Amended May 2022
This manual covers the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) of the Steamboat Springs, Soaring Association (SSSA or Club). The Steamboat Springs Soaring Association operates both sailplanes and a winch for launching sailplanes. To operate safely and efficiently SSSA has developed a set of standard operating practices, which are contained in this manual. Also contained in this manual are the Club’s membership categories, charges, aircraft scheduling, instruction and other important club procedures. Nothing in this manual relieves the club member from the responsibility to comply with the FARs, the need to practice good airmanship or to use common sense.
The success of the Club depends on the selfless volunteer spirit of its members to work together to provide a positive and rewarding atmosphere in which members can safely enjoy the sport of soaring. Each member is also an owner of the Club’s assets and they are encouraged to take advantage of what the Club offers and reap the rewards of mastering new skills or rediscovering old ones in a friendly club atmosphere. Members have a responsibility to give something back to the Club and fellow club members as well. Hence, members are encouraged to help with the maintenance of the equipment and the facility.
Safety is the number one priority of SSSA. This Operating Procedures Manual is designed to advance this above all else.
All original aircraft information including logbooks, manuals and other critical aircraft documents are kept in a file located with either the President or Treasurer. Aircraft flight manual, airworthiness certificate, and registration should be in a folder kept in the aircraft. Before flying, any Club glider the Pilot should be familiar with where these documents are located and have read the flight manual.
Eagle Soaring Airfield (ESA) is a privately owned airstrip that the owner, Ray Selbe, has generously allowed SSSA to utilize for its operations at no cost to SSSA. For this reason, it is very important that members of SSSA maintain courteous and friendly relations with Ray. Since Ray operates a working farm growing crops such as oats, barley, alfalfa, and hay it is important not to damage his crops by driving over them with a vehicle or a glider. In addition, members should respect a speed limit of 15 mph on his driveway.
For detailed information about the airfield, see Appendix A.
Standard Operating Procedures
• SSSA members must also be members of the Soaring Society of America (SSA). For regular members their SSA membership will be paid by the Club out of their monthly dues.
• Non-members may not fly or receive instruction in SSSA gliders.
• A member is responsible for a glider from the moment it is removed from its tie-downs and potentially for it if it is tied down improperly. The member’s responsibility for a glider only terminates when another member agrees to take over responsibility for it.
• Aerobatics and cross-country flights are prohibited in the Blanik.
• Unsafe flying or FAR violations by a club member might be cause for loss of that member’s flying privileges at Eagle Soaring Airfield. Satisfactory completion of a review with a SSSA instructor might be required before restoration of flying privileges.
• A Student Pilot must remain under the direct supervision of a certificated flight instructor for all flights; and prior to solo must receive the Flight
Instructor’s appropriate written endorsement(s) for the same make and model being flown. He or she may only solo at Eagle Soaring Airfield on a day when a Club Flight Instructor is present during takeoff. The Student Pilot and Club Flight instructor shall discuss the current conditions and at the instructor’s discretion, the Student Pilot may be approved for solo flights on the current day.
o The wind limitations for Student Pilot solo flight are a maximum wind velocity of 15 knots and a maximum crosswind component of 8 knots.
o The wind limitations for a Student Pilot can be waived at the discretion of the instructor for the current day.
• Student pilots are restricted to flying the Club’s 2-place trainer. In order to fly the Grob 102 a Student Pilot must upgrade their membership to regular status and meet the following criteria.
o You must have a Student Pilot Certificate and an endorsement from a SSSA instructor to fly the Grob 102.
o You must have at least 10 hours total flight time and 10 solo flights in the Blanik or comparable 2-place glider.
o You must receive a cockpit checkout with one of the Club’s instructors.
o You must demonstrate sufficient thermalling skills to your instructor.
o Student Pilot flights in the Grob will be in direct supervision of your instructor and at the discretion of your instructor, your flying privileges to fly the Grob 102 can be revoked.
