Crowland Airfield

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Site brief

This page is of use to visiting pilots who wish to fly with us. Our radio frequency is 129.975Mhz. We will be pleased to see and hear you. Please bring along your log book, gliding license and valid medical declaration.


Crowland Airfield is an all aerotow site (i.e. no winch or autotow facilities) and as such, has its own special set of rules which maximises the site utilisation. Crowland Airfield is also a relatively small field, which also makes certain rules necessary for everyone's safety. These rules are born out of over 25 years of operations from the site and whilst some may seem a little strange when you first see them, they are proven and safe.

Circuit Direction

Circuit direction for any runway is generally right hand for power and gliders but left is hand permissible and acceptable. Therefore we do not have a dead side.

High Key

High key should be 800 feet on any runway from any side. Thermalling within the airfield boundaries below 1,000 is not encouraged unless you are very familiar with the traffic and have a radio on and selected to 129.975 Mhz. Unlike winch sites, you will be towed away from the airfield to the nearest (best) lift.


Due to the narrow width of all runways, landing on the right is the rule. Other gliders and tugs will land to the left of you so beware!

Local Restrictions

We are very lucky to have tolerant neighbours and want to keep it that way. Don’t overfly the adjacent farm houses, especially if you are dumping water. Be aware of Fenland Aero Club and their circuit pattern as it is only 4 NM away to the North East and well within our local soaring boundaries. Their radio frequency is 122.92 Mhz.

The Aerotow

You will normally be towed at 60 kts. If you have other requirements, let the tug pilot know. You will not be waved off, except in an emergency. Release when you are ready. Once separated, the glider normally goes left, the tug goes right. All of the normal signals apply but here is just a little reminder of what to do if you can not release.

Try speaking to the tug pilot over the radio, otherwise fly out to the left and waggle your wings to get the tug pilot's attention. Once you are sure that he understands, return to the normal tow position as he is going to return you to the airfield. As you approach the overhead, fly a little high in the high tow position. The tug pilot will release his end of the rope. The rope should fall away below you and trail behind and low. Do not attempt to release it. Fly a higher circuit and land normally. If you have a radio, use it to let everyone know what is going on.

Rope Breaks

There is a weak link fitted at both ends of the tow rope. If the link breaks at the tug whilst on tow and at a safe height, do not attempt to release it. Bring it back and fly the circuit as described above. If the link breaks at the glider end, again do not release. You may be able to carry on with your flight and return the rings later.

If it breaks whilst you are low (less than 500ft) be wary of returning to the airfield. It may be safer to pick a field within 40 of the nose and land in it. There are lots of fields around Crowland so choice should not be a problem.

Glider rigging and Parking

The rigging and parking areas are shown on the diagram.

It is a small site so space is at a premium. Please respect your fellow flyers and do not block access to their machines/trailers.  When you are fully rigged and ready to fly, move your machine as close as possible to the launch point without causing obstruction so that you don't delay the launch order.  You will find club members very helpful when it's your turn to fly, just ask for assistance. You will know if you have upset anyone by their response!!!

And finally..

Obey the rules, respect other people's property and enjoy your flying at Crowland Airfield.