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Tow planes are the most common way that a glider obtains altitude. [Figure 12-1] Winch or automobile tows are being used less and less as they require more crew, are more difficult to set up, and the altitude gain for the glider is just a fraction of what a tow plane can offer.
- Equipment Inspections and Operational Checks
- Take Off Planning
- Ground Signals
- Takeoff and Climb
- Tow Positions, Turns, Release, Descent, Approach and Landing
- Cross-Country Aerotow
- Glider Tow Emergencies
Pilots of gliders and powered aircraft must abide by all federal air regulations listed in the appropriate Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) governing flight. The CFRs that are applicable to pilot certification for towing gliders is covered by Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 61, Certification: Pilots, Flight Instructors, and Ground Instructors,”and 14 CFR Part 91, General Operating and Flight Rules. The following sections are also applicable:
- 14 CFR Part 61, section 61.23—Medical Certificates: Requirements and Duration
- 14 CFR Part 61, section 61.56—Flight Review
- 14 CFR Part 61, section 61.69—Gliders and Unpowered Ultralight Vehicle Towing: Experience and Training Requirements.[Figure 12-2]
- 14 CFR Part 91, section 91.15—Dropping Objects
- 14 CFR Part 91, section 91.309—Towing: Gliders and Unpowered Ultralight Vehicles [Figure 12-3]
Guidance and towing procedures can also be found in the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) and pertain to flight in the National Airspace (NAS).