CSC Coaching

This page contains details of the club coaching strategy and photos of our club coaches. please log into the Members area and choose:

Members > Members Info > Our Coaches & how to contact them.

This will bring you to a similar coaching page, the coaches table will be populated with email addresses and contact phone numbers.  Our coaches would be delighted to hear from you to chat through flying options and/or to meet up on a hill.

Club Coaching Strategy

1. Information for Club Pilots

Purpose of CSC Coaching

The Cumbrian fells provide a challenging flying environment even for the experienced pilot. For the newly qualified CP, those with little airtime and pilots lacking in mountain flying experience it can appear daunting.

This Coaching Strategy aims to provide a clearly defined and efficient approach to coaching for the benefit of both coaches and the coached.

The overarching aim of the coaching programme is to enable new pilots to fly safely and confidently in the fells. To this end the programme will focus on:

  • Developing the skills necessary for safe flying in the mountain environment.
  • Imparting knowledge to help participating pilots to make informed flying decisions.
  • Helping Club Pilots raise their flying skills to the next level (Pilot).
  • Creating a social network to help new members integrate into the club.

Please remember that all coaches are volunteers. Whilst they are often willing to sacrifice some of their own flying time to help others, each individual coach will decide for themselves when they are happy to coach and, specifically, WHAT they are happy to coach. If you feel you need particular help with specific tasks please discuss with individual coaches - or consider booking a day with one of our local schools, Airventures,  Escape or Sunsoar. 

Who is coaching for?

Any pilot can benefit from the coaching programme though it's generally aimed at lower-airtime pilots (especially those recently qualified at CP level) and pilots new to Cumbria. Pilots must have a minimum of CP and be a BHPA member – bring your BHPA card!

How the coaching is delivered and how you can 'get coached'!

All coaching is delivered to a standard consistent with the BHPA's own coaching standards.

There are two key strands to the CSC coaching offer:

  1. Practical coaching 'on the hill'
  2. Flying theory 'in the classroom'

A. Practical coaching 'on the hill'

Coaching on the hill is offered in a variety of formats to suit the needs of different pilots. Pilots can expect to receive the following:

  • Discussion and advice on the weather and anticipated flying conditions
  • Help in choosing the best flying site
  • A site briefing on arrival
  • Discussion about aspirations for the coaching session and, if appropriate, agreeing some tasks and goals
  • A debrief at the end of the session
  • If required and successfully undertaken, sign-off of pilot tasks

Practical coaching 'on the hill' is offered in a range of formats:

  1. One-to-One coaching
    1. Pilots at all levels of ability and experience can benefit from one-to-one coaching and are encouraged to do so.
    2. Importantly, it is up to YOU, the pilot to make contact with the Club Coach – please don't wait for a coach to contact you!
    3. The name, location, and contact details of CSC Club Coaches can be found by logging on to the member's area of the CSC website and scrolling down to the coaching section. Use these numbers and get in touch! (NB you need to be a club member to access coaches' contact details)
    4. If pilots prefer, they can contact the club's nominated 'Coaching Contact' who will arrange for you to be hooked-up with a suitable coach. You can get in touch with the 'Coaching Contact' by clicking on this link and sending a message.
  2. Ad-hoc / Informal coaching
    1. Any pilot should feel comfortable approaching our coaches at any time whilst out on the hill. Click the coaches tab on this page for current coaches - with photos.
    2. Coaches will do their best to identify themselves when they are happy to be 'on duty', not least by wearing the distinctive white Club Coach buff and cap.
  3. Coaching Groups
    1. These are informal events with no need to book and are aimed primarily at low air time pilots, pilots new to Cumbria, and those non-current.
    2. Coaching Group days are usually held the first Saturday in every month, April to September. See the Coaching Calendar tab on this page for this year's dates.
    3. The default meeting place is Castlerigg Stone Circle near Keswick at 10.30am. Any changes to this, and general information, will be sent out via CSC Website, CSC Forum, text or by all-members email. Pilots wanting to attend should ensure they have access to these options.
    4. If not flyable, attempts will be made to run the event the following day or weekend. Communication will be by one of the above media.
    5. Numbers are not officially limited but if a large number of people show up on the day then the group is likely to be split, with different groups being taken by the coaches to different flying sites. This may also happen where groups are clearly at different levels of experience.

    NOTE: Specialist coaching group days aimed at more experienced pilots e.g. covering XC flying, may be held from time to time. Further details and planned events of this nature can be found by Dave Ashcroft, CSC's chief coach. You can use this form to contact him.

B. Flying theory 'in the classroom'

The club will aim to run a number of 'classroom' theory sessions to help improve pilot knowledge and complement the practical sessions.

These will normally be held over the winter and, though aimed at lower-airtime and developing pilots, anyone is welcome to come along if they think they might benefit from the session.

Topics will typically include: Pilot Exam Theory; Weather; Safety; Glider control, etc.

Watch out for an e-mail in the Autumn about the theory classes.

Related Documents

1. The Pilot Development Programme

2. Pilot Rating Tasks

Coaching Programme

There are 20 Club Coaches in the CSC club. Some of them work for a living, and some of them are available all week! All are happy to go flying with CP qualified pilots wanting to visit new sites or get some coaching. Slope landing, thermalling, completing some tasks towards pilot rating, or even take part in short XC’s. Whatever ambitions you may have, a day out on the hill with a coach and other fellow pilots will help you progress in a safe and social environment. All the coaches listed on the "Coaches" tab are happy to meet up to go flying. Don’t hesitate to give them a call for a chat or introduce yourself at take-off or in the landing field. All pilots are unmistakable – they’re carrying the big bags and staring up the hill. You can get contact information in the members only section or by contacting Dave direct (see below).

There are also two group events:

Type 1 – Redtail.

The RedTail group is aimed a low air time pilots who are flying with their red streamer. The aim is to take advantage of flyable spells in the weather there are impromptu coaching days run any day of the week. This will be announced to low air time pilots subscribing to the Redtail WhatsApp and by e-mail.

Type 2 – Group Coaching Day.

We do our best to have a weekend Group Day at least once a month between April and September, inclusive. These dates (below) might shift to suit the weather, so keep in mind they are flexible and will be confirmed by e-mail to CSC members a couple of days in advance.


All coaching days are suspended until further notice due to the Covid-19 Outbreak


David Ashcroft, AKA Dangerous Dave.

0775 275 0869


Coach Name Area Availability Mug Shot
David Ashcroft West Cumbria Weekends
Richard Bungay North Cumbria Weekends
Ed Cleasby Cumbria All Week
Gordon Coulthard North Cumbria Weekends
Malcolm Grout North Cumbria All Week
Mike Harper North Cumbria. Available Mondays as well Weekends
James Harrison North Cumbria All Week
James Jackson North Cumbria Weekends
Jackie Knights North Cumbria All Week
Jan Little North Cumbria All Week
Chris Little North Cumbria Weekends
Tim Oliver South Lakes Weekends
Barry Roberts South East Lakes All Week
Richard Sewell North Lakes All Week
Graeme Stephenson North Cumbria All Week
Peter White North Cumbria All Week