The Soaring Society of South Africa



30th  January 2014



Dear all




As a result of an email asking who exactly can and who cannot take up friends/family/visitors to your Gliding Club, it was decided to give you all an overview as to what is and what is not permitted in this regard.


In law there is no Pax Rating as Pax flying for any form of reward is illegal. The only permissible “paying passenger” would be someone undergoing instruction.  “Payment” is not restricted to cash but includes other forms of remuneration.


Flights for instructional purposes:

1.  PIC (pilot in command) must be at least Grade C Instructor (assistant Instructor)

2.  The Club or School must be a Bona Fide ATO (aviation training organization) – all gliding      

     Clubs in SA fall under the SSSA and are ATOs.

3.  A student pilot license holder must be at least 14 years of age as prescribed by the regulations.        

     (No age is defined for initial training)

4.  Flight must originate from the registered ATO

5.  All ATO documentation must be met and SSSA fees paid


Flight for private purposes:

  1. The pilot must have a current GPL and his/her logbook endorsed for passenger flying by a Grade A or B Instructor (see privileges of license holder in the Regulations)

2.   No charges or cost sharing may be levied

3.   If a member of a Club and flight originates from a Club and any form of Club equipment is   

used, then the passenger must pay a daily fee or full membership of both SSSA and  the Club, and all the necessary indemnities must be completed.

4.   If the aircraft is Club owned then all Club rules will apply for its use.


No one can contract out of liability no matter what, but care can be taken to limit the liability.

Take into account one or two scenarios - as soon as any recovery of costs happens or any type of remuneration takes place:-


i)        If a pilot takes a friend/family member for a flight in his own two-seater the onus and responsibility/liability rests with the pilot, his aircraft and his/her insurance.   The Club can, however, be held liable should, for instance, something go wrong with the Club winch/tug or equipment due to negligence or even an accidental event. The indemnity book makes provision for day membership, training flight and passengers.  Use it, don’t use it!

The insurance has limited coverage so in this scenario it would be safe to pay the R50.00 and issue an indemnity for all Club equipment for the day, but it is up to the Club’s discretion and the risk they wish to take.  Granted that no form of remuneration takes place.

ii)      If a pilot takes a friend/family member at his own cost for a flight in a Club owned glider, the pilot must have at least a logbook endorsement (see pt. no. 1 under flight for private purposes above) or Grade C instructor’s rating or higher plus a signed indemnity plus day membership must be in place at all times.


The whole matter of “flipping” is currently under review through RAASA with CAA. All Aero Club sections and RAASA agree that “flipping” in proper context, i.e.  “not making a living from it” is the only exposure we can offer to promote our sport.  RAASA is endeavoring to educate/interact with CAA by creating a special task group that is now dealing with the matter.


So, for the time being INSTRUCTIONAL FLIGHTS ONLY, (no flipping) where there is any form of remuneration involved.  Please remember that the intent of the flight should be to attract new members.  Please stay within that context and approach.  Those pilots with previous “Pax Ratings” should be converted to Grade C instructors, which would beef up our dwindling numbers of instructors. The income generated from SSSA’s instructional flights is not commercial and merely cost recovery and therefore not a business!


The SSSA Indemnity Books should be available in the next few days, and then arrangements will be made to send them out to each Club.  Clubs with less than 25 members will be sent their 1st Indemnity book at no cost – thereafter there will be a cost.  For Clubs exceeding 25 members, they will receive 1 free book each 25 members up to a maximum of 3 books.  The cost to order thereafter will be R2 500.00  (50 Indemnities x R50) per book to be ordered from SSSA well in advance. This replaces the old method of paying monthly as flights were done. Through this method we are recovering our insurance premium as per the 2013 AGM decision. Distribution to Club Chairmen will start next week.


Keep it safe! 


Kind regards