A aviation & planes forum. AviationBanter

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Go Back   Home » AviationBanter forum » rec.aviation newsgroups » Soaring
Site Map Home Register Authors List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Web Partners

Safety of winch launch vrs. aero tow?



 
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #21  
Old October 27th 03, 12:53 AM
Stefan
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Bill Daniels wrote:

BTW, How about some of our British and European friends with lots of winch

experience jumping in here?


I can't speak for others, but I read this thread, shaked my head and
simply didn't feel like commenting. Seldom I have seen a discussion
which showed so clearly plain ignorance.

In a word: If done correctly, winch launching is safe, cheap and fun. It
is certainly much (much!) cheaper than aero-tow. It is certainly much
more fun. And it's easier, too.

The only dangerous moment for the pilot is at the very beginning of the
pull. It is very very very important not to pull too early or too
briskly. Stalling the glider at this altitude is lethal. Once
established in the climb, make sure you have always enough speed to pull
over if the rope breaks. Everything else is very easy and very safe.
There *are* rope breaks, but they are very much a non-event. Either you
have enough room to land straight, or you have enough altitude to do a
180 or a short circuit.

Winch launching has much more safety issues for the ground crew and
spectators than for the pilot. Be sure to have an experienced person
show you safe procedures.

Of course, an experienced winch driver helps a lot, too. At our club, a
new winch driver must do 50 launches under supervision befor he's
allowed to winch alone. We never had a winch accident in 40 years.

Stefan

Ads
  #22  
Old October 27th 03, 12:55 AM
Stefan
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Bill Daniels wrote:

BTW, How about some of our British and European friends with lots of

winch

experience jumping in here?



I can't speak for others, but I read this thread, shaked my head and
simply didn't feel like commenting. Seldom I have seen a discussion
which showed so clearly plain ignorance.

In a word: If done correctly, winch launching is safe, cheap and fun. It
is certainly much (much!) cheaper than aero-tow. It is certainly much
more fun. And it's easier, too.

The only dangerous moment for the pilot is at the very beginning of the
pull. It is very very very important not to pull too early or too
briskly. Stalling the glider at this altitude is lethal. Once
established in the climb, make sure you have always enough speed to push
over if the rope breaks. Everything else is very easy and very safe.
There *are* rope breaks, but they are very much a non-event. Either you
have enough room to land straight, or you have enough altitude to do a
180 or a short circuit.

Winch launching has much more safety issues for the ground crew and
spectators than for the pilot. Be sure to have an experienced person
show you safe procedures.

Of course, an experienced winch driver helps a lot, too. At our club, a
new winch driver must do 50 launches under supervision befor he's
allowed to winch alone. We never had a winch accident in 40 years.

Stefan

  #23  
Old October 27th 03, 01:18 AM
Bill Daniels
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Stefan" wrote in message
...
Bill Daniels wrote:

BTW, How about some of our British and European friends with lots of

winch
experience jumping in here?


I can't speak for others, but I read this thread, shaked my head and
simply didn't feel like commenting. Seldom I have seen a discussion
which showed so clearly plain ignorance.

In a word: If done correctly, winch launching is safe, cheap and fun. It
is certainly much (much!) cheaper than aero-tow. It is certainly much
more fun. And it's easier, too.

The only dangerous moment for the pilot is at the very beginning of the
pull. It is very very very important not to pull too early or too
briskly. Stalling the glider at this altitude is lethal. Once
established in the climb, make sure you have always enough speed to pull
over if the rope breaks. Everything else is very easy and very safe.
There *are* rope breaks, but they are very much a non-event. Either you
have enough room to land straight, or you have enough altitude to do a
180 or a short circuit.

Winch launching has much more safety issues for the ground crew and
spectators than for the pilot. Be sure to have an experienced person
show you safe procedures.

Of course, an experienced winch driver helps a lot, too. At our club, a
new winch driver must do 50 launches under supervision befor he's
allowed to winch alone. We never had a winch accident in 40 years.

Stefan

Thanks, Stefan, we need to hear more of this sort of thing.

