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

Confusing SSA hand signals that should be changed



 
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old March 27th 18, 06:20 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
kirk.stant
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,231
Default Confusing SSA hand signals that should be changed

As a glider pilot and tow pilot, there are a couple of SSA - recommended hand signals/procedures that I find confusing at best and dangerous at worst:

First, the HOLD and STOP signals. Used interchangeably by most wing runners, the HOLD signal (arms level) is essentially invisible from the towplane, and impossible to do if holding a wing level (as with water ballast). Think about it - looking aft from the towplan, you have a bunch of horizontal features (horizon, wings, tail, etc) competing with the wing runners arms. In addition, the internationally (civilian and military) agreed use of that signal is to direct a helicopter to hover! Instead, why not use the unniversally recognized (and previous SSA signal - check an old copy of Joy Of Soaring) signal of an arm held vertically, palm forward? This is easy to see from the towplane, is distinct from the "take up slack" waving of the arm (can be timed to stop the towplane precisely), and can be done one handed. With the addition of a hat in the hand it is even easier to see from the towplane.

The SSF "STOP" signal is even dumber - totally invisible from the towplane and not used anywhere else that I can find. And again is a two handed signal.

I propose that the SSA and SSF change the US standard signal for HOLD and STOP to one arm held straight up (preferable with a hat or paddle), or two arms held up crossed (if both arms are free).

Second, I think there needs to be additional emphasis that the wing runner is NOT TO GIVE THE "BEGIN TAKEOFF" SIGNAL UNTIL THE GLIDER PILOT WAGS HIS RUDDER! I would even suggest that the "BEGIN TAKEOFF" signal SHOULD NOT BE DONE BY WING RUNNERS.
Ads
  #2  
Old March 27th 18, 07:42 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Chris Rowland[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 44
Default Confusing SSA hand signals that should be changed

At 17:20 27 March 2018, kirk.stant wrote:
Second, I think there needs to be additional emphasis that the wing

runner
=
is NOT TO GIVE THE "BEGIN TAKEOFF" SIGNAL UNTIL THE GLIDER PILOT WAGS HIS
R=
UDDER! I would even suggest that the "BEGIN TAKEOFF" signal SHOULD NOT BE
D=
ONE BY WING RUNNERS.


We have been having the launch controlled by the wing runner for some time
and it seems to work well. The wing runner is in a good position to see
when the rope is tight and if there's been an overrun. They can also check
above and behind. The pilot isn't in a good position to see any of this.

The pilot doesn't accept the cable until they are ready to go and if
something changes they release. By accepting the cable they say they are
ready to go.

Chris

  #3  
Old March 27th 18, 08:09 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 87
Default Confusing SSA hand signals that should be changed

On Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at 10:20:56 AM UTC-7, kirk.stant wrote:
As a glider pilot and tow pilot, there are a couple of SSA - recommended hand signals/procedures that I find confusing at best and dangerous at worst:

First, the HOLD and STOP signals. Used interchangeably by most wing runners, the HOLD signal (arms level) is essentially invisible from the towplane, and impossible to do if holding a wing level (as with water ballast). Think about it - looking aft from the towplan, you have a bunch of horizontal features (horizon, wings, tail, etc) competing with the wing runners arms. In addition, the internationally (civilian and military) agreed use of that signal is to direct a helicopter to hover! Instead, why not use the unniversally recognized (and previous SSA signal - check an old copy of Joy Of Soaring) signal of an arm held vertically, palm forward? This is easy to see from the towplane, is distinct from the "take up slack" waving of the arm (can be timed to stop the towplane precisely), and can be done one handed.. With the addition of a hat in the hand it is even easier to see from the towplane.

The SSF "STOP" signal is even dumber - totally invisible from the towplane and not used anywhere else that I can find. And again is a two handed signal.

I propose that the SSA and SSF change the US standard signal for HOLD and STOP to one arm held straight up (preferable with a hat or paddle), or two arms held up crossed (if both arms are free).

Second, I think there needs to be additional emphasis that the wing runner is NOT TO GIVE THE "BEGIN TAKEOFF" SIGNAL UNTIL THE GLIDER PILOT WAGS HIS RUDDER! I would even suggest that the "BEGIN TAKEOFF" signal SHOULD NOT BE DONE BY WING RUNNERS.


How is it easier to see an arm held vertically with hand palm up than it is two arms outstretched horizontally, or the take up slack signal? Seems like you would be looking just for a palm of a hand... Just asking honestly, from a glider pilot who has never looked at the wingrunner from a towplane..

I've never been anywhere where it is ok for the wingrunner to signal takeoff without the rudder being waggled. I'm not sure I see the point, if the pilot can't see the rudder waggle the wingrunner sure should be able to. I wouldn't like it if the wingrunner had that option and if I didn't know they did, might release pretty quick.
I takeoff from a very busy runway and we don't have the luxury of getting everything ready before hooking up the rope. We have a payout tow rope winch so it makes a lot of sense to get hooked up asap.
  #4  
Old March 27th 18, 10:15 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 12
Default Confusing SSA hand signals that should be changed

I agree the signals are confusing. I have often seen a wing runner look for the towplane rudder wag while the glider wags his and then look at the glider tail when the towplane wags. Then just wait because he/she never saw the rudder wags.

  #5  
Old March 27th 18, 11:53 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Tango Eight
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 636
Default Confusing SSA hand signals that should be changed

Kirk makes good points.

Here's what we do at Post Mills. We've made converts out of three other clubs in the region. It works well.

