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Towpilot Manual information
List Price: $11.95
Now:  $10.75

Product # 5689

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Towpilot Manual

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Towpilot Manual

Burt Compton soloed in 1968 and is a "Gold Seal" Glider Flight Instructor. He is one of 200 Master CFI's nationwide as designated by the National Association of Flight Instructors. He has flown dozens of types of gliders, ranging from training gliders to racing sailplanes. He also holds a Commercial Certificate in Airplanes and Seaplanes and is a Flight Instructor in Airplanes.
Towpilot Manual was written to advance the skills and enhance the safety of all towpilots, present and future. The accent is on safe practice throughout, and even veteran towpilots will discover valuable safety enhancement techniques in this book.

Author's Notes:

This towpilot manual is a compilation of aerotow procedures used in the USA. I have gathered information based on established methods and my own experience as a towpilot since 1970. I have flown more than 30 different types of gliders on aerotow at more than 30 different soaring sites, including my own glider flight school, Miami Gliders Corporation.

Earning a glider towing endorsement can be very rewarding. The towpilot is an essential element in the sport of soaring, and assumes a substantial amount of responsibility for both the towplane and the glider being towed. Many new towpilots are not themselves glider pilots. From the towpilot's perspective, the aerotow emergency scenarios can sometimes be very subtle and unusual, not seen in any other type of flying. The energy, momentum, and dynamics of two aircraft attached by a 200-foot rope can lead to some dangerous situations. To ensure safe operation, the risk must be managed by discussing the situations that may suddenly develop into an emergency, and by maintaining awareness of the options available to the towpilot during every phase of flight.

I recognize that approved aerotow procedures may vary depending on geographic location, airport environment, and types of towplanes and gliders used. When you are preparing the "towpilot flight ops" book for your organization, study the manufacturer's Pilot Operating Handbook (POH) for the specific towplanes and gliders that you operate. In addition, study the SSA Soaring Flight Manual chapter on aerotow to review recommended aerotow procedures.

Finally, I dedicate this manual to every towpilot who has ever towed me aloft, and to my mentor, Fritz Compton.

Burt Compton
Towpilot and Glider Flight Instructor
President, Miami Gliders Corporation, Miami, Florida.


2 The Gliding Mentor Series
3 Author's Notes
6 Aerotow Defined
7 Towplane Airworthiness
8 Towplane Preflight
9 Tow Rings
11 Towrope Maintenance
12 Towrope Length
12 Towrope Strength
14 Weak Links
14 Towrope Management
15 Dropping The Towrope
15 Flight Operations
16 Towpilot Aeromedical Considerations
16 The Towpilot-Glider Pilot Briefing
18 Towing Heavy Gliders
20 Before Takeoff
20 Takeoff With Glider In Tow
21 Departure Procedure
22 Release And Descent Procedures
23 Landing The Towplane With The Towrope Attached
23 Dropping The Towrope
23 Crosswind Operations
24 Go Arounds
24 After Landing
25 Aerotow Emergency Scenarios
26 Towpilot Recognition And Reaction To Kiting
28 Unanticipated Termination Of The Aerotow
30 Glider Towhook Release Failure
30 Glider And Towplane Release Failures
32 Cross-Country Aerotow
33 Aerotow Retrieves
33 Passengers In The Towplane
34 Federal Aviation Regulations Overview
36 Towplane Airworthiness & The FAR's
37 Excerpts From The Federal Aviation Regulations
40 Signals For Ground Operations
41 Airborne Aerotow Signals
42 SSA Soaring Flight Manual
42 End Of The Line: Glider Pilot Aerotow Manual
42 SSF Safety Videos
42 How To Contact Burt Compton
42 About The SSA
43 The Gliding . . . Made Easy! Book Series
BC About Burt Compton


List Price: $11.95
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Customer Reviews For Towpilot Manual:
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Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Okay, but could be better
by A Customer from Bullhead City AZ 

Review: I expected it to be more informative and provide insight, tips and tricks from experience, but I found that most of what it contains can be found in the FAA's Basic Glider Handbook. I passed it to a tow pilot and his review was the same.
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Thursday, September 24, 2009
by Terry Bryan from Albuquerque NM USA (Moriarty) 
Pros: Well written & presented.
Cons: none
Review: For anyone wanting to become a towpilot for gliders, this read is a "MUST". There is nothing like getting it first hand from the pilots that have years of experience, and thousands of tows. Loved every page.
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Sunday, October 21, 2018

Some keywords that may help you find this product: Buy Towpilot Manual Soaring Books / Bob Wander TPM bob wander robert soaring Burt Compton This towpilot manual is a compilation of aerotow procedures used in the USA.