Re: Glider rides
- From: "bds" <skyhi203@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 14 Dec 2009 08:29:54 -0500
Thanks to everyone who responded with information to help us sort through
Yes, we are in the US and most of the information that has been floating
around the club with respect to this is apparently bad. That said, we have
been told by our insurer that giving what really amounts to rides under the
guise of an introductory flight or temporary club membership would be
treated as a commercial situation, and if something should happen it would
not be covered by our club level insurance. In other words, if it smells
commercial it is commercial regardless of what name you put on it.
As to the regs, my preliminary research tended to indicate that the club's
past understanding of many of the requirements involved were incorrect, but
I wanted to be certain that I wasn't overlooking something in between all
the exceptions and typical FAA wording, as well as the "intent" of the regs
which occasionally enters into these kinds of situations. It is good to
have the background on the involvement of the SSA in all of this.
Thanks again for the help.
"CindyB" <cindyb@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
I am presuming you are writing from the US, since you reference
drug testing and LOAs in your questions. I am only aware of these
types of programs in the US.
You can contact your SSA regional director for some of these answers,
and they will also say many of the same things reported here.
Your insurance carrier can answer many questions directly
for you. A change in service, to allow more services by you to the
public, will likely change your rates for coverage, and tell you who
will be allowed to fly which machines. Insurance coverage of clubs
in the US is more restrictive to many of your actions than the FARs.
There is a big difference in risks, required pilot certificates and
premiums depending on whether you do only rides versus
introductory lesson flights. Passenger rides do not include
allowing the passenger to handle the flight controls, by most
Towplanes typically do not carry passengers while towing.
What they drag behind them is not 'the tug carrying a passenger'.
SSA effected that formal interpretation from the FAA in about
1972. For climb performance and non-distractions while towing,
most towing operations will not carry anyone aboard that machine
except the towing staff. Hence that machine won't need 100-hr
inspections. Most insurance excludes having passengers aboard
a tug while towing.
Depending on your insurance coverage, you may or may not need
a commercial pilot for the tug. A minimum of a private certificate is
required for towing by the FARS, and an appropriate endorsement by
two different persons.
For a ride in the glider you need a commercial glider pilot, if
you are charging money for that service.
You will not need a drug testing program for the commercial
glider pilot, as this is another case of SSA success in regulatory
negotiations. When you read the drug testing regulations for
'scenic rides', please notice the difference between
aircraft and airplanes. This minor vocabulary difference is
Glider instructors are exempted from terrorist-threat identification
training, and random drug test training, by action of the SSA with the
FAA. Glider students are exempt from background checking and
nationality proof requirements, due to ???? yes, SSA.
There is a lot of support within SSA for organizational help to
Chapter clubs through the Chapter Committee. You can use the
link after you log in as an SSA member.
The other responder who mentions balancing the allocation of flight
between established and potential members illuminates a tricky point.
Good business plans, models from other clubs, and advice from
several sources will allow your group to make informed decisions.
An attorney might be of help, but much of this can be accomplished
without forking over fees needlessly. Waivers are helpful mostly in
making folks believe they shouldn't pursue frivolous legal action, not
actual legal weight or value. Good operational practices obviate the
majority of needs for legal defense.
Region 12 SSA Director
On Dec 13, 9:27 am, "bds" <skyhi...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
I belong to a glider club that is looking at the possibility of offering
rides to help us to defray our operating costs and keep our club healthy
financially. In order to evaluate the feasibility of this I am looking
the regulations that would apply to such an operation, as well as the
Our present understanding is that both the tow plane and the glider would
need to have 100-hr inspections and that the pilots of the tow plane and
glider would need to have a commercial rating as well as a second class
medical for the towplane pilot.
However, we are uncertain as to some of the other regulations such as
compliance with drug testing and the requirement for an LOA for this type
operation, since it appears that there may be some exceptions when it
Can someone with experience in this area help to shed some light on these
aspects as well as anything else that we should be aware of?
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