Discuss the problems and solutions to all of the situations that Pilot X finds himself in.
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By mo0g
CaptCrispy wrote:Thanks for this mo0g.

I don't like not understanding something so I will look into this in more detail when I have time (especially as I will be flying a great deal in Switzerland soon!).

Thanks again.


Np. In terms of density & humidity & performance, just think of the o2 molecules contained in a packet of air.. If its warmer, the air is expanded, so less o2 molecules in the same cube of air. If it is humid then there are more h2o molecules in that packet of air, taking up space where the o2 was. In any situation where you have less o2 in that packet of air, you need less fuel for optimum combustion = leaner mixture

A different way, cold/dense/dry air has the most o2. Any warmer/less dense/more humid means less o2 and therefore needs less fuel. So in lycoming engines they state a density altitude of 5000 before you need to actually lean the mixture for takeoff.. and density altitude is the EFFECTIVE altitude you are at taking the temp, altitude, pressure AND humidity into account. Anyway, hope that helps cement the logic behind it! :-)
By profchrisreed
I've no idea what was wrong with the tug, but thought you might like the view from the towed glider.

Been there, or somewhere similar. Tug pilot felt the a/c wasn't accelerating properly, IAS didn't look right, so he aborted the launch. The difference is that my tug pilot simply stopped in the middle of the (very narrow) runway. I was already airborne, about 6ft off the ground.

It's remarkable how time dilates in an emergency. My mental dialogue went something like: "Over the top of him? No, not enough energy, nasty! OK then, fly around, high crop under my wingtip, now I'm pointing at the fuel bowser, sort that out once I'm past."

At this point I descended enough to touch the crop with my wing, performed en elegant but involuntary 180 and landed exactly backwards. No damage to the glider or my 79-year old passenger who, very sportingly, elected to fly again (he'd been in the ATC as a boy, so perhaps he was used to this method of landing).

So, the thing Pilot X did right was to release the rope and get out of the way. If my tug pilot had rolled to one side all the hey ho rumbelow would have been avoided.

The gliding protocol is pretty simple - the tug pilot can dump the tow at any time and it's up to me to sort out my problems, leaving him or her to sort out the tug. But it helps to leave me some space if possible!