Clearing the runway

February 21-25

SSA Convention in Reno, NV. The FIRC meets ahead of the Reno SSA Convention at the Atlantis Hotel and Convention Center.  The SSA convention will be on February 22-25, starting the evening of the 22nd with a Soaring Safety Foundation Seminar event and ending on the 25th with an Annual Awards Dinner.  You can see more information on the SSA Website

March 10-17

Seniors Soaring Championship at Seminole Lake, FL.  Don Kroesch, Mike Shakman and Ron Ridenour all plan to attend and represent the CGC.

April 15

CGC Safety Meeting. We will have our CGC annual Safety Seminar and Annual Meeting.  The Safety Seminar will start at 0900 and the Annual meeting will start after our Lunch break at about 1400.  If you have any ideas about topics that you would like to see presented during the Safety Seminar or Items of New Business for the annual meeting please call or email Ron Ridenour and I will be sure to include those items.


May 30, 2020
COVID-19 Special Operating Rules

CGC Members, please review and follow these special operating rules during the COVID-19 pandemic:


Chicago Glider Club is located on Bell Road in Minooka, Illinois, about one mile north of US Highway 6. This is about 2 miles SE of Minooka, 9 miles E of Morris, and 8 miles SW of Joliet (about 2 miles SW of the intersection of I-55 and I-80). From Bell Road, turn East onto Airport Road; this road runs immediately along side the grass runway, so please drive with caution and look out for gliders and tow planes.

The clubhouse phone is 815-290-5021.

Use the interactive Google map below to see our location.



Our members fly on weekends throughout the Northern Illinois soaring season, and on weekdays whenever one of our many tow pilot members is available to tow.

Typical cross-country routes from CGC go from northwest to south from Minooka, away from Lake Michigan and the Class B & C airspace. The longest recorded flight from CGC was 435 miles free distance by Harold Jensen in April 1962.  This was accomplished in a plywood "floater" sailplane, Harold was an excellent pilot as well.


CGC gliders can be tracked on these sites:

  • Glidernet
  • GliderRADAR (clicking on Minooka opens a menu with further options including coverage)
  • GlideAndSeek
  • GliderTracker (zooming in and clicking on ‘Minooka’ will provide further options including OGN range)
  • See 'Club Flight Log' under the 'Membership' menu when logged into the site.

CLGC Soaring Weather and Data Analysis

Presentation to CLGC by Greg Chisholm, December 2000 (pdf 3.3MB)


Chicago Soaring Forecasts courtesy of CGC and NOAA-FSL

The following SkewT/LogP diagrams provide both actual and forecast soundings. The forecast soundings are derived from the actual soundings via computer simulations:

  1. TI's and SkewT/LogP diagrams: Locate the dry adiabat line for the daily forcast high (CGC is approximately 1000mb's MSL). The dry adiabat angles from lower right to upper left - colored blue, numbered in degrees F.
  2. Follow the dry adiabat up to the intersection with the sounding. The sounding is the squiggly line depicting temperature as a function of altitude - colored red. This intersection is the top of the thermal for today, given no complications, like clamp.
  3. At any altitude, the TI is the difference between the sounding temperature for that altitude and the dry adiabat temperature for that altitude.
  4. One rule of thumb is that a glider could expect to top out at TI=-3 (though many have experienced greater heights).


Advanced Digital Data Service (ADDS)

The National Weather Service's ADDS site contains a large amount of general aviation weather data. These links provide you with direct access to a number of these pages.


Dr. Jack's Blipmaps

Direct Link to Dr Jack's BLIPMAP images - Blipmap and Blipspot forecasts. This page contains 4 Blipmap images - Thermal Updraft Strength, Critical Height, Wind Speed, and Wind Direction. It also contains links to the Blipspot forecasts for the CGC location. Note: You must be a Blipmap subscriber to view all 4 Blipmap images.


Forecast by NOAA's Forcast Systems Laboratory. This link provides 5 plots from the current time. I usually select the region around the drybulb from ground (~1000mb) to 10,000 feet (e.g., place cursor to right of drybulb/1000mb intersection, depress left mouse button, drag up and to the left to above 10,000 ft line). Expected cloudbases are indicated by the following: pressure (altitude), wetbulb temp, drybulb temp, and wind direction/speed.


Additional Helpful Stuff on the Web


General Purpose Sites and Educational Information

The following is a collection of sources for the above graphics as well as some selected information sources on reading these graphics.


