is widely recognised as one of the safest of the 'action' sports and most
insurance companies acknowledge this by applying no loading to participants (in
contrast to most 'dangerous sports'). Accidents in the sport, although they do
happen, are extremely rare. However it needs to be understood that flying
accidents of any sort are liable to have severe consequences and because of this
everyone involved has safety considerations uppermost in their minds. You can
rest assured that everyone at the Scottish Gliding Centre is safety-conscious.
In common with every other gliding club in the UK the Chief
Flying Instructor (CFI) is personally responsible for all flying activities.
In addition one of the directors
of the Scottish Gliding Union has responsibility for safety matters anywhere in
the club or on the airfield. You need to be aware of the following strict rules
before participating in any flying activities or indeed before even visiting the
- On arrival at the club make yourself known to the front-of-house manager
or some other staff member who will look after you. Do not attempt to make
your way around the airfield alone.
- Vehicles are restricted to the approach road and the club car park unless
otherwise authorised. In special circumstances such as a disabled person it
may be possible for you to take your vehicle 'airside' but this is strictly
with express permission and under the guidance of an escort. Be aware that
it is unlikely that your normal vehicle insurance will cover you 'airside'
and the club will accept no liability.
- Portmoak is an active airfield and aircraft are liable to take off or land
anywhere at any time without warning. Do not cross open areas of airfield
without authorisation (and usually this will mean with an escort). Remember
- gliders fly almost silently and you cannot hear them approaching.
- Do not touch parked gliders unless authorised. Despite gliders being
extremely strong, certain parts of them are easily damaged by careless
handling. Apart from the obvious expense, a damaged glider may present a
danger to some future pilot.
- The winch is capable of launching a glider weighing up to half-a-ton well
over 1000 feet into the air in around 20 seconds and if you are in the way
it will have no difficulty in launching you as well. Stay well clear of the
winch equipment and cables whether or not it looks as though they are in
- Please remember propellers can kill and there is a saying in flying
circles that 'all aircraft bite fools'. Do not go anywhere near a powered
aircraft without an escort.
- Enter and leave the aircraft only when instructed. Your instructor will
make sure that it is safe for you to do so and will show you where you can
safely put your hands and feet.
- No smoking is allowed near powered aircraft or the refuelling area. Note
that the refuelling area is near the tug hanger which is the first building
you come to on your right when entering the airfield before
you arrive at the clubhouse.
- In flight, do not touch any controls or switches until advised to do so.
This should need no amplification. You will be able to take control of the
glider in flight but of course there are times when it is simply unsafe for
an inexperienced person to do so.
- When instructed, buckle the straps tightly and keep them on throughout the
flight and after landing. Remain seated and strapped in until
- Your pilot will be a British
Gliding Association rated instructor. As well as looking after your
safety he is keen that you should enjoy your flight and may perhaps consider
learning to fly yourself and perhaps joining our club. Please do not
hesitate to discuss any points with him.