Bill Daniels

  #24  
Old October 27th 03, 04:49 AM
E. A. Grens
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

JJ -

I, as a power pilot, learned to fly sailplanes on the winch, overseas. I
now only fly aerotow, and am not signed off for ground launch. One thing I
have not seen mentioned is the qualification of winch operators. Tow plane
pilots ( I'm not one) have to meet certain standards and be signed off. I
became a winch operator by volunteering out of club spirit (stupidty?). I
was informally instructed by a winch operator who desparately wanted to
escape the exile of the winch. Then I was left to do the job, getting my
flights at the end of the day. They brought me food and drink
(nonalcholic), but no one "qualified" on the winch would come near for
hours. I'm sure I never endangered any aircraft or pilot, but I'm also sure
that some achieved less than optimal release altitude. There was no
tensionmeter, and throttle control was based on visual evaluation of
aircraft attitude and cable sag.

Many years later I had the chance to observe the operator of a modern
six-reel winch at Terlet. He was an artist at work, and he had the best
equipment.

I think winch launches are safe, as long as you have a cg hook. But, in any
comparison to aerotow, the increased number of launches necessary to achieve
sustained flight must be taken into account.

Ed Grens



  #25  
Old October 27th 03, 04:51 AM
John Giddy
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Bill Daniels" wrote in message
ink.net...
| A bunch of guys, (it's usually guys) get together and
decide to winch launch
| gliders. ("How hard can it be?" "We can teach
ourselves...") They start
| with poor equipment, a bad site, no experience or training
and proceed to
| scare themselves badly...or worse.
|
| They then decide that the problem is winch launch (It
doesn't work, low
| releases, lots of hassles, etc..) and then go back to air
tow.
|
| I've flown tugs and driven winches - I'll take winches for
fun. I've flown
| lots of air tow and been scared on plenty of occasions.
I've flown lots of
| winch launches and rarely had one go wrong. If anybody
wants a winch
| experienced CFI-G for a week of winch training, email me.
I might be
| available.
|
| BTW, How about some of our British and European friends
with lots of winch
| experience jumping in here?

Not from UK or Europe, but Australia:
There are a number of clubs, ours included that usually
launch by winch.
In Oz, all gliding is controlled by The Gliding Federation
of Australia, under a delegation from CASA (the Aussie FAA)
GFA has a regulation setting the minimum length of field for
winch launching to 1200 metres (approx 4000 ft). This is to
avoid the possibility of a "non-manoeuvring" area, where, if
the cable breaks, there is insufficient length to land
straight ahead, and not high enough to do a modified circuit
and land normally.
There are standard procedures which are taught, involving
signals between the pilot and the winch driver, and
procedure for dealing with cable breaks. These are taught
and practiced during the winch launch training. There is an
agreed minimum number of launches (12) before sign-off for
anyone converting from aerotow.
Provided you have a good winch, with sufficient power, and
an experienced driver, it is a very safe and efficient way
to get into the air.
It is also quiet, which is a boon for those fields close to
built-up areas.
Cheers, John G.

  #26  
Old October 27th 03, 06:41 AM
tango4
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Mike Borgelt" wrote in message
...

If you want gliding to be popular aerotow involves less running around
on the ground per flight hour.


A cable retrieve winch such as the one in use at the Long Mynd in the UK
makes a winch operation even slicker than aerotowing!

Ian


  #27  
Old October 27th 03, 10:16 AM
John Mason
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

A good place for statistics is:

http://www.esgc.co.uk/BGAdata.htm

Search and study the reports. There is much written between the lines. If
you look at the number of accidents where the launch was originally a winch
launch you will find that a lot of accidents occur soon after the launch is
completed and are attributed to other factors but which would really not
have happened if they had aerotowed. (Rigging errors not found in the speed
of the launch, not watching airspeed and spinning after the launch because
of distraction with the high workload of the winch and not dealing with the
angle of attack in the launch properly and so on). It is not possible to
give clear cut statistics without a significant degree of human
interpretation and you will really need to make your own mind up. I am
certain winching is a lot more dangerous. There are more things that can go
wrong and if they can go wrong, they will given time.


