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Steve J

Aerotowing and the 7kg limit

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Steve J

The ANO says "The person in charge of a SUA which has a mass of more than 7 kg excluding its fuel but including any articles or equipment installed in or attached to the aircraft at the commencement of its flight...". If I am aerotowing a glider weighing less than 7kg with a tug weighing less than 7kg, but where the total mass of glider and tug is greater than 7kg, does the person in charge of the glider have to hit the release at 400ft in the absence of ATC approval to go higher? Does anybody know of an authoritative answer to this?

Steve 

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simon_t

I cannot say this is authoritative, but it is certainly the current LMA interpretation as sanctioned by CAA:

Full size aircraft would only ever be considered as separate entities (e.g a microlight towing a glider does not fall out of it's class, because it is not considered as a combination).  At all aero tow events I have attended the same would be true, however almost all arranged model events have a CAA exemption in place for flying above 400'.   The really heavy gliders fall into the inspections and flight test appropriate to their class.  They do not shift into that class as a combination with a tug.

Hence, it is safe to interpret the rules as being applicable to the individual craft, and not to the combination.

Simon

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FrankS

From the BMFA

"Aerotowing CAP 658 says - Aerotowing the glider requires careful handling of both the tug and the glider. Remember that to fly ANY model over 7 kg above 400 feet requires a permission. Your local club may already have such a permission. BMFA Notes – It has been clarified that a tug / glider combination has to be viewed as two separate entities, even when they are connected. Before towing any glider with a tug over 7 kg, or any glider over 7 kg, be very sure that you have the correct permissions as you will almost certainly want to go over 400 ft. In controlled airspace, contact the appropriate Air Traffic Control organisation and in uncontrolled airspace, check with your local club as they may have already taken advantage of the CAA scheme which allows site permissions to be granted. Never tug to any height without making sure that you are legal."

So the restriction only applies if the tug or glider exceed 7kg

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Steve J

Thanks Frank. For some reason I didn't check 'The 2010 BMFA Member’s Handbook Corrections and Additions (Issue 2) May 2013'.

Steve

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