Coaching 2009Hosts:  Horsham Flying Club

Horsham Airfield: On leaving Horsham township on the Western Highway (No.8) to Adelaide, turn right at the "Airfield" sign approximately 5 kms out.

The popular VSA cross country coaching course is on again from Saturday 26 January to Friday 1 February under the direction of Tim Shirley, GCV.

As in previous years the course is designed both for pilots new to cross country and for those already experienced in cross country. It is also useful experience for pilots who plan to commence competition flying.

Try for silver distance flights, or for those who are more adventurous, gold distance and diamond goal flights. Flying is over some of the safest outlanding country in Australia and your fellow course members will assist you with retrieves and glider rigging.

Bunkhouse accommodation and camping is available at the airfield. Horsham township offers a range of accommodation; fifteen motels and two caravan parks.

The course is managed by the VSA coaching team and comprises a mix of short theory discussions, daily weather briefings, daily tasks and post-flight analysis over an evening meal or on the following morning. Depending on numbers and experience levels we may run two streams for the discussion sessions.

As in previous years we will have a range of performance two-seaters available to offer direct one-on-one coaching. Pilots with their private glider or a club glider will be offered mentoring and flight analysis as well as direct coaching in a two-seater.

This week is also a good opportunity for pilots attending the Horsham Week competition to fit in some practice flying as we will have adequate aero-towing capacity for all.

A $ 100 registration fee is required (at time of arrival) to meet event expenses and airfield facilities at Horsham. This fee also covers all camping fees at the airfield.

Accommodation options:

Horsham Airfield

Sites for tents and caravans are available as well as a bunk housefont-family:
Toilet and shower facilities (very basic).
Standard charge is $10 per person per night but for course members this is included in the course fee.

Horsham City

Fifteen Motels, two Caravan Parks as well as Hotels. Horsham Visitor Centre - Ph: (03) 5382 1832 or  1800 633 218


Self catering and the Horsham Club will arrange a barbecue meal on several evenings.  Other evenings we will eat at local hotels. (Note that the full catering supplied by the Horsham Club for the Horsham Week competition is not available for the coaching week)

Horsham Club Facility and Fees

There is a large air conditioned room for the sole use of the course with adequate space for briefings as well as tea/coffee facilities.  A barbecue is available and the Club has a licensed bar.

There is a $100 fee to cover expenses of the course and costs of ferrying tugs which is payable upon arrival. Please note that this also covers the use of camping facilities on the airfield.

Glider hire and aerotows will be at favourable rates and kept to the minimum possible.

 Coaching Objectives

The course is intended for two levels of pilots:

  • those who are new to cross country flying, and
  • pilots with cross country experience who are seeking to improve their abilities.


The course is not designed for coaching at the competition level. Opportunities for competition coaching may be available during the Horsham Week competition which follows the coaching week.

However the course does offer pilots experience in a competition style environment with morning weather briefings, task setting, organised gridding on the runway prior to launching, relight procedures and submitting completed flight traces. The need to be well organised with an early start on daily glider inspections, taking note of the weather forecasts, setting up GPS turnpoints for the daily task, etc is soon appreciated.

Depending on availability of gliders from VSA clubs, coaching will be available in performance 2-seat gliders and pilots with their own single-seat glider will be assisted by "lead & follow" flying with the coaches. Pilots will be encouraged and supported to achieve Silver, Gold and Diamond badge flights depending on their abilities.

This is a self help event and we will all assist with glider rigging, launching and outlanding retrieves.  Pilots with their own (or club) single seater glider can expect assistance from the other pilots on the course.

Format of Course

Saturday 26th January

Arrival and rigging gliders. Site checks as required. A short task will be set for those who are ready to fly.

From Sunday onwards, the daily routine will commence at 9:00am with:

  • Lectures on a cross-country topic – one for beginners and another for experienced pilots - Preparation of weather forecast
  • Task setting and allocation of gliders and coaches
  • Prepare gliders and pre-flight organization
  • Cross country flying on the assigned task/s
  • Evening meal and de-brief on day’s flying using the GPS data logs


Availability of 2-seater gliders

In all previous years, VSA Clubs and private owners have provided a variety of 2-seat gliders for one-on-one coaching, typically Twin Astir, Janus, DG505, Duo Discus and an ASH25! More details on availability of 2-seat gliders closer to the event.

Aero-towing (only)

Rates to be advised and we will operate with tow tickets as in previous years.  If you fail to get away we will provide relights at a discounted tug rate as encouragement !

GPS Units, Data Loggers and FLARM:

Many of the 2-seat gliders will be equipped with GPS navigation, flight data loggers and FLARM units.  We will be utilizing the ‘See You’ program to analyse the data logs after each flight to assist pilots improve their techniques.

You should bring any GPS unit or data logger that you have access to.

FLARM units for collision warning are not mandatory but are highly recommended. It should also be noted that FLARM units are now approved for use in logging Silver and Gold Badge flights. 


The 1 million scale WAC charts covering the area around Horsham are:

  • Hamilton, Map no. 3469
  • Adelaide, Map no. 3458


If longer flights are possible, then you should also consider

  • Canberra, Map no. 3457
  • Melbourne, Map no. 3470


Reference Materials:

The standard reference text is Bernard Eckey’s "Advanced Soaring Made Easy".

Other material and notes will be made available at the course.


To be advised as we receive acceptances from individual coaches

For further information contact : Tim Shirley or if unavailable Ian Grant.