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Old June 11th 21, 06:30 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Winch demonstration/training at home gliderport

Some quick answers to above questions:

1. Our club owns the field north of the runway, and the road in question is a farm right-of-way with very limited traffic. It would likely not be a big issue to hold up a launch when a vehicle approaches. On the other hand, when the field is actively being cultivated/harvested, access would be limited. Expensive option would be to convert the north field into a runway, which would solve several problems, but I'm not ready to tackle that mountain yet!

2. We probably do equal launches from both ends - and prefer aerotow launches on 36 for convenience and noise, even accepting a few knots of tailwind (in fact, we usually land our Pawnees downwind on 18 when able as it speeds up ops and is counterintuitively safer (!) when launching on 36). Winch launches on 18 would be limited to a max of 2600' pullout for the foreseeable future. A truck-mounted winch should have no problem launching from the north end of field next to I-70, giving pretty close to 4000'. Glider landings are usually on the center of the grass field (towplanes on the east "marked" landing strip), so staging would take time regardless of launch type. With a club fleet of 4 two-seat trainers (K-21s, G-103, K-13) and 4 single seat (G-102s and Astir CSs), plus 12 private ships, all CG hook equipped, I think we could keep a winch busy pretty easily (thinking of a 2-drum at least).

3. Typical of most US clubs (in my experience, at least) there is very little knowledge at SLSA about winch launching. I'm fortunate to have learned winch launching early on in Germany at a glider club located on Wittmund AB (home of JG-71 Richtofen at the time) in Ka-4, K-7, and solo in K-8s, then more recently took advantage of Karl Striedieck's incredible course at Eagle Field to get my sign off (and get flung onto the ridge in my LS6 behind his monster truck!). Been trying to get others to try it, but they all prefer being dragged around by a Pawnee (mind, you, I'm perfectly happy to do the dragging - l love Pawnees!) and think winches are a dangerous socialist plot of some kind. But seriously, I really think it is the future...possibly the only viable future for affordable and "sustainable" soaring.