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Restricting Glider Ops at Public Arpt.



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 29th 03, 06:34 PM
rjciii
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Default Restricting Glider Ops at Public Arpt.

The Southern Eagles Soaring made a formal complaint to the local FAA
FSDO in ATL concerning the LaGrange-Callaway airport(LGC)restricting
glider flying to weekends only and unwillingness to rent hangars to
club members.

The LGC board claimed to the FAA that these restrictions are in the
interest to safety.

The FAA told the airport authority that they could not restrict the
gliders from operating on weekdays and that they also must rent us
hangars. We are still attempting to accomplish the latter. The FSDO
further directed the club and the airport board to *jointly* draft
glider operating procedures at LGC. To this end, the airport board
refused to communicate with the club and unilaterally implemented
procedures that, although allows gliders to fly any day of the week,
created other restrictions to glider operations which, in effect, make
it damn difficult to fly at all. The FSDO (in all its bureaucratic
ineptitude) took the word of the airport manager that the glider club
was involved in the derivation of the rules, and approved the rules(in
writing). When apprised of being misled, the FSDO did agree to hear
the glider club's concerns about specific rules. But in the end, the
FAA did not change what they had already approved under a false
assumption of mutual agreement.

The most disconcerting and onerous rule is that the glider club must
post a person posessing at least a private pilot rating at the
intersection of the airport's crossing runways to observe for any
landing or departing traffic and give an "all clear" radio call before
a glider tow can commence take off. Keep in mind that LGC is an
uncontrolled airport. Also realize that SES is a small club and that
it is normally difficult to schedule a tow pilot and have a wing
runner, much less now have to need for someone to bake in the sun all
day standing at the intersecting runways. As far as the need for such
an observer, there was a grand total of seven(7) non-glider flights
all day at the airport last Saturday.

The airport manager claims the need for the observer is for safety
(note that no such need existed when we only flew on the weekends).
We made the point that I.A.W. the Airport Assurances Agreement that
LGC is bound for accepting federal money that all aviation activity is
be allowed to operate on the same fair and reasonable terms without
discrimination. No other operator at LGC is required to post an
observer in order to operate at LGC. Not a single accident or incident
been attributed to the operation of gliders during the six and
one-half years the SES has been flying at LGC. At no time did any
representative of the FAA come down to observe glider operations
before approving these procedures.

Does anyone out there in the glider community have any experience with
this sort of situation? Where do we go from now? We sincerely
request any information or guidance in this matter. Private responses
(if so desired) may be addressed to:

Responses alluding to the need to negotiate or get along are not
necessary as such tactics have been tried and exhausted. This has
been an ongoing concern since 1998 when the airport board notified the
club by official letter that they "decided unanimously to terminate
glider operations at LGC". The club has since tried every conceivable
way to educate the airport authority about our operations and convince
them that we do not constitute a hazard to other aviation activity at
LGC to no avail. Now it seems we can't convince the FAA of that,
either. Help!
  #2  
Old July 30th 03, 03:50 AM
rjciii
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"spektr" wrote:

Why don't you
just reposition and use the PRIMARY ACTIVE RUNWAY



Be advised that the airport rules (approved in writing by the FAA
without allowing comment from the glider club) explicitly dictates
that the gliders will operate off of the non-instrument runway *only*.

FWIW, there is a blind spot caused by trees which blocks the view of
the approach of one runway from the departure end of the other runway
no matter which runway we use. So if we moved glider ops to the
instrument runway, the arpt. mngr. would still clamor for the need of
a spotter (albiet applicable to the glider operators only).

-Isn't the guy flying the C-172 taking off on Rnwy 21 just as blind to
the approach end of Rnwy 31? [The answer is "Yes"].

-Then how come he doesn't need a spotter at the intersection? [The
answer is "Because the local FAA has determined that blindness is
aircraft specific].

This is the ATL FSDO's interpretation of Assurance #22 of the Airport
and Airways Improvement Act of 1982 where it states, "...fair,
reasonable, and not unjustly discriminatory conditions to be met by
*all* users of the airport"!
  #3  
Old July 30th 03, 05:15 AM
Mark James Boyd
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put a kid in a lawn chair sweating

Kid? Put a 90-year old woman with a walker out there.
Heck, I know several who are healthy as oxen but
can play it up with the best of 'em.

