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Ground Launch Training - Winch and Auto



 
 
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  #1  
Old February 25th 20, 03:17 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Jim S
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Posts: 6
Default Ground Launch Training - Winch and Auto

It appears that Cross Country Soaring in MN performs winch launches and maybe training? Anybody else have any suggestions for glider clubs performing / offering training in ground launch?
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  #2  
Old February 25th 20, 04:23 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
AS
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Posts: 488
Default Ground Launch Training - Winch and Auto

On Monday, February 24, 2020 at 10:17:21 PM UTC-5, Jim S wrote:
It appears that Cross Country Soaring in MN performs winch launches and maybe training? Anybody else have any suggestions for glider clubs performing / offering training in ground launch?


The Carolina Soaring Association in Spartanburg, SC offers a winch clinic at least once a year.

Uli
'AS'
  #3  
Old February 25th 20, 05:54 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Jim S
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Posts: 6
Default Ground Launch Training - Winch and Auto

Thanks much!
  #4  
Old February 25th 20, 06:29 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
John Foster
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Posts: 304
Default Ground Launch Training - Winch and Auto

On Monday, February 24, 2020 at 10:54:56 PM UTC-7, Jim S wrote:
Thanks much!


Why don't we do more winch launching here in the US?
  #5  
Old February 25th 20, 09:18 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
son_of_flubber
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Posts: 1,507
Default Ground Launch Training - Winch and Auto

On Tuesday, February 25, 2020 at 4:17:21 PM UTC+13, Jim S wrote:
It appears that Cross Country Soaring in MN performs winch launches and maybe training? Anybody else have any suggestions for glider clubs performing / offering training in ground launch?


As a USA resident I did 35 winch launches at
https://soar.co.nz/ They have great instructors, a relatively new winch, capable winch operators, DG1000s, seven day a week operations and they're a club. Cost is very reasonable. 2000 foot launches are typical. Welcoming to overseas pilots. Operates Dec-March.

I also did Karl Striedieck's weekend training seminar... 12 launches at Eagle Field, which was epic, and great 'land out' training. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbQtkLI24dA

Winch launching is great fun and the training is worthwhile even if you don't have the opportunity to winch launch at home. It trains the reflex/habit to drop the nose before turning, and that reflex also applies to rope break scenarios on aerotow (or winch). It also tunes up your ability to execute non-standard abbreviated patterns with simulated winch rope breaks at various altitudes. I think those skills may save my life if I ever have an aerotow rope break. Every winch launch involves a sort of 'simulated rope break' and dropping the nose before turning on every launch (many many times) forms the habit that is protective during a real aerotow rope break.

I think winching also sharpened my focus during the aerotow takeoff phase, and that has surely come in handy.
  #6  
Old February 25th 20, 10:51 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Martin Gregorie[_6_]
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Posts: 497
Default Ground Launch Training - Winch and Auto

On Mon, 24 Feb 2020 22:29:32 -0800, John Foster wrote:

On Monday, February 24, 2020 at 10:54:56 PM UTC-7, Jim S wrote:
Thanks much!


Why don't we do more winch launching here in the US?


My guess would be two factors:

1) the number of people on the ground at a typical US club on a flying
day

2) if you're sharing the airfield with powered aircraft, the power pilots
don't tend to like winch operations.

As a subsidiary point, the runways at the US clubs I've visited are
narrower than is typical here. Go he 52°11'10.74"N 0° 6'40.44"W
on Google Earth to see what our airfield looks like.

My club in the UK does a lot of winch launching and on normal flying
days, this requires at a minimum a dedicated winch driver and a launch
marshal. The LM controls the launch and may run the glider wing as well:
you DO NOT ever start a winch launch with the glider wing on the ground.
In addition we normally have an assistant for the LM, who drives the Hilux
we use for cable retrieval as well as hooking cables on gliders, helping
to manage the launch log and driving golf buggies to retrieve landed
gliders etc. On a good summer day, around 100 aircraft movements is not
uncommon.

Our main run is 4600ft long and 475 feet wide, so with the cables laid
along one side, and the winch launch point 600-700 feet from the runway
threshold we have plenty of space behind the launch point for gliders to
land and the runway is wide enough for us to have an aero tow launch
queue on the opposite side of the runway. We use radio comms between the
launch points and also between launch point and with the winch, golf
buggies and Hiluxes in case you're wondering.

During weekend flying we roster a winch driver, a Launch Marshal and a LM
assistant. We used to have a few extra people at the launchpoint, so help
with retrieving landed gliders, moving the launch queue, etc wasn't an
issue, but since we moved to using a booking system, the number of spare
bods at the launch point have dropped a lot, and so rostering an
assistant for the LM has become a requirement if we are to maintain a
reasonable launch rate.

