Page 6 of 7

Re: payout and line problems.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 9:01 pm
by Bill Cummings
I was just reading an email about some pilots out on Hwy #9 along the New Mexico border with Mexico towing on the 9th.
They had lots of rope off of the winch while towing and had a line break. The pilot released and the rope was lost for a day and took much searching to find it.
Years back my tow operation decided that the tow line was more important than one flight even if the line broke just as you found a thermal.
Tow lines cost too much and loosing a lot of tow line can mess up a good day.
The policy was to to grab the tow line hold it in our teeth and then trip the bridal release.
Next we would fly down, return to the area of the tow road where the platform truck was and drape the tow line across the road right near the truck. We would just have enough altitude left after draping the tow line to do a DBF landing.

Re: payout

PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 10:03 pm
by Bill Cummings
Somewhere at the US Hawks I have mentioned this before -- I think. (?)
Payout winch/reels sometimes have more rope on them than they should have.
When the pilot lifts off the platform vehicle that is when the outer wraps of rope can dig down into the wraps below.
This causes more line tension than you planned on while setting the brake pressure to the winch/reel.
Not only does the digging in of the rope cause more friction for the rope paying out it doesn't have the same mechanical advantage over the brake that it did when pulling off from a bigger diameter on the payout spool.
The closer to the base of the drum or the Axel that the line comes off, the more tension is on the line unless your winch/reel is designed to compensate for such an event.
With more line wrapped on the drum this greater diameter is like a longer handled lever pulling against the resistance of the brake.
With a lot of line out the smaller diameter drum is like a short handled lever pulling against the resistance of the brake.
Many more things can end up resulting in more unintended line tension. One is pulling rope off at and angle.
These problems need to be corrected before you start increasing the breaking strength of your weak-link beyond 1.6 times your all up weight. For me 1.6 of my all up weight is 350 lbs. That is as strong as I will go.
When your line tension increases above your desired dialed in tension your sweet spot narrows and has you closer to a lockout than lower towing tension will.

Re: payout

PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 10:04 am
by SamKellner
Hi BillC,

After the weak-link is tied how long should it be?

How long of a piece should you start with.


Re: payout

PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 11:08 am
by Bill Cummings
I like to tie mine as short as possible so that it will not end up with a wrap and a capture upon release while aero-towing.
I take care to bury the knot which experience has demonstrated can work like a button looking for a button hole.
I do start out with a section that is longer than needed but that is only so I can keep hold of the stupid squirrely (mind of its own) S.O.B. while tying one. Then I trim off the excess.
I would estimate that I start out with the standard seven inches. (Seven is standard isn't it?)
A wrap and capture of a too long of a weak-link has only shown up for me while aero-towing.

For towing like platform and static I've only trusted weaklinks that I have made and tested myself. Length is not critical since wrap and capture will no longer be a problem.
Since everybody's tow procedure and equipment is always different I rig a weaklink-set of two 1/4" thick loops on either side of MY weaklink.

I know if I show up at some tow operation they may have a towline of different size loops, rapid links, or something else that I had never planned for.

All these variations will cause my weaklink to break at different and untested tensions.
That is why I have my own rope loops on each side of MY weaklink.
First I hook my 1/4" rope loop up to the strange towline then I hook my remaining 1/4" loop to my two string release.
This way my weaklink, (in between the two 1/4" rope loops) is never touching anything but what I came with.

My weaklink goes through the 1/4" rope loop then through itself. The weaklink knot is buried against the 1/4" rope loop knot.
This way the weaklink never breaks at the knot but somewhere to either side of the weaklink knot.

Tow operations that insist on me using their approved set up don't get to tow me.

Re: payout

PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2016 8:50 am
by SamKellner
Thanks BillC,

I was down to my last weak-link until last week when FlyTexas came out for a week of fun with me here at Leakey, (lay'-key).

Jeff Hunt had plenty of green dot link material. I cut the pieces ~9" or 10", that way after it is tied it winds up to be ~<4" total.

Yes we always position the knot so that it is "buried", not in the active area during release.

This is the example I tied to demonstrate the proper knot.

Several of Jeff's students, PG and HG, came out for instruction. We did ~100 launches with the Terry-tow scooter. It performs great. Jeff made me tow him first, on a PG, to demonstrate my ability to tow low-n-slow. No problem there.

The stinking high pressure over us was not allowing much lift for thermal flying.

I got a couple of flights in on the WW Alpha 210 that Jeff brought, :D


Re: payout

PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2016 10:24 am
by Bill Cummings
Here is the Green Spot 130 lb breaking strength aero-towing weaklink.
aero-tow weaklink (BC) Green Spot..JPG
aero-tow weaklink (BC) Green Spot..JPG (19.2 KiB) Viewed 5159 times

I'll see if I can muster enough energy (---later--) to get out of this chair and post a picture of my home made static & platform weaklink.
222 lbs for Static Tow & 350 lbs Platform Tow.

