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.

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
On Tow
On Tow
Dan launching the Sting 3. 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.

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

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.

High Above the South Downs
High Above the South Downs
A view from above the South Downs looking east towards Lewes.
8 Sep 2012
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

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.

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

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 :
95h 58m
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 :
286
Hill Launches :
156
Winch Launches :
106
Aerotow Launches :
24
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