Print this page

OCGP Winch Operations

CSA Blanik launching on the wire


  • The Winch Operations Manual covers CSA winch launch operations in detail and must be read by each member participating in winch operations.
  • Simultaneous winch and aerotow operations must be approved each day by the CSA President or Vice President and may only take place to the north or south.
  • The following summarizes information from the Winch Operations Manual, however the Winch Operations Manual is the definitive guide for all operation when the winch is in use.

Glider pilots

  • Announce your winch launch on 123.3 before starting the launch.
  • Winch-launched gliders will be releasing close to the crosswind leg of the landing pattern. Although a glider will not be launched while other aircraft are in the pattern, you should modify your pattern to stay clear of the wire.
  • When landing during winch launch operations, use the winch launch relight area adjacent to  launch point. Do not land short on the winch launch runway. Avoid crossing the winch launch runway.

Bob F. LS-3 on the wire

Winch drivers and launch end

  • Do not launch if any aircraft may be in the launch area before the launch is completed. Specifically:
    • Do not launch if any aircraft are in the pattern.
    • Do not launch if an aerotow is ready to begin. This is signaled by a towplane ahead of a glider on the runway with its engine running.
    • Do not launch if a glider on aerotow is too low to make a full landing pattern. This gives the glider pilot on aerotow a clear field in case of a rope break.
  • Do not launch downwind or with any significant cross-wind component.
  • If an aerotow is about to start, lower the flags at both the winch and launch ends.

Tow pilots

  • Gliders staging for aerotow launch must stage for take off laterally to the gliders staging for winch launching
  • Announce your takeoff on 123.3 before rolling.
  • Avoid towing inside the landing patterns. The winch cannot launch unless you are clear of the winch launch area, so if you are within the landing patterns, you are preventing a launch.
  • Fly a base leg to final on landing and avoid a straight-in approach. This makes it easier for the winch crew to see you and know your intentions.


Updated 01/15/2011