Our signal to take up slack is to level the wings of the glider. The wing runner "confirms" this by giving the take up slack signal as slack taking proceeds. As slack comes out, wing runner raises arm vertically, wing stays level. When ready to begin the launch, the glider gives a rudder wag, confirmed by the wing runner windmilling his arm. The tow pilot acknowledges with a brief rudder wag, then begins the take off.

Efficient, water ballast compatible, easy for everyone involved to see and understand. Why isn't the SSF teaching this?

best regards,
Evan Ludeman / T8
  #6  
Old March 28th 18, 12:16 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
SoaringXCellence
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 311
Default Confusing SSA hand signals that should be changed

This is the same thing we do at WVSC.
  #7  
Old March 28th 18, 02:14 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
kirk.stant
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,231
Default Confusing SSA hand signals that should be changed

On Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at 5:53:15 PM UTC-5, Tango Eight wrote:
Kirk makes good points.

Here's what we do at Post Mills. We've made converts out of three other clubs in the region. It works well.

Our signal to take up slack is to level the wings of the glider. The wing runner "confirms" this by giving the take up slack signal as slack taking proceeds. As slack comes out, wing runner raises arm vertically, wing stays level. When ready to begin the launch, the glider gives a rudder wag, confirmed by the wing runner windmilling his arm. The tow pilot acknowledges with a brief rudder wag, then begins the take off.

Efficient, water ballast compatible, easy for everyone involved to see and understand. Why isn't the SSF teaching this?

best regards,
Evan Ludeman / T8


I like your way of doing it. Breaks the launch into distinct, unambiguous sequences with little chance of confusion, and addresses the water ballast equaling issue that inexperienced wing runners can screw up. And makes it obvious that a glider on the grid with level wings is hooked up and could move at any time. Similar to race launches where you go as soon as the rope is tight. Still have to beat into the wing runners not to signal takeoff until they see the rudder waggle. Also, if at any time during the preparation to launch the wing runner sees conflicting traffic, putting the wing down automatically stops the launch.

I'm going to see if I can get our club to try it.

Meanwhile - SSF, are you reading this? I think it's time to re-visit our procedures!

Kirk
66
St Louis Soaring Assn.
  #8  
Old March 28th 18, 02:27 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
kirk.stant
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,231
Default Confusing SSA hand signals that should be changed

On Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at 2:09:43 PM UTC-5, wrote:

How is it easier to see an arm held vertically with hand palm up than it is two arms outstretched horizontally, or the take up slack signal? Seems like you would be looking just for a palm of a hand... Just asking honestly, from a glider pilot who has never looked at the wingrunner from a towplane.



From a towplane, looking through mirrors, it is a LOT easier to see a raised arm (especially holding a white hat) than level arms. The only vertical things back there are the glider tails, while there are a lot of horizontal lines - and the horizon is usually about level with the wing runners arms. Try it and see for your self.


I've never been anywhere where it is ok for the wingrunner to signal takeoff without the rudder being waggled. I'm not sure I see the point, if the pilot can't see the rudder waggle the wingrunner sure should be able to. I wouldn't like it if the wingrunner had that option and if I didn't know they did, might release pretty quick.


Agree that while the SSF procedure calls for the wing runner to respond to the rudder waggle, frequently the "thumbs up I'm ready to go" from the glider pilot get's misinterpreted as "I'm ready to take off" - when obviously the pilot's left hand is NOT on the release or flaps, but in the air! As a secondary confirmation that the glider wants to takeoff I'm OK with the arm circle, but honestly as a tow pilot I only look for that if the wings are level for a long time and the glider rudder isn't waggling.

I takeoff from a very busy runway and we don't have the luxury of getting everything ready before hooking up the rope. We have a payout tow rope winch so it makes a lot of sense to get hooked up asap.


If you are hooking up the tow rope BEFORE the glider is ready to takeoff you are really taking a big risk - for both the glider and towplane! Both our Pawnees have payout winches and we expect the glider pilot to be ready before he hooks up. No runway is that busy! If you need to payout the reel before the glider is ready then hold the towrope behind the glider while it's paying out with enough slack to stop the towplane in time.

Kirk
66

  #9  
Old March 28th 18, 02:33 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Dave Springford
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 256
Default Confusing SSA hand signals that should be changed

Why the rudder waggle? What's its purpose? The only country in the half dozen countries in which I have flown that does a rudder waggle is the US.

From the towplane, I can barely see an ASW-27's rudder waggle in the vibrating mirrors. It also means that as a towpilot I am focused on my mirrors to ensure I don't miss the waggle instead of the circuit and traffic around me prior to take-off.

In Canada, the standard take-up slack and all-out signals are provided by the wing-runner after receiving a thumbs-up from the pilot.

As someone else mentioned up-thread. If the pilot is not happy about launching at that instant, pull the yellow knob.



  #10  
Old March 28th 18, 02:41 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 21
Default Confusing SSA hand signals that should be changed

We in Australia use the wing runner for all signals, the launch commences when the glider pilot gives a thumbs up to the runner,
who then levels the wings and waves his arm below the waist as a take up slack signal, then when the rope is tight, waves his arm above his head.
Never seen any problems with this practice.
 




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
Hand Propping_Adult - Fw_ Hand Propping.eml Ducky[_3_] Aviation Photos 2 June 6th 08 02:27 AM
A little confusing up in Newark Gizmo Piloting 0 May 23rd 08 02:35 AM
Confusing instructions from ATC.. looking for a concise response Terence Wilson Instrument Flight Rules 7 April 1st 08 06:56 PM
Tow Signals Ramy Soaring 58 October 19th 06 04:46 AM
kit plane pricing confusing natureboy Home Built 3 September 12th 04 06:32 PM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 03:34 PM.


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