The British Gliding Association, which includes all member clubs, is committed to safe practices with the objective of facilitating a sport gliding environment where the levels of risk are as low as reasonably practicable. This will be achieved through the implementation of an effective safety management system and a process of continuing improvement.
The BGA gives priority to continuing to reduce the fatal accident rate, to not harming any third parties and to avoiding any airspace infringements.
By adopting a Safety Management System that meets the needs of its clubs and the sport, the BGA aims to move beyond the traditional reactionary systems to try to predict areas of exposure.
The BGA Safety Management System manual documents the BGA risk management approach and was formally adopted by the BGA Executive Committee on 14th January 2014.
Gliding participants are subject to regulation and self-regulation ie BGA rules and guidance, which include topics like supervision, training, emergency procedures and accident investigation. You can read more here.
Managing Flying Risk
‘Managing Flying Risk’ aims to provide pilots and clubs with guidance on how to better understand, minimise and manage the hazards associated with gliding operations, including with powered gliders and tug aircraft.Click here to view Managing Flying Risk
Reporting near accidents, incidents, accidents and other unsafe situations provides really useful data that helps others avoid problems in the future. Some accidents must be reported.Click here to access occurrence reporting advice and a report form
Awareness and Education
Pilots are encouraged to make themselves aware of the risks inherent in gliding and to consider known good practice to help themselves avoid problems. All pilots should read the BGA publication ‘managing flying risk guidance‘ and stay aware of published safety education materials which are available under the ‘Search Safety Library’ button.
The BGA encourages a ‘just culture’ which encourages free and frank reporting and in turn provides valuable data that helps to identify trends.
The safe winching and safe aerotowing webpages include some excellent presentations. These presentations and a variety of other safety education publications including accident investigation reports are available under the ‘Search Safety Library’ button. In addition to information pushed out through BGA communication channels, learn more at:
- All safety documents (sub-categorised)
- Accident Investigation Reports
- Accident & Incident Summaries
- Club Safety Officer toolkit
- Currency barometer
- Field Landings
- Human Failings – a 2017 presentation for use at BGA clubs
- Lookout supported by Electronic Conspicuity
- ‘Parachuting after a Mid-Air Collision‘. More detailed guidance is described in this IGC presentation ‘Emergency Glider Evacuation’. You can view a briefing on bailing-out by G Dale that is based on his experience following a midair collision.
- Parachute maintenance and care
- Reporting an occurrence
- Safety briefings
- Safe winch launching
- Safe aerotowing
- Spin avoidance
- Threat and Error Management
How safe is gliding? – Gliding is an adventurous air sport and as such is not as safe as travelling on a commercial airliner. If you are looking for a totally risk free sport, gliding may not be right for you. The BGA gives priority to continuing to reduce the fatal accident rate and to not harming any third parties. In the latest 10 year period, the trainee glider pilot serious injury rate was 0.13 with zero fatalities. For all glider pilots in the same period, the serious injury rate was 1.46 with a fatal injury rate of 0.54.
What do I do if I have a safety concern? – If you have an immediate safety concern, don’t assume someone else has either noticed or will deal with it. In the first instance talk to the person or people involved. And where appropriate or if in doubt, follow it up with the club CFI or safety officer.
Health and Safety Legislation
Health and safety law does not cover safety matters arising out of the sport or activity itself, ie flying gliders. Note that a duty of care under the common (civil) law may apply.
BGA Safety Committee
The BGA Safety Committee reports to the BGA Executive Committee. Safety Committee work and communication takes place on an ongoing basis throughout the year. The Safety Committee meets periodically and the meeting notes that have been finalised following BGA Executive Committee consideration can be made available on request.
The Safety Committee includes the Accountable Manager, Safety Data Analyst, Chief Technical Officer, Training Standards Manager, Safety Officer co-ordinator, and invited subject matter experts.