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  #11  
Old June 26th 08, 01:20 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
John Smith
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Posts: 256
Default 2 recent incidents

What is wrong wit a mandatory waving off the gliders at the end of the tow?

Wrong is that I, the glider pilot, want to decide where to be towed and
when to release. Because I, the glider pilot, am in the air without an
engine after the release. No tuggie, no matter how experienced he may
be, will ever tell me when and where to release.
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  #12  
Old June 26th 08, 03:32 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
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Posts: 2,124
Default 2 recent incidents

On Jun 26, 8:20*am, John Smith wrote:
What is wrong wit a mandatory waving off the gliders at the end of the tow?


Wrong is that I, the glider pilot, want to decide where to be towed and
when to release. Because I, the glider pilot, am in the air without an
engine after the release. No tuggie, no matter how experienced he may
be, will ever tell me when and where to release.


This attitude terrifies me as a tow pilot.
If the tug pilot waves you off- GET OFF NOW! You do not know if there
is an
emergency. If you don't want to be waved off in lift, discuss with tug
pilot, and his boss, if
you wish, later.
A tow pilot with a failing airplane does not have enough time or hands
to deal with a
stubborn glider pilot.
Been There- done That
UH
  #13  
Old June 26th 08, 03:51 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Michael Ash
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Posts: 309
Default 2 recent incidents

Jim Logajan wrote:
Some silly ideas:

Since the aircraft are attached anyway, one could just wrap the tow cable
with a couple strands of wire and rig things so the tow pilot can press a
button to zap the glider pilot, alerting them to check the spoilers.

An aft facing bull horn on the tow plane rigged so the tow pilot can speak
directly to the glider pilot sans radio ... and everyone else within a half
mile. :-)


How about setting up the equivalent of two tin cans and a string, with the
tow rope as the string? Of course it will only work when it's taut, but if
your spoilers are open then I imagine the rope would be pretty taut....

--
Mike Ash
Radio Free Earth
Broadcasting from our climate-controlled studios deep inside the Moon
  #14  
Old June 26th 08, 04:25 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
jb92563
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Posts: 137
Default 2 recent incidents


As I think about it, it might be best if there was a single array of
high output LEDs. *When both "colors" of the array are "on" then you
have a single visible color that means "ok" (red and blue make green in
concept, but in emitted light that combination doesn't work). *That way
the glider pilot can verify at the start that both signals "work" and
they stay "on" for the duration of the tow. *If either the "warning" or
"get off" switches are selected in the cockpit then only the
corresponding "color" is then visible to the glider pilot. *Perhaps with
the "warning" being a steady signal and "get off" being a rapid flash to
help with fast recognition and a sense of urgency.

Other thoughts?


People will misunderstand lights just as easily as a rudder waggle.

Its a training issue and they just need to know what the signal means
by practice.

It takes a bit of time to learn and mistakes WILL be made but that is
no reason to throw out the
standard signals becasue of a few.

Of the 10,000+ glider pilots I am sure only a couple dozen have
released on rudder waggles.

Thats 0.24%, and completely insignificant justification to change
anything but the rigor of those few pilots training who are
having problems.

Lights fail, radios fail, tow plane electircal systems fail and a Wag
or a Rock will still communicate with a glider on tow.

The signal system works just fine, its just that the receivers of the
signal are learning something new to them and sometimes
mistakes are made.

We should start a thread on Pilot Mistakes, and you can be sure there
will be 1000 hr pilots making entires there as well.

Ray
  #15  
Old June 26th 08, 05:10 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Darryl Ramm
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Default 2 recent incidents

On Jun 26, 8:25*am, jb92563 wrote:
As I think about it, it might be best if there was a single array of
high output LEDs. *When both "colors" of the array are "on" then you
have a single visible color that means "ok" (red and blue make green in
concept, but in emitted light that combination doesn't work). *That way
the glider pilot can verify at the start that both signals "work" and
they stay "on" for the duration of the tow. *If either the "warning" or
"get off" switches are selected in the cockpit then only the
corresponding "color" is then visible to the glider pilot. *Perhaps with
the "warning" being a steady signal and "get off" being a rapid flash to
help with fast recognition and a sense of urgency.


Other thoughts?


People will misunderstand lights just as easily as a rudder waggle.

Its a training issue and they just need to know what the signal means
by practice.

It takes a bit of time to learn and mistakes WILL be made but that is
no reason to throw out the
standard signals becasue of a few.

Of the 10,000+ glider pilots I am sure only a couple dozen have
released on rudder waggles.

