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Identifying the other guy



 
 
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  #1  
Old November 15th 07, 01:46 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Steve Leonard
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Posts: 51
Default Identifying the other guy

Sorry to hear you ran out of Crayons, JJ. My favorite
mis-identification happend at a regionals at Lubbock.
There was a somewhat frantic call over the radio 'Watch
out, Zuni!!!'

I was flying the only Zuni at the contest. Trouble
was, my plane was on the grid and I was sitting in
my crew vehicle, and my plane was totally stationary.
I guess the guy in the air saw a 'Z' on a glider,
and just assumed. It was a DG-600.

Should I be flattered or insulted that the pilot confused
a DG-600 for a Zuni?

Signed,
Confused



Ads
  #2  
Old November 16th 07, 03:28 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
rlovinggood
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Posts: 268
Default Identifying the other guy

At a regional contest in the U.S. this past spring, we had a bit of
"entertainment" on the radio. The launch was underway, with about
four Pawnee's, one Cezzna Agtruck (Agwagon?), and one Cezzna 175, all
towing up about 50 gliders.

Over the radio:
"Towplane, speed up!"

Response:
"Which Towplane?"

Glider Guider:
"The Pawnee!"

Response:
"Which Pawnee?"

And then, I was laughing so hard, I couldn't concentrate on flying my
own glider. But the play continued.

"What color Pawnee?"

Glider Guider:
"White"

Response:
"Which white Pawnee? What color stripes?"

Glider Guider:
"I can't tell"

I guess he finally got off tow. I don't know if they ever figured out
which Pawnee needed more speed.

Ray Lovinggood
Carrboro, North Carolina, USA
  #3  
Old November 16th 07, 02:23 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
01-- Zero One
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Posts: 114
Default Identifying the other guy

Many contests now have the towplanes put their "callsigns" on the flaps
with tape or JJ's crayon. Puts the info right where the person who
needs it can see it.



Helps out tremendously in case you missed looking at the N number in the
heat of a contest launch.



Larry





"rlovinggood" wrote in message
:

At a regional contest in the U.S. this past spring, we had a bit of
"entertainment" on the radio. The launch was underway, with about
four Pawnee's, one Cezzna Agtruck (Agwagon?), and one Cezzna 175, all
towing up about 50 gliders.

Over the radio:
"Towplane, speed up!"

Response:
"Which Towplane?"

Glider Guider:
"The Pawnee!"

Response:
"Which Pawnee?"

And then, I was laughing so hard, I couldn't concentrate on flying my
own glider. But the play continued.

"What color Pawnee?"

Glider Guider:
"White"

Response:
"Which white Pawnee? What color stripes?"

Glider Guider:
"I can't tell"

I guess he finally got off tow. I don't know if they ever figured out
which Pawnee needed more speed.

Ray Lovinggood
Carrboro, North Carolina, USA



  #4  
Old November 16th 07, 03:47 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Burt Compton - Marfa
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Posts: 221
Default Identifying the other guy


Over the radio:
"Towplane, speed up!"


Response:
"Which Towplane?"


Glider Guider:
"The Pawnee!"


Response:
"Which Pawnee?"


Funny, looking back at it. I'm laughing as well, being an occasional
towpilot.
But it brings to mind that in the USA, we have a signal to ask the
towpilot to increase speed. NO RADIO REQUIRED. A 10 minute DVD on
the Standard SSA Signals is offered for FREE by request from the
Soaring Safety Foundation at www.soaringsafety.org (or get one at the
SSF booth February 14-16, 2008 SSA Convention in Albuquerque.) A
review of the signals is also on the SSF website, along with a
wingrunner and towpilot course. Lots of good stuff on the SSF
website, but safety is a hard sell, and Imust agree, not as
entertaining as looking at the OLC or browsing the sailplane
classified ads.

But the fact is that US glider pilots must know all 18 SSA signals
before solo and on glider rating checkrides. SInce those events are,
for many of us, a distant memory, it's a good idea to review all
signals soon, or insist upon it during your next Flight Review (oops,
unless that "BFR" is technically satisfied in an airplane, helicopter,
balloon, or as part of an airline job.) Glider specific procedures
can be reviewed on your Flight Review in a glider or on your "First
Flight" of the new year with a CFIG, as promoted, again, by your
Soaring Safety Foundation. All towpilots and wingrunners must review
the signals as well.