We have a two drum winch, so only need to get cables every two launches.
but with just the winch driver and an LM, the launch rate isn't all that
high. However, with a couple of LM assistants and a dedicated cable truck
driver, its possible to maintain rate of 20 launches an hour provided
those in the launch queue get on with things and don't mess about.


--
Martin | martin at
Gregorie | gregorie dot org

  #7  
Old February 25th 20, 03:19 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
AS
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Posts: 488
Default Ground Launch Training - Winch and Auto

On Tuesday, February 25, 2020 at 1:29:35 AM UTC-5, John Foster wrote:
On Monday, February 24, 2020 at 10:54:56 PM UTC-7, Jim S wrote:
Thanks much!


Why don't we do more winch launching here in the US?


John,

this is an often debated question. I think it is mostly based on history. In the US, the availability of cheap tail-dragger tow planes, tail-dragger trained pilots and cheap AVGAS steered the soaring community towards aero-towing. In Europe, the situation was the opposite, so folks over there perfected building winches instead.
Even today, some US-clubs who want to get into winching since it makes economic sense for them experience internal resistance and opposition from vocal opponents, who - in most cases - have no clue what they are talking about nor have ever taken a single winch launch.

Uli
'AS'
  #8  
Old February 25th 20, 03:36 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
AS
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 488
Default Ground Launch Training - Winch and Auto

On Tuesday, February 25, 2020 at 5:51:33 AM UTC-5, Martin Gregorie wrote:
On Mon, 24 Feb 2020 22:29:32 -0800, John Foster wrote:

On Monday, February 24, 2020 at 10:54:56 PM UTC-7, Jim S wrote:
Thanks much!


Why don't we do more winch launching here in the US?


My guess would be two factors:

1) the number of people on the ground at a typical US club on a flying
day

2) if you're sharing the airfield with powered aircraft, the power pilots
don't tend to like winch operations.

As a subsidiary point, the runways at the US clubs I've visited are
narrower than is typical here. Go he 52°11'10.74"N 0° 6'40..44"W
on Google Earth to see what our airfield looks like.

My club in the UK does a lot of winch launching and on normal flying
days, this requires at a minimum a dedicated winch driver and a launch
marshal. The LM controls the launch and may run the glider wing as well:
you DO NOT ever start a winch launch with the glider wing on the ground.
In addition we normally have an assistant for the LM, who drives the Hilux
we use for cable retrieval as well as hooking cables on gliders, helping
to manage the launch log and driving golf buggies to retrieve landed
gliders etc. On a good summer day, around 100 aircraft movements is not
uncommon.

Our main run is 4600ft long and 475 feet wide, so with the cables laid
along one side, and the winch launch point 600-700 feet from the runway
threshold we have plenty of space behind the launch point for gliders to
land and the runway is wide enough for us to have an aero tow launch
queue on the opposite side of the runway. We use radio comms between the
launch points and also between launch point and with the winch, golf
buggies and Hiluxes in case you're wondering.

During weekend flying we roster a winch driver, a Launch Marshal and a LM
assistant. We used to have a few extra people at the launchpoint, so help
with retrieving landed gliders, moving the launch queue, etc wasn't an
issue, but since we moved to using a booking system, the number of spare
bods at the launch point have dropped a lot, and so rostering an
assistant for the LM has become a requirement if we are to maintain a
reasonable launch rate.

We have a two drum winch, so only need to get cables every two launches.
but with just the winch driver and an LM, the launch rate isn't all that
high. However, with a couple of LM assistants and a dedicated cable truck
driver, its possible to maintain rate of 20 launches an hour provided
those in the launch queue get on with things and don't mess about.


--
Martin | martin at
Gregorie | gregorie dot org



2) if you're sharing the airfield with powered aircraft, the power pilots

don't tend to like winch operations.

Martin,

this is mainly based on the element of the unknown! We operate off of a country airport with a lot of mixed traffic - everything from large buizz-jets down to motorized parachutes. The solution is a solid operations plan and communication, communication, communication!
We will announce every launch just as any other aircraft taking off.
The announcement includes a warning to approaching traffic not to do a mid-field crossing below X,XXXft (typically the anticipated release altitude +500ft)
The winch monitors the radio for approaching traffic and contacts them to find out, how long it will take for them to be overhead. A Lear Jet will cover the '10 miles out' faster than than a Piper J3. We will then either launch or hold the launch to avoid any conflicts.
We offer winch launches to the local power pilots to show them what it looks like from our perspective.
We actively participate in a city-sponsored youth program introducing youngsters to aviation and the glider rides launched on the winch are the most favorite thing with the participants.

So, the bottom line is that it is possible to operate a winch on a busy airport if one so desires.

