Ab- Initio
Beginner or trainee.

Aerotow launch
A launch where the glider is towed airborne by a powered aircraft.

Part of the wing, which is moveable by the pilot in flight, to control the glider in roll.

A moveable part of the wing surface, used to control the amount of aerodynamic lift generated by the wing.

An instrument in the cockpit that indicates height above the ground.

All Out
Instruction for the Winch or Tug to start the launch following Take-up slack, usually indicated by over- arm waving action.

Airworthiness Review Certificate. The annual review to confirm the aircraft conforms to its Cof A.

Air Speed Indicator. An instrument in the cockpit that indicates the speed of the glider through the air.

Asst Cat
Assistant Category Instructor. The second level of the Instructor ratings.

A system of awards within the gliding world from Bronze badge, through Silver and Gold, to Diamond.

British Gliding Association - The governing body of all UK Gliding Clubs.

Basic Instructor
The Basic Instructor is the first step on the instructing ladder.

Carbon Fibre
A strong modern material used in the construction of some gliders.

Chief Flying Instructor. The person in charge of all flying and safety matters within the Club.

Part of all glider flights that is carefully planned in order to be certain that the glider lands in the precise place that the pilot has intended.

C of A (superceded by EASA annual inspection)
Certificate of Airworthiness. A certificate granted annually by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)  The airworthiness certificate attests that the aircraft is airworthy insofar as the aircraft conforms to its type design.

Control Column
The means of moving the glider in pitch and roll, by movement of the elevator and ailerons.

A flight that takes a glider out of normal range of its home airfield.

Daily Inspection. A careful inspection of the glider, carried out daily before flight to ensure airworthiness.

Duty Launch Marshall. Responsible for efficient and safe launch procedures in close liaison with the Duty Instructor. DLM will normally be wearing a green hi-vis jacket.

Duty Instructor
The Instructor in charge of the airfield operations on any given day, under the jurisdiction of the CFI.

European Aviation Safety Agency

Part of the tailplane of a glider which is moveable by the pilot to control the glider in pitch.

Full Cat
Full Category Instructor. The third level of the Instructor ratings. An instructor who has the relevant experience and training to qualify as a CFI.

The FLARM acoustic alert and visual display is a GPS based situational awareness system, designed to alert the pilot to a potential collision or near miss with a glider that he may or may not have seen.

Performance improving control surface on the inboard trailing edge of some gliders.

Glide-angle (Best Glide).
The angle of descent at which any given glider flies. i.e. if a glider has a glide angle of say 25:1 then it will fly 25 units of distance along for every one unit of height. Therefore the higher the glide angle the higher the performance.

GMS Report
Glider Maintenance Schedule Report, the annual inspection of the structure, controls and systems of the glider.

Global Positioning System. A geostationary satellite network that provides signals for accurate positioning used in gliders to aid navigation and position logging.

Glass Re-inforced Plastic. A material of construction for gliders.


Nautical Miles per Hour.  A unit of vertical or horizintal speed -1 nautical mile = 6080ft or 1.85 km.

Launch point
The place on the airfield where launching is taking place. This changes from day to day depending upon the wind direction.

Launch Point Vehicle. A vehicle positioned at the launch point and used to control launches and log launches and landings.

(1) The force created by the wing.
(2) Any atmospheric condition that causes a glider to gain height.

A powered aircraft, light enough to be classed as a glider but with a small engine fitted for self launching.

National Private Pilots Licence. A national licence for flying powered aircraft.

Where a glider lands at a place that is not its home airfield i.e. in a field or at another airfield.

P1 / PIC
Pilot in Charge.

P2 / PUI
The Co-Pilot or trainee in a two-seat glider.

Movement about the lateral axis. (Nose up / down)

A pressure source to provide input to the ASI.

Private Pilots Licence. A licence for flying powered aircraft.

To collect a glider and pilot, usually by road, after an outlanding.

To rig a glider is to assemble and fix all the parts of the aircraft together and prepare it for flight. To de-rig is the opposite, and usually to place the parts in its trailer.

Movement about the longitudinal axis. (Wings up / down)

Another name for gliders.

Sinking air. Any atmospheric condition that accelerates a gliders descent.

Extension of a glider flight through use of natural lift such as thermals, ridge or wave.

Spot the Gliders
A world-wide display system showing the position of FLARM-equipped gliders

Static vents
A pressure souce to provide the baseline for the ASI and direct input to the Altimeter.

A length of rope to connect the weak link to the glider

A cross-country flight round pre-defined turning points to a goal.

Take-up Slack
Indication to the Winch or Tug to take up the slack in the launch cable, usually indicated by under-arm waving action.

A rising column of warm air.

Total Energy
A pressure source to compensate for speed changes to the variometer, to give an indication of the vertical movement of the air.

A large road trailer that is used to transport and store de-rigged gliders.

A powered aircraft used to tow gliders.

A well-defined location that can be used to define a Task.

An instrument that indicates the vertical speed of the glider. i.e. the rate of climb or descent. Usually associated with an audio output.

Velocity Never Exceed. The maximum allowable safe speed of a glider.

An atmospheric condition caused by strong winds blowing over a mountain range or line of hills.

Weak Link
A safety device to prevent a glider being over-stressed during a launch. There are various weak link strengths indicated by different colours (based on breaking strength) for every glider.

A machine with powerful engine and one or more drums containing rope or steel wire to give the glider forward motion for launching.

Winch launch
A launch where the glider pulled into the air by a winch.

Movement about the normal axis. (Nose left /right)