How does one establish the optimum angle during tow? Up to now we have
relied mainly on the apparent angular relationship of the wing tip to the
lateral horizon. Put in other terms, it,is "seat of the pants", or "whatever
seems right". Because it is so difficult to determine the best angle while
on winch tow, I have been intensely interested in the devices made by Gene
Ogden and Jim Anderson. These were just the first models, and I'm sure
improved models are forthcoming, perhaps by other members. With some such
device accurately showing the angle of the glider we can determine the
best angle for each glider, and members will be able to achieve better
THE TREASURERíS CHEST:
(for additional detail, see the statement posted on the trailer bulletin
Things are pretty much the same as far as club maintenance goes. Last time the Ford truck was reported as returned to service, since then it has become apparent that the brakes are bad on it. So although it starts and runs great, it doesn't stop so well. Until further notice do not use the Ford.
Thanks to Jim Anderson, the radio situation has been cleaned up considerably on the winch. Wires no longer dangle everywhere, as a result it's easier to set up the radios for operation, and we will probably have fewer problems with the radios. Along with organizing and rerouting the wires, Jim has included an on/off switch on the main box, a separate box for the speaker, and a jack for a headset. It's a tremendous improvement.
The wire has been changed. We got over 500 tows on that wire. There is also some experimentation with a simpler method of splicing the wire. If it is successful everyone will be briefed on how it's done.
Prior to April, some of you may have noticed that the winch seems to lose power at higher throttle settings. Initial diagnosis indicated that the problem was caused by a clogged air filter. The filter was replaced in early April, so if you have any problems with power from the winch, please advise me as soon as practical.
A replacement engine for the current or future winch has been purchased. It will need to be overhauled, but it's a good core, and the price was right.
Ken Swanson has found a winch for sale in Canada. It sounds like it is similar to what we have now, and we are waiting for pictures and more information. The price they are asking is probably much less than it would cost to build one from scratch.
That's all for now. Again if you experience any maintenance problems, have any maintenance questions or comments, please do not hesitate to call me, or leave a note in my box.
Editorís note: Bruce and A.C. deserve special mention for the timely repair of the tow truck clutch. The truck was not "down" a single flying day.
MARCH 19TH GENERAL MEETING:
The March 19th general meeting, the main purpose of which was to hear committee reports and elect a Board of directors was well attended with 20 members either in person or by proxy.
Secretary Joe Rogers reported that the equipment transfer from the Prescott Soaring Assoc. to the Prescott Soaring Society is almost complete.
Jim Anderson presented a club financial summary, the most noteworthy item being that the Blanik loan had been reduced from its original $10,000 to $6174.63 in the past 12 months.
Maintenance items included:
1) Replacement of the tow truck clutch.
2) Oxygen system installed in the Blanik.
3) Winch radio reinstallation.
4) Club parachutes being repacked (no excuses now not to use them as required by Regulation.
5) Repair of two of the Genave VHF radios
Joe Rogers gave a little "show and tell" of the multi-channel battery charger he is developing. and of a method of doing some recording of wire tension during flight. (more on both of these subjects in the future).
After the election of officers, the meeting was adjourned.
APRIL 9th BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING:
In the "work session" the treasurerís report was presented, the main item of which was that the present Blanik loan balance is $6013.62. (see posting on the bulletin board for additional detail).
A.C. reported on the following maintenance items. A rebuildable Chev. V-8 engine has been purchased for use as either a backup winch engine or to be used for new winch. The clubís Genave radios have been repaired. The tow wire has been replaced. Joeís new battery charger is almost ready for use.
The club equipment title transfer is mostly complete except for the official change of addresses. Joe requested that someone else take over that responsibility and Dent volunteered.
Bill Webster of the State Land Department visited the operation Thursday March 25th when some of the members were flying. Billís plans are to move the hang-glider operation to another state land section.
Dick requested that the board members bring recommended by-law changes with them to the next board meeting.
Joe suggested that the Board work on getting a set of club flight rules published (as required by the by-laws). Jim volunteered to get some samples of other clubís rules and make them available to the board members by the next board meeting.
A.C. presented a list of gliders suitable as a possible replacement of the Zugvogle. Considering the criteria of affordability, all metal, easy flying, aerobatic and high performance, the list gets pretty short. It was suggested that the Zug. might get more use if it were easier to get out.
