March 2021
Special Tow Pilot Supplement
Chief Tow Pilot Dave Springford
At this point I have as many questions about towing this summer as I do answers so you can expect there will be changes to many things as we get into the flying season.   The first uncertainty lies in the insurance and how many towplanes will be insured.  It seems that the insurance co., is not likely to offer the pro-rated deal for 2021 as they did in 2020 and as a result the club will probably have all three towplanes insured at the start of the season.

As it stands now, all the towplanes have preserving oil installed, but for the start of the season they will all be on mineral oil as a result of recent engine work.  KXJ has about 10 hours remaining before it can transition back to regular Aeroshell W100 for the season.  This will occur when it goes to Kovachik for it next 50/100 hr inspection.  XWI and BWY will be on mineral oil for the next 50 hours and XWI will need a complete oil change in 10 hours (staying on mineral for the remaining 40 hours).

At the moment, XWI is the only towplane that is available for towing operations.  KXJ had the front seat belts removed and sent for re-webbing in December and they are not back yet.  I expect to have them for the end of April.  BWY needs a few more hours of break-in after a cracked cylinder head was replaced in the fall before it can be used for towing.  I'll get that done once the field is dry enough.

This season, I want to see all towpilots doing dual check rides in KXJ before towing.  Not having done check rides last year, I think it would be wise to do them this year.   The problem is, of course, Covid protocols and finding enough towpilots willing to sit in the back seat of KXJ and fly with other people for check-outs.  This is something that we will have to tackle in May as we see what is happening in terms of the battle between variants and vaccines. Don't forget that you require 5 take-offs and landings before you may perform your first tow.  You can do this as part of your spring check ride while renting KXJ.  You may also elect to do less than 5 in KXJ and after being spring checked, rent a Pawnee for the remainder.
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