«Standard Operating Procedures at the Southern California Soaring Academy Welcome The Southern California Soaring Academy (SCSA) is a full service ...»
Standard Operating Procedures
Southern California Soaring Academy
The Southern California Soaring Academy (SCSA) is a full service glider operation
operating out of the Crystalaire Airport. We provide all levels of instruction, give
commercial glider rides, and provide glider aero-towing, repair and storage.
SCSA has a variety of gliders for rent from basic trainers to advanced state of the art,
high performance sailplanes.
These SOPs have been developed to help provide a safe, efficient, and friendly environment for glider pilots, students, and ride customers. Please let us know if you have any suggestions about how we may improve on these procedures.
All pilots are expected to abide by these SOPs, airport rules, and the FARs. The SCSA will refuse to provide tows to pilots who do not follow these procedures.
About the Airport Crystalaire is a private airport that has a 2,600’ paved runway, with approximately 1,000’ of usable dirt runway at each end.
The runway is oriented approximately East-West (7 and 25), and is at an elevation of 3420’ above sea level.
The power traffic patterns are to the South of the runways, with a right pattern for runway 7, and a left pattern for runway 25. Glider fly their patterns to the North, with a left pattern for 7 and a right pattern for 25.
Pilots are requested to announce their position on the airport frequency of 123.00 when arriving within three miles of the airport, when entering the pattern, and when turning downwind and base.
SCSA - Standard Operating Procedures Page 1 Ground/Launch/Landing Operations (refer drawings on the following page) Staging Glider should form a line to the North of the “hold short” line marked by the orange cones. You should not get in line until you are ready to launch. Gliders will be launched from the front of the line. If you are first in line and you are NOT ready to launch when the tow plane is ready, you will be moved to the side and the next person in line will be launched.
NOTE - Scheduled SCSA rides and instruction may be launched in front of private gliders when necessary.
Launching You will be pulled on to the runway only when a tow plane is on the ground and ready to tow, and you are completely ready to launch and are in the glider (if there are two line crew available). Private tow vehicles are allowed on the runway only with advance permission of the SCSA staff, and under the supervision of the SCSA line crew.
Please inform the line crew if you are carrying water ballast.
In order to avoid the power lines at the end of the runway, when launching off of runway 25, if the tow plane is not airborne by first hanger, release.
When launching off of runway 7, if the tow plane is not in the air by the time it reaches the end of the pavement the glider should release.
Inform the line crew/tow pilot if you desire to be towed to a specific landmark. The tow plane will climb at it’s best climb rate towards landmarks.
Landing Glider landings may be made either on the paved runway, or on the dirt extensions.
Rocks and other hazards may be present on dirt extensions.
If possible, roll out to the North of the “hold short” lines marked by the orange cones. If this is not possible, move the glider over the line as quickly as possible after landing to allow other aircraft to use the runway.
Plan your rollout/taxi so that you do not pass near other aircraft, vehicles, or people in case of brake failure or loss of directional control due to the wind or a gust.
If another aircraft is on the runway when you are on final, you may divert to the tow plane landing area, or land short. DO NOT directly over-fly aircraft on the ground. If you must fly by an aircraft on the ground, fly to the side of it so that you can keep it in sight, then when past, realign with the runway.
There are power lines along the west end of the airport. Use caution when landing on runway 7.
One of the easiest ways to locate the Crystalaire Airport while airborne is to follow the aqueduct until it goes under ground near the golf course.
SCSA - Standard Operating Procedures Page 4 Patterns Glider patterns are flown to the North of the airport. A right pattern is flown for runway 25, and a left pattern is flown for runway 7. The shape/size of the pattern may need to be modified from that shown in the drawing based on wind, lift/sink, traffic, and entry altitude.
Power traffic, including the tow planes, use patterns to the South of the airport.
Use caution when landing on runway 7. Power-lines run along the West edge of the airport, adjacent to 165th Street.