• Club gliders will only be operated by pilots who possess current and valid ratings and certificates as required for the aircraft being flown.
• In the event of damage to club equipment, the responsible members will repair the equipment themselves, or pay the deductible on the Club’s insurance policy (up to $1000) for the cost of the repair. The “responsible member” is the operator of the equipment or the Pilot in Command of the aircraft unless otherwise determined by the Board of Directors. So fly safe, trailer safe, and tie it down.
• Members should avoid “downwind” landings when flying Club gliders. Landings when the downwind component is greater than 8 knots are particularly hazardous and are strongly discouraged.
• Pilots using Club gliders are required to log their flight times in the appropriate flight log to the nearest 0.25 hour (15 min.) increment. Minimum time: 0.25 hr.
During active winching operations members must park behind the launching sailplane and preferably well clear of all other sailplanes. Members are discouraged from parking on the west side of the airstrip.
Shagging and Glider Towing Operations
• Shag vehicle must remain in radio contact with any nearby traffic on either 123.3 or 122.8 MHz. To expedite launch sequences, which operators are encourage to immediately shag the line to the 1st flag pole on the south end of the airstrip and hold their until clearance is obtained from any pilots in the vicinity—specially the sailplane that just launched. It is the Pilot’s responsibility to announce landing intentions and instruct the shag vehicle. Shagging without a working radio properly tuned is prohibited. Shagging the line with the winch engine running is also strictly prohibited.
• Upon receiving notice of an impending landing or observation of the same, the shag vehicle must give way to the right and slowly roll to a stop and announce by radio that they are clear of the runway. Shag vehicles must either view the landing to completion or receive clearance from the Pilot prior to resuming the shag.
• It is the shag operator’s discretion when and how to tow back a landed sailplane, but tow backs should not impede the launch of another sailplane. Additionally, a landed sailplane should be moved to the east side and clear of the runway to allow the launch of a staged Pilot.
• Additionally, towing a glider while another sailplane is in the airspace near the airfield at low altitude is prohibited unless that Pilot provides clearance via radio contact.
• It is always the Pilot’s responsibility to arrange for a tow-back or perform this duty themselves.
Rain and Wet Airstrip Conditions
Prior to driving on the wet airstrip, permission must be obtained from the owner. This is particularly important if it rained overnight and the airfield may not have had time to dry out.
All Club sailplanes must be equipped with working radios prior to being flown. It is the Pilot’s responsibility to check the equipment before launch.
Upon landing, pilots must immediately clear the runway by moving the glider tail first to the east side of the airstrip so that the wings do not protrude into the path of landing or departing airplanes. Additionally they must be kept well clear of the towline.
• The winch line must be inspected to insure that it is not looped or tangled and the brake set appropriately before it is towed out to the end of the runway.
• A weak link of line must be used to attach the carabiner on the towline to a vehicle.
• An appropriate weak link must be used between the parachute and the strop containing the Toss rings. The hookup will only be to the CG hook. Gliders without a CG hook will not be allowed to winch launch at Eagle Soaring Airfield using SSSA equipment.
• There should not be excessive slack in the towline, nor no slack at all. 5 to 10 fee of slack is preferred. The PIC may request that the winch operator take up slake in the line by hand (never use the engine).
• Winch operators must have received instruction by a person or persons who are well qualified to teach the skills required for safe and responsible use of the winch. Trainees on the winch may operate the winch from the “left seat” as long and their trainer is present. Once a trainee is considered to have sufficient skills and knowhow for operating the winch safely, they can operate the winch without a trainer present.
• Before the first flight of the day, the winch operator should check the oil and gas level and warm up the winch by running it for a minimum of 5 minutes at fast idle.
• During successive winch launches, the operator should routinely check the temperature and allow the winch to cool down if the temperature exceeds 230° F.
