Launchpoint Notes

Launchpoint Operational Notes for Daytime Youth Flying Group
(October 2011 Version 1.0) 

We have produced these operational notes based on our existing practice gained during the Summer Youth Evenings. These guidelines have resulted in good launch rates with safe operation. These guidelines are slightly adjusted from the evening practice to account for a full  day of operation.

Glider Queues
We prefer to run 2 queues of gliders “by default” unless it is deemed inappropriate or particularly if the wind is too strong or too crosswind.

The following teams operate the launchpoint. Wherever possible we make sure the youth perform the actual activities, suitably overseen and briefed as required by the more experienced team members. We are using teams so that relief can be organised through the day. It is not acceptable for one person to stay in one job for the whole day!

Launchpoint Controller Team
A team of at least 2 launchpoint controllers (LPCs).

  • Only one LPC must be active at any one time.
  • The LPC must keep both the airband and the winch radio with them at all times.
  • The LPC is responsible for initiating both winch and aerotow launches safely.
  • The LPC manages the queue of trainee pilots as required.
  • The LPC needs to be aware that delegation is being handled in the right way so that the youngsters get to develop their skills at as many launchpoint tasks as possible.

Wrangler Team
A team of 3 to 4 Wranglers.

  • Responsible for glider queue management, cable attachment and wing running.
  • At any one time there is 1 Aerotow Wrangler for the aerotow queue and 1 Winch Wrangler for the winch queue(s).
  • Each Wrangler should delegate tasks to at least 2 cadets, or more as the workload requires.

Log Keeper Team
A team of 2 or 3 Log Keepers who are responsible for getting pilot names and membership numbers and logging take-off and club glider landing times.

  • It is best if an assistant is present, particularly to identify glider landing times.
  • A supplementary sheet of Youth Pilot names and member numbers will be provided.
  • In order not to disrupt the log keeping a waterproof plastic folder is used for the completed log sheets. These sheets must be returned to the relevant main log boards at the end of the day so that they are not mislaid.

Retrieve Truck Driver Team
A team of at least 2 truck drivers.

  • It is best if each driver has an assistant in the truck in order to speed attachment of cables at the winch end of operations.
  • After having brought the cables back to the launch point, the truck should immediately return to the winch on the side of the runway away from the winch (e.g on North of the runway if on 09/27).
  • Briefings will be required for the recently introduced long strops on the cable ends. [Oct-2011]

Winch Driver Team
A team of at least 2 winch drivers.

Instructor Team
A team of 4 instructors.

  • One being kept available for immediate flying as required for impromptu training such as solo check flights, Falke training etc.
  • Pre-flight briefings must be done before getting to the front of the queue so that the glider can be launched as soon as possible.
  • If a long briefing is required the instructor should inform the LPC so that the glider can be either kept at the rear of the queue or temporarily handed over for another instructor to use.
  • When an instructor has finished his/her session they should hand over the glider to another, parking up only if it is not required.
  • The area between the fire truck and the bus should be kept clear of parked gliders and other obstructions.

Youth Pilot Teams
Each team will consist of 3 trainee pilots.

  • Each team will be allocated one glider and instructor for a half day.
  • Wherever possible they will be responsible for the retrieval and operations of that glider. 

Air-Experience Briefing Team
A team of 2 people.

  • Responsible for transporting air-ex pilots between the launchpoint and the clubhouse and performing the required briefings on airfield safety and procedures.
  • They need to also make sure that friends and family of the air-ex pilots are looked after at the launchpoint such that they can enjoy watching operations without disrupting them.
  • If available they should have a Management Radio for communications with the office and launchpoint.

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