If you are below 5,000’ MSL near the pattern, the line crew will assume that you are preparing to land and will keep the runway clear. Please do not loiter in the pattern, as this will delay gliders on the ground waiting for a tow.
SCSA - Standard Operating Procedures Page 5 No Thermaling Zone To increase safety, reduce congestion, and increase launch efficiency, thermaling and circling are prohibited near the airport. If you have extra altitude when approaching the airport to land, burn it off outside of the box shown. Do not circle down with airbrakes open over the entry point.
To alert other traffic to your presence, please announce when you descend below 5,000’ MSL above the airport. Example: “CRYSTALAIRE TRAFFIC, GLIDER LIMA CHARLIE,
DESCENDING THROUGH FIVE THOUSAND FEET OVERHEAD THE AIRPORT FORLANDING, CRYSTALAIRE, GLIDER”
The no thermaling zone is bounded by the “wash”, Highway 138, 180th Street (the first road East of the airport), and Fort Tejon Road (the first road South of the airport).
SCSA - Standard Operating Procedures Page 6 Emergency Procedures The terrain around Crystalaire Airport is rather unforgiving. Dangers include deep washes, rocks, Joshua trees, and power lines. It is therefore even more important than normal to have a predetermined plan in case of a rope break or other premature termination of tow.
There are basically three options if the rope breaks while near the ground: land “straight ahead”, perform a 180° turn and land downwind on the runway, or perform an abbreviated pattern.
Before takeoff, you should decide what is the minimum altitude that you would attempt each of these maneuvers, and what direction you would turn. Wind direction, wind speed, density altitude and traffic should all be taken into account while making these decisions Runway 25 When launching from runway 25, be aware of the power lines at the end of the runway.
If the rope breaks early in the tow, before you can clear the wires, you will have to quickly get your glider on the ground and stopped before crossing 165th Street.
After you clear the wires, the fields to the left are the safest option. Keep in mind that there are ditches, large rocks, and vegetation in this area. If you must land here try to touch down with as little energy as possible.
Above approximately 200’ AGL (3,600’ MSL), you can perform a 180° turn to land downwind on runway 7. Typically the tow plane veers to the left after takeoff, so this turn would be made to the right.
SCSA - Standard Operating Procedures Page 7 Above approximately 400’ AGL (3,800’ MSL), you can perform an abbreviated pattern.
Again, the turn would typically be made to the right to enter the pattern. If after the initial turn you do not feel you have enough altitude to complete a pattern, you can decide to do a downwind landing on 7 instead.
The fields off of the end of runway 7 are rougher and more dense with vegetation than the ones off of 25. If you have enough altitude, there are two fields, slightly to the left, that at some time in the past had been clear. These would be the best option if the rope were to break below 200’ AGL. Where ever you land, try to touch down with as little energy as possible.
Above approximately 200’ AGL (3,600’ MSL), you should perform a 180° turn to land downwind on runway 25. Unless the tow plane veers strongly to the left or right, you should make this turn into the wind.
Above approximately 400’ AGL (3,800’ MSL), you should perform a left turn to fly an abbreviated pattern for runway 7. If after the initial turn you do not feel you have enough altitude to complete a pattern, you can decide to do a downwind landing on 25 instead.
Radio Procedures When making calls on the radio, please use the correct phraseology described in the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM). First say who you are talking to, then who you are, where you are, and what you want. If there could be any confusion as to what airport you are calling from, close your radio call with “Crystal”.
The line crew should be addressed as “Crystal Line”, and the SCSA office should be addressed as “Crystal Ground”. The tow planes are referred to as “Yellow Tow” for the yellow Pawnee, and “Snow Tow” for the white one.
SCSA - Standard Operating Procedures Page 8 Please keep non-operations chatter to a minimum. The 123.0 frequency is used by many airports in the region. We do not want to interfere with communications of other aircraft. Use 123.3 or 123.5 for glider to glider or glider to crew communications.
Please do not respond to a request if the request was not addressed to you. For example, if someone requests a radio check from “Crystal Ground”, do not respond or you may step on the reply by “Crystal Ground”. However, if a radio check request is repeated, or if it is not addressed to a specific person, feel free to respond.
