Jun 26 2011
Last update:

SpeedFlying Air Law

Speed Riding - Rules of the Sky




Diagram Key:
Green arrow shows priority or correct fight path
Red arrow shows illegal, non priority or incorrect flight path

Who has Right of Way ?



Any pilots BELOW or INFRONT of you ALWAYS has Right of Way, no exceptions. The reason for this is that the pilot ahead can't see you without turning or looking backwards, and the canopy/wing blocks the view of who is or what is above.


Passing or Overtaking Guidelines

When overtaking, pass on the side that give you the best view and best ability to make sudden changes to your flight path should the slower pilot also need too make a sudden change to their path. The one execption is when ridge soaring. Pilots are required only to pass on the hill side. Overtaking on the Left, in this situation is forbidden. Also note when overtaking, the slower pilot has priority until after the passing pilot completes their manouver.



When 2 wings are flying face to face (head-on collision), both pilots must turn away to their RIGHT.


When pilots approaching head-on are hill soaring the pilot with the hill on their left MUST take the avoiding action.


When 2 pilots are flying towards each other at a converging angle at same height, the pilot approaching from the right has priority. The pilot approaching on the left MUST turn away to avoid collision (NOT into the other pilots flight path).


When you are the following pilot you should be able to judge if, where and when the slower pilot is or will need to make a manouver.

Do NOT pass close to a slower pilot - speed gliders create turbulent air in their wake and may unbalance the now following wing.


Always Keep a safe distance.

A pilot on the RIGHT is ALWAYS in the RIGHT... and always has right of way or priority


Note: it is EVERY pilots responsibility to avoid collisions.

There are no excuses!!!







Thermal Flying

The first pilot to start thermalling, has priority and chooses the direction of rotation which all other pilots when entering the thermal must follow. Pilots entering a thermal must enter 180° to the previous wing, so they are on the opposite side of the thermal and no risk of a collision.



When following a feature on the ground eg, a road, canal, railway the pilot should keep the feature on their left.




Mountain Flying & Rescue Helicopters

Avoid flying in the same airspace as helicopters, in the mountains it is often easy to hear them if they are near. If you cant see the helipocter, stay on the snow and dont fly off an edge blind - it could be below you.


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