By the way, if you disagree with the effectiveness of the current
signal to speed up (Hint: "Rock & Roll"), volunteer to chair a
committee to change it.

Refer to the FAA regulation CFR 91.309 (a)(5) that basically tells us
that all glider pilots and towpilots must agree on certain tow
procedures before aerotow launch. This includes discussing tow
speed. A hassle at a contest indeed, but a radio call before launch
requesting a tow speed may eliminate the assumption on the part of the
glider pilot that towpilots can read minds. A non-radio option is to
have all towpilots tow at a relatively fast speed, then the glider
pilot could use the "slow down" signal, (yaw or "fishtail"), which
only works if the towpilot knows the signal and is checking the
mirror. Make the radio call, but simultaneously perform the proper
signal.

It's a team effort, this aerotow bit. Learn, review, and practice
the signals.
This suggestion includes glider pilots, wingrunners and towpilots.
Get the free DVD from the Soaring Safety Foundation, or review the
signals at www.soaringsafety.org

Thought for the next thread: Towpilot gives the fast rudder waggle
signal just after takeoff and a majority of glider pilots - - -
release. Wrong. Good luck landing your 10 to 1 brick glider. Know
the signals!

Burt
Marfa, west Texas
USA




  #5  
Old November 16th 07, 04:20 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
toad
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 229
Default Identifying the other guy

As a fellow towpilot I have my opinion on the visual signals.

My thoughts a
It's hard enough looking in the mirror to see the glider in the
first place. The mirror vibrates enough that I have to take a hand and
steady it to get a be tter (not good) view. The field of view is
limited and the towplane tail obscures the glider often.

The towpilot is scanning many things, so the glider pilot will have
to maintain the signal for quite a while to be seen and understood.

The radio is quicker and easier. The issue about miss identified
tow planes will only happen at contests. (Or at very busy sites
maybe ?)

Since the radio is the usual method of communication, the visual
signals do not get practiced. Therefore they might have been
memorized, but they are not practiced on every tow. I keep a placard
in my cockpit, just in case. The only 2 signals that I have reliably
memorized are a) wave-off by tow plane (he rocks his wing) and b)
check your spoilers/glider (rudder waggle). The rest I'll take the
time to look up if needed.

The signals were developed in a time when gliders and tow planes
didn't always have radios. Now we normally have radios and the only
signals we need are the true emergency signals.

Todd Smith
3S
  #6  
Old November 16th 07, 04:54 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Andy[_1_]
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Posts: 1,565
Default Identifying the other guy

On Nov 16, 7:47 am, Burt Compton - Marfa wrote:

By the way, if you disagree with the effectiveness of the current
signal to speed up (Hint: "Rock & Roll"), volunteer to chair a
committee to change it.


I don't really care if the signal is changed but I will never use it.
If you are really too slow, trying to rock the wings enough to alert
the tow pilot is not too wise. If you really can rock the wings
enough to alert the tow pilot you probably aren't really too slow.

At most contest I've been to, the tow speed is agreed by the tow pilot
and the glider pilot by being set at the mandatory pilot meeting.
True, the first day usually finds some of the less experienced tow
pilots flying slow, but there should never be a need for all pilots to
request a tow speed prior to launch. The frequency must be kept clear
to safety calls.

Andy
  #7  
Old November 17th 07, 01:42 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Mike the Strike
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Posts: 905
Default Identifying the other guy


By the way, if you disagree with the effectiveness of the current
signal to speed up (Hint: "Rock & Roll"), volunteer to chair a
committee to change it.


It may work if you're flying a Gollywomper, but not with a heavily
ballasted racing ship. At one contest, my tow pilot hit a strong
thermal and rapidly slowed down. Before I could even hit the
microphone button, I had almost lost control and sank rapidly into low
tow position, well below his mirrors. I had too little airspeed to
rock or waggle anything, and my only pitch control was the rope
holding the nose up, so I released and dropped backwards off the tow
rope.

I've had a few similar experiences, but would never ever try to signal
the towplane pilot except by radio.

