This book on aerotowing gliders was written because there is little reference material published about the subject worldwide. The best I have found is 'Towplane Manual' by Burt Compton and published as part of Bob Wander's Gliding Mentor Series in the USA. So because of the lack of published information, I thought it important to gather the wealth of knowledge that is out there on the subject, collate it and present it to our community in the interests of safety ands efficiency.
This book is intended as a comprehensive guide to glider towing operations, with that all important emphasis on safety. The intent is to provide all the relevant information in one straightforward, easy to read book. The notes are intended to be very generic and non-country specific. Even though local procedures differ, hopefully the information should be useful to any glider tug pilot, anywhere in the world. Each gliding organisation has its operating environment and problems, therefore should adapt, further or improve these suggestions to suit their own needs. You will find that some important points are emphasised and sometimes repeated. It is fundamental that every tug pilot be a person who is both trustworthy and highly reliable as it is a flying task with huge responsibility placed on the pilot.
Aerotowing is expensive, can be noisy and has its own special hazards. These factors have a bearing on the very existence of gliding and it is therefore essential that glider aerotowing be carried out safely, efficiently and thoughtfully, paying particular regard to our neighbours. Your particular aerotowing should of course be carried out in accordance with national laws, regulations, procedures and in conjunction with your organisation's flying rules. As the pilots in command of an aircraft you are ultimately responsible for the safe conduct of the flight and the actions that you choose to take. The glider pilot's requirements should of course be accommodated as far as possible.
Glider aerotowing should be good for your general flying skills. As a flying and gliding instructor for over twenty five years, I have noticed that most glider tug pilots are often also glider pilots and have above average handling and situational awareness skills. Flying tugs should of course also be quite good fun! It is hoped that this comprehensive book will meet the ground school requirements of any current or future glider towing ratings.
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