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Towpilot Membership Information

Towpilot Members are members of CSA who are qualified to fly tows in CSA towplane(s) at Owl Canyon Gliderport.

In return for providing this service to CSA:

  • CSA dues are waived.
  • Towpilot members may fly club gliders on the same terms as Regular members.
  • Towpilot members are not required to be Ground Operations Director.

CSA requires Towpilot Members to:

  • meet the initial and recurring FAA requirements for towing gliders. ( 91.309 describes operating requirements; 61.69 describes pilot qualifications, including annual proficiency requirements. )
  • have a minimum of a private pilot rating. A commercial rating is preferred. A "High Performance (> 200 Hp) endorsement is required. Pilots also holding a Private Pilot, Glider rating or higher will be given preference. Private Pilots may not tow scenic rides or non-CSA members.
  • have a "High Performance" (>200hr) endorsement.
  • understand towpilots holding a Private Pilot, Glider rating will be given preference.
  • meet insurance requirements:
    • 500 hours total time powered aircraft
    • 150 hours tailwheel (100 for non-commercial tows)
    • 10 tows
    • 10 flights make and model
  • be checked out for towing in CSA towplanes and approved by the CSA Chief Towpilot
  • provide towing services an average of two days per month
  • complete a membership application and submit a qualification resume and a letter of understanding about committing to the duty requirements before a check out begins. Non-members may not fly in club owned or operated tow planes. You may submit the resume and letter via e-mail to
  • interview, check out, and recommendation to the CSA board by a board designated examiner is required. A minimum of 10 take off's and landings in the tow plane type are required before towing a glider.


  • Tow Pilot applicants must initially join CSA as a Regular Member. At the board's discretion, the initiation fee may be waived. The applicant must maintain the regular membership for a minimum of three months, at which time, he/she can convert  to Towpilot Member status and is eligible to "fly off the initiation fee" after 6 months satisfactory performance. If the decision to convert to Towpilot Member status is not done prior to one year after joining, the applicant’s initiation fee will be forfeited.
  • CSA pays $25 per day + $1.50 per tow for local tows or $5 per tach hour for tows above 9000 MSL and aero retrieves
  • For tows arranged with a glider pilot outside of normal business hours, the towpilot must collect his $25 daily fee directly from the glider pilot.
  • Tow Pilots performing absentia G.O.D. duties will be paid $5 per day.


  • Towpilot members are subject to the same damage assessment as other members if they are responsible for damage to club equipment. 


  • CSA encourages its towpilots to receive one tach-hour per year of re-currency training with another towpilot or instructor at CSA expense to maintain proficiency and review operating procedures.

Voting Privileges, etc:

  • Towpilot members are not entitled to vote.
  • This information is also applicable to members of other CSA membership categories who are CSA Towpilots.


Updated 02/13/2015