Field landing

Although glider pilots very rarely plan to land anywhere other than an airstrip or airfield, they do need to be prepared for a field landing. Circuit, approach and landing training is all based on a glider pilot needing in due course to execute a safe outlanding. Field landing training during Bronze and Cross Country endorsements training provides a foundation. Periodic refresher training and practice in a motor glider is recommended for all pilots.

A few words on managing risk

Additional hazards exist during a field landing. The vast majority of hazards can be mitigated through training, awareness and experience. Stall/spin accidents invariably result in life changing injuries. A major cause of stall/spin accidents is distraction. A field landing scenario can become very absorbing and result in the pilot becoming distracted from the fundamentally important task of flying the glider. Pilots of all experience are vulnerable to distraction. In all cases and all times, flying the glider should be the pilots highest priority.

Instruction, briefing and safety guidance

The BGA Instructor Manual provides guidance on teaching circuit planning judgement.

The Field Landing Safety Briefing provides guidance on how to select a field. It is aimed at pilots and instructors and should be used during training.

The BGA Managing Flying Risk guidance re motorgliders is essential reading for those teaching field landing training.

Crop recognition

This website provides helpful guidance on crop recognition specifically for glider pilots.

Training videos

The Ted Lysakowski Memorial Trust has sponsored the production of training videos describing all aspects of field landings;

Field landing tutorial video chapter 1 – field selection

Field landing tutorial video chapter 2 – effect of wind..

Field landing tutorial video chapter 3 – slope..

Field landing tutorial video chapter 4 – what’s growing?

Field landing tutorial video chapter 5 – grass..

Field landing tutorial video chapter 6 – stock, fences..

Field landing tutorial video chapter 7 – wires..

Field landing tutorial video chapter 8 – harvest time..

Other guidance

Very occasionally, an otherwise routine field landing results in complications. The BGA publishes Guidance for pilots following a field landing.