Uli
'AS'
  #9  
Old February 25th 20, 06:11 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 8
Default Ground Launch Training - Winch and Auto

On Monday, February 24, 2020 at 11:23:25 PM UTC-5, AS wrote:
On Monday, February 24, 2020 at 10:17:21 PM UTC-5, Jim S wrote:
It appears that Cross Country Soaring in MN performs winch launches and maybe training? Anybody else have any suggestions for glider clubs performing / offering training in ground launch?


The Carolina Soaring Association in Spartanburg, SC offers a winch clinic at least once a year.

Uli
'AS'


Hello Uli please keep us posted as when the next winch clinic will be, some of our club members participated to one of those a couple of years ago and it became one of the most recurring hangar talk so much we enjoyed it! Now we have several new members that would jump to that opportunity.
  #10  
Old February 25th 20, 06:12 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Martin Gregorie[_6_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 497
Default Ground Launch Training - Winch and Auto

On Tue, 25 Feb 2020 07:36:48 -0800, AS wrote:

On Tuesday, February 25, 2020 at 5:51:33 AM UTC-5, Martin Gregorie
wrote:
On Mon, 24 Feb 2020 22:29:32 -0800, John Foster wrote:

On Monday, February 24, 2020 at 10:54:56 PM UTC-7, Jim S wrote:
Thanks much!

Why don't we do more winch launching here in the US?


My guess would be two factors:

1) the number of people on the ground at a typical US club on a flying
day

2) if you're sharing the airfield with powered aircraft, the power
pilots
don't tend to like winch operations.

As a subsidiary point, the runways at the US clubs I've visited are
narrower than is typical here. Go he 52°11'10.74"N 0° 6'40.44"W on
Google Earth to see what our airfield looks like.

My club in the UK does a lot of winch launching and on normal flying
days, this requires at a minimum a dedicated winch driver and a launch
marshal. The LM controls the launch and may run the glider wing as
well: you DO NOT ever start a winch launch with the glider wing on the
ground. In addition we normally have an assistant for the LM, who
drives the Hilux we use for cable retrieval as well as hooking cables
on gliders, helping to manage the launch log and driving golf buggies
to retrieve landed gliders etc. On a good summer day, around 100
aircraft movements is not uncommon.

Our main run is 4600ft long and 475 feet wide, so with the cables laid
along one side, and the winch launch point 600-700 feet from the runway
threshold we have plenty of space behind the launch point for gliders
to land and the runway is wide enough for us to have an aero tow launch
queue on the opposite side of the runway. We use radio comms between
the launch points and also between launch point and with the winch,
golf buggies and Hiluxes in case you're wondering.

During weekend flying we roster a winch driver, a Launch Marshal and a
LM assistant. We used to have a few extra people at the launchpoint, so
help with retrieving landed gliders, moving the launch queue, etc
wasn't an issue, but since we moved to using a booking system, the
number of spare bods at the launch point have dropped a lot, and so
rostering an assistant for the LM has become a requirement if we are to
maintain a reasonable launch rate.

We have a two drum winch, so only need to get cables every two
launches. but with just the winch driver and an LM, the launch rate
isn't all that high. However, with a couple of LM assistants and a
dedicated cable truck driver, its possible to maintain rate of 20
launches an hour provided those in the launch queue get on with things
and don't mess about.


--
Martin | martin at Gregorie | gregorie dot org



2) if you're sharing the airfield with powered aircraft, the power
pilots

don't tend to like winch operations.

Martin,

this is mainly based on the element of the unknown! We operate off of a
country airport with a lot of mixed traffic - everything from large
buizz-jets down to motorized parachutes. The solution is a solid
operations plan and communication, communication, communication! We will
announce every launch just as any other aircraft taking off.
The announcement includes a warning to approaching traffic not to do a
mid-field crossing below X,XXXft (typically the anticipated release
altitude +500ft)
The winch monitors the radio for approaching traffic and contacts them
to find out, how long it will take for them to be overhead. A Lear Jet
will cover the '10 miles out' faster than than a Piper J3. We will then
either launch or hold the launch to avoid any conflicts.
We offer winch launches to the local power pilots to show them what it
looks like from our perspective.
We actively participate in a city-sponsored youth program introducing
youngsters to aviation and the glider rides launched on the winch are
the most favorite thing with the participants.

So, the bottom line is that it is possible to operate a winch on a busy
airport if one so desires.

Hi Uli,

Your system sounds very sensible and, in practice probably isn't unlike
our operation. On our field everybody calls downwind on our ground
frequency. Launch co-ordination is done by the winch LM - if a powered
aircraft has its engine running the winch waits for it to launch and on
landing its the LM's responsibility to spot incoming and, again, hold a
winch launch if landing plane is about to turn base, is on base or is on
finals.

When I said that a shared airfield might be a problem, I was thinking of
operating on a public field with a relatively large proportion of
visiting pilots who may not understand how to co-ordinate with a parallel
winch operation and its cable truck etc.


--
Martin | martin at
Gregorie | gregorie dot org

 




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