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Letter to the FAA



 
 
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  #161  
Old June 27th 17, 12:40 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 473
Default Letter to the FAA

On Monday, June 26, 2017 at 6:00:05 PM UTC-4, Don Johnstone wrote:
At 21:19 25 June 2017, wrote:
On Sunday, June 25, 2017 at 2:30:04 PM UTC-4, Don Johnstone

wrote:
At 03:44 25 June 2017,
wrote:
The death toll doesn't match your hyperbole=20

How many pilots have to die before you act, give me a number.


Couple of posts back I suggested several acts that are more

productive
than=
squealing to the teacher. You want a number, I'll give you an

equation:
W=
hen the yearly towpilot death toll =3D the yearly glider pilot death

toll.
=
Glider pilot lives matter too. Simple solution is to write letters
demand=
ing the FAA ban gliding. All those glider pilot's lives and by default
tow=
pilot's lives saved. Brilliant.

That is called deflection, not an answer. How many deaths do you think
are acceptable? How many tow pilots have to die before YOU take
action? Just answer the question, it is very simple.

And the premise that if we fix this one thing at any cost then flying will be safe is ludicrous. As is the premise that Schweizer hooks are a killing machine. The current rate is acceptable. If you aren't OK with a mechanical device failing and killing a pilot once every twenty years you shouldn't be flying in general aviation aircraft.
Ads
  #162  
Old June 27th 17, 02:41 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Paul Agnew
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Posts: 294
Default Letter to the FAA

From Walt's first post under the Tow Upsets thread that started this discussion:

"I have been towing for about two and a half years and have logged over
6,500 tows."

Paul A.
  #163  
Old June 27th 17, 02:40 PM
Walt Connelly Walt Connelly is offline
Senior Member
 
First recorded activity by AviationBanter: Aug 2010
Posts: 338
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by View Post
On Monday, June 26, 2017 at 6:00:05 PM UTC-4, Don Johnstone wrote:
At 21:19 25 June 2017, wrote:
On Sunday, June 25, 2017 at 2:30:04 PM UTC-4, Don Johnstone

wrote:
At 03:44 25 June 2017,
wrote:
The death toll doesn't match your hyperbole=20

How many pilots have to die before you act, give me a number.


Couple of posts back I suggested several acts that are more

productive
than=
squealing to the teacher. You want a number, I'll give you an

equation:
W=
hen the yearly towpilot death toll =3D the yearly glider pilot death

toll.
=
Glider pilot lives matter too. Simple solution is to write letters
demand=
ing the FAA ban gliding. All those glider pilot's lives and by default
tow=
pilot's lives saved. Brilliant.

That is called deflection, not an answer. How many deaths do you think
are acceptable? How many tow pilots have to die before YOU take
action? Just answer the question, it is very simple.

And the premise that if we fix this one thing at any cost then flying will be safe is ludicrous. As is the premise that Schweizer hooks are a killing machine. The current rate is acceptable. If you aren't OK with a mechanical device failing and killing a pilot once every twenty years you shouldn't be flying in general aviation aircraft.
Gregg you hillarious *******. I just aspirated coffee up into my sinuses and now I smell nothing but Hazelnut.

"The current rate is acceptable?" Obviously you are not flying a tow plane with a Schweizer hook and a release handle down on the floor. No, the current rate is NOT acceptable when there is an improved apparatus known to not fail under similar conditions. You are missing my point entirely but that's okay, miss on.

Walt
  #164  
Old June 27th 17, 03:53 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
krasw
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Posts: 588
Default Letter to the FAA

On Tuesday, 27 June 2017 02:40:44 UTC+3, wrote:
And the premise that if we fix this one thing at any cost then flying will be safe is ludicrous. As is the premise that Schweizer hooks are a killing machine. The current rate is acceptable. If you aren't OK with a mechanical device failing and killing a pilot once every twenty years you shouldn't be flying in general aviation aircraft.


