progress and will evolve over time.
Again, this is a brief overview of the operational guidelines discussed at the 3/18 meeting.
If you weren't there or have additional questions, please plan on meeting up with one of the operational officers prior to flying this season.
Club Safety and Procedures