Recognising wing drop during the winch launch ground roll

Failure to recognise and react promptly to a significant wing drop during a launch ground roll can result in an accident.

The published advice is

  • Start the launch with your hand on the release
  • If you cannot keep the wings level, release IMMEDIATELY
  • “Release IMMEDIATELY” means BEFORE the wing touches the ground

Wing drop recognition should be introduced by instructors before teaching the winch launch. The BGA Instructors Manual section ‘wire launching’ has been updated to describe a ground-based exercise that aims to teach how to recognise when the forward picture – and therefore angle of bank – is approaching acceptable limits. The amendment is marked.

The BGA Instructors Manual and other resources are available here.