Created by Greg Chisholm December 1998
Modified by Rich Carlson July 2004

Effective May 2, 2020  

Initiation fee

  • Applicants younger than 35 years of age
    • Initial payment with application $300. (Fully Refundable if application denied)
    • A second payment of $300 is due on the first anniversary of membership
  • Applicants 35 years of age or older
    • Initial payment with application $600. (Fully Refundable if application denied)
    • A second payment of $600 is due on the first anniversary of membership
  • Family Membership Fee is an additional $75

$600 (< 35 years)

$1,200 (35+ years)

Chicago Glider Club Regular Membership dues

  • Retired Membership dues are available; see the CGC By-Laws for details
  • Effective April 1, 2017 – Any member requesting retired dues after April 1, 2017 will pay 1/2 regular dues payable in two equal payments January and July
  • Current retired members keep the rate of ¼ regular dues payable in January
$35.00 per month
Soaring Society of America (SSA) Membership (required) $69.00 per year
Chicagoland Glider Council Membership (required) $10.00 per year
Club Aircraft Rental Rates   
Discus CS (single-place) $27.00 per hour
Schleicher ASK-21 (multi-place) $27.00 per hour
Schempp-Hirth Duo Discus (multi-place) $27.00 per hour
Christen Husky (towplane) $90.00 per tach hour
Piper Pawnee (towplane) $90.00 per tach hour

Sailplane Rental Surcharge

  • For first 75 hours of club sailplane rental
  • The surcharge is in addition to the regular sailplane rental fee
  • Optionally, the member may pay a one-time sum of $300
$4.00 per hour
Aerotow Rates  
Hook Up Fee $17.00 per tow

Plus Each Hundred Feet of Tow

  • Example of charges for a typical 2,000 foot tow: $ 17.00 (hook up fee) + $ 15.00 (2,000 feet @ $0.75 /100 ft) =$32.00
$0.75 per 100 feet

Aerotow Retrieve

  • Off Field Cross Country Tows: Rate equal to cost of one regular tow (2000') plus the hourly rental cost of the tow plane.
  • However, retrieve from Bushby, Joliet, Morris, Rileys and Sweedler only incur a charge of one 2,000 foot tow.

Field Use Fee

  • Owners of privately owned sailplanes are charged a Field Use Fee of $216/year, charged at $18/month.  
  • Winter Hangar Storage is available for a limited number of sailplanes stored in a trailer for an additional $160 for the winter season.  
  • Motor home storage is available for $240/year or $40/month.

Club Objectives

The purpose of the Club is to provide fellowship, information, instruction, stimulation, and education for those interested in flying, gliding, and soaring, both locally and cross country. The Club promotes interest in soaring both locally and on wider levels. The Club supports recognition of outstanding accomplishments in personal feats, sailplane design, and technical advancements pertaining to soaring.

CGC has a good blend of flying personalities. Many members just fly locally. But there are about 20 who fly cross country at every opportunity. Flights up to 350 miles have been flown from the CGC Field. For those wishing to start soaring cross-country, or to just improve their thermalling ability, there is a large pool of very experienced soaring pilots from which to obtain advice. After the flying is finished for the day, the cross-country pilots expound on their flight to all who will listen. This often culminates in a cookout by any and all who care to stay. Planned social events include a buffet dinner in the Spring and a Pig Roast in the Fall. 

Membership Obligations

The Chicago Glider Club is a working glider club, not simply a flying club. The club owns the airport, hangers, gliders, tow-planes, and other airport facilities. Club members perform all maintenance activities, including cutting the runway, sweeping out the hangers, and performing annual inspections of the club aircraft. New members are expected to pitch in and assist with all these tasks.

The cost of operation is kept to a minimum by having the membership do ALL of the required work to maintain the club. This includes maintaining the aircraft and facility equipment, mowing the grass on the runway, and cleaning the clubhouse. Members participate as their own talents, interest and time permit. This "do it yourself" philosophy is the mainstay of the club and is expected of each member. No work details or schedules are mandated. Each member is expected to share in the work. Being a member can be a real hands-on total aviation experience! Many members are high time soaring pilots and several have extensive contest experience.


The club always welcomes individuals interested in becoming committed members that love soaring and who intend to participate in the club's operations and activities on a long-term basis. 

It is preferred that new members have at least a private pilot certificate with any rating; non-glider rated private pilots are welcome. If you need transition training for a glider rating, that can be worked out with a club instructor using club sailplanes to acquire the required experience in preparation for the FAA check-ride. Club instructors offer their service free of charge to club members in club equipment.

Any person who expresses an interest in soaring may apply for pilot membership by the payment of the initiation fee and submission of the Club application. Applications for membership in the Chicago Glider Club will be reviewed the Board of Directors for final approval. Applicants must have a sponsor: a sponsor is a current member of the club who is knowledgeable of club procedures and is willing to provide any guidance the new member should require until familiar with club procedures. 

Although CGC is not set up as a primary glider flight school, the club will consider genuinely committed student pilot applicants. In this case, the student pilot applicant must make prior arrangements with a qualified club instructor for the flying lessons needed to acquire a glider pilot certificate. 

Family Membership is available at a very nominal one time charge. This enables any member of the regular pilot's family to use club aircraft. The only restriction is that only one club sailplane may be used by the Family Member unit at the same time. This rule is waived on days of low utilization of club sailplanes. All usage fees incurred by family members are the responsibility of the primary pilot member. 

The Application Process

Pilots interested in joining the club should contact the club's This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. who is in charge of new member relations. The VP will send you an application kit that explains the club's history, and what the club expects from new members. An application form will be included in the application kit.  

Membership Fees and Charges

The Chicago Glider Club prefers to trust the individual pilot's judgment in contrast to generating a number of definitive rules. However, the following policies are expected to be followed:


Aerotow Procedures

FAR 91 .309(a)(5) requires that before conducting aerotow operations, the pilots of the towing aircraft and the glider "have agreed upon a general course of action, including takeoff and release signals, airspeed, and emergency procedures for each pilot."

Chicago Glider Club pilots have tacitly agreed to such procedures through Club practices, safety seminars, and discussions with tow pilots and glider pilots, thus not delaying towing while such matters are discussed before each flight.

To ensure compliance with the applicable regulation, and to make sure that everyone is following the same procedures that govern CGC towing operations, whether such operations occur at CGC Field or on retrieve from another location, these procedures are set out below.

Should other procedures be more appropriate, any variance will be agreed upon by both tow pilot and glider pilot prior to commencing such tow, or by radio when airborne. Responsibility for determining the appropriate procedures remains with the pilots involved, based on their review of the relevant circumstances.

  1. The standard signals for ground and on-tow operations arc those listed in the SSA Soaring Flight Manual, and will apply. Each member has reviewed these signals, is familiar with them, and will use them.
  2. The glider pilot is responsible for arranging for a wing runner, if one is to be used, and for briefing the wing runner as necessary for safe operations.
  3. Unless directed otherwise by the glider pilot, the tow pilot will tow the glider until it releases, or until 3,000 feet AGL is reached. Upon reaching 3,000 feet AGL, the tow pilot will level off and wait for the glider pilot to release or for an instruction from the glider pilot. The glider pilot will inform the tow pilot, either by ground signal or radio prior to or after takeoff, of any variance from this procedure that he or she desire(s).
  4. The glider pilot will advise the tow pilot prior to takeoff or by radio if a tow to a specific location or if maneuvering outside the normal high-tow position is intended.
  5. Tow airspeeds will not be less than 60 knots (70 mph) for fiberglass gliders and 55 knots (65) mph) for other gliders.
  6. The glider wing will not be raised until the glider pilot signals ready for takeoff.
  7. The following emergency procedures will apply:
  • ...    In the event of a power failure while the tow plane is on the ground or at an altitude from which an immediate landing on the takeoff runway is possible, both glider pilot and tow pilot will attempt to release, the tow plane pilot will attempt to move to the left side of the runway and the glider pilot to the right side.
  • ...    In the event the tow plane pilot notices something is wrong with the glider, such as the spoilers are open, he/she will advise the glider pilot by radio and continue the tow to at least 2,000 AGL (if possible) while returning to over or near the glider field prior to signaling the glider pilot to release.
  • ...    In the event any other emergency or distracting occurrence arises while in flight that makes aerotow difficult or impossible (such as canopy opening, instrument malfunctions, or the like), the tow pilot will attempt to reach a safe altitude so as to increase the time available to deal with the problem.

CHICAGO GLIDER CLUB BOARD OF DIRECTORS           Revised: April 12, 2015


Use of Club Sailplanes for Cross-Country Flights


Use of club gliders for cross-country flying by qualified members is strongly encouraged.

For cross country flight, "qualified" means a member must not only be capable of conducting the flight competently, but he must have ensured that he has a capable retrieve crew in place, whether by aerotow or trailer. (See the guidelines below.)

Each pilot is the judge of his/her competence to attempt a given cross-country flight. However, a member should seek counsel of a club instructor who has cross-country experience before attempting his/her first few cross-country flights. Failure to do so would indicate poor judgment.

Please see the Glider Reservation Policy for the details of reserving a glider for cross- country flights.


The board has established these minimal requirements:

  • Though no minimum flight time in a specific club glider is required, a pilot shall have made a minimum of three tows and landings in that glider before he/she may use it for a cross country flight. This requirement stands regardless of the member’s other experience.
  • The pilot is required to advise another club member, at the club site, of the intention to fly a cross-country flight on that day. A note on the wall near the sign-up board will notify others the glider may be unavailable the rest of the day.
  • Gliders returned to the field on the trailer shall be assembled and hangared appropriately and the trailer returned to its appointed spot and tied down properly.


If you plan to have an aerotow back from a landing at another airport, you shall arrange to have a willing tow pilot available for the retrieve.

Since an outlanding is possible, you shall:

  • Be able to conduct the assembly and disassembly as well as trailer loading and hookup. You are expected to have actually done it, preferably more than once.
  • Prior to departing on a flight, arrange for the correct trailer and adequate, compatible tow vehicle. Good judgment would insist this combination be tested to ensure all components such as lights, tires, trailer hitch, etc., are in operating condition. The retrieve crew must know the location of the keys to the car.
  • Recruit a crew capable of retrieving you. For the 2-place sailplanes, more than one crewperson should be recruited. The crew must be able to find, identify, hook up, and bring the correct trailer and all pieces of necessary gear to the retrieve site. Also, you should have necessary maps and charts as well as a communications method (cell phone, radio, etc) in the tow vehicle to ensure directions to the landing site can he passed to the crew.

CHICAGO GLIDER CLUB BOARD OF DIRECTORS           Revised: March 2, 2006


Reservation of Club Sailplanes

  1. Club gliders are reserved on the board located near the clubhouse door on the south wall of the hanger. The board is marked with time slots for each glider.
  2. Glider reservation is on a "first come-first served" basis. The first member to sign up has their choice of time slots. It is not allowable to reserve multiple time slots (except as allowed by the cross-country policy). After landing from the first flight, any open slots are then available for reservation. Time slots may not be reserved on any previous day, unless the board has approved taking the glider away from our field (to a contest, for example).
  3. A club member may not reserve consecutive time slots on any one glider for local flying. Two individual club members (but not two members of the same family membership) flying a two-place glider may reserve consecutive slots and need not land between slots.
  4. The time period between slots is intended for transfer of the glider to the next user. Each user must have the glider on the runway by the end of their reserved time slot so that the next user can be ready for tow when their time slot begins.
    • a) If the previous user runs into your time slot, you have been wronged. By all means discuss it with him or her, but your time is still up at the end of your time slot.
  5. Quite often, the glider usage is not heavy. Notwithstanding all of the above, you may fly as long as you like, provided that you can determine that no one wants the glider. It is fair to make a radio call and have someone at the clubhouse check for you, but it is your responsibility to be sure that no one is has signed up for the glider you are flying. If you can't verify that no one has signed up for the glider, then you must assume that someone has and land before your time is up.
  6. All of the gliders now have radios and we need to keep the base station active whenever anyone is flying. Likewise the glider radios should be on while you are flying. If you sign up for a time slot while someone else is in the air, it is courteous to contact him or her by radio to let them know that you will be waiting.
  7. The Discus CS, the Duo-Discus and one ASK-21, may he reserved for cross-country flights by writing your name and "Cross Country" down the time slot column through the time for which you plan to fly. Please refer to the Cross-Country Policy to insure that all responsibilities for cross-country flights have been fulfilled. Only one of the two-place ASK-21 gliders can be signed up for cross-country at a time.
  8. Cross-country flights can be SSA/FAI Badge flights, record attempts, NISC race flights or flights away from the glider club field chosen to be appropriate for the skill level of the member pilot.
  9. It is important to remember that the gliders are owned and are to be shared by all members. The cross country reservation policy should be used with care to make sure that members who want to use the gliders have a fair chance to do so. However, there is no set limit to the amount of flying that a member is allowed to do (including cross-country). The idea is to have the gliders being flown - not sitting in the hanger.
  10. Re-lights are allowed, but if it becomes obvious that you can’t complete your task, you must release the glider for use by the other members.

CHICAGO GLIDER CLUB BOARD OF DIRECTORS           Revised: April 1, 2019


Minimum Pilot Requirements For Flying or Towing as Pilot in Command in CGC Powered Aircraft    


  • Possess at least a Private Pilot Certificate
  • Minimum of 250 hours Pilot in Command in powered aircraft, and;
  • Minimum of 50 hours PlC in ASEL with tailwheel, and;
  • At least 10 takeoffs and landings in same make and model (Husky and/or Pawnee as applicable), and;
  • Checkout by CGC Check Pilot


  • Possess at least a Private Pilot Certificate
  • Minimum of 500 hours Pilot in Command in powered aircraft, and;
  • Minimum of 100 hours PlC in ASEL with tailwheel, and;
  • At least 10 takeoffs and landings in same make and model (Husky and/or Pawnee as applicable), and;
  • At least 10 tows while accompanied by an "Authorized Pilot"
  • Checkout by CGC Check Pilot

A pilot not meeting the requirements, MAY be able to fly the airplanes, by being listed as a "named pilot" on the insurance policy after application through the CGC Operations Officer to the insurance company and meet certain requirements as prescribed by the insurance company.

Qualified CGC Pilots are not required to hold a Commercial Pilot Certificate to tow CGC members.

CHICAGO GLIDER CLUB BOARD OF DIRECTORS           Revised: March 27, 2006