Wow, just wow. Acceptable. It is a release design that is clearly not working as it should and easily fixed with little money and effort (relative to costs of flying in general). And you are talking about acceptable rate of dead tow pilots? Seriously?
  #165  
Old June 27th 17, 03:55 PM
Walt Connelly Walt Connelly is offline
Senior Member
 
First recorded activity by AviationBanter: Aug 2010
Posts: 338
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Kelley #711 View Post
On Monday, June 26, 2017 at 12:43:07 PM UTC-6, Walt Connelly wrote:
;949735 Wrote:
On Sunday, June 25, 2017 at 2:30:04 PM UTC-4, Don Johnstone wrote:-
At 03:44 25 June 2017,
wrote:-
The death toll doesn't match your hyperbole
-
How many pilots have to die before you act, give me a number.-

Couple of posts back I suggested several acts that are more productive
than squealing to the teacher. You want a number, I'll give you an
equation: When the yearly towpilot death toll = the yearly glider pilot
death toll. Glider pilot lives matter too. Simple solution is to write
letters demanding the FAA ban gliding. All those glider pilot's lives
and by default towpilot's lives saved. Brilliant.


You are missing a point here Mr Ballou but I can't help but feel that
missing the point is what you do best.

What a glider pilots does once off tow does not affect the tow pilot,
what they do on tow does. Yes, gliders crash not infrequently resulting
in the death of the pilot and occasionally a passenger but that is not
the fault of the tow pilot, that is exclusively the fault of the glider
pilot. When a tow pilot crashes as a result of a glider pilot's
failure to stay in position I become concerned. When a device meant to
give the tow pilot a fighting chance to survive does not work, is known
to be prone to failure I take great exception. Does this not make sense
to you?

If you wish to kill yourself that is your decision, fly on my friend, I
shall not interfere. If you wish to kill me we will have conflict.

Walt




--
Walt Connelly


Hi Walt,
What I may have missed is how many tow's had you done and how long ago was it before finding out about this possible "release" problem? It seems like most have responded trying to offer their view in a way which has been thought about before.
As I know you, along with the many other's, they have appeared to me, to give reasonable guidance and thought when asked about this possible problem.
It also appears from the FAA they have given this review and guidance.
No one wishes "bad" on anyone, as many "bad's" can happen. If you knew of this problem long ago, why did you keep on towing until "almost bad" happened? As this current "action" is your choice, do they not have that same choice? Just asking....that's all.
Still, will miss you at Seminole, as I had towed behind you many times over the years and still remember when you first started towing. Best wherever your travels take you!

Best. Tom #711
Good Morning Tom,

Hope all is well with 711. Two of the great facts of life is that we don't know what we don't know and what you don't know can kill you.

When I was asked to tow at SLGP (because the manager and other tow pilot were having coflict with the owner and were leaving) I wasn't quite sure what I was getting into but life is an adventure. I accepted and as you might guess one learns to tow by towing and experiencing all that towing has to offer along the way. I took it easy, kept my head on my shoulders and was fortunate enough to have a couple of hundred tows before I began to realize how badly an out of position glider could affect the tow plane.

I had over 6500 tows when I experience two severe kiting events in one week, they happen in the wink of an eye and anything that might interfere with the ability of the tow pilot to release the glider is a major problem. (read my intial post under "Tow Plane Upsets" for a more comprehensive explantion of these two events.) I had read the available information about the Schweizer hook failings and had spoken with other tow pilots about releasing. The best answer I could get was "release early." Well, not all kiting events happen in a slowly evolving manner with the tow pilot watching in the mirror, sometimes they happen in the wink of an eye and you have to be looking forward, left and right much of the time to avoid running into those pesky, white, high performance gliders.