• Normal launch procedure requires the operator to have radio or other communication with the Pilot. The normal radio frequency used at Eagle Soaring Airfield is 123.3 MHz. The Pilot will request that the motor be started and this will be acknowledged by the operator; afterwards the Pilot will ask the winch operator to clear the airspace (and if appropriate the runway) whereupon the winch operator will look outside the cab to determine if things are clear and if so will state this to the Pilot. Before beginning the actual launch, the Pilot will communicate that they are ready for launch by radioing: “Go, Go, Go.” This signal is required to proceed with the launch. Note: if radio communication is poor, a signal of three clicks of the glider’s radio may be substituted for the go signal as long as this is agreed upon in advance by the Pilot and winch operator.
• Normal launch procedure requires the operator to put the gearshift in the No. 2 position and apply full power smoothly over the course of about 3-4 seconds. Power is then kept full until the glider is at about a 70-80 degree angle whereupon the throttle is returned to idle. This will normally cause back release of the glider whereupon the throttle can be advanced to take up slack in the rope and then slowed to a suitable speed for retrieval.
• After the final launch of the day the winch operator will put the winch “to bed” by turning off the radio, removing the key from the ignition switch, and covering the rope with its cover strip to protect the rope from the sunlight.
• The basic procedure for scheduling a glider is to utilize the firstname.lastname@example.org Google calendar.
• Both the Blanik and Grob may be scheduled for a maximum of 2 hrs. If no one schedules or asked to use the ship after you then it may be flown for a longer period.
• To take a glider to an event away from Eagle Soaring Airfield, request permission from the President or Vice President at least one week in advance and schedule this on the SSSA calendar. The Blanik cannot be flown except out of Eagle Soaring Airfield.
• Introductory Members will be allowed only a single day membership limited to once per year, and they are limited to 3 flights in SSSA aircraft. The $100 introductory membership fee may go toward their Regular, Student, Transition, or Associate Membership. Introductory members will sign the Club’s waver, fill out a membership application, and application to become a member of SSA.
• For membership categories see Appendix B.
• Blanik: $45/hr with a 1 hr minimum (over 1 hr charge is prorated at $45/hr in 0.1 hr increments).
• Grob: $35/hr with a 1 hr minimum (over 1 hr charge is prorated at $35/hr in 0.1 hr increments).
• Winch: $10 per snap.
• Other: there is no charge for use of the Club’s parachutes, radios, oxygen, tow vehicle, etc.
Name: Eagle Soaring Airfield
FAA Designation: 1CD4
Location: Steamboat Springs, Colorado, USA
Lat/Long: 40-30-33.6000N 106-56-34.9000W
Elevation: 6600 ft. / 2012 m (estimated)
From City: 6 miles NW of Steamboat Springs, CO
Time Zone: UTC -6 (UTC -7 during Standard Time)
Zip code: 80487
Airport Use: Private use. Permission required prior to landing
Activation Date: 05/2006
Control Tower: no
Wind indicator: yes
Segmented Circle: no
Airport Communications: Gliders 123.3 MHz
AWOS-3 at SBS (4 nm E): 118.325 (970-879-7794)
AWOS-3PT at HDN (13 nm W): 119.275 (970-276-3690)
Dimensions: 4600 x 150 ft.
Airport Ownership: George (Ray) Selbe
Address: 25245 RCR 42
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487
Requirements – Restrictions
No rental or ownership of property within 125 road miles of Steamboat Springs. 6 mo. dues only for flying months (May-Oct.)
Cannot have an existing flight certificate. 2-place only.
Has an existing flight certificate for powered aircraft. 2-place only.
Full time student at an accredited high school or college. Dues only due for flying months.
Introductory Day Member2
Free from SSA
Must contract with Club Instructor independently. 3 flights in one day maximum. Once per year.
Hourly credit for operating winch. Will be applied to SSSA dues, winch fees, and flight time towards glider rating.
No use of Club equipment.