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Varnost pred vsem 3. del
The Rudder Waggle

(Prompt movement of the tow plane rudder control left and right)
(OPENSOARING, 22. septembra 2016, besedilo Milan Petković Petko, foto Milan Korbar, tehnični urednik Milan Korbar)

This signal is given by the tow pilot to the glider pilot in case of an emergency!
Out of all the signals on tow this is perhaps the most important one and the one that hopefully you will never see in a real life scenario. To my knowledge it was created and introduced to glider pilots as a result of a number of accidents or close calls while being on tow. The direct and simple meaning of this signal when given by the tow pilot is: SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH YOUR GLIDER!!!

If you see this signal while on tow immediately check what is wrong with your glider. There is a very high possibility that somehow your dive brakes have "fallen out" (extended) and that the tow plane is now unable to have a sufficient rate of climb.
The lower you are on tow the more critical this situation is and the more important it is for both the tow pilot and the glider pilot to be aware of this signal.

A properly equipped tow plane will have a rear view mirror installed and the tow pilot will be trained to scan the position and condition of the glider through this mirror during the tow. If the tow pilot notices that his rate of climb is unsatisfactory or unable to maintain altitude he should definitely check the condition of the glider that he is towing and if the dive brakes have inadvertently extended. If they have then the tow pilot should immediately give the rudder waggle signal and if equipped with a radio call the glider pilot and communicate this situation to him.

If you as the glider pilot fail to correct this condition of the glider and therefore you bring the entire tow operation into a dangerous situation the tow pilot might not have an option but to release his end of the tow rope and therefore save the tow plane and himself...
If this were to happen you are now on your own and the safe outcome of your flight is in serious jeopardy!!!

Therefore it is extremely important that during your flight your dive brakes remain in and locked and that you are familiar with the meaning of the rudder waggle signal.
My advice to those of you flying at different airports around the world is to familiarize yourself with the towing procedures, signals on tow, landing options in case of a rope break and all the other factors that could and will affect your flight at this specific airport. Proper communication, mutual knowledge and understanding in aviation is one of the key factors for a safe and efficient operation.

Safe flying to all of you,

Milan Petković, Petko

na vrh strani


Matt »Balleka« Wright v spomin

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