Mike
  #8  
Old November 17th 07, 05:01 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
BB
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Posts: 140
Default Identifying the other guy

Too-slow tows are a constant problem at contests. Not being a tow
pilot, I can only guess a the problem, but I suspect that tow pilots
used to pulling 2-33s can't seem to adjust to what happens with
heavily ballasted gliders on a hot day. The radio is full of radio
calls, wing rocking, (yes, contest pilots know the signals) and more
radio calls to no effect.

It happened to me last summer. The big problem was not "more speed" on
a well-balanced tow. My towplane simply took off for the sky while I
was still rolling on the ground! Towing a fully ballasted glider
requires the towplane to gain speed while low, and make sure the
glider has taken off before climbing. The contest rules say 70 mph,
and that means gain speed to 70 while still in ground effect.

Most hilarious radio exchange: Lubbock, standard class nationals. Full
water, slight cross and downwind. The same towplane is always too
slow. "Towplane X, 70 mph please. ...(no answer) TOWPLANE X, MORE
SPEED (no answer) .... TOWPLANE X, I NEED MORE SPEED NOW!" (pause)
"all right, all right, ... but what do y'all want to fly so fast for
anyhow?"

Of course many seasoned contest tow pilots provide excellent and
dedicated servce, for little reward, and we're very thankful for
them.

John Cochrane
  #9  
Old November 17th 07, 08:04 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
CindyB
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Posts: 42
Default Identifying the other guy

On Nov 16, 8:01 pm, BB wrote:
Too-slow tows are a constant problem at contests. Not being a tow
pilot, I can only guess a the problem,

Snip
glider has taken off before climbing. The contest rules say 70 mph,
and that means gain speed to 70 while still in ground effect.

Snip
"all right, all right, ... but what do y'all want to fly so fast for
anyhow?"

Of course many seasoned contest tow pilots provide excellent and
dedicated servce, for little reward, and we're very thankful for
them.


On thread -- I encourage labeling all vehicles largely on multiple
surfaces in contest environments.
Then -- dangling from the thread....


Oh, how I laugh. It must be about time that the list of ranked
pilots is now jonesing for a contest.... in the northern hemisphere
(specifically USA) , at least.

Thanks for publicly thanking tow pilots.

For starters, 70 mph is 60.8 knots
(or 112 kph for the entertained Continental pilots avoiding this
rant).
BB says 70 mph is the rule, so I won't go check the units of measure.
70 mph would do for me.
A wet glider won't stall at 60.8 knots in under 30 degrees
(aerotowing)
bank angle in moderately convective flight conditions, without some
other provocation. I do believe most of you will spend hours of the
day
thermalling at or less than that same 60 knots, wet, at significantly
more
bank angle than you used while being towed. Have you managed to
leave your flaps forward from that moment of initial roll, when you
wanted
that enhanced aileron effectiveness?

So why do those repetitive radio pleas for speed recur?

Simply, that the glider pilot is used to spending his day looking at
the horizon line with his nose BELOW the reference, and when he spends
a scant five to seven minutes with his nose above the horizon, his
little
peasized hypothalamus is screaming to "normalize" things. Especially
since he is aleady adrenalined up, with anticipation of fear or reward
in the midst of his peers. Let's holler at the only socially
acceptable
outlet, the towpilot.
Or, if we really don't like the picture, draw on some more positive
flap
to change lift and the forward view.

I didn't say this was rational, in fact, I strongly believe it is an
emotional moment. Truly, that heavy, draggy towplane has a seriously
higher stall speed than your glider has, and if he is flying, you are/
can
be flying. (Unless you happen to be blessed with a Cessna Wren
conversion or something else particularly tug exotic.) I heard tales
of climbing behind the Italian turbine Bird Dog at Uvalde years ago.
Speed was fine,
but the climb rate and pitch attitude had eyeballs rolling.

I often require pilots in field checks or flight reviews to make the
tug slow to 50 knots with signals (not radios). Most folks whine
and wallow, when they are learning how much pitch change that
requires from them to hold level position behind the tug.
Then they must use the speed-up(down?) signal to get back to
"regular" speed.

Since so few US operations require the use of signals in initial
training, flight tests, or recurrent training, few towpilots keep
sharp
on them, and become lazy/complacent in monitoring the
customer. Few glider pilots will practice them voluntarily.
And yet, what else improves airmanship during those available
minutes behind the tug?

