I would like to start out by echoing some of the arguments I have seen. The winch offers training that is essential for any glider pilot.
As glider pilots we often do not get the luxury of making normal altitude pattern. The winch procedures that are taught at Sky Soaring make you prepared for any aero tow rope break or abbreviated pattern if necessary. I think that if the decision is made to sell the winch, the instructors might consider incorporating these lesser practiced patterns into their training curriculum.
I would also like to point out that the winch is a great club resource in the late Fall, Winter, and early Spring months when the tow plane is not insured. I think a large part for the under representation of the winch in the 2020 statistics is due to the lock down restrictions that suspended our operations until may 1st. As I recall the winch was used extensively in the spring months of 2019 prior to the tow planes insurance becoming active.
If the clubs financial position forces the sale of the winch it would be unfortunate. I think that we should consider the unique benefits of the winch in our club.
Hope everyone is in good health. Im currently working at an Aerial Applicator school in South Dakota I would have never been able to acquire such a job without the experience gained flying the clubs Pawnee. The aircraft I regularly fly include but not limited to c140, Piper J3, Piper Cherokee. I have my multi engine check ride tomorrow in the Piper Apache. Thanks for everybodys support throughout my training and look forward to visiting Illinois soon!