Airfield Information

Sandhill Farm is a Prior Permission Required Airfield (PPR)

Frequency: ​​​‘SANDHILL TRAFFIC’ 129.980 (shared channel) 

Runway length​​: 650 meters

  

Opening Hours (Local):

March to October 0900 to 1800

November to February 1000 to 1600

  

Phone numbers:

07976 985 689 (MotorGlide)

01793 783 685 (Clubhouse)

 

 

Joining Information

Aircraft should remain outside of RAF Fairford MATZ unless in good two-way communication with Brize Zone on 119.000.

RAF Fairford MATZis located 2.5nm north of the airfield. Aircraft are to remain clear unless in good two-way communications with Brize Zone on 119.000. 

It is suggested that downwind leg for Rwy 22 and Rwy 04 should be no further North than the Highworth village situated 2nm North of the airfield.

Noise Sensitive Areas

Due to the close proximity of residential areas it is essential for the airfield to operate in a considerate manner. Please observe the noise sensitive areas as much as reasonably possible to help us maintain our good neighbourly relationship.

Runways

Rwy 22/04 – ​This is our main run for take off and landings. ​​It’s a well mown strip with blue edge markers at the start of both ends.​​

Rwy 22 – ​Landing, trees at the threshold means a deeper landing is required.

Rwy 04 – ​Departure, trees at the end may require you to turn at low altitude to avoid depending upon aircraft performance.

Rwy 25/07 – Primarily used for model flying, only available if briefed beforehand.

Circuits

Sandhill Farm Airfield is an active gliding site, operating motorised-gliders and pure gliders launched by tow plane. 

All circuits to be flown to the North (Rwy 22 right-hand, Rwy 04 left-hand).

Do’s & Don’ts

To keep the local residents and airfield users happy, please follow the following guidelines:

NO take-off or landings on Rwy 25/07 (see Model Aircraft section below).

- No overhead joins

- No flying south of the airfield boundary below 2000ft (the landlord lives next door!)

- All circuits to the North (Rwy 22 right-hand, Rwy 04 left-hand).

- Wind turbines are located to the 1nm East of the airfield. These can be overflown but not below 500ft.

- Caution, model flying on the northern edge of the airfield on Rwy 25.

Model Aircraft

Swindon Model Flying Club operates from Sandhill Farm, they are an active club and fly most days.

- NO take-off or landings on Rwy 25/07

- When operational there’s a flashing orange beacon on the windsock.

- Model Flying takes place on Rwy 25 (consider this closed unless briefed otherwise).

SAFETY FIRST

Please read these notes before you come along for your flights.

Please also see our Airfield Information (PPR) page! 

We want you to have a very enjoyable visit to our airfield, and hope it will be the beginning of a lasting interest in gliding, however our first concern is, and must be, your safety

Airfields are, by their very nature, potentially dangerous places, however by following a few, simple guidelines you will be able to avoid any hazards.

The airfield layout is shown on the map below.  You will enter the site from the B4000 and depending on the wind direction we will be launching our gliders either from the eastern end of the airfield, adjacent to the B4000, or from the south-western end (both shown hatched). Landings can occur on any part of the airfield so please keep a good lookout.

 

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Arriving on the Airfield:

If you cannot see gliders on the ground in the area by the B4000 then it will indicate we are launching from the south-western end (or that you have arrived before we have started flying)*.  In that case please proceed along the track to the clubhouse and hangar area at the south-western corner of the airfield.  Provided you keep to the track you will be clear of any aircraft taking off or landing.

Please park your car in the area shown on the map, or as directed by any club members who may be organising parking, away from the front of the hangar and the glider trailers.  You should then proceed to the launch point, if flying is underway, or else the clubhouse.

*Note the direction of the windsock. The gliders will normally be parked at the down wind end of the field (the end towards which the wind is blowing)

 

Getting to and from the launch point:

To get from the car park to the launch point (where there will be a group of club members and visitors by the parked gliders) please walk across as close to the fence or hedge as reasonably possible, and do not stop to sightsee on the way across.  This is to keep you away from the areas of the airfield where gliders may be launching or landing.

