Sat, 8 Sep 2012

1Sting 3:168 : Plumpton Aerotow (A) Duration: 00:15, Gain: 2100 ft, Distance: 0 km,
2Sting 3:168 : Plumpton Aerotow (A) Duration: 00:15, Gain: 2100 ft, Distance: 0 km, Full VG; towing much easier-reduced bar pressure.

Aerotow at Plumpton

It was time to return to the aerotow fields of East Sussex again. Summer was making a last minute comeback and pretty much most of the active aerotow pilots were out. A few were completing their aerotow training and others simply blowing off the cobwebs.

After watching a few launches I psyched myself up for my first launch and made myself available for towing. Today I had decided to experiment with differing VG settings to see if I could make the towing experience a little more comfortable.

AirBorne's Sting 3:168 - Aerotow
AirBorne's Sting 3:168 - Aerotow
Aerotowing the Sting 3:168 with the Southern Hang Gliding Club.
8 Sep 2012
Gliders Rigged
Gliders Rigged
Getting gliders ready for aerotowing.
8 Sep 2012
Dan on the Launch Trolley
Dan on the Launch Trolley
Dan waiting to aerotow launch. Photograph: Scott D.
8 Sep 2012
Dan Launching
Dan Launching
Dan leaving the launch trolley. Photograph: Scott D.
8 Sep 2012

For my first tow, I set the VG to an approximate 30% setting. As before the glider tended to float up behind the tug, but as my experience was improving, I was better able to cope with this. I released at 2,100 feet then, with not even a hint of a thermal, enjoyed a fabulous smooth glide back to the field.

On Tow
On Tow
Dan launching the Sting 3. Photograph: Scott D.
8 Sep 2012

A couple of hours passed and with a very relaxed attitude in the field, I volunteered for my second tow of the day. Inadvertently, I put around 70-80% VG on. Others had been foot launching as part of their training, but as I was experimenting with differing VG settings, I wanted to limit to changing one variable at a time.

View of The Amex Stadium
View of The Amex Stadium
2000 feet above the Plumpton aerotow field looking south towards Falmer Stadium and east Brighton.
8 Sep 2012
High Above the South Downs
High Above the South Downs
A view from above the South Downs looking east towards Lewes.
8 Sep 2012

During launch I literally popped out of the launch trolley, but this time the bar pressure felt very much reduced and I was able to match the climb of the tug with relative ease compared to previous aerotows. This had to be the first time I felt relaxed on tow and I was eventually waved off at 2,000 feet.

I enjoyed a slow glide back to the field, taking me over Ditchling Beacon, eastwards along the South Downs Way and back to the landing field. With nil wind, I penetrated a long way into the landing field and almost landed on the resident cattle, but an aggressive flare stopped me short and I gently touched down and concluded a lovely day.

Views from a Hang Glider
Views from a Hang Glider
A view from above the South Downs looking north west towards the village of Ditchling.
8 Sep 2012

Flight Details

Flight TypeAerotow Launch
GliderAirBorne Sting 3:168
SitePlumpton Aerotow
Launch Date/Time8 Sep 2012 / 13:00
Height Gain2100ft
Flight Duration0h 15m
Comments

Flight TypeAerotow Launch
GliderAirBorne Sting 3:168
SitePlumpton Aerotow
Launch Date/Time8 Sep 2012 / 14:30
Height Gain2100ft
Flight Duration0h 15m
CommentsFull VG; towing much easier-reduced bar pressure.

Flying Statistics to Date 8 Sep 2012

Total Hours :
54h 11m
Longest Flight :
1h 20m
Glider Models Flown :
4
Sites Flown :
20
Best Height Gain :
3,000 feet
Total Distance :
20.4 km
Max Distance :
13.4 km
Total Flights :
219
Hill Launches :
101
Winch Launches :
99
Aerotow Launches :
19

Total Flying Statistics

Total Hours :
96h 29m
Longest Flight :
2h 25m
Glider Models Flown :
5
Sites Flown :
21
Best Height Gain :
3,000 feet
Total Distance :
67.9 km
Max Distance :
13.5 km
Total Flights :
288
Hill Launches :
158
Winch Launches :
106
Aerotow Launches :
24
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