For glider operations to commence, the following positions must be filled:
- Duty Officer – The Duty Officer has overall responsiblity for the daily operations of the club. This includes determining that the weather conditions are acceptable for glider operations, ensuring that all other individuals are duly qualified for their roles, assigning club-owned gliders to pilots, sequencing gliders for launch, keeping track of all launch and recoveries, ensuring that all gliders are accounted for, and maintaining business records. (S)he is also the “supervisor” of the staging areas. The Operations Manager may not leave the field until all gliders are accounted for at the end of the day. The Operations Manager is also prohibited from flying any aircraft. The Duty Officer will neither fly nor act as Duty Driver without first handing off this role to another person.
- Safety Officer – The Safety Officer (aka Chief Wing Runner) has the primary responsibility for the safe operations of the Glider Operations Area. This includes preventing traffic conflicts, coordinating between glider pilots and tow-plane pilots and running wings. (During high tempo operations, there should be two safety officers.) Nobody may enter the Glider Operations Area without the express consent of a Safety Officer. No glider may be launched without clearance from a Safety Officer. And, Safety Officers are responsible for determining when the Glider Operations Area must be evacuated and ordering the evacuation. Safety Officers will also be those acting as Wing Runner and/or will authorize and supervise others acting as wing runners.
- Tow Plane Pilot – The Tow Plane Pilot is responsible for operating the tow plane. (I bet you could have figured that one out on your own. :-)) Tow pilots will also be responsible for recording tows and release altitudes.
- Duty Driver – The Duty Driver is responsible for shuttling people between locations on the airfield, including the staging areas, the automobile parking area and the FBO ramp. This may be combined with the Duty Officer if activity is light.
For low tempo operations, it may make sense to combine roles. Therefore, the Operations Manager can also be the Safety Officer, and the Tow Plane Pilot can also be the Duty Driver. (For operational reasons, the Tow Plane Pilot cannot be the Safety Officer and the Operations Manager cannot be the Duty Driver.) A CFI-G is not required for flights once a certificated glider pilot member is checked out for operational safety on the field and in the club glider, but for those needing instruction or students wishing to solo, a CFI-G is mandatory. If none has volunteered to be on duty for a given day, members may need to make special arrangements with their instructor if they wish to fly.
These positions are filled by club members. The President or his/her designee is responsible for ensuring that these positions are filled each and every flying day.