Reply To: Flying Sunday 8/27

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John DeRosaJohn DeRosa

    Many thanks for Don, Gary, and others at the field that worked on this and Jimbob Slocum for working with Airmotive at Popular Grove.

    I know that this is disappointing for everyone out on Sunday – a very nice day to be flying.  The tow plane seemed to be running well.  It would have been convenient to keep flying but stopping the operation was done for SAFETY reasons.  It may help to understand why I say “Safety” if you know about the magneto and its importance for the ignition system of our tow plane.

    In your car/truck there is a single ignition system.  If it were to fail your only problem is finding a place to pull over and waiting for the tow truck (and maybe telling the boss that you will be late today).  Inconvenient but you are safe.

    You may not be aware that our tow plane – for safety – has two totally separate ignition systems with the magnetos being one of the critical components.   Before the first flight of the day you might have seen the tow plane move over at the edge of the runway with its engine being run from idle to high throttle.  During this event each magneto is tested both separately, and together, to ensure that the engine is running well.

    As you can imagine the engine failing on a tow is an critical situation.  This is why we all repeatedly practice during tows simulated Premature Termination of Tows (PTTs) via “wave offs” and rope breaks – not to mention slack rope recovery.

    Many things we do during our operations are for safety.  An example is quickly moving a landed glider off the Runway ASAP and not waiting for the golf cart to show up (for convenience).  No glider in the air or in the pattern?  STILL MOVE THAT GLIDER – so it becomes a habit.

    Remember => Safety Not Convenience.

    Thanks, John DeRosa