Organizing the Flight Line

It is imperative that an orderly flight line be maintained. This will enable aircraft to be ready to fly when the towplane is ready. Generally speaking there is only one flight line with the front aircraft opposite the Flight Shack when 32 is in use and the north edge of 05/23 when 14 is in use, with the others lined up behind. As the gliders are towed off, the front aircraft becomes further away from the normal take–off point, which means: as gliders are placed in line, the flight line moves further and further back. Therefore periodically the line must be pulled up so that the front glider is in the appropriate starting point once again.  Other members may initiate this action but the Line Chief should keep an eye on the situation just in case.

The above noted procedure is used when either 14 or 32 are in use, which is about 95% of the time. When 21/23 is in use, the gliders are launched from immediately west of the hanger. In this instance, due to limited stacking room, two lines of two gliders each may be used.  All other gliders are kept parked until they can be placed on line. Gliders are not generally launched from where they land on 21. After landing they should be quickly moved to a launch position on 23 closer to the Flight Shack. It is also worth noting that 21/23 is only used in stiff south-west winds and the number of gliders flying is quite limited so congestion is not a significant problem.   The Line Chief should keep an eye out for relatively inexperienced pilots using 23 that may not have used that runway before. It is a more challenging approach than the other runways and should always be flown with an instructor first.

To run an efficient towing operation the object is to have the glider ready to go before the towplane is in position. Then when the towplane taxis into position the towrope must be connected promptly so that the tow can proceed quickly. This is very important since running the engine on the ground is not good for several reasons – cooling is poor, the plugs can foul, fuel is being wasted, and costly engine time is being used up. All of these problems can increase maintenance costs significantly. So the Line Chief must ensure that the glider crew is ready to go when the towplane arrives and that somebody is waiting to hook up the towrope to the glider as soon as it is available.    The above comment assumes that the pilots are ready for hook-up.  Under no circumstances should the tow rope be attached to the glider until the pilot has requested that it be hooked up.