Re: [Sky Soaring] Reply To: Video: Safe Winch Launch

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John LincolnJohn Lincoln

I have watch part one of the video once. I have gone back and looked at their statistics a second time. The video was scary enough! The simulations and the real stuff. Ahhhh!!! The stats are worse. Fatal winch launches of 33 and serious accidents of 64. Aero tow fatalities of 2 and serious of 4. This is over 31 years. (Relatively speaking soaring is safe.) Fatal and serious accidents using winch launches happen 16 time more often than aero towing. Another way to look at it is 3 winch accidents per year winch launching vs. 0.19 (that’s 1 accident every 5 years) per year aero towing. These numbers are only true in absolute terms. Since there were in all likelihood fewer aero tow launches the number of aero tow accidents would likely be higher if there were the same number of launches as winch launches. I’m not saying we get rid of the winch. I’m not even saying I won’t help run operations when we are winch launching, which I will. I am saying between the video and the stats that’s why I don’t want to winch launch. Thanks Don for putting this out there. It explains in graphic and statistical terms my fears of winch launching, therefore I hope that this answers those who have asked and continue to ask me why I don’t want to use the winch.

As an aside to the above, the stats make a lot of sense. I have found that accidents seem to happen at a rate that increases exponentially as either the energy input into something is increased or the time to input the energy is decreased. The second case is winch launching

Happy Thanksgiving

John Lincoln