Cadet gliding season is back and the Air Cadet League is reminding pilots to familiarize themselves with the procedures at the dozens of airports across the country that the training and demo flights are going on most weekends. Although many airports are in areas without much transient air traffic, a few in Ontario especially are in busy and complicated airspace and there have been some close calls with aircraft at the Markham training centre with “aircraft that blundered through the ATF area and through the circuit at circuit altitude, unannounced, operating to or from Buttonville and the Claremont Training Area or following Highway 48,” according to Capt. Craig McNeill, commanding officer of the Markham base.

McNeill has offered some tips for GTA pilots who might be flying through the area during the gliding season from April 14 to mid-June and from late August through mid-November

Markham CFS operates from April through mid-June and late August through mid-November
Operations occur only on: Weekends and holidays during Day VFR between 0800 and sunset, and occasional Friday afternoons during Day VFR until sunset.

All active operations are advertised by NOTAM and are included in the Buttonville ATIS.

The tow aircraft and up to two gliders will only be found in the red box bounded by Markham airport runway 09 / 27 centreline and the town of Stouffville McCowan Road and 10th Line. All operations are conducted from the surface to 3,500’ ASL

Glider and tow aircraft continuously monitor and transmit on VHF 122.8

The tow aircraft uses TCAS technology and will detect aircraft operating a transponder.

Markham Unicom or “Glider Ground” will provide GTGC operational status on VHF 122.8

During active operations, the tow aircraft and gliders remain in the north circuit – all other powered traffic remains in the southern circuit. Circuit joining via overhead is not authorized.

Markham is a PPR (Prior Permission Required) airport. Permission must be obtained from the airport operator by phone as per the CFS.