This is an overview of how we operate for the information of anyone who is considering joining the club. More information is made available to members.
The club has a very good safety record, both in flying and ground operations and it is the responsibility of all members to operate to the club safety standards.
The safety standards and operations at the club are overseen by the chief flying instructor (CFI) and the training panel and are documented in the club Safety Management System (SMS).
As a member of the club you will be expected to follow the safety procedures to help ensure the safety of all of the members and visitors.
The Club Safety Briefing document is available to all members.
The club is a not for profit co-operative and is managed and operated by volunteers. Some of this volunteer work includes; maintaining the gliders, flying the tow plane, instructing, mowing the airfield, managing the club, helping to prepare gliders for flying each day, maintaining the grounds, building the clubhouse, assisting to launch gliders and many more items.
As a member of the club you will be expected to assist with this volunteer work where you can. As part of your training you will be equipped to assist with some of these tasks. The nature of gliding and its volunteer structure helps to keep the costs down but it means that it is not appropriate to arrive at the club, fly for a while and leave. It really should be seen as full day activity.
The club operations are managed by the board of directors who are voted for by the members at the club annual general meeting. Flying operations are managed by the CFI (Chief Flying Instructor) and the training panel.
Club management meetings are held at the clubhouse at 7.00pm on the Friday of the third weekend of every month. Members are welcome to provide feedback or suggestions to the board and to attend the meetings. The minutes are published in the members section of the website after each meeting.
The club operates from the Warkworth airstrip every weekend and public holiday (excluding Christmas & Boxing Day). In addition to these days there is also flying on the Friday of the third weekend of every month and during regular events such as Easter and cross country weeks.
There is not always a duty instructor at the airfield available to conduct training or check flights and some flying days are either “solo ops only” or “independent ops only” days. On solo ops days there will be an instructor on the airfield who can authorise flying by pilots who are authorised to fly solo without the need for a check flight and on independent ops days there may not be an instructor at the airfield so all pilots who wish to fly must have a current independent operator authorisation in their log book. The flying roster on the club website details the instructor for the day or whether it is an independent or solo ops only day.
On each flying day at 9.30am there will be a pre-flying briefing conducted by the duty instructor in the clubhouse. During the briefing the expected weather conditions, soaring forecast and operational matters will be discussed and the flying operations planned. The operational planning includes safety aspects, assigning a “duty pilot” to control the operation, allocation of club gliders to pilots, cross country pilots advising their intentions.
After the morning briefing the members will move to the main hangar and prepare the gliders and tug for the day’s flying. This preparation includes pushing the aircraft out of the hangar, washing the gliders, doing a daily inspection and towing the gliders to the flight line ready for launch.
At the conclusion of flying each day a debriefing is held in the clubhouse. During the debriefing the flying operations are reviewed and any issues that occurred during the day are discussed.
In addition to the weekend flying operations, the club also holds regular flying & social activities. Members are notified of upcoming events by email.
The club training panel provides members with training to solo for new pilots and coaching in advanced aspects of flying. These include cross country flying, aerobatics or instructor training. There is no cost for training apart from the launch and glider hire as instructors and coaches are club volunteers.
The club has an active cross country membership who tests their skills every weekend to see how far and fast they can fly around the Hunter Valley and surrounds. During the summer months flights of 500km+ are regularly flown from Warkworth.
The Easter Vintage Regatta and the October Cross country week are two regular events held at the club. These week long events are relaxed social events rather than serious competition and many visitors from across Australia attend the club to fly in a variety of aircraft.
Social activities are held at least monthly at the airfield clubhouse. These may consist of a BBQ or dinner and often include a talk or presentation on one aspect of gliding or aviation. A club annual dinner and prize giving is also held at the end of the soaring season to celebrate the success of all pilots whether it is their first solo or a long cross country flight.
Hunter Valley Gliding Club is constituted as a co-operative and as such it is governed by the Co-operatives National Law (NSW) and various Acts and Regulations related to the national law. The club is regulated by the NSW Department of Fair Trading and all applicable legislation is available at www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/ftw/Cooperatives_and_associations/About_cooperatives.page?
The club also has its own rules as required by the relevant legislation and a copy of them is available in the members section of the web site.
Among other things, the Act requires each co-operative to have rules that define “active membership” and only members who satisfy these rules are permitted to vote at general meetings. The “active membership” rule that applies to most members and all new members specifies that:
In order to establish active membership of the co-operative a member must have paid the annual subscription pursuant to Rule 7.2 and have flown club aircraft or other gliders from the club's airfield on at least six (6) separate occasions within the preceding twelve months. Each of the occasions shall have been separated by a period of at least ten (10) days.