At Dickís request, Jim will make his modified "angle of climb" indicator available for more evaluation.
Some experimentation has been done downloading GPS tracks of soaring flights onto a computer using DeLorme "Street Atlas, USA" This can be useful for the documentation of informal contest or cross country flights. More about this as a future newsletter article.
Transport of Jerry Barberís damaged truck (for use in building a new winch) from Cottonwood to PSS was discussed. A.C. will ask the Davisís, who live next to the winch, what they would charge to get it over the hill.
A spring work party is scheduled for Saturday, May 29th at the field. One of the main activities will be mowing the grass/weeds in the compound but there will be other chores also.
A general meeting is being planned for sometime mid-late June. The next board meeting is planned for April 22.
APRIL 22nd BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING:
The Treasurerís report was presented and was reported to be exactly the same as at the previous board meeting. Nine members have not, as yet paid their Jan/Feb dues.
The Flight Chairmanís and Maintenance Officerís report included: The Zug wing was dinged due to careless ground handling primarily by the tow truck driver. Future preventive measures might include having two persons walking wings, a longer tow rope and the driver paying a little more attention to what he is doing. The winch air fliter was cleaned. The 1-26 battery latch needs better pre-flighting as it came out of its box on one of Dentís flights. It was agreed that glider pre-flight checklists were a good idea. A.C. and Bruce will combine talents to have them made up.
The "hang-up on the wire" incident was discussed and what policy/procedures changes are necessary to preclude it ever happening again. (See the following article "Procedure Changes" for more detail).
Samples of a flight manual and recommended by-law changes were passed out for review.
For attitional detail, see the Board meeting minutes posted on the trailer bulletin board.
Like most incidents/accidents, the cause Jimís incident of not being able to release from the tow wire can be traced to a chain of events rather than any single cause. To preclude that type of event from ever happening again, several corrective actions have been or are being implemented.
First, the weak links have been modified so that there is only one ring on the link and it is clearly labeled as to which glider it applies to.
Second, it is required that each dayís operation have a qualified line chief in attendance and in charge of all ground operations. The line chiefís duties, along with a list of qualified members (as deemed by the Board of Directors) are included below. It is hoped that the line chief will be a volunteer from those members normally in attendance and that a formal roster will not be required. If anyone feels that they should be, or should not be, on the list, mention it to Dick Townsend, thatís what he is getting the big bucks for.
Third, a check list will be posted on the winch which will include an item to insure there are cutters available before any tows are pulled. Future modifications of the winch will, hopefully, include a guillotine so that the wire can be cut without the winch operator leaving the cab.
Last, but certainly not least, people must start paying a little more attention as to whats going on, especially the pilot-in-command who is ultimately responsible for the safe outcome of the flight. There are checklists in the gliders, USE THEM. Another problem source is the informality we have at the take-off end. Members wander around the gliders being readied for take-off and members , other than the line chief, come out and chit chat with the pilot/passengers at a crucial time when the pilotís full attention should be in preparing for the flight. Most clubs do not have this problem as their flight line is located a long ways away from the "peanut gallary. Simple solution, if you are not the pilot, passenger, line chief or tail holder, stay back away from the gliders.
The club is not the little 8-man operation that it used to be where most members were seasoned pilots. We are a 32-member club with a whole range of ages, levels of skill and experience. It now requires a little more formality in its operation.
SUMMARY OF LINE CHIEFíS DUTIES
A Line Chief shall be designated to expedite operations at the launch end. The Line Chief shall be a member in good standing, and be familiar with all operations.
Basically the Line Chiefís responsibilities are:
Assisting the pilots in pre-flight preparations, hooking up the gliders, performing first-flight release checks, holding the wing and watching for traffic and/or other obstacles to take-off.
Maintaining safe and efficient operations at the launch areas.
Maintaining (or assigning someone to maintain) the flight log.
Establishing flight time limits based on the number of members and available gliders.
Informing flying members when they are near their flight time limits.
Informing flying members if there is a change to their flight time limits as a result of wire breaks or other conditions.
Keeping the tow truck staffed and responding to the needs of the operation.
Insuring that waiting gliders are clear of active runway.
Informing winch operators in advance when it is their time to fly and arranging for their replacement.
Assigning members to assist in the prelaunch preparations of the glider.
