Planning Your Flight

Planning your flight is important so that you don’t forget something critical, you don’t get distracted in-flight and to ensure safety if you outland somewhere. It is also key to having an enjoyable flight.

I’M SAFE A handy mental checklist to see if you should fly today:

  • Illness: not suffering from any illness or feeling unwell?
  • Medication: not taking any medication which will reduce my skills and attention levels?
  • Stress: not suffering from the effects of stress from anything?
  • Alcohol: not hung over, plenty of time since last consumption of alcohol or drugs?
  • Fatigue: adequately rested, not feeling tired or sleepy?
  • Emotion: not distracted by or suffering from any emotional upsetin my personal or work life? Also sometimes stands for ….
  • Eating: am I adequately nourished and fed for the planned activity?
  • Do I understand what the general (synoptic) picture is, what sort of weather will occur where, likely thermal strength, any strong weather forecast, etc?
  • Check the GCV Weather page.
  • Are there any specific flight events, airfield limitations or airspace activations that might affect this flight?
  • Check the area forecasts on Airservices Australia’s Pilot Briefing Page (you need a log-on ID and password to access this site; register with them to get one): 
  • Do I know the details of all airspace along and near to my planned route? Have I planned to stay at least 5nm from any controlled airpace boundary (the legal mininum for gliders below 10,000′ in class G or class E airspace)? Is my GPS airspace data current? Are there any NOTAMs applicable? Does my planned route take me near any danger, restricted or skydiving areas?
  • Do I have the right maps (WAC chart, VNC chart, airspace chart) for the areas I’ll fly over? Are they up to date? Have I marked my planned route on them? Do I need to fold them for in-flight use?
  • NB: it is  a legal requirement (quote ANO) that you carry maps and charts appropriate for your flight.You can order these online at AirServices Australia’s Online Store.
  • Do I have all the area frequencies and airfield frequencies for my flight area? Do I know how to contact ATC if I need help?
  • Task planning systems.
  • List of defined tasks (best done in GCV wiki so anyone can annotate)
  • What turn point data do I need? Where can I get it?
Outlandings & Retrieves
  • Do I have an outlanding forms? Are my vehicle and trailer ready for someone to use? Can I get an aerotow paddock retrieve today?
  • See this wiki page for checklists and further information.
SAR & Safety
  • Have I filled out the SAR Book? Do I know what time last light is?
  • Learn how to reduce risks and fly safer.
  • More information here.