In the meantime I'd get AOPA involved, get the new SSA
director to make this a priority, and get cozy with the
city council.

Good luck...



  #4  
Old July 30th 03, 01:42 PM
spektr
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"
FWIW, there is a blind spot caused by trees which blocks the view of
the approach of one runway from the departure end of the other runway
no matter which runway we use. So if we moved glider ops to the
instrument runway, the arpt. mngr. would still clamor for the need of
a spotter (albiet applicable to the glider operators only).

-Isn't the guy flying the C-172 taking off on Rnwy 21 just as blind to
the approach end of Rnwy 31? [The answer is "Yes"].



Then suggest he remove the trees if THEYcause the reduced visibility.

ALSO.... Schedule an SSA Regional contest there.........

Scott


  #5  
Old July 30th 03, 03:07 PM
rjciii
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For archival purposes for future searches on this subject, I have come
across a document entitled "ULTALIGHT VEHICLES: ACCESS AND THE
GENERAL AVIATION AIRPORT ENVIRONMENT" by Bob Moorman (no date).

This handbook is a good reference for the steps to be taken to file
both an informal and formal complaint with the FAA with respect to
access denial and unjustly discriminatory rules not in compliance with
Airport Sponsor Assurances (applicable for any FAR Part 103 defined
aviation activity to include gliders and ultralights).
  #6  
Old July 30th 03, 03:36 PM
Bill Daniels
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What is it about flying, and gliding in particular, that seems to attract
the attention of so many paranoid control freaks?

This thread is about an ignorant airport manager who feels an overpowering
need to "control" the gliding activities at his airport to insure "safety",
but these same people can be found inside our sport serving as officers and
board members of clubs and associations. They rarely actually fly gliders
or show any talent for doing so. Instead, they spend their energy
controlling the activities of others who do fly.

This unfortunate combination of arrogance, ignorance, paranoia and a type A
personality is deadly for the enjoyment of our sport. These individuals
contribute little to actual safety since they don't understand the problem.
They take the position "just don't fly" or "fly less - it'll be safer" or
"only fly basic trainers" since this is the only "solution" that they can
comprehend. They will often be heard espousing the bizarre idea that
handling qualities are inversely related to performance so the "safest"
gliders always have the lowest performance.

Sorry for the rant. I hope you don't know anyone resembling the
description above.

Bill Daniels


  #7  
Old July 30th 03, 04:39 PM
Anon
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"Bill Daniels" s comments read:

Sorry for the rant. I hope you don't know anyone resembling the
description above.


Oh how I wish it were true
  #8  
Old July 30th 03, 05:32 PM
Stewart Kissel
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This thread got me thinking of examples I have seen that draw attention t=
o our sport in a negative manner, my list would include:

1.) Towrope dropped on active and left
2.) No radio in glider to announce pattern
3.) Rope break drills with no pre-announcement
4.) Pilots who cannot remove their ship from the active without the tow-=
out gear, tow-vehicle, full flight debrief and bathroom break.
5.) The "5 minutes to hookup" that turn into control check, data-load in=
to logger, finding water tube, seatbelts, etc., etc..


Not to say these happen all the time, but in the world of aviation...our =
sport seems to be the only one that camps on the active for extended peri=
ods of time. And some pilots seem to think this is no big deal.




  #9  
Old July 30th 03, 05:55 PM
Al
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have you had any help from the SSA or AOPA or EAA in any of this?

Al



  #10  
Old July 30th 03, 06:18 PM
Bill Daniels
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"Stewart Kissel" wrote in
message ...
This thread got me thinking of examples I have seen that draw attention t=
o our sport in a negative manner, my list would include:

1.) Towrope dropped on active and left
2.) No radio in glider to announce pattern
3.) Rope break drills with no pre-announcement
4.) Pilots who cannot remove their ship from the active without the tow-=
out gear, tow-vehicle, full flight debrief and bathroom break.
5.) The "5 minutes to hookup" that turn into control check, data-load in=
to logger, finding water tube, seatbelts, etc., etc..


Not to say these happen all the time, but in the world of aviation...our =
sport seems to be the only one that camps on the active for extended peri=
ods of time. And some pilots seem to think this is no big deal.

Good points, Stewart. #5 is one of my pet peeves too.

Bill Daniels

 




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