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Re: Rethinking towing

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Sat Nov 23, 2019 1:43 pm

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Re: Rethinking towing

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Sat Feb 01, 2020 10:00 am

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Re: Rethinking towing

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Sat Feb 01, 2020 10:40 am

Found here on U.S. Hawks:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6IFmX3t2vg



This video is good good good. ;)

At about 20 minutes and 39 seconds you can see a release with what Bill referred to as too much line tension. The tension at the time of the release was obviously less than required to break the weak link (or the weak link would have already broken). This shows the response that the glider would have to a weak link break at whatever tension was in the line at the time. You can compare that response to Bill's other releases under much less tension (at 6 minutes and 14 seconds, for example).
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Re: Rethinking towing

Postby JoeF » Sat Feb 01, 2020 12:20 pm

Thanks, Bill, for great video. :!: :!: :!: :thumbup:
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Re: Rethinking towing

Postby Craig Muhonen » Sat Feb 01, 2020 10:17 pm

It was sheer luck..... .It was 1968...... .I got on a 707 in Da Nang Vietnam ......landed in Sydney Australia .......And was treated to the best week of my life. It was sheer luck....... Bill Bennett and his family "took me under their wing " and treated us to 4 days of water skiing, beer, steak, and campfires on the river. They showed us their "drag boats" and "kites" that they were going to attempt a world record flight. In the evenings Bill would show us all about his boats and ideas about "tow kiting". He had been trying to figure out how to release tho tow rope, so the kite would fly like a glider, and not "shoot" straight up. (Like it did many times) They had some crazy stories of their experiments with different mechanisms and geometry, and boat speed, and even when they thought they had it down, the "ride up" and the "release" was always a bit "iffy" Then they had to figure out how to get the angle of attack just right, so he could control the glider safely. They had many "bumps and bruises" as test pilots, but in 1968 the idea of "foot launching was still a year away.
Bill showed me how to barefoot ski, but I lasted about 20' and skipped across the water like a flat stone.
I will never forget the "respect" Bill and his family paid this young Marine, and it was tough to get back on that 707 a week later. And more sheer luck.... ..two weeks later, I stepped off another 707 back in the States.
I agree with Rick about, during the time that you are being "towed" and
"controled" you are vunerable. And these novices are not being told the truth about the risks. "This slides into criminality"
When a "for profit" business model (u$hpa) is used too much in training, I feel that young pilots miss out on steps 1, 2, and 3, and can get a case of the "OC's".
How many "moving parts" and people does it take to launch a hang glider using the "Tow" method? I stopped counting at about 100. How many "moving parts" does it take to "foot launch" a hang glider? 1 brain, 2 legs, 2 arms, and 1 voice . (When you "chirp" as you transition into the air). It's something to think about if you are a novice.

CM
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Nancy Tachibana's accident at Mission Soaring

Postby linlyons » Sun Dec 06, 2020 11:47 pm

I trained at Mission Soaring in Tres Pinos. There were lots of critical comments on that thread, which in my experience, are not warranted. There was a comment that "she should be learning tandem." I'd had over 100 hill flights before I started towing. At Funston, I remember hearing a comment that "Pat Denevan's students always have good landings." Yes. They do lots of flights on the 30' + 40' hills before they get to tow. On the first tow, Pat attaches the tow rope, and runs and pulls you to get you off the ground. After that, when he uses the winch, you get higher in small steps. I had several tows before I was 50' off the ground. When I was being towed, the operator watched me, and slacked off the power if I got out of line, or higher than they thought was appropriate at my level.

I think that towing is safer than, for example, going to Ed Levin where the options are the 50' hill, and then the 300' hill. When you launch from the 300' hill, you'll be up in the air, and flying is all up to you. No one can see that you're in trouble and get you lower. When towing, you get up 20', then 30', then 40', in steps, with the tow operator watching to see you're flying right. You get tasks, making 45° turns, after the tow release, and getting straight again. Then 90°, etc. After many flights -- a couple dozen or more, you're allowed to turn 360° and land closer to the launch.

When we start flying, we're told that there is an element of danger to it. Nobody thinks that it's perfectly safe. I had to toss my parachute when, after dozens of tows, I attached my my tow line incorrectly. Scott Howard was at the top of his tow, with dozens of tows under his belt, when he released the tow with too much pressure on it and tumbled. I knew Raffi, who crashed at Funston. And Chris Carrillo who drowned off Devils Slide, trying to fly down to Half Moon Bay. There is some inherent danger to hang gliding. That's the price of the feeling to be up in the air, like a bird, looking down at the world.

Given my druthers, if I was starting today, I'd most certainly go back to Mission Soaring. I don't feel that I was ever put into a situation that I would not be expected to handle.
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