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The Gliding Federation of Australia administers a system of maintenance for sailplanes and powered sailplanes in Australia under delegated authority from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia (CASA). This is called the GFA Airworthiness System, which nurtures and develops an environment of safety and continuing airworthiness for all members’ aircraft as well as GFA Authorised Inspectors and GFA Authorised Organisations. The system maintains and develops standards for technical specifications, maintenance procedures, training and education as well as performing certification, audit, aircraft registration and technical advisory roles for members.

We must use documents from various sources to maintain our aircraft. To fit in with the modern international aviation world it has been ruled by CASA that all ADs and other documents from the State of Design of you glider and equipment must be found and must be complied with. It is impossible for GFA to maintain a copy of all docs relevant to all gliders and their variations of equipment, although we help as follows. The Registered Operator is responsible (but the Annual Inspector should ensure he has the correct and current documents).

For the GFA library of ALL documents: Go directly to the Docs/Forms Tab, above.

The CASA Forms required for the administration of the Glider Register have changed.  There is a new link in the Airworthiness section which takes you to the relevant forms.

The forms can be found by clicking HERE as well.

Please make sure that you use the new forms for all administration associated with Certificates of Registration, Deregistration, Ownership and other changes. Effective from 26th March 2014 the old forms will not be accepted, so please use the ones you find at this link.

If you have questions please contact Tanya Loriot in the GFA Office.

Use of oxygen and protective breathing equipment

 For many years the GFA has  provided airworthiness training via the regions, through the RTO/A network. Very successful courses (filled with technical advice and practical hands on experience) are conducted to help keep existing inspectors' skills up to date, but also to provide a path for members with only basic Daily Inspector ratings a chance to upgrade to small parts replacement, form 2 inspector and in some cases approved for age surveys, minor and major repairs and other specialist skills.

The courses are often run over a week or more and are sometimes offered as a series of weekends. Assessment and qualification achievement is determined by the RTO/A in accordance with performance on type against the syllabus in section 9 of Part 3 of the MoSP.

Alternate training

There has always been an alternative training system to achieve the necessary training and skill set required to competently service the gliding fleet which does not involve these formal school courses. Whilst the option is less formal in regard to structure and less intense, it is no less rigorous and is intended to bring the candidate to the same level of expertise. The GFA accepts a mentor process of training whereby members (who cannot ordinarily make it to the intensive courses for some reason) have the opportunity to work through the required syllabus often contributing under supervision to several form 2 inspections.

This system relies on the RTO/A allocating a competent mentor (usually in the members club) to be responsible for the training and supervision, working through all parts of the required syllabus. Obviously this work occurs over a period of time and can take in more than one year. The RTO/A will receive a report and recommendation at the end of the training period on the performance and suitability of the candidate for Airworthiness upgrade and may seek to personally confirm the candidates skill level before issuing a higher rating.

Either stream of training is available to all members but is usually on the recommendation of the clubs Airworthiness officer to the RTO/A. Following satisfactory completion of the syllabus the RTO/A may upgrade the candidate on the aircraft type under which the training took place.

Clubs and members interested in airworthiness ratings should make application directly to their RTO/A in the first instance.

National Trailer Towing Limits

The battle to get a nationwide acceptance of uniform glider trailer overhang limits continues but meanwhile some important changes have been made regarding towed mass and speed limits wherein we find that we all now live in the same country instead of 6 landlocked islands and one real one.

In a news release of December 1998, it was announced that all states would introduce uniform legislation regarding mass and speed limits of trailers early in 1999.

Importing first of type gliders into Australia can be  fraught with hidden expenses and problems for the unwary. With the rapid increase in the number of imported motor gliders it is becoming clear that many engine installations are far from ideal and safety concerns are rife. Besides the usual import traps which apply to any glider and which are detailed below, careful and detailed inspection and attention to fuel systems, component quality and materials used as well (in some cases) the free play, tolerances and other ordinary control surface operations should be scrutinised before taking to the air. Design standards and quality of finish in many regards on new types, is not what we have come to expect in modern gliders and new prospective owners should be vigilant and cautious on receipt.

Guidelines for importation of Gliders

There is quite a bit to this so here is a cryptic summary.

Make your purchase and agree all details of the change of responsibility including insurance cover. There are standard intl. terms of trade in respect of this see details for more. Your freight forwarder can assist with insurance

De-register the glider, get it cleaned and delivered to the load point

Arrange entry permit for any trailer and plan to have this before the glider arrives. Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Note also special parameters for glider trailers specifically.

Arrange for the loading and shipping which may need fumigation

Arrange customs clearance and Quarantine inspection. There will also be GST payable and possibly duty on the trailer if any.

Once cleared pay all charges and collect the glider

Get it registered, modified and checked for Australian compliance


If a temporary import, other factors come to play such as Carnets or temporary import bonds for tax and duty


If you are permanently relocating and the glider is more than 12 months old other factors come into play such as possible personal effects. Again your customs broker needs to manage this process.


Guidelines for Annual Inspections of Gliders and Powered Sailplanes

Version 7, 28/05/2015

NOTE: there are new procedures for completing annual inspections.
Please read these guidelines carefully before commencing an annual inspection.

To download the file navigate to Docs/Forms \ Documents/Forms

Be patient it takes a while to get all the file information.

Navigate to GFA Manual of Standard Procedures \ MOSP Part 3 \ AIRW-M16 at the bottom.

Go directly to the Docs/Forms Tab, above.

Be a little patient - there are lots of files to gather information for. 

Or a little further down this page gives help on finding documents worldwide.

Service Difficulty Report 

Here is the latest Service Difficulty Report (SDR). This is the full copy of public SDR as discussed in the last Gliding Australia.