Re: payout

PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 9:48 am
by Bill Cummings
Hey Sam,
Here are some home made weaklinks from hardware store bought Mason line.

Once I ran out of the supper malifagorius (New word) tow dealer purchased expensive weaklink material and the stuff I needed was on back order.
I decided to go with the hardware store stuff that was always on hand all over town.

The way I went was with stuff I tested and rigged so that I could hook it to any towline anywhere and have my stuff always yield the same results.

That is the reason for the two green 1/4" loops on each side of the white weaklink for platform/payout or static tow.
My home made, two string, release has one string of smaller diameter cord than the first/longest larger diameter cord.
The longest largest diameter release cord hooks to the even larger green 1/4'' loop of the weaklink (three loop) assembly.
For stationary hydraulic winch pulley tow I use 70 to 130 lb weaklinks.
For static tow, car/truck/ATV/snow-machine, I use 222 lb weaklinks.
For payout winch/reels with too much line on them I never go above 350 lbs for a weaklink.
In the picture you can see a bag of 400 lbs for weaklinks. Those are for big pilots like John Ole Olson.
All loops of the three loop weaklink assembly can be tied in advance and just slipped over each other to make a connection.
This will eliminate the need to tie anything in the tow area. Tying is slow. Looping is fast even with gloves on.
I cut the line with a lighter and that keeps the ends from unraveling.
The wire cutters are only along to cut flying wires on unsafe gliders.
The 50 dollar bill is to hand to the glider's owner to mitigate the damage done to the flying wires.
The weapon (not pictured) is for protection if needed.
Home made hg gear.JPG
Home made hg gear.JPG (103.8 KiB) Viewed 5147 times

Closer left.JPG
Closer left.JPG (129.6 KiB) Viewed 5147 times

Closer right.JPG
Closer right.JPG (126.95 KiB) Viewed 5147 times

Sam, Found this @ Oz about HHG&P

PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 7:41 pm
by Bill Cummings
Looks like more pilots disenfranchised due to the Insurance trouble that is RRG related.
Jeff Kannard
2 hrs

I picked up the platform tow trailer from Hearne today. Mick was the last person up doing maintenance and had left the battery charger on and plugged in.

We are no longer sharing the hanger there and needed to vacate the space. I will do a pull of with the line and test everything. I did pull off 20-40' and ran the starter motor rewind and it worked flawlessly. Ingo was tasked with making contact with the airport manager to insure we could still access for towing (any updates??).

Mick and I talked today and he believes that as long as no instruction is being performed we can use the winch without having to update with all the new RRG requirements. Any advice BartWeghorst and Tiki? If this is so I would highly recommend that all go get rated with Greg Ludwig asap.

Every time I go to Hearne I am reminded of how great a place it is to fly. Very little GA traffic. RV pads. Nice green grass to set-up on and it has proven as a great xc site.

I will insure the winch is working. I will update the trailer tags so it can be road worthy. Can we get a show of hands who is rated to tow and let's please go fly here.

Re: payout

PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2016 3:15 pm
by SamKellner
Hi Bill,

When Jeff Hunt was here the week after 4th of July, I got some green dot weak link matl. from him and tied a bunch more.

We did a lot of scooter tows. Even paragliders. Jeff made me tow him first on a PG, no problem, I kept him ~10' off the ground till he signaled decelerate.

Seems like I remember that 4" was the accepted length. Starting with a ~9" piece.

Yes, with all the new reqs., I let my u$hPa membership expire last year. I have mixed feelings about it but bottom line was in the red, I just didn't have the $$$ after

the expense of becoming an instructor, buying a Condor for the students, training harnesses and all. I felt it was a great accomplishment but could not maintain. I still teach anyone who wants to learn.

The Terry-tow scooter rig still performs great. I just put fresh antifreeze in to winterize.

Right now, I need a lawn/turf runway mower more than anything. :salute:


Cutting a grass air strip

PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2016 6:25 pm
by Bill Cummings
How about two lawn mowers hooked to the back of your four wheeler, spaced out, (not you) so that on the return pass you can mow the uncut grass that was in between the two mowers. After each down and back pass you would have completed the equal of four singles passes wide? :?:
Another way is cut circles one after the other down the grass runway.
Pound in a stake between the left and right side of the grass runway. Tie a rope to the stake, run the rope to the lawn mower at the edge of the runway. (make a bridle at the lawn mower and attach the bridle to the front and back of the mower on the side facing the stake.)
Start the self propelled lawn mower and let the rope wrap up around the stake/pipe as the mower goes around in ever smaller circles.
put a car inner tube at the stake to kill the blade and mower when the mower wraps it self to the stake.
Sit in the shade in a lawn chair with a beer and watch the mower do all the work by itself. (I've really seen this done.)
For the next cut move the stake down the grass runway to cut the next automatic grass circle. (It takes a cooler of beer.)
One draw back is that you have to keep moving the lawn chair and cooler into the shade as the shade moves. -- That part hasn't been figured out yet. --Good luck.