Before crossing take a look out for gliders or our tug (a powered aircraft with a rope attached to its tail) which may be landing.  You should do this by looking out over the fence or hedge to see if any aircraft are approaching the airfield (on “finals” for landing).  If they are then wait for them to land before you start to cross.  If you are already crossing then either return to the car park area or proceed briskly to the launch point so that you are clear of the line of the landing aircraft before they arrive at the airfield.

Take extra care if the tug is landing because the tow rope which has metal rings on the end, trails below the aircraft and is often close to the ground as it crosses the threshold. 

Once you get to the launch point, introduce yourself to one of the club members who will provide you with further information about viewing our operations or flying with us; they can also tell you where the toilets are and how best to get there.  To return to the car park, cross in the same careful manner.

 

General safety Guidelines:

  • Keep to the edges of the airfield, do not walk out towards or onto the middle at any time, gliders are very quiet and you may not see or hear a landing glider.
  • Propellers are extremely dangerous, keep well clear of the front of our tug and any motor gliders which may be using the airfield, whether or not the engines are running, they may be started without warning.
  • Do not walk across in front of any gliders which are lined up facing towards the other end of the airfield – they may be waiting to launch. You are not necessarily safe behind the wing – there is a risk from being struck by the tailplane.
  • Follow the advice of club members at the launch point or elsewhere who will advise you of where you will be safe.
  • If you take a flight in one of our gliders then it is important that you walk back with your instructor and the glider to the launch point after landing. Family and friends must not run up the field to meet you. They may only go to the glider, to take photographs, for instance, if permission is given by a club member.
  • We launch our gliders by aerotow; the gliders being attached to the rope trailed by the powered aircraft, our tug, until they reach sufficient height to be able to release and seek out thermals and other sources of lift, typically at 2000’ above airfield level. Keep well clear of all ropes and cables, even if they appear to be lying safely on the ground.
  • Aircraft can pass quite close to the track at the narrowest point of the airfield so do not linger in that area.
  • Please ensure that children are supervised and that dogs are kept on a lead whilst flying is in progress. 
  • Cameras and loose articles in the glider – you are welcome to bring your camera on your flight. Ensure the strap is around your wrist when holding it and that it is safely stowed in the glider side pocket when not in use. Do not place on the floor or leave anything loose in the cockpit. Loose articles present a hazard.
  • Should you suffer any form of accident, or see one occur, or if you see anything which you think could expose anyone to any sort of danger then please speak to a club member as a matter of urgency. 
  • Common sense goes a long way towards ensuring safety on an airfield. Before you do anything think about whether it may expose you or your party to any danger. If you cannot see anyone else doing what you are thinking of doing check with a club member to make sure it is safe before you do it.  It is much better to be safe than sorry.

 

Finally – enjoy your visit!

Now that we’ve covered the key safety points let’s return to the central point of your visit.  We want you to enjoy your time with us, so let us know what you’d like to see, to learn about or to do, and we’ll do our best to make sure your visit fulfils your aims and provides a pleasant, memorable experience.  We hope that you’ll enjoy it so much that you’ll want to visit us again, and perhaps join us as a member and learn to fly.

 

Costs

Trial lessons:

Want a one off flight to enjoy views of Vale of White Horse from the air, or to experience gliding before deciding whether to join the club as a full member? See the Contact Us page for more details.

Full list of Flying and Facilities Charges:

All Cheques or Bank Payments to: VoWHGC, Sort Code 40-43-41, Account number 70785474

We are affiliated to the British Gliding Association.


 

Membership (applies from 1st April 2020)

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Joining Fee:                           None.

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Full flying membership:           £360 per year. 

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Family (husband/wife):           As above, 50% for 2nd member.

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Associate membership:           £25 per year.
    (non flying).

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Junior/Student membership:  £100 per year.
    (Minimum age 14 years. Payment due April or September).

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Reciprocal membership:          £10 per day (FREE if your home club would not charge a reciprocal fee for our members, and FREE for MotorGlide members).
    (10 days maximum in any year, must show current membership).

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Members guest fee:                 £10 per occasion (Fees charged to proxy member).
    (Paid by member, limited use).

