Cross-Country Aerotow

Cross-Country Aerotow

Planning is the key for a successful and safe cross-county tow. Fuel consumption during any tow operation will be high. Plan conservatively using the maximum fuel consumption for your particular tow plane and the possibility of a diversion along your route of flight. Study your route of flight on current sectional charts. Pay particular attention to airspace, both controlled and special use. Since a tow line break is a constant possibility, always plan your route of flight over landable terrain. During the flight constantly strive to keep the glider over landable terrain. Tow and glider pilot fatigue is a real hazard. Make sure you are properly rested and in good medical condition prior to the flight. If the flight is particularly long, plan rest stops along the way, if feasible. Think about water requirements to keep hydrated and the inevitable physiological requirement. Use aircraft trim to ensure the maximum tow speed of the glider is not exceeded and to help reduce pilot fatigue.

Two-way communication between the glider and the tow plane is essential during cross-country tows. Ensure portable radios and glider batteries are fully charged prior to the flight and conduct a radio check as part of your pre-flight activities.

Cross-country Tow Checklist
Fuel Plan
Max. Fuel Consumption calculated
Fuel Load determined
Route Survey
Current Charts
Physiological Requirements
Physical condition (pilots)
Physiological management
Pilot's Briefing
Tow speeds set
Emergency procedures reviewed
Communications plan briefed
air-to-air frequencies
alternative communications (Soaring Signals)
emergency communications
Flight plan (Route and stops) briefed
Pre-flight Activity
Pre-flight inspection complete
Communications check complete

Print a Cross-country Tow Checklist. Word - PDF

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10/21/2000 10:05:28 PM