Burt's post implies there are a potload of signals to remember
(eighteen).
But while airborn, there are only seven.
And only four originate from the glider pilot, three from the tug.

I'd bet everyone reading here can tell me the three hand signals
for use bicycling or driving antiques in road traffic. And you used
those how recently? Why can't we get glider folks to practice,
remember and use something which is so frequently relevant?
I want my customers to be "in command" of their towing
experience, both in heading and speed, and encourage visual signals
to the tug. Radios are helpful, but don't need to be the primary
form
of "convenience" communication, to save bandwidth for urgent calls,
or to be polite in a high traffic environment.

And, what do you want to fly so fast for anyway?
I know a towpilot who responds to the ground discussion later,
"You can tow fast or climb fast, which one do you want?"
Because the call after speeding up was frequently, "Can't you get
me to those guys any quicker?"

My favorite tow speed call from years ago was a complaint . . .

"That Pawnee is towing me at ninety knots. Slow down !!!!"
When asked later, the glider pilot told me that yes, they were
climbing at the time. I withdrew from the discussion at that moment,
knowing that those two factors were in complete opposition
to each other and not possible in reality. It was a 235 Pawnee
and a wet Open Class glider. I just told him I would "talk"
to the tow pilot.

Discuss, think, learn, practice.
Fly with a CFI every spring, and ask to really work on
something. Don't take the easy way out; improve.

Safe soaring,

Cindy B

www.caracolesoaring.com
  #10  
Old November 17th 07, 02:33 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
HL Falbaum
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 133
Default Identifying the other guy


"CindyB" wrote in message
...
On Nov 16, 8:01 pm, BB wrote:
Too-slow tows are a constant problem at contests. Not being a tow
pilot, I can only guess a the problem,

Snip
glider has taken off before climbing. The contest rules say 70 mph,
and that means gain speed to 70 while still in ground effect.

Snip
"all right, all right, ... but what do y'all want to fly so fast for
anyhow?"

Of course many seasoned contest tow pilots provide excellent and
dedicated servce, for little reward, and we're very thankful for
them.


On thread -- I encourage labeling all vehicles largely on multiple
surfaces in contest environments.
Then -- dangling from the thread....


Oh, how I laugh. It must be about time that the list of ranked
pilots is now jonesing for a contest.... in the northern hemisphere
(specifically USA) , at least.

Thanks for publicly thanking tow pilots.

For starters, 70 mph is 60.8 knots
(or 112 kph for the entertained Continental pilots avoiding this
rant).
BB says 70 mph is the rule, so I won't go check the units of measure.
70 mph would do for me.
A wet glider won't stall at 60.8 knots in under 30 degrees
(aerotowing)
bank angle in moderately convective flight conditions, without some
other provocation. I do believe most of you will spend hours of the
day
thermalling at or less than that same 60 knots, wet, at significantly
more
bank angle than you used while being towed. Have you managed to
leave your flaps forward from that moment of initial roll, when you
wanted
that enhanced aileron effectiveness?

So why do those repetitive radio pleas for speed recur?

Simply, that the glider pilot is used to spending his day looking at
the horizon line with his nose BELOW the reference, and when he spends
a scant five to seven minutes with his nose above the horizon, his
little
peasized hypothalamus is screaming to "normalize" things. Especially
since he is aleady adrenalined up, with anticipation of fear or reward
in the midst of his peers. Let's holler at the only socially
acceptable
outlet, the towpilot.
Or, if we really don't like the picture, draw on some more positive
flap
to change lift and the forward view.

I didn't say this was rational, in fact, I strongly believe it is an
emotional moment. Truly, that heavy, draggy towplane has a seriously
higher stall speed than your glider has, and if he is flying, you are/
can
be flying. (Unless you happen to be blessed with a Cessna Wren
conversion or something else particularly tug exotic.) I heard tales
of climbing behind the Italian turbine Bird Dog at Uvalde years ago.
Speed was fine,
but the climb rate and pitch attitude had eyeballs rolling.

I often require pilots in field checks or flight reviews to make the
tug slow to 50 knots with signals (not radios). Most folks whine
and wallow, when they are learning how much pitch change that
requires from them to hold level position behind the tug.
Then they must use the speed-up(down?) signal to get back to
"regular" speed.

