02 August, 2012

Rhyl Aerotow 29th July 2012. My first and survived it (almost) intact.

Aerotowing a glider aloft, not easy but great fun.
"Wild Goose" gets a tow
Once again the weather wasn't very kind but all the same the event went ahead in between the showers. At 2 metres wingspan it might seem that my DG1000 was quite large but it was one of the smallest and lightest gliders to take part on quite a breezy day.

After a few words of advice from the tow aeroplane pilot the first was flight passed without any problems. Naturally I didn't let the glider go too high before going for the release and a glide back to the strip. Yes my first ever aerotow passed without incident.

The 2nd & 3rd attempts were less successful with the glider rolling over to be inverted without getting more than a foot off the ground - losing a wing tip and cracked a motor door in the process. So I took off both motor doors off and taped up the wing tip for the 4th attempt, this time with the help of Tim Mackey holding my glider aloft to ensure it got away with the wings level and it worked. A good long flight in some thermals. The 5th attempt was equally good so I was beginning to get pretty confident and was keen to make more of the day.
Some of the gliders being prepared for flight.

For the 6th attempt I'd spotted some lovely blue sky in the distance and waited for it to come over and up I went, higher than in the previous flights and released the tow line. No problem except that as I did so my glider left the cloudy background and into the blue.... somewhere. It just seemed to melt into the blue. I rolled the wings and got sight of it and headed back under a patch of cloud and that was fine but it did present a heart in mouth moment. Well it was still quite breezy and the cloud soon disappeared and the glider very nearly did too. I was wearing high viz specs but it was still a problem. Anyway I rolled it on it's side again and being able to see the shape of the glider it was safe to push the nose down and get some height off. The rest of the flight was fine

So 4/6 attempts had me airborne and the only real drama was that last flight when my expected good visibility under the blue sky proved to be quite the opposite.

Brighter skies later on set a pretty scene
Thanks to Rhyl and District Model Flying Club for hosting this event.