Thats 0.24%, and completely insignificant justification to change
anything but the rigor of those few pilots training who are
having problems.

Lights fail, radios fail, tow plane electircal systems fail and a Wag
or a Rock will still communicate with a glider on tow.

The signal system works just fine, its just that the receivers of the
signal are learning something new to them and sometimes
mistakes are made.

We should start a thread on Pilot Mistakes, and you can be sure there
will be 1000 hr pilots making entires there as well.

Ray


What matters is the percentage of pilots that get a waggle and then
release by mistake. Open spoilers on tow does not seem that common -
so how many pilots per year get to see a rudder waggle? Clearly a
signal system does not "work fine" if we are seeing multiple crashes
and people getting killed - I assume you mean it could work fine if
more pilots were better trained and proficient. So I agree with all
that, but just becasue a radio might not work all the time is no
reason not to try to have more operators and tow pilots adopt a
procedure where if possible they use the radio first. Tow pilots also
need to understand how apparently easy it is for glider pilots to
screw up and if possible tow them to altitude before waggling. Not all
tow pilots understand how apparently likely a waggle may be
misunderstood - some tow pilots spend a lot of hours towing and it is
easy for them to forget how less proficient the guy at the other end
of the rope may be.

As a community we need to stop saying things like "the waggle signal
works fine", people are being killed and hurt. The reality is there
probably needs a significant improvement in training of glider pilots
and tow pilots to improve safety on this. Glider pilots recognizing
signals, positive checks, including visual of spoilers, deliberate
spoiler open on ground roll procedures, better understanding of tow
pilot issues by glider pilots, better understanding of impacts of a
low rudder waggle by the tow pilots, better use of radio where
possible, improved BFR/spring checkouts to include actually
demonstrating/practicing these things, etc. etc.

Darryl



  #16  
Old June 26th 08, 05:12 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Marc Ramsey[_2_]
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Posts: 211
Default 2 recent incidents

jb92563 wrote:
It takes a bit of time to learn and mistakes WILL be made but that is
no reason to throw out the
standard signals becasue of a few.


Rudder waggle wasn't a standard signal when I learned. During my first
decade of flying (70s), rudder waggle was commonly used by tow pilots
with newbies (like myself) to suggest a point of release.

Of the 10,000+ glider pilots I am sure only a couple dozen have
released on rudder waggles.


I've done it, and I knew (in theory, anyway, what the signal was
supposed to mean). Grob 103, spoiler not properly secured at takeoff
(my bad), spoilers crept open during climb out, no dramatic sounds,
buffeting, etc. I could tell the tow wasn't going right as we tuned at
about 300 feet, continued slow climb rate as the tow pilot made a big
sweeping back towards the airport. When we got back over the airport at
1000 ft, he wagged the rudder, and I, fulling expecting to be rocked off
at any moment, pulled the release. The tow plane shot up like a rocket,
a light bulb lit up in my brain, and I looked back to see the spoilers
hanging out in the breeze. I think it clear what would have happened
had I been wagged at 300 feet.

Thats 0.24%, and completely insignificant justification to change
anything but the rigor of those few pilots training who are
having problems.


I bet it's a lot more than 0.24%, I know of more than one tow pilot that
is very careful where they use this signal, from experience.

We should start a thread on Pilot Mistakes, and you can be sure there
will be 1000 hr pilots making entires there as well.


I had 1200 hours at the time.

Marc
  #17  
Old June 26th 08, 05:25 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
R
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Posts: 8
Default 2 recent incidents

John Smith wrote:
What is wrong wit a mandatory waving off the gliders at the end of the
tow?


Wrong is that I, the glider pilot, want to decide where to be towed and
when to release. Because I, the glider pilot, am in the air without an
engine after the release. No tuggie, no matter how experienced he may
be, will ever tell me when and where to release.


I can promise you, if, I were towing you, and you did not get off when I
waved you off. You would be wearing the rope. I have done it before,
and I still have lots more rope available to me. Aside, from that, I
will normally take you where you want to go, but if, I want you gone,
You will be gone.
  #18  
Old June 26th 08, 06:19 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
John Smith
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Posts: 256
Default 2 recent incidents

What is wrong wit a mandatory waving off the gliders at the end of the tow?

Wrong is that I, the glider pilot, want to decide where to be towed and
when to release. Because I, the glider pilot, am in the air without an

....

This attitude terrifies me as a tow pilot.
If the tug pilot waves you off- GET OFF NOW! You do not know if there
is an emergency. If you don't want to be waved off in lift, discuss with tug

....