The FAA's "review and guidance" appears to be a bit nebulous with a statement in the Advisory Circular # 43.13-2B (or not 2b) that says, "When the glider on tow operates above a certain angle to the tow plane, the ring may slide upwards on the hook causing excessive load on the hook and difficulty in releasing the tow rope ring." I don't know about you but I come from a family of lawyers and can hear the lawyer speak all over that comment. Perhaps what it should say is "when the glider kites on you in the wink of an eye, the SCHWEIZER hook will jam and you are along for the ride until the rope breaks or your ass hits the ground." In my case had the rope not broken or had it broken a second later you would be reading about my death and not hearing from my happy ass on Aviation Banter.

The "reasonable guidance" from others thus far seems to include, 1. Not writing the letter to the FAA. 2. Go away and leave the rest of us alone. 3. Compile a list of 337's and STC's and distribute them to those glider operations and clubs who still fly with Schweizer hooks. 4. Other rather simplistic approaches to a complex problem none of which really enhance safety. 5. Did I miss something that made sense, if so let me know.

Yes, every tow pilot has the same choice to fly or not to fly and I would be surprised that any tow pilot had not heard about the potential problems with the Schweizer hook. It does not hit home until you find yourself at 300 feet with a student screwing up to the Nth degree while pulling your tail up and to the right, your nose down and to the left and you are trying desparately to release. Interestingly enough, this 15 year old student was described by the most experienced CFIG I know as one who should not be flying. She was soloed by the most inexperienced CFIG I know, go figure.

I am trying to compose a letter to the FAA that will not hamper or inhibit the world of soaring. My suggestions will be to at a minimum require the Schweizer hook to be inverted for which there is an STC. My understanding is that the Schweizer hook is limited to towing gliders under 1500 lbs max gross weight and that the rope strength is limited to 1200 lbs. This, if correct would eliminate the Schweizer hook from operations towing the heavier gliders, I am still researching this information. Again, we don't know what we don't know. In addition I feel that it is important to reposition release handles from the floor (on Pawnees) to a position up near the throttle which will give the pilot an extra second or two to react. This has been mandated by the BGA after the deaths of several tow pilots.

The basic position I am running into from others on this forum is that there have not been enough deaths to warrant any mandates to switch to Tost. That being said I do have my supporters.

Our system does not make it easy to do this research but I have found deaths directly attributable to this condition. I have spoken with someone who knew the pilot who died and whose death fostered the inverted Schweizer hook. Did you read the post from Dave Springford? Thirty years ago their club experienced an accident attributable to a Schweizer hook and changed to Tost with a release up near the throttle. My guess is that the pilot survived and was able to elucidate what happened. The BGA as I believe I have noted before had mandated these changes. Of course I am told that the Canadians and Brits are under different systems and we are under the FAA. I understand this but this does not negate the fact that they recognized a problem and found a solution, we can do the same.

As someone who was a second or two from being a statistic I feel compelled to insure that this is well known and that some action be taken. I may not succeed but I will try. If you have any suggestions I would be happy to entertain them.

Hoping all your landings are happy ones and I always enjoy reading "711 Reporting."

Walt
  #166  
Old June 27th 17, 04:05 PM
Walt Connelly Walt Connelly is offline
Senior Member
 
First recorded activity by AviationBanter: Aug 2010
Posts: 338
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Marotta View Post
Sorry Walt, my comment wasn't directed at you. It was a comment on the
lack of knowledge of math and statistics.

I'll either die today or I won't, so I guess I'll stay in bed and stay
comfortable until it happens. That 50-50 concept only works with coin
tosses, etc. and, as used, is disingenuous.

On 6/25/2017 2:09 PM, Walt Connelly wrote:
Dan Marotta;949727 Wrote:
If it was really 50-50 nobody would be flying. Did that statistic come

from MSNBC or Johnny Depp?

Actually it was in an article from Tom Knauff called "Launching
Emergencies." I read everything I can find on the subject. I saw the
humor, the tongue in cheek of what he said, did you not?

http://www.eglider.org/NewsArticles/...mergencies.htm

Walt





--
Dan, 5J
Dan,

I don't take anything personally, i am not a person.

