A 720 channel radio, along with intercom and headsets is fitted to all tugs. The radio should be used for all towing operations. The headset doubles as an ear defender and provides for clear radio coverage. The earphones are fitted with a separate volume control. Please take care of the headset and stow carefully when not in use.
The radio will be used primarily for receiving the Pilot’s name, Glider, any special instructions etc. and also the “Up Slack” and “All Out” signals. These radio messages have to be backed up by visual signals, which the wing tip holder will continue to do.
The frequency to be used will be 119.9mhz.
The following stations should have radios:
|Launch Point||"DUNSTABLE RADIO"|
These will be prefixed with “DUNSTABLE” if any conflict occurs. Likewise with several tugs operating, the launch signals should be prefixed by the tug in questions, eg. “CHARLIE CHARLIE UP SLACK” to which the tug pilot acknowledges by repeating the message. The “ALL OUT” will be acknowledged by commencing take-off.
If you are doing something unusual, eg. landing in a different area of the airfield, taxing across the winch cables or returning to refuel, then announce your intentions on the radio.
To order the glider to release
Rock the wings of the tug. The action should be positive, ideally a 45 degree bank to the left and then a 45 degree to the right. The glider should release immediately, this will then permit the right bank to become the parting manoeuvre.
This signal is often used during competition launches, where a “wave off” at 2000′ is the normal release method.
To signal from the glider pilot to say he is unable to release
Ideally the glider pilot should communicate with the tug via the radio or the glider pilot should fly out to the left of the tug as far as practical and rock the glider’s wings. In this case, operate the glider release and leave the glider with the tow rope. It maybe necessary to tow to a suitable position before doing this, ideally, overhead the airfield as long as this doesn’t comprise safety.
NOTE: Some Gliding Clubs have a signal to inform the glider pilot that their air-brakes are open. We have no such signal and none should be attempted. See the ‘Glider Airbrakes Open‘ recommendations.