Welcome to CUGC. Whether you are a new or old member, this page should contain some helpful advice regarding how to book training slots, how to organise transport and what to expect on your first visits to the airfield.
Make sure to check out our website as well which contains a lot of useful information in the FAQ Section.
The first thing you should do is make sure that you are on all of our mailing lists.
CUGC: Join these here. Soc-Gliding and Soc-Gliding-Transport are the most important: here you will receive general club information and offers/requests for transport respectively.
CGC: Join this here. This is the the Cambridge Gliding Centre (CGC) mailing list for airfield alerts (like for when flying is cancelled), and is really important that you join.
Your Flying Account
This is where you can see your account balance and a log of your completed flights. View your account here. Your password is your postcode by default, and use your membership number which will have been sent my email.
You must make sure that your account is in credit at all times for us to stay in good standing with CGC. Top up instructions are on the right hand side. Make sure you top up your flying account before you go flying, not after. In a typical day, you might have 3 winch launches or 1 longer flight - this will be around £30.
If you haven't done any flying before, you'll need to book training slots with an instructor in the two-seater gliders. See the section below for more information on how to do this. You'll tend to go out to the airfield for either a half or full day, and you'll share your instructor with one other person.
You'll need to get transport out to the airfield:
By Car: Lifts are offered and requested on the on the transport mailing list. We also have a spreadsheet where taxis are organised on a regular basis. Some instructors consistently offer lifts, so if you book with them on the two-seater system you can be sure of a lift. Their names can be found on the transport spreadsheet. It's best to book your training slots on days that you know you will have transport. If you're getting a lift with someone, it's polite to offer to share petrol money.
By Bike / Bus: See information here.
When you're not flying, you'll be helping out on the ground to get other people in the air. There's plenty to do, and people will be happy to show you how to do things the first time you're there, just ask! Make sure you're willing to help: those who help out more are likely to get more flying!
Booking Training Slots
Your membership number and password will have been sent to you by email (follow up on this if it has been over two weeks). With these details, you can now book either training with instructors in 2-seater gliders, or book single-seat gliders. If you are a new member, ignore the single seater booking for now - that will come later! Note the Login ID here is in the format of Fred BLOGGS.
Two Seater Booking Page
The columns (K21/Puchacz/Perkoz) show the aircraft type. If you're booking for the first time, this doesn't matter, and you can pick any aircraft. The rows show the time of day (AM / PM) and the instructors name. If you are new, its important you do not book the instructors prefixed with 'XC', as these offer a different type of training. Note that there is a link at the top of the page to view dates further ahead than the default view.
You can book a slot by clicking your on any of the Book hyperlinks which will show in open slots.
In Winter: AM slots are from 08:45 to 12:30, PM slots are from 12:30 until flying stops. This is usually 5pm or sunset (whichever is earlier).
In Summer (During British Summer Time): AM slots are from 08:45 to 13:30, PM slots are from 13:30 until flying stops. This is usually 6pm.
- You must cancel any slot that you cannot attend more than 72 hours in advance, otherwise you will be subject to a £25 fine.
- You must only book half day slots (either AM or PM) on weekends.
- You can only hold 4 advance bookings.
Single Seater Booking Page
Your First Day at the Airfield
Hooray! You're finally going flying. There are a few important things to remember.
What to bring: This might sound obvious, but might be useful.
- In Winter: Warm clothes, gloves, warm hat, waterproof shoes. Always bring an extra layer than what you think you'll need. Airfields are cold places and you can't fly well if you're cold.
- In Summer: Sun-hat (if you have one), suncream and plenty of water.
- Plenty of food and drink. There are usually sandwiches at the club, but you can't rely on it.
- Sunglasses. Sometimes you're flying towards the sun and can't see a thing without them.
Make sure that you have organised transport and know where to meet / directions to the airfield so you can be there on time for 08:45 (or 12/13:30 if it's a PM slot).
Make sure that you have money on your account and know your membership number.
At the Airfield
Once you're there, introduce yourself to people. Find your instructor and let them know that you're a new member. They should give you a safety introduction and let you know whats going on.
The first thing we do in the morning is unpack the hangar and check the gliders and equipment. This usually happens until around 09:30 when there is a briefing with everyone. After that, the gliders are towed out to the launch point and then we go flying! Try to help out, but make sure people know that you're new and don't do anything you're not comfortable with. You'll soon learn how to do stuff.
Once all the gliders are at the launch point, we start flying. You'll usually take it in turns to fly with your instructor with the other person booked in for that session. When you're not flying, there are plenty of jobs to do on the ground. These include moving gliders around, collecting winch cables and launching the gliders. Again, ask people what they're doing and how you can help - they'll appreciate it. Note you can only drive the vehicles if you have a manual driver's licence.
After flying, make sure that you get a logbook and progress card, and get your instructor to sign off your progress. Don't lose these - they will stay will you for as long as you are a pilot!
If you're booked in for the morning session, you can go home at lunch time. If you're booked in for the afternoon session, you need to help put the gliders away back in the hangar. You are expected to stay until the hangar doors are closed.