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Old May 5th 08, 02:18 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Jay Honeck[_2_]
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Posts: 943
Default Close call -- glider ops

We flew to Ames, IA (home of "That Other State College in Iowa") today to
schmooze and have lunch. Conditions when we got out of the hotel at noon
were breezy/gusty, 12 to 20, but pretty close to right down the runway, and
the sun was shining. At the end of another sell-out crazy weekend, we
NEEDED to fly.

Ames is home to an active glider operation (Mary and I took some soaring
instruction there a few years back), and today was no different, despite the
wind. Ames' Runway 19 was less than optimal, with a gusty cross wind, but I
managed to squeak 'er in without too much turmoil. We were all glad to be
back on terra firma, however, after a very bumpy descent.

As I was standing on the wing stretching, enjoying the spring sunshine, I
observed the Super Cub tow plane starting down Rwy 19, trundling along with
the trainer in tow. In the blink of an eye, the cross wind lifted the
glider's port wing, causing the starboard wing to dip. The glider caught
the wingtip (I was too far away, but it *looked* like in the grass), causing
the glider to momentarily get sideways.

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 shook my head as I jumped off the wing, amazed at how close a thing
aviation can be. We're always on the brink of disaster, it seems...but most
of the time things work out...
Jay Honeck
Iowa City, IA
Pathfinder N56993
"Your Aviation Destination"