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Old May 6th 08, 03:16 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Dylan Smith
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Posts: 530
Default Close call -- glider ops

On 2008-05-05, Jay Honeck wrote:
The tow plane's tail, already airborne, jerked down hard -- but just as
quickly as we could gasp -- the glider's wings straightened up, the tow
plane started to fly right, and they were soon clawing for altitude.
Another cartwheel averted...


I think you have to really screw up to cartwheel - a touch of the wing
to the ground and it'll slide (well, so long as there aren't obstacles
like potholes or runway lights to actually catch the wing).

A wingtip drag tends to be much less drama than a glider pilot getting
out of position (high) on lift off, which is most likely with a glider
with a compromise or belly hook. The nose hook tends to bias the glider
into going straight, but some gliders don't have them. Whenever I tow
one of those, I'm on a hair trigger to pull the release in the tow
plane. Especially if it's someone new to the type of glider! Things can
go horribly wrong for the tow pilot very fast if a glider kites. It
usually doesn't go all that well for the glider pilot either.

A glider club I used to be a member of had one such glider kite not long
after takeoff while on aerotow, I think the glider pilot got into a bit
of a divergent PIO. Fortunately, I think the tow rope back released when
the glider kited - and the glider ended up doing a *loop* at very low
altitude. Fortunately, the pilot didn't crash and the tow plane didn't
suffer a low altitude upset (which are often fatal).

--
From the sunny Isle of Man.
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