TO SPIN OR NOT TO SPIN:
..................................................article by Edward
"Every body continues in its state of rest, or of uniform motion in a right (straight) line, unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed upon it." ..............Isaac Newton, The first law of motion, Principia Mathematica.
When is the last time you spun an aircraft? When is the last time you practiced recoveries from unusual attitudes? Been a while right? As glider pilots we spend alot of time on the edge of stalls while thermaling... ... well ... everyone but myself. Anyway, while you are dancing around on the inside of your favorite thermal, your controls are set up in just the right way for you to stall and spin. To add fuel to the fire... some of us thermal under a thousand feet .... not much room to recover, and unless youíre very current with spins and spin recoveries ... well ...you could find yourself with a serious mouthful of dirt.
Now, I can hear some of you out there ......."I have been flying for 200 years and I have never accidently just spun an aircraft". Well, Im proud of you .... but it only takes one time to spin in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now despite popular opinion.... I myself do not remove myself from such a set of circumstances ..... if you are a pilot and you fly... it COULD happen to you. So.... what do I do to reduce my chances of eating Mother Earth? I stay VERY current with stalls, spins and recoveries. I spin the plane I fly every chance I can ... and I spin it in every configuration I can get it into. I know exactly how much room I need to recover, Iím very familiar
with how the plane flys and feels just before, during and after spins, stalls, and any unusual attitude. Now Im not saying that I think you should be up there doing it as often as I do. Some folks just donít like such things .... and that is respected. But shouldnít one do these things now and then just to stay current?
Spins can be fun if done properly and at a safe altitude. And there are so many ways to do it. Try a regular spin... try an "over the top" spin... try recovering from a spin on a certain magnetic heading. While having all this fun you are also staying current and learning a lot through incidence.
I am NOT saying you should just go out and do these things all alone. If you havenít done them in a long time ... get an instructor to go with you ... and while you are up there..try some recoveries from unusual attitudes. If you area student, DO NOT TRY THEM ALONE! During your training you WILL receive instruction on spins and stalls.
MOST gliders are very benign in the spin mode..that is that they donít have any nasty habits while spinning and they recover quite well,as long as the proper technique is used. I have spun...or tried to spin, every plane I have ever flown.... including power planes except for the Piper Arrow I fly now and then .... and I donít spin the Arrow because its "placarded" against doing intentional spins. I have spun planes that..at least from my perspective, had rowdy spin habits, but none of these were gliders. And they ALL recovered well when proper technique was used. All of us ... from the student to the 10,000 hour glider pilot can spin by accident .... and it CAN kill any one of us. Remain educated and current. and remember that it isnít the spin that kills ... its the lack of a timely or proper recovery technique that will permanently implant your control panel in your forehead.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:
Board of Directors Meeting: May ??, 7:00 p.m., @ Dick Townsendís home.
Spring Work Party, Grass Cutting and other Needed Tasks, Sat. May 29th, 9:00 a.m. at the compount (where else).
General Meeting: June 18, 7:00 p.m. Yavapai College, Bldg. 4, Room 112. Mark your calendars.
Weekend Soaring: Sat and Sunday, approx. 10:30 AM, weather permitting.
If anyone has anything that they would like to include, get it to the Editor typed , or on a floppy disk in word processor format, call and dictate it if its not too long, or e-mail it to me, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember, articles must be suitable for a family newsletter and must be submitted to the editor by June 20th, 10 days prior to the publishing date.
If anyone wants, I will include a column for free aviation related want ads. They must be from members and be limited to 20 words.
The Editor would like to have a reporter(s), who flys regularly, to report interesting things that happen on those days when he , the editor, is not present. Any volunteers?
Donít forget to check your mail folder in the plastic file box located at "flight headquarters" i.e. trailer when you come out to fly. Also the bulletin board has some interesting material about club activities. It was noticed that some members had not cleaned out their folders in a long time. For example, there was a notice of the Wright Bros. first fly-in in Bobís folder, (just kidding).
The views expressed in this newsletter are those of the individual "authors" whether of sound mind or not and not necessarily those of the Prescott Soaring Society.
Do you have the stall speed, maneuvering speed, max tow speed and redline speed committed to memory for the gliders you fly. If not, you should. Take a few minutes, look them up before you fly next time so they are fresh in your mind.