New Sailplane OPS published

Jannes Neumann • 20 December 2018
in community General Aviation

Rules for the operation of sailplanes were published in the Official Journal of the EU today and will apply from 9 July 2019. The complementing AMC and GM will be published by EASA beginning of 2019.

This new regulation will replace the sailplane specific rules of Part-NCO and Part-CAT(S) of the Air OPS regulation and is the first step to the so called Rulebook Sailplanes. The second step is to replace the sailplane specific rules of the Air Crew regulation by a gliding dedicated regulation as well. The respective EASA opinion is scheduled for publication in February 2019 and will then further processed by the Commission for its adoption.

The aim of the Rulebook Sailplanes is to support sport and recreational aviation with simple and proportionate rules.

Official Journal containing Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1976 ('Sailplane OPS'):

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1976

Comments (7)

Gerd Scholten

the regulation establishes some questions:
1. really applicable for all types of powered sailplanes (sustainer, self launcher, TMG)?
2. use of smart phones, Bluetooth applications or other wireless devices during flights forbidden?
3. ELT/PLB for TMG not anymore required?

Jannes Neumann

Hello Mr Scholten,

1) yes, regulation (EU) 2018/1976 is applicable to all sailplanes including powered ones (self-sustaining, self-launchable, and TMG). LAPL(A) or PPL(A) pilots have to operate a TMG in accordance with this regulation, too.

2) no, it is not the intend to forbid the carriage or use of portable electronic devices (PED). However, the pilot-in-command has to make sure that a PED are switched-off in case the PED interferes negatively with other required systems of the sailplane e.g. radio, engine control unit, etc.

3) ELTs or PLBs are not required by regulation (EU) 2018/1976. This constitutes a difference to the situation with Part-NCO for TMG with running engine, as today.

Please allow me to add two items, which are under discussion within the gliding community.

4) It is not the intent of the regulation to require a transponder in the first place. A transponder is required only, when operating in a portion of airspace, in which the carriage of a transponder is required, e.g. in a transponder mandatory zone. This will be clarified by guidance material.

5) It is not required to install a timepiece, a wrist watch is sufficient. Explained in the AMC/GM, as well.

Best regards,

This will be clarified by guidance material. -> Guidance material should clarify implementation of a rule and detail the acceptable means of compliance. Never rewrite the requirements contained in that rule.

With the current text of the SAO.IDE.135 the transponder is mandatory and it must be able to comply with requirements defined in SERA.6005.

If the intention was to require transponder only in some select airspaces why not say soy in the rule ? I find that is very poor rule-making by EASA.

Jannes Neumann


You are completely right the wording could be more user friendly. It is one of the cases where the wording was driven by legal constrains rather than using a language used by sailplane pilots normally. Thus, it is up to the guidance material to translate it into pilot’s language, unfortunately.
However again, the combination of SAO.IDE.135 and SERA.6005 (b) does not constitute a transponder mandate in general.


P.S. The AMC/GM has just been published:…

Jannes Neumann

It is quite straight forward. As indicated in the table of Appendix 4 to SERA, radio capability is not required for VFR traffic in airspaces G, F, E. However, in an Radio Mandatory Zone (RMZ) you need radio capability, of course, unless alternative provisions prescribed for that particular RMZ airspace by the ANSP allow flights without radio communication.

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