Visitor Information

Visitors are always welcome, whether just to have a look at what we do or for air experience flights. If you are unfamiliar with the aircraft, airfield operations and procedures, please ask members for assistance.

If you are a pilot planning to fly in, please refer to our visiting pilot information section below.

Please note that our gliders have a placarded maximum weight limit, generally 110kg per seat. Passengers and/or pilots heavier than the placarded weight limit of the particular glider or seat cannot fly that aircraft.


Balaklava Airfield is located 11 km north-west of Balaklava on Whitwarta Rd., some 100 kms north of Adelaide, South Australia. The entrance to the Balaklava Gliding Club is via a gate and entrance road just off the main Balaklava to Snowtown road. The entrance gate is locked when no club members are present.

Ample car parking is available around the club facilities in the areas marked on the local area map.

Glider trailers may be parked in the areas also shown on the local area map.

Please travel slowly on the entrance road to the club, due to the possible presence of children.

Members and visitors are reminded that the speed limit on the airfield is 30km/h.


Address: Balaklava Airport, Whitwarta, SA
P.O. Box 257, Balaklava, SA 5461
Telephone: (08) 8864 5062
Note: This phone is forwarded to a member during the time when no one is present at the airfield.
The Club member may reside in Adelaide.

Local Services

The information provided below may assist visitors to the Balaklava Gliding Club. This list is by no means exhaustive.

Fuel Supplies Petrol/Diesel supplies are available in the townships of Balaklava and Port Wakefield.
Food Limited items, such as pies,pasties, pizzas are available at the Club.
Other items are available from stores in Balaklava or from outlets at Port Wakefield during normal trading hours form Monday to Friday and up to 12 noon on Saturdays.
Hotels There are 2 Hotels in Balaklava and one at Port Wakefield (where Trevor Wasley, a BGC member is the owner).
Motels The nearest motels are at Port Wakefield and at Clare.
Restaurants The nearest restaurants are in Clare.
Cabins The Balaklava Caravan Park has a cabin section.
Wineries There are many wineries in and around the surrounding districts of Clare.
Churches There are several Churches, of various denominations in Balaklava.
Medical There is a Hospital in Balaklava.

Tours from Balaklava, within comfortable driving distance include:

Clare Valley,
Yorke Peninsula, visits to the townships of Ardrossan, Kadina, Wallaroo, Moonta etc.
Mid-North and Lower Flinders Ranges, visits to Pt Pirie, Merose, Laura etc.

Visiting Pilots

Airfield: Balaklava (YBVA) - 10km NW of Balaklava on Whitwarta Rd.
Position: 34 05' S, 138 20' E, Elevation 150ft AMSL.
Radio: CTAF 126.7 MHz (122.7 glider to glider).
The radio is only monitored when members are present. Radio's are installed in the clubhouse and in the pie-cart.


The Balaklava Gliding Club airfield, which is owned by the club, has two clearly delineated airstrips. The airstrip "roads", which are clearly visible, are used by the club winches for laying out winch cables in readiness for the launching of gliders. These roads have a formed crown to aid drainage and should be avoided if possible during flying operations.

The airstrip orientation is:

Main Airstrip: 16 / 34 1074 metres
Cross Strip: 13 / 31 952 metres

The airfield is 150 feet above sea level.

Refer to the Airfield Map.

During winter and spring, there is a high likelihood that the areas adjacent to the airstrips will have crops growing. During summer, after reaping, all areas may be used if necessary.

Note all of the airstrips have post and wire fences across the approaches. These are clearly marked.


Windsocks are located as follows:

Main Windsock Adjacent to the intersection of the airstrips.
Secondary Windsock Located on the southern boundary of the airfield midway between the 31 and 34 approaches.

Getting to the Take-off Point

Cars towing gliders are permitted to travel to the take-off points as necessary. Drivers should be alert for winch wire and other gliders which may be operating. All care must be taken to limit any impact on flying activities which may be in operation. Club members would be pleased to assist you if required.

Vehicles not towing gliders must proceed to the take-off point via the roads outside the airfield boundary. This will prevent conflict with flying activities and reduce dust on the airfield.

Refer to the Airfield Map for appropriate routes to the respective take-off points. The map also shows the gates off the main road through which access to the airfield may be obtained.

Landing Areas

Landing /manoeuvring areas are established alongside the winch roads. These areas are suitable for all gliding activities and are shown on the Airfield Map.

Pilots should be aware that in the event of congestion and to avoid mishaps / accidents, landing long is an accepted option.

The airfield boundary fences cross each of he airstrip approaches. These are clearly marked with white markers.

Winch Wires

Winch wires can be expected to lie flat when laid out behind the winch. These wires are anchored at the launch point end. This is not the case should the wire break, during a launch, and fall loosely to the ground since it tends to form loose coils across the ground.

Motorgliders and power-plane pilots must be particularly aware of this.

For pilots not familiar with winch launching procedures can obtain a copy of these procedures form the clubhouse. Club Instructors are available for winch launch training if required.

Radio Procedures

Gliders entering the circuit area, regardless of the position in which the circuit is entered, must make a radio call on 122.7 MHz, indicating the glider call-sign, the location at which the circuit is being entered and the airstrip to be used.

Radio calls should be made at any other time to enhance air safety.

Flying Operations

Flying operations are usually conducted at Balaklava only on weekends, although mid-week flying may be organised.

Two Instructors are rostered each day on weekends.

Flying Instruction is available to visiting pilots. An Instructor is likely to request that a check-flight be undertaken if a Balaklava Gliding Club aircraft is to be flown or a visiting pilot is not current on winch launch.

Visiting pilots are encouraged to seek a check flight:

  • if not current on winch launch methods
  • not familiar with the airfield / area
  • Pilots seeking a winch launch endorsement must make this known to the Instructor. A brief note on winch launching is obtainable for your information at the clubhouse.

    Log Books

    The Duty Instructor will request to see your personal log-book. This is to provide an indication of the gliders flown and the pilots currency. The Instructor will make a log book entry to confirm flying, launch check etc if requested.

    Visiting pilots may be able to fly Balaklava Gliding Club aircraft only with the approval of the Duty Instructor after a check-flight.

    Controlled Airspace

    The airspace immediately above the Balaklava Gliding Club airfield is Controlled Airspace with a lower limit of 8500 feet (QNH).

    A map defining these limits and others within the region north of Adelaide is available within the clubhouse.


    Last update 29/01/06