I am all about math and science but I did see the humor in this comment and I am sure that Tom meant it that way. During the Vietnam Police Action my squadron commander once said, we might die today and then again we might not, so let's go fly the mission and see what happens. In our case the most dangerous part of flying was the take off. We were over and above maximum allowable war gross weight for our aircraft, Go AiR FORCE. The second most dangerous part was that inflight box lunch. But we still made the take off and I still ate that lunch and I survived.

Have a great day.

Walt
  #167  
Old June 27th 17, 04:46 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Tango Eight
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Posts: 890
Default Letter to the FAA

On Tuesday, June 27, 2017 at 10:53:28 AM UTC-4, krasw wrote:
Wow, just wow. Acceptable. It is a release design that is clearly not working as it should and easily fixed with little money and effort (relative to costs of flying in general). And you are talking about acceptable rate of dead tow pilots? Seriously?


It's obviously acceptable: we keep towing, yes?

In many 10s of thousands of tows, my club has had no kiting incidents. No one denies the possibility of an unrecoverable accident and the probability of a Schweizer release failure in this circumstance, but experience shows that these are low probability events. Most of us can distinguish between 1:100,000 and 1:2.

My job as the safety guy is to look at the whole picture, not be a one issue zealot. Given limited resources, I'm on the 1:1000 problems first, not the 1:100,000 problems.

A Tost release is on my want list, but honestly it is not hard to some up with ten things that are far more important to overall club safety.

However, someone posts a 337 for a Tost installation on an L-19, I'll pass the hat, call Portland fsdo and start the ball rolling. It'll be a Winter project and maybe not this Winter if I have to roll my own 337.

Evan Ludeman -- Post Mills Soaring

  #168  
Old June 27th 17, 04:55 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Charlie M. (UH & 002 owner/pilot)
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Posts: 1,327
Default Letter to the FAA

I wonder what paperwork is legally required for an inverted Schwiezer tow release (if you already have one installed)? Should be pretty simple and cheap to do the actual change AND get most of the benefit of a Tost release.

This from a guy that lost a friend that was towing in NJ maybe 30 years ago and had a kiting issue while low. The glider pilot was a known squirrel and was not welcome at our field.
  #169  
Old June 27th 17, 07:28 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Dave White[_2_]
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Posts: 10
Default Letter to the FAA

Hello Walt, First I want to thank you for all the great tows when I was working on my CFIG back in February. If you want to send your letter to the FAA, and it sounds as if you will, you might want to take some precautions. In the 40+ years I flew for a living only 3 or 4 pilots contacted the FAA with safety concerns. To be fair we had other avenues, i.e. Union, etc to air our grievances. But a few did go to the FAA and later had regrets. If they pursue your concerns you may be asked some hard questions. Did you report the incident? To whom did you report the incident? Employer, NASA, FAA, SSA, or anybody else? Did you do a proper preflight of the tow hook? There will be many other questions but I think you get my point. They will be thorough and you will feel as if you are in crosshairs. And you will be in the crosshairs. Before you put a stamp on it get some advice from an aviation lawyer. AOPA has a great legal staff. I would trust their opinion on how to approach the FAA before listening to anyone else. Good luck.
  #170  
Old June 27th 17, 08:15 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Tango Eight
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Posts: 890
Default Letter to the FAA

On Tuesday, June 27, 2017 at 11:55:57 AM UTC-4, Charlie M. (UH & 002 owner/pilot) wrote:
I wonder what paperwork is legally required for an inverted Schwiezer tow release (if you already have one installed)? Should be pretty simple and cheap to do the actual change AND get most of the benefit of a Tost release.


I grok you still need a 337. But anyhow, Schweizer hooks are out of production. So it comes down to some version of the following:

Option 1: http://www.wingsunlimitedtowhooks.co...on-bumper.html

Option 2: http://wingsandwheels.com/aircraft-p...w-release.html

This isn't really a tough call, but you do need an approved installation.

best,
Evan Ludeman / T8
 




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