Since so few US operations require the use of signals in initial
training, flight tests, or recurrent training, few towpilots keep
sharp
on them, and become lazy/complacent in monitoring the
customer. Few glider pilots will practice them voluntarily.
And yet, what else improves airmanship during those available
minutes behind the tug?

Burt's post implies there are a potload of signals to remember
(eighteen).
But while airborn, there are only seven.
And only four originate from the glider pilot, three from the tug.

I'd bet everyone reading here can tell me the three hand signals
for use bicycling or driving antiques in road traffic. And you used
those how recently? Why can't we get glider folks to practice,
remember and use something which is so frequently relevant?
I want my customers to be "in command" of their towing
experience, both in heading and speed, and encourage visual signals
to the tug. Radios are helpful, but don't need to be the primary
form
of "convenience" communication, to save bandwidth for urgent calls,
or to be polite in a high traffic environment.

And, what do you want to fly so fast for anyway?
I know a towpilot who responds to the ground discussion later,
"You can tow fast or climb fast, which one do you want?"
Because the call after speeding up was frequently, "Can't you get
me to those guys any quicker?"

My favorite tow speed call from years ago was a complaint . . .

"That Pawnee is towing me at ninety knots. Slow down !!!!"
When asked later, the glider pilot told me that yes, they were
climbing at the time. I withdrew from the discussion at that moment,
knowing that those two factors were in complete opposition
to each other and not possible in reality. It was a 235 Pawnee
and a wet Open Class glider. I just told him I would "talk"
to the tow pilot.

Discuss, think, learn, practice.
Fly with a CFI every spring, and ask to really work on
something. Don't take the easy way out; improve.

Safe soaring,

Cindy B

www.caracolesoaring.com



While the SSA signals are important to know, as a practical matter, they are
insufficient. I have experience as a towpilot, CFIG, and contestant pilot.

Our club Pawnee is festooned with mirrors-4 in all. One is dedicated to
watching the "funnel" for the rope in a Tost reel-We have dyed the last 10
ft of rope with red rings to tell when it is "all out" and in flight to tell
when it has finished retracting. The switch doesn't always cut off when
fully retracted, and some pilots "forget" to reel in the rope, so it can be
checked before landing.

One is dedicated to seeing the wing runner and his signals. It is mounted
outboard on the strut. The other two give a pretty good view of the glider
in flight, but the cowl mounted mirrors do vibrate, and the glider doesn't
always stay where it belongs.

As a result, recognition of signals would not be immediate, to say the
least! Radio is IMHO essential communication, with signals as backup. We
should, of course, be "currernt" on all backup systems.

I have, on a few occasions, been towed "too slow" at a contest. Less
frequently now since the CD &CM and Chief TP have agreed that all tows are
at 80mph (70kt) unless requested otherwise. Lately, we have been specifying
"heavy" by radio during hookup if ballasted, in a contest with FAI and
Sports classses. The "too slow" is more of a sensation than a ASI reading,
which is often not accurate on tow. I only have a limited range of make and
model experience with ballast (ASW20B, ASW27B, DG800B) They all feel solid
at thermalling speed in the 55-60 kt range. When the same glider feels
"mushy" and wallowing at tow speed, it is worrisome, no matter what the
cause. A request for "Pawnee 23L 5 kt faster please" takes 5-6 sec. The
increased speed cures the feeling and solidity returns. On one occasion,
behind a "sick" Call Aire, I released at 1200 ft over the airport, in a good
thermal--preferring a relight to enduring the feeling any longer. A quick
look at the ASI showed a hair under 50kt! I was able to climb out but was in
a position to join a downwind if needed.

The last 3 characters of the towplane call sign on the flaps make it easy to
call the correct towplane. That would eliminate a lot of confusion. As far
as saving bandwidth, except for an imminent mid-air collision, what could be
more urgent than a mushy, heavy glider close to the ground on tow? How would
a glider stall and recovery while on tow affect the towplane? Would there be
time to recognize a "speed up" signal?

Accidents and fatalities have occurred on tow due to a too-slow tow. It is
not a trivial problem.


Hartley Falbaum
USA "KF"


















 




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