Visitors are Always Welcome!
The Cape Gliding Club is privileged to receive a number of overseas visitors each year, who come both to see the spectacular scenery and to experience the legendary South African soaring conditions.
We believe that soaring is a common bond which unites people from all countries, so we are thrilled to have visitors join us either as temporary or permanent members (see "Rates" page for fees).
Information for visiting pilots
If the above documents are in order, a validation and local familiarisation flight can be undertaken with a Senior Instructor. Once you receive your licence validation, it is essential that you study the details of this document together with the aeronautical charts of the area, a composite of which is available in the Cape Gliding Club clubhouse at the airfield.
Airspace at Worcester
Worcester airfield (FAWC) is situated 10km inside the Cape Town TMA. Airspace in this portion of the TMA is uncontrolled up to FL85. A transponder is required to enter controlled airspace (between FL85 and FL195), and permission must FIRST be obtained from Cape Town Approach ATC on 130.05. On no account enter controlled airspace without proper permission granted by the ATC.
Outside the TMA airspace is uncontrolled up to FL145.
Local Weather Conditions
Most cross country flight is undertaken in thermal or ridge lift (or a combination), though convergence and wave also occur. Before attempting to fly across country, you must be briefed by an EXPERIENCED cross country pilot (who does not have to be an instructor).
Due to the formation of mountain terrain in long lines, ridge lift is common at any time of year, though its occurrence depends on the direction of the wind relative to the terrain. Long distances can be accomplished in ridge lift. Winds are generally from the South East (a shallow, low-level wind) or North West (a wind which extends to great height), and both produce ridge lift. Northerly winds also produce lee-wave conditions. Take extreme care not to experience a sudden loss of visual contact with the terrain when flying in wave.
Thermal conditions can occur at any time of year, with any wind, but mainly between spring (September) and autumn (April). Thermal conditions are best on post-frontal days.
Convergence in the Worcester valley can occur during weather and wind changes and this lift is generally formed in lines through the valley.
Visitors need to be aware of strong winds especially in a North Wester, and that severe wind sheer and rotor can occur on final approach. Pilots are to approach high with sufficient excess speed to counteract loss of airspeed on approach.
Outlanding (field landings)
All visiting pilots are warned that the local Worcester Robertson Wolseley area is a VINE farming region, which limits the outlanding options. Other open areas are often covered with scrub and the terrain is very stony. There are NO outlanding options in the Hex River valley. Eastward at Swellendam and northward at Tulbach, the vines give way to wheat, where outlanding options are more plentiful. NEVER land in a vineyard, bush covered field or stoney area.
Circuit Pattern Procedures
All gliders must make a blind radio call to the general traffic on 124,8 to inform others that a glider is about to join the circuit 2 minutes before joining circuit. All glider circuits should be commenced at 1000 feet (above ground) / 330m / 1650 AMSL, and should be on the Northern side of the airfield (this is the town side). This means a right hand circuit for RWY 33 and left hand circuit for RWY 15. Blind circuit calls to Worcester Traffic on 124,8 must be made when commencing downwind, base and finals; eg. Worcester traffic, glider golf hotel bravo joining left hand downwind runway 33.
The club tariffs are subject to change at any time. The current tariffs are available in the clubhouse and start wagon, as well as here on this site. Cash or South African cheques only - no cards. Fees payable by visiting pilots must be made to the Duty Pilot in the start wagon at the launch point and must include:
An indemnity form is to be filled in before flying.
Accommodation, car rentals and local tourism
Visitors may camp at the airfield for a small fee, where ablution facilities and a swimming pool are available. Limited hutted accommodation is available at the airfield from private members (to be arranged directly with members concerned). In the town of Worcester there are numerous guest houses and a hotel. Other guest houses exist in the surrounding countryside.
Check with the tourism information office:
Breede River Valley Tourism,
For general Western Cape tourism inquiries contact:
Western Cape Tourism Board
For accomodation enquiries visit: