Who has Control?

Who is flying the glider? Whenever there are two people in a glider, it is essential to know who is flying it at any given moment.

Learning Points

Pilot in Command

Whenever you fly with an instructor, the instructor is the Pilot In Command (PIC). He is ultimately responsible for the conduct and safety of the flight. BUT you assist in this as much as you can – and remember you have the better view from the front seat! Whilst you are not PIC, you will be Pilot Under Instruction (PUI).

Being in Control

Although the instructor is the PIC, he won’t always be “in control”. You will need to be given control very early on, or you won’t learn much. The instructor will want to take control back again, either when you have flown an exercise satisfactorily, and almost certainly if you haven’t. We know who is in control by using clear and concise commands and responses:
“You have control” is used to pass control to the other person. The instructor will say it when he wants you to take control. Take the stick and/or rudder, as directed, and respond with “I have control”, at which point the instructor will release the controls to you.
“I have control” is used to take control from the other person. During your training, the instructor is most likley to be the person who takes this initiative. You must immediately release the controls, and respond with “You have control”.
“Follow through (…on the stick, or rudder, etc)” is used by the instructor to tell you he will continue to fly the glider and wants you to feel what he is doing with the controls. Respond with “Following through (…on the stick, or rudder, etc)”, and take a gentle hold of the stick, and/or rest your feet lightly on the rudder bar, with just enough pressure to feel the instructor’s movements, without restricting them in any way.

Performing the Exercise

This is going to be difficult to practice on your own 🙂

The video shows a typical dialogue.

The student is learning how to roll the glider.

The video is best viewed in YouTube in HD in Full Screen mode, to easily see the on-screen messages and instruments during the demonstration. Use view, pause and rewind as needed to grasp the content and timing of the messages displayed, then focus on the action.

Further Reading and References

BGA Instructors’ Manual, 4th Edition: Section 1, Chapter 7