Managing Flying Risk

The British Gliding Association, which comprises of member clubs each of which supports its own individual members, is committed to facilitating an environment within which our sport can be successful andenjoyed by anyone who joins a BGA club. Gliding is an ever-evolving air sport. Glider performance and pilot soaring knowledge and skill are improving all the time, and technology is helping us make the most of the weather. The important basics do not change that much. But they can be easily overlooked or forgotten.

Although there is an increasing amount of external regulation being applied to gliding, the sport still benefits from a long and successful history of self-regulation. BGA self-regulation comprises of Operational Regulations and associated requirements and guidance which are all developed with members input and periodically reviewed. We also use a Safety Management System and a process of continuous improvement with the objective of facilitating a sport gliding environment where the levels of risk to participants are as low as reasonably practicable and where third parties are not affected by the activity.

‘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. It does not replace any existing law, which should always take precedent.

Managing Flying Risk contents

  1. Culture and Safety Management System
  2. In-flight equipment including radio
  3. Preparation for flight
  4. Winch launching
  5. Aerotow launching
  6. Launch signalling
  7. NOTAM and airspace restrictions
  8. Collision avoidance
  9. Supervision
  10. First flights – introductory flights and trial lessons
  11. Flying with other pilots
  12. Gliding operations
  13. Motor gliders, self-launching and self-sustainer sailplanes
  14. Towing / operating tug aircraft
  15. Hill, ridge and mountain soaring
  16. Reporting accidents and incidents
  17. Publications
  18. Soaring Protocol
  19. Currency Barometer
  20. Appendices



Within this document, the term ”must”or “shall” is used where referring to something that has to be done because it’s absolutely necessary ,including to obey a rule or law. Examples include “the pilot in command must reasonably ensure that the intended flight can be completed safely” and quotes from Standardised European Rules of the Air. The term “should” is used where referring to the appropriate way of doing something including guidance based on known good practice. For example,“a first aid kit should be kept in a prominent and easily accessible place”.


This document will be frequently reviewed and updated as required. Clubs will be consulted prior to any significant amendments.