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Lesson 6b - Aerotow Emergency Procedures

Lesson Objective

Aerotow emergency procedures include: glider can not release, towplane can not release, towplane power failure (at various times in the flight), abort of take-off near the ground, rope breaks.  During this lesson segment, the student will learn the tools of recovery from these situations.  

Regulatory Requirement


  • Tow-plane wave-off
  • Spoilers opening on tow
  • Tow-plane signal "something is wrong with the glider"
  • Towplane abnormal power on takeoff or climb
  • Inadvertent release from tow
  • Glider release failure
  • Towplane release failure

Completion Standards

Practical Test Standards:

Objective. To determine that the applicant:

  1. Exhibits knowledge of the elements related to aerotow abnormal occurrences, for various situations, such as—
    1. towplane power loss during takeoff.
    2. towline break.
    3. towplane power failure at altitude.
    4. glider release failure.
    5. glider and towplane release failure.
  2. Demonstrates simulated aerotow abnormal occurrences as required by the examiner.

The student must be able to perform:

  • Successful recognition of towplane power loss on takeoff or climb-out
  • Successful rope break recovery.

The student must be able to explain:

  • Appropriate signals on aerotow for
    • Glider can not release
    • Towplane can not release
    • Something is wrong with the glider
  • Procedure for the double-release failure scenario (however unlikely)
  • Hazards of moving the glider too high on aerotow.

Prerequisite Study

Next Lesson: 6c -- V-Speeds
Previous Lesson: 6a -- Slack Line
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