You can misunderstand everything if you really want to, can't you.
Somebody suggested to wave off the glider at the end of *every* tow. My
answer was that in a *normal* tow, it's the glider pilot who says where
and how hight the tow goes. Period. Because he will have to deal with
the release and because he will pay the tow.

Of course *in an emergency*, the tow pilot has every right to wave me
off. More precisely, in a true emergency, I wouldn't even expect him to
wave me off but rather to just release his end of the rope.
  #19  
Old June 26th 08, 06:20 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Bob Whelan[_2_]
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Posts: 27
Default 2 recent incidents

jb92563 wrote:
As I think about it, it might be best if there was a single array of
high output LEDs. Details snipped...

Other thoughts?


People will misunderstand lights just as easily as a rudder waggle.

Its a training issue and they just need to know what the signal means
by practice.

Details snipped...

Lights fail, radios fail, tow plane electircal systems fail and a Wag
or a Rock will still communicate with a glider on tow.

The signal system works just fine, its just that the receivers of the
signal are learning something new to them and sometimes
mistakes are made.

We should start a thread on Pilot Mistakes, and you can be sure there
will be 1000 hr pilots making entires there as well.

Ray


Panacea fixes...what a panacea it would be if a few of them actually
worked. (WARNING: Dry humor nearby.)

Some pertinent realities...
- Perfection is never an option.
- Panacea fixes aren't.
- Thought processes matter.
- Training is good, too.

Here's a thought process that has worked for me...so far. Being fairly
simple-minded, I struggle with remembering rules for rules' sake. I
compensate by a reasonably decent ability to remember WHY certain
rules/guidelines/suggestions exist...and I seek to prioritize things I
DO remember. (I care little about remembering trivia; I care a LOT
about remembering 'important stuff.')

Here's a couple of soaring examples:
1) Visual tow signals (work all the time, unless being towed in
[*really*] hard IFR) - In life and death terms, a strong argument can be
made that only one need be remembered, the wing-rock signal. None of
the others are indicative of (immediately) life-threatening (to you or
the tuggie) situations.

Can't remember what a rudder waggle (or any other
arcane/new/untrained-for/yet-to-be-devised) signal is for? No problem!
It's NOT the dreaded wing-rock...so no precipitate action is
necessary. Heck, you could even turn on the radio and ask, if your
Embarrassment Quotient hasn't been exceeded on that particular tow.

2) Landing pattern mistakes - THE one boo-boo practically guaranteed to
kill you in a landing pattern is the inadvertent stall/spin. I deal
with that not by trying to remember all of the books'-worth of advice
out there (mostly useful and sensible and germane), but by a
combinatorial thought approach: a) Kid(s) - don't DO that (i.e. the
inadvertent uncoordinated pattern stall)!!! b) Pay attention to Rule a).

Everything else rule-based falls out in the wash...requisite pattern
speed, requisite pattern coordination, requisite pattern pattern, etc...

3) Soaring-in-general - Soaring is real safe as long as you don't hit
anything (hidden assumption...that you don't want to hit).

For what it's worth, I can't recall learning any of the above from any
of my (generally excellent) instructors (and the comment is not intended
to be in any way derogatory or condescending). Nevertheless, I'm happy
with the (36-year) results-to-date. I did yank off on my (sole)
wing-rock received. I haven't inadvertently stalled in the pattern. I
haven't inadvertently hit anything I wasn't already intentionally aiming at.

Nor have I (yet) seen a rudder waggle...but if I DO see one, I'm pretty
certain I'm not going to yank off for mis-interpretational reasons...

Respectfully,
Bob - VRAM-limited - W.
  #20  
Old June 26th 08, 06:24 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
kirk.stant
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Posts: 1,260
Default 2 recent incidents

Just this past Sunday I had a glider's spoilers open on tow just after
takeoff. ASW-19, behind the Pawnee I was flying, in Illinois, so not
a real problem - and easily solved with a quick radio call.

I'm a big fan of radios - and try to make radio contact with every
glider I tow before takeoff. When I fly club ships that aren't radio
equipped, I have my handheld clipped to my harness, with a hand
speaker-mike at hand, and try to establish contact with the tow pilot
before launching.

Easy, quick, safe.

That being said - we still need the standard signals as backups, and
everybody (on both ends of the string) need to think about them. Good
flight review material. Along with proper use of radios!

I confess, I had the spoiler problem solved by radio before I even
thought of the proper rudder waggle signal! Probably a good thing,
since we were at 500' at the time, and the glider's stick actuator was
a bit rushed at the time (second flight on type, I think).

Kirk
66
 




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