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Successful Winch Launch Operations from Public Use Municipal/County Airports



 
 
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  #11  
Old July 16th 19, 05:07 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Mike Hendron
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Default Successful Winch Launch Operations from Public UseMunicipal/County Airports

Regarding winch lines on the runway, we also tend to winch from a dirt/grass area next to the runway, so we don't have to worry about they line on the runway. We have done both, and have tried things like keeping the line in the gravel next to the runway, but it is not ideal to have active operations on the runway while you have a line out. So we found an approach to not do that.

And as mentioned, our radio calls also advise traffic to avoid area of launch to keep traffic clear of the line. But we are particularly vigilant in watching for other traffic in or near the pattern or transitioning, and we just don't launch until we are confident the space is clear.

Mike Hendron
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  #12  
Old July 16th 19, 07:15 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
son_of_flubber
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Default Successful Winch Launch Operations from Public UseMunicipal/County Airports

How do winch operations handle NORDO traffic at airports open to the public?
  #13  
Old July 16th 19, 07:33 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
AS
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Default Successful Winch Launch Operations from Public UseMunicipal/County Airports

On Tuesday, July 16, 2019 at 2:15:33 PM UTC-4, son_of_flubber wrote:
How do winch operations handle NORDO traffic at airports open to the public?


Good old 'MK-VIII' eyeballs in a head on the swivel!
Uli
'AS'
  #14  
Old July 20th 19, 11:35 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
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Default Successful Winch Launch Operations from Public UseMunicipal/County Airports


How do you deal with waiting for inbound traffic with a rope laying the length of the runway? Or do you not lay it out until all is clear? I'm contemplating something similar at my home airport, but it is used by Air Tractors that fight wildfires during the summer months. They tend to think they own the whole show and have priority over everything else.


____________________________

Sorry for the delay. Good question. We never have the rope on the runway except for the few seconds during the launch. A friend with some welding skill has made a tow bar for me that fits into the trailer receiver on my truck (Pathfinder). It protrudes a couple of feet off to the side of the truck and allows us to drive down the runway while the rope drags on the grass between the runway and the runway lights. It is hinged and bungeed so that once the rope is released the bar folds in so the driver doesn't accidentally sweep someone off their feet (shoot me an email if you want a picture of it - ). That keeps abrasion down and like you said, we don't have to worry that it is on the runway. Another unexpected benefit is a smoother" initial acceleration" since the rope slides out of the grass onto the runway as load is applied.
Another nice point to mention to 'concerned airport folks' is that the line is in the air for less than a minute, and above pattern altitude for mere seconds. A radio call before launch and a good look at a two-mile radius of the sky brings the risk factor down into the realm of everything else that goes on in the sky! :-)

 




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