"Gary Boggs" wrote in message
...
I like all these points and I suspect that because of the short time
required in a winch launch, and the faster acceleration, and the fact that
you are in a position to land on the runway that you are using at all

times,
the winch launch would be safer, but I still see no statistics! Come on
folks, someone surly has crunched the numbers. Training is crucial in

both,
but what I'm looking for is numbers, I have plenty of opinions myself.

Boggs



  #28  
Old October 27th 03, 10:58 AM
Jona
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

"Bob Johnson" wrote in message
...
Here's an interesting point of reference:

Proper pilot life-saving reaction to winch line breaks, op inattention,
winch engine failure, or op incapacitation is routinely taught in ground
launch training.

How many airtow instructors pull the release on their student at 200 ft
over the outbound fence? Just once? Several times?

BJ

Gary Boggs wrote:

Someone must have already compared the safety of these tow launch

methods.
What do the statistics show is the safer method of launch? Aero tow

seems
to involve more inherent dangers to me. For one thing, there is just

more
time for things to go wrong. What could be more dangerous than to tie

tow
airplanes together and try to fly?

Gary Boggs


Bob;
Right, I thik this is really imprtant.
On tow, at 200 ft over the far-boundary you need the confidence to
know the right thing to do and do it straight away while retaing air-speed.
On tows we take of saying to oursevles 'land-ahead if it breaks now' from 0
to 150 feet
but there is a sweaty bit between150 and 300 ft where the choices are less
attractive.
In a winch lanuch (probably becauseof more experience) I am never in this
sweaty "hope it don't break at just this second" position.


--

Jonathan

  #29  
Old October 27th 03, 12:24 PM
Mike Borgelt
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Mon, 27 Oct 2003 05:41:06 +0000 (UTC), "tango4"
wrote:


"Mike Borgelt" wrote in message
.. .

If you want gliding to be popular aerotow involves less running around
on the ground per flight hour.


A cable retrieve winch such as the one in use at the Long Mynd in the UK
makes a winch operation even slicker than aerotowing!

Ian



So how many winch operations involve two people?
I've had tows where the only people present were the tow pilot and the
glider pilot. Least I got with auto tow was three. Both were no radio
ops.

And for you guys who operate on nice green grass airfields which allow
things like cable retrieve winches - it don't happen in Oz.

And lastly we did have a winch driver killed during a winch launch a
few years ago. The wire (basically high tensile single strand fencing
wire) shattered as it was being reeled in after the glider released
and one of the pieces of shrapnel hit the winch driver in the upper
torso and he died shortly thereafter before anyone got to the winch.
The lexan shield had been bought but not installed.

My favourite launch method involves a motor in the glider.

Mike Borgelt
  #30  
Old October 27th 03, 12:59 PM
Silent Flyer
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Mike Borgelt" wrote in message
.. .


And for you guys who operate on nice green grass airfields which allow
things like cable retrieve winches - it don't happen in Oz.

***********
You have obviously never been to the Long Mynd - I have heard it described
rather unkindly) as " a barely levelled granite hilltop".

The retrieve system ( a small winch pulls the cable back to the launch
point) originated out of necessity many many years ago when the airfield was
much smaller and the winch had to be positioned outside the boundary. The
cable crossed a deep, (approx 15/20 ft) gully at the airfield boundary and
then on up along a slope covered in bracken and heather, any other method of
retrieving the cable was impracticable. However the system was so efficient
in terms of launch rates that it has continued to this day even though the
airfield is now big enough to site the winch within the boundary. There is
of course a small penalty in terms of launch height but this is of little
significance.


 




Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Parachute fails to save SR-22 Capt.Doug Piloting 72 February 10th 05 06:14 AM
spaceship one Pianome Home Built 169 June 30th 04 05:47 AM
The Internet public meeting on National Air Tour Standards begins Feb. 23 at 9 a.m. Larry Dighera Piloting 0 February 22nd 04 04:58 PM
USAF = US Amphetamine Fools RT Military Aviation 104 September 25th 03 03:17 PM
using winch instead of aerotow goneill Soaring 5 August 27th 03 02:46 PM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 03:21 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004-2018 AviationBanter.
The comments are property of their posters.