Before pulling your glider into the line for launch, perform a radio check:
CRYSTAL GROUND, GLIDER NINER FIVE ZULU, RADIO CHECKThe office person should reply. If you hear this call from another glider, please do not respond, as you may step on the reply from “Crystal ground”. If the pilot requesting the radio check repeats the request, then feel free to let them know how their transmission is being received.
Ready for Tow If you are at the front of the line, and the tow pilot is not in the tow plane, you or the
line crew can call Crystal Ground to let them know you are ready for a tow:
CRYSTAL GROUND, GLIDER NINER FIVE ZULU, READY FOR A TOW, RUNWAYTWO FIVE The office should reply to let you know the tow pilot is either on the way or how long it
will be before the tow pilot is ready:
GLIDER NINER FIVE ZULU, THE TOW PILOT WILL BE WITH YOU IN TENMINUTES Taking the Runway When preparing to launch, the first aircraft on the runway should announce that they are taking the runway for a glider launch.
CRYSTAL TRAFFIC, GLIDER NINER FIVE ZULU AND TOW PLANE, TAKING
RUNWAY TWO FIVE FOR LAUNCH, CRYSTALor
CRYSTAL TRAFFIC, SNOW TOW AND GLIDER, TAKING RUNWAY TWO FIVE FORLAUNCH, CRYSTAL This will alert any gliders approaching the pattern that the runway is occupied, allowing them to plan their approach appropriately. If someone announce they are taking the runway when you are approaching the airport, please make every effort to
Takeoff Upon receiving the takeoff signal from glider and the line crew, the tow pilot should announce the takeoff.
CRYSTAL TRAFFIC, SNOW TOW DEPARTING RUNWAY TWO FIVE, GLIDER INTOW, CRYSTAL This will alert other traffic in the area to keep an extra lookout for the tow plane and glider.
On Tow If either the tow or glider pilot anticipates extensive radio conversation, they should request a frequency change to either 123.3 or 123.5. The pilot initiating the frequency change should wait for confirmation from the other pilot before switching frequencies.
GLIDER NINE FIVE ZULU, SNOW TOW IS SWITCHING TO ONE TWO THREEPOINT FIVE
The glider pilot will then respond:
SNOW TOW, GLIDER NINE FIVE ZULU SWITCHING TO ONE TWO THREE POINTFIVE
Both pilots would then switch frequencies and say:
SNOW TOW, UP ON ONE TWO THREE POINT FIVEand
GLIDER NINE FIVE ZULU, UP ON ONE TWO THREE POINT FIVEApproaching the Airport You may call the office for a wind report if you are too high or too far away to see the wind socks.
CRYSTAL GROUND, GLIDER LIMA CHARLIE, WIND CHECKYou may have to wait a few moments for the reply if the office person is busy with a customer.
To alert other traffic to your presence, please announce when you descend below 5,000’ MSL above the airport.
CRYSTAL TRAFFIC, GLIDER LIMA CHARLIE, DESCENDING THROUGH FIVE
THOUSAND FEET OVERHEAD THE AIRPORT FOR LANDING, TWO FIVE,CRYSTAL, GLIDER
Pattern Ideally, we would like to have all gliders call the downwind and base legs of their pattern. At a minimum, please make a downwind pattern call.
CRYSTAL TRAFFIC, GLIDER NINE FIVE ZULU, RIGHT DOWNWIND, TWO FIVE,CRYSTAL, GLIDER If other aircraft are in the pattern, let them know what position you will be landing. For
example, if there is a tow plane on final, and a glider on base, you would say:
CRYSTAL TRAFFIC, GLIDER NINE FIVE ZULU, RIGHT DOWNWIND, RUNWAY
TWO FIVE, NUMBER THREE BEHIND THE TOWPLANE AND GLIDER, CRYSTAL,GLIDER
If there is a glider behind you while you are on final: