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:
|April 3, 2021 9am-12:30pm||Annual Safety Seminar|
|May 30, 2020||
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.
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
The following flight manuals are pdf files that you can download and print:
Schleicher ASK-21 (N621CG)
Schleicher ASK-21B (N521CG)
Schempp-Hirth Duo Discus (N57CG)
Schempp-Hirth Discus CS (N511TW)
Christen Husky (N2881P)
Piper Pawnee (N8519L)
|Effective May 2, 2020|
$600 (< 35 years)
$1,200 (35+ years)
Chicago Glider Club Regular Membership dues
|$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
|$4.00 per hour|
|Hook Up Fee||$17.00 per tow|
Plus Each Hundred Feet of Tow
|$0.75 per 100 feet|
Field Use Fee
Rules of the Northern
Sponsored by the Chicagoland Glider Council Inc.
Updated: April 26, 2017
Northern Illinois Soaring Contest Rule Changes as of April 2017
1. Any day on which three pilots fly a handicapped distance of 40 statute miles will be treated as a contest day. Turnpoints are any public-use airport on the sectional chart in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana or Iowa and those RLAs listed on the Worldwide Soaring Turnpoint Exchange for the contest. The contest data base can be downloaded in a wide range of formats from that source. SSA glider handicaps will be used. The contest will be scored using the SSA’s Winscore program.
A. Assigned tasks with mandatory turn-points and no time limit, although minimum time will be one-hour if no other period is declared;
B. MAT (modified assigned task) tasks consisting of a series of assigned turn-points that must be flown in order, but the series may be cut short by returning to the finish and will be scored as completed tasks; a time minimum task time may be included (also with any declared time or the default 1-hour period); or
C. Turn area tasks with a set time or the default duration of 1hour, and defined turn-points with a defined radius for each as specified in the declaration (turn areas, the and finish must not overlap and must be separated by at least two statute miles).
3. While a scoring formula providing, in effect, a bonus for longer flights makes sense in terms of recognizing the increased difficulty of longer tasks, applying the bonus may be discouraging flights in club gliders that must be shared since pilots may not feel competitive. Therefore, the bonus will be eliminated.
4. Although the default time will be one hour, pilots are encouraged to declare longer time periods if glider availability is not a factor.
5. The start cylinder will be 2 statute miles in radius centered on any of the starting airports (Chicago Glider Club, Hinckley, Dacy or Sky Soaring). The top of the cylinder will be the lower of 4,500’ MSL or 500’ below clouds if clouds are present. The finish cylinder will be 1 mile in radius centered on the same airport from which the flight began. The floor of the finish cylinder will be 1,500’ MSL. The penalty for low finishes as provided in the SSA Regional Sports Class Rules will apply to finishes below that altitude. A pilot can start the task by thermaling through the top of the cylinder.
6. Scores will be computed using the SSA Rules. Scores will be tallied on a monthly basis. There will be a monthly winner each month from April through October. A month will count for purpose of determining a monthly winner as long as at least three pilots each fly at least two contest days in the month.
7. Scores will also be maintained on a cumulative basis for the year and the pilot with the best score for the year will be recognized at the end of the season. The contest will start on April 1 and end on October 31.
8. Pilots must submit the flight log to the scorer in a format that can be read by the SSA Winscore software, with a statement of the turnpoints claimed and the definition of the task, and with a statement as to whether it was declared in advance. Because Winscore requires the total weight of the aircraft, pilot and equipment, pilots must provide that weight with the first flight log submitted and advise the scorer of any revision of more than 10 pounds during the course of the season. Winscore adjusts the standard handicaps based on weight.
9. As in past years, pilots may carry water ballast in NISC contest flights. All pilots who take off with water will be scored as if all the water on board at takeoff was carried throughout the flight. When submitting flight logs for scoring, pilots are required to inform the scorer of the weight of the water on board (both in the wings and in any tail ballast containers) and of the revised weight of the glider at takeoff with water. (Winscore adjust handicaps based on glider weight. The adjustments can be significant. As an example, an ASG-29 with a light pilot and no water will weight about 803 pounds. The same glider with a pilot 60 pounds heavier and carrying 30 gallons of water will weight about 1103 lbs. Winscore calculates -- and we will apply -- a handicap of .8582 for the first pilot and .8075 for the second pilot.) Pilots should familiarize themselves with safety and handling issues for their glider before carrying water. For pilots without extensive experience flying with water in the model of glider used for NISC contest flights, careful review of the applicable provisions of the Pilot's Operating Handbook or other manufacturer information and of all applicable limitations relating to operating with water ballast is recommended – as is a discussion with an instructor experienced in flying with water ballast in similar gliders. As in all aspects of NISC flying, the pilot is solely responsible for the safety of his or her flight and for complying with all regulatory and POH requirements.
10. If not otherwise provided in the NISC rules, the 2017 SSA Regional Sports Class Rules will apply. All pilots will be responsible for their own flight decisions and for compliance with the Federal Aviation Regulations. Any complaints or protests may be sent to the scorer who will resolve them, unless he is involved in the matter, in which case it will be referred to a neutral and experienced contest pilot for decision.
11. By submitting a log for scoring or otherwise participating in the contest, a pilot agrees to be bound by the release of liability set out in full in complete rules.
Basic safety issues:
Don’t count on RLAs to be landable, especially for gliders! RLAs are often narrow. They can be misplaced on the map and databases. Some may have reverted to crops or become housing developments. Others are not often mowed or maintained, and may present a hazard due to high grass or potholes. RLA conditions can change over the course of the season. RLAs are private property. The Northern Illinois database carefully distinguishes between "airport" and "private". "Airports" are public use airports, and their location and landabilty is much more reliable. Fields with the "private" or "landable" attribute (depending on software) are RLAs, and subject to the above unreliability.
This warning includes such fields used as turnpoints.
Chicago airspace is very congested. Power planes are not looking for gliders, especially away from airports, and gliders are very hard to see. We strongly suggest that you purchase and install a transponder and/or a passive traffic avoidance device (zaon mrx) or power flarm. In any case, keep a sharp lookout. It is a good practice to occasionally take some turns on long glides so you can see behind you.
When possible, plan your flights to take you away from common approach routes, class B and C airspace, and the 30 nm Class B veil. Be aware of airways (the blue lines on sectionals) and VORs, and anticipate power traffic on airways and in the vicinity of VORs.
All pilots are required to comply with FARs, including cloud clearance and visibility requirements. You must wear a parachute on NISC flights.
Be careful around parachute operations, especially Skydive Chicago, Rochelle, and Beloit. Monitor their frequency when nearby. Parachute operations communicate with Chicago Center before jumps, so they know you're there but they don't know your intentions. Talking to the parachute operator is a good idea. Note: Skydive Chicago is not a permissible turnpoint. This rule has been adopted to discourage NISC flying in the area of that airport
The most common source of problems in cross country flying is putting off the decision to land in a field until too late, and as a result not doing a proper field inspection and pattern. Commit in advance of every flight that you will not make this mistake. Expect a scolding from the scorer if your trace shows a straight-in landing to a field at low speed, and points penalties for repeated violations.
Unlike SSA contests, there is no contest management to check weather and airspace (NOTAMs, TFRs, etc.). Each pilot must take responsibility to obtain this necessary informaton. Don't assume that because you hear others on the radio that they have done so.
Ask for help. Any of the NISC pilots at your airport will be delighted to guide you through the rules and procedures.
Please read the full rules for more information by clicking on the link below ("pdf").
The complete competition rules can be viewed as a pdf that can be downloaded and printed.
Results for 2018: 2018 Results
Below are the results from previous years (in Excel format).
The Northern Illinois Soaring Championships is a sports class contest. It has been won by pilots flying everything from a 1-26 to a Ventus. The top 8 daily scores (8000 points max) are counted each year. If not enough contestants fly, then some years have a lower possible maximum score (see rules for complete details). The winner is awarded a traveling plaque to hold for 1 year. The top 3 finishers from the previous contest are listed in order along with their aircraft and their point total/maximum possible points. Congratulations to all the previous winners of this contest.
