Staying safe on an airfield!
About to make your first trip to the airfield? please take a few minutes to read this carefully.
Most of the information here is very much common sense, however we strongly urge everyone to read it over before setting foot on the airfield. Any questions? send us an email and we'll explain anything missed and update this page. Airfields are not dangerous places, but they can be hazardous, so knowing what to look out for and asking questions if unsure is important.
You will be expected to assist around the airfield, but if you are asked to do something you have not been told about or do not feel up to, speak up! People will not mind giving you assistance or explaining about any issues you have.
Most obvious perhaps, there are going to be tug planes moving around. Never stand in front of or close beside the propeller, and if you ever have to approach the tug plane, approach from behind and to the right hand side (where the door is on the Cub aircraft).
Aircraft will be taking off and landing periodically for the whole flying day. Therefore it is important that when you are walking across the airfield, walk around the edge rather than in a straight line, allowing an open space for aircraft. When you are about to walk under the landing approach look to make sure no aircraft are landing before crossing quickly. If you are for some reason in te middle of the airfield (for example retrieving a landed glider back to the launch point or hangar) when an aircraft is coming in to land it is best practice to stop. It is much easier for them to avoid a predictable stationary object than a moving unpredictable one.
If you need to pick up a towing cable, wait until the tug aircraft is stationary and not about to move. If the tug moves, drop the cable.
If a glider has been attached to a launch cable, do not walk in front of it. If called over to a glider already on a cable (relaying a message to or from the pilot etc), make sure the cable has been released before approaching.
If you are going to run with the wingtip when the glider takes off, do not level the aircraft's when there are people in front of the glider, level wings is the tug pilot's signal to start the takeoff.
NEVER put parachutes on the ground. Parachutes tend not to work reliably if they are wet, and the ground, particularly here, is almost always damp. In the very unlikely event someone has to use one, they will be somewhat unhappy to discover it fails to open as a result of being damp. If in doubt as to what to do with it, keep hold of it until given an instruction.
We strongly encourage people to take cameras and video cameras up with them, but make sure it is well secured before you take off. Ask your instructor how you should secure it, as it could jam the controls if dropped.
If you ever see something that might be a danger, for example a person wandering in front of an aircraft about to launch, or anything you think may be dangerous. Throw your arms in the air and yell "STOP". Even if it turns out nothing was wrong you will have learned something.
When you are get close to a solo standard, it will be more and more important that you are fully alert and healthy before flying as you start advanced manoeuvres. Even for a first flight it may be much more enjoyable if you check a couple of things: there is a very easy way of being sure you are good for a flight, just think I'M SAFE