Tow Pilot Qualifications and Procedures

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1 Basic Minimum Requirements.

a. To be considered, an applicant must have a minimum of 500 hours total time SEL power, 100 hours tail wheel SEL power time, have a high performance airplane sign off.

b. Glider license is a plus before towing, but as a minimum before training commences applicant must have had three flights in a glider. Glider experience and currency will be determined on a case by case basis in terms of meeting this requirement.

c. The applicant will need to join ES as a regular member taking glider instruction until this step is complete and be an SSA member.

d. Any training needed to obtain any of these requirements is to be done at the applicant’s expense.

2 Review of Documentation.

The ES Checkout Pilot will review licenses, medical and logbook data to determine that the applicant meets the requirements.

3 Demonstration of Tailwheel Flying Skills in a Suitable Tailwheel Airplane.

The applicant is required to demonstrate (to an ES approved tow plane checkout pilot) competency in tailwheel aircraft operation using an approved dual control tailwheel aircraft. The ES Approved checkout pilot must be in the airplane – ground observation of demonstrated skills is not approved. The applicant may provide their own airplane deemed suitable to the CFI or they may rent one at the applicant’s expense.

4 Ground Training and Formal Instruction.

a. Ground instruction of tow pilot regulation and responsibilities, ES expectations, particular airport procedures, general towing and emergency procedures, ropes and dual towing, Pawnee performance and airplane familiarization will be conducted by a CFI.

b. The applicant must have completed the SSF tow pilot course and present the certificate to the ES designated checkout pilot.

5 Towing Instruction in a Suitable Dual Control Towing Rated Airplane.

a. The applicant will be instructed in the processes and procedures of glider towing. This may be accomplished in a towing rated tricycle gear airplane or tailwheel aircraft - either with a minimum rated horsepower of 180 HP. (The purpose of this requirement is to ensure that the towing experience gained is somewhat compatible with the towing climb performance of the Pawnee). It will commence with simulated tows, then single place glider tows followed by two place glider tows. Three or more actual tows will be completed under dual instruction.

b. ES has secured the approval of Seattle Glider Council (SGC) to use their 182 to fulfill this requirement, but this will be at their discretion on an individual basis. The flights will be under the supervision of a CFI acceptable to both SGC and ES.

c. All training is at the applicant’s expense.

6 Tow Pilot Signoff.

The ES designated checkout pilot will sign off the applicant logbook with the approved towing endorsement. This endorsement may be restricted to class and type that was used for instruction. This logbook endorsement meets the FAA requirements for towing but will not approve the applicant for ES towing.

7 Supervised Pawnee Checkout - No Towing.

a. The ES designated checkout pilot will provide the applicant with a Pawnee briefing on the day and provide ground supervision for a minimum of 10 takeoffs and landings including cross wind and grass field landings to his/her satisfaction.

b. Initial observations may be done at SGC or ES facilities depending on CFI preference under the approval of SGC and ES followed by familiarization at KAWO and cockpit orientation on ES Pawnees.

c. Costs for this phase of training is that of the applicant.

8 Pawnee Supervised Towing.

The ES designated checkout pilot will be PIC in the glider to be towed by the tow pilot applicant for a minimum of 3 tows. The ES approved checkout tow pilot will further approve glider pilots to be towed until the tow pilot applicant has completed 3 or more tows in the Pawnee at the discretion of the CFI.

9 Approval to Tow at New Other Locations.

A preflight briefing will be required for other locations from a tow pilot familiar with the airport.

10 Other Situations

From time to time, there will be candidates that meet some or exceed all requirements to this procedure. Their approval to tow using ES equipment will need to be considered on an individual case basis by a CFI.

From time to time, the Chief CFI will call a tow pilot meeting to disseminate information and review the safety aspects of the operation.

If at any time in this process the applicant or the checkout tow pilot feel that the applicant isn’t working to a satisfactory level, the process can be stopped and we thank them for their interest in our club.

Flying the tow plane is NOT free flying –it is a service to the club.

Tow pilots that are currently approved to tow for SGC and have completed a formal checkout process with one of the ES approved tow pilot checkout pilots will be reviewed on a case by case basis for ES membership as a tow pilot. Any out of sequence steps in the process that require any make up will be determined and the tow pilot applicant informed.