The following list of winners will be brought up to date.
|2012||24||1||Herb Kilian||LS8-15||8000 (11 x 1000-day)|
|2||John Cochrane||ASW-27||8000 (10 x 1000-day)|
|2008||25||1||John Cochrane||ASW-27||8000 (10 x 1000-day)|
|2||Herb Kilian||LS8-15||8000 (8 x 1000-day)|
|3||Bob Macys||Ventus 2B||7965|
|3||Jeff Russell||LS 4||7784|
|3||Bob Macys||Ventus 2B||7526|
|3||Don Kroesch||Genesis 2||7684|
|1999||22||1||John Cochrane||Discus CS||7719|
|1998||20||1||John Cochrane||Discus CS||7795|
|1997||28||1||Neal Ridenour||Mini Nimbus||7791|
|2||Kevin Hobbs||Std Cirrus||7474|
|1995||25||1||Kevin Hobbs||Std Cirrus||8000|
|3||Bob Macys||Mini Nimbus||3792|
|2||Neal Ridenour||Mini Nimbus||7617|
|3||Bob Macys||Mini Nimbus||7579|
|1991||18||1||Bob Quas||SGS1-26 D||8000|
|3||Neal Ridenour||Mini Nimbus||7685|
|2||Bob Macys||Mini Nimbus||3774|
|1989||12||1||Bob Macys||Mini Nimbus||7156|
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:
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- Tow airspeeds will not be less than 60 knots (70 mph) for fiberglass gliders and 55 knots (65) mph) for other gliders.
- The glider wing will not be raised until the glider pilot signals ready for takeoff.
- 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 memberâ€™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
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
TO FLY 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
TO TOW IN CGC POWERED AIRCRAFT:
- 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
The Chicago Glider Club address is:
Chicago Glider Club
26045 W Airport Road,
Minooka, IL 60447
The clubhouse telephone is: 815-467-9861.
Please note that the telephone is unattended when no members are present at the clubhouse, and messages cannot be recorded.
Individual members' contact information is not publicly available on this website, however club members can find this information by logging on and then selecting the Member List menu command.
For maps and directions, see the Directions page.
Pay your CGC bill using either a PayPal or Credit Card Account here:
The Chicago Glider Club currently owns 4 sailplanes and 2 towplanes. We operate an "all glass" fleet, something very few clubs if any can claim in the USA. All club aircraft are very well maintained by CGC members and are always kept in the club's two hangars.
The club is constantly reviewing it's equipment needs as member needs change and as equipment ages. This review has lead to the club replacing sailplanes in the past few years; for example, the Duo Discus was purchased in 1999 to replace the Grob Twin Astir that the club had owned for several years, in order to provide a high-performance two-seater as a next step up from the mid-performance ASK-21. More recently, our ASW-24 was replaced by an Discus-CS, and in 2019 our older ASK-21 has been replaced with a new ASK-21B.
Prior to purchasing the Discus-CS in 2018, the club has owned an ASW-24 in 2008, a Pegasus in 1998; prior to that the club's single seater had been an ASW-19, and before that a Mini-Nimbus, which - being a 15 meter flapped sailplane - made an 'interesting' step up for members graduating from the two-seater ASK-21.
The club now owns three two-place sailplanes:
2 Schleicher ASK-21 sailplanes: Basic training and checkout is now performed in one of our ASK-21's.
The ASK-21, manufactured by Alexander Schleicher GmbH, is widely used by soaring clubs around the world as an intermediary trainer. CGC's second ASK-21B was purchased new from the factory in the winter of 2019.
Schempp-Hirth Duo Discus: The Duo Discus is quite easy to fly, but it is expected that adequate proficiency in other sailplanes be acquired before soloing.
The Duo is a high performance 2-seater with 20 meter wingspan, manufactured by Schempp-Hirth GmbH; the club bought it new in 1999 using loans from members, which have since been paid off in full.
CGC members pay only $20 per hour to fly this glider, which is a fraction of what one would expect to pay at a commercial operation!
The club's single-seat sailplane is a Schempp-Hirth Discus CS
The higher performance Discus CS requires previous flying experience in similar single-place sailplanes and/or getting experience in the ASK-21 and the Duo-Discus.
235 hp Pawnee
180 hp Christen Husky
During the winter months skis are often installed on the Husky towplane. It is then used for pilot proficiency and winter glider tows. The Super Cub shown on skis has been replaced, but it does show the club's runway covered with snow.
Many members own their own sailplanes and base them at the CGC gliderport. A trailer tie-down area for private ships is provided with sufficient space that ships can be assembled without moving the trailers.
The number of private sailplanes, which tend to be higher performance, cross-country type ships, on the field varies from 15 to 20, and currently includes one or more of the following:
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