 

Launches

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2000 foot aerotow: £30.00. (Junior members £25, BGA Visitor £35)

(+/- £1 per 100ft, min 1500ft charge)

Club Glider Flying Fees

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£21.00 per hour (35p/minute), free instruction. Charge capped at 3 hours, flights over 40 mins by prior arrangement.

Rallye (including retrieves)

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£125 per hour. (BGA Visitor rate is £175)
Based on Hobbs readings (payable to Les Clark). Approved airfields only.

Facilities Fees

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Private glider facility (includes trailer parking) - £200 per annum.

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Motor glider & T-hanger facility (includes trailer parking) - £720 per annum.

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Self-launching Sailplane (includes trailer parking) - £375 per annum.

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Hangars - £300 per glider inc trailer fee.

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Visiting Glider Parking (per day includes trailer parking) - £5

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Aircraft parking - £60 per month (powered aircraft not based at club. £90 per month for non-members)

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Aircraft or SLMG Rigged in Main Hangar (space permitting) - £150 per month. (£100 de-rigged)

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Visiting Aircraft Landing Fee (With PPR), SLMG & Single Engine Piston - £10

Multi-engine and Helicopter - £20

*Note landing without PPR will double this rate.

Caravan & Tent Site Fees

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Caravan - £10 per day, or £50 per week.

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Tent - £5 per day, or £25 per week.

 

How to Find Us


If you are planning on visiting the airfield, please take time to read the airfield safety guidelines before your visit.

If you have a SATNAV, please use the post code SN6 8BH (not for postal correspondence).  Google Maps link here.

The airfield is about 2.5 miles north east of Swindon on the B4000 Shrivenham to Highworth road.

Look ma, I can see my house from here!

From the M4: Take the A419 North signposted Cirencester. After 3.5 miles, turn off  following signs for A420 Oxford for 2.5 miles. After passing under a railway bridge with a divided carriageway, less than one mile ahead turn right signposted Shrivenham. Soon after entering the 30mph zone, turn left signposted B4000 Highworth. This will take you out of Shrivenham and over the A420. Less than one mile further on, VOWHGC is on the left.

From the North: Leave the A419 at its junction with A420 Oxford road. Follow instruction as from M4.

From Oxford: Leave the A420 at the first junction signposted Shrivenham (near the Defence College). Travel 2 miles through Watchfield and Shrivenham. On starting to leave Shrivenham take a right turn (hard to see) signposted B4000 Highworth. This will take you out of Shrivenham and over the A420. Less than one mile further on, VOWHGC is on the left.

The Links below provide online maps and directions to the airfield.

           Google Maps Satellite view - useful for anyone needing an aerial view of the airfield.

           Google Maps link - useful for anyone arriving by car.

 

Facilities for Visiting Pilots

If you are an experienced glider pilot, perhaps a member of another club in the UK or a visitor from overseas, then VoWHGC would be very pleased to welcome you to our site.

If you have your own glider (or motor glider) then please feel free to fly in to our site on any day when we are operational.  In the case of motor gliders please call beforehand to check on the state of the airfield and whether there are any particular activities going on of which you should be aware.

If you arrive at the site with your own glider in a trailer you will find space at the western end of the southern side of the airfield where you can rig your glider, but please make contact with the duty instructor or duty pilot in the club house or at the launch point first.

If you have not flown from the site previously then we would expect you to have a check flight in one of our 2-seaters to familiarise yourself before flying your own glider.

If you are a visitor without your own glider, or perhaps you have not yet gone solo at your home club, then we would be very happy to provide you with instruction, or, subject to a check flight, to let you fly one of our gliders solo.

Club Facilities

Airfield: The Sandhill Farm site consists of a grass strip about 900 yards long, varying in width between about 150 and 400 yards.

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Launch Facilities & Clubhouse: This includes a briefing room, and basic kitchen and toilet facilities - plus most importantly a heater and kettle!

Hangar: The club gliders and tug are housed rigged in the club's hangar. Lack of space means that there is not normally room to put privately owned gliders in the hangar overnight.

Trailer Parking: There is ample room for trailer parking in a sheltered part of the airfield close to the clubhouse.

Security: Access to the airfield is via a locked gate. All facilities are secured and alarmed.