Towing

Terminology

  • ‘Aeroplanes’ are powered aircraft that are not gliders
  • ‘Aircraft’ includes both aeroplanes and gliders
  • ‘ANO’ is the Air Navigation Order as amended
  • ‘TMG’ is a Touring Motor Gliding (eg a Scheibe Falke)

The Law

The legal requirements for glider towing are described in the ANO. The BGA requirements are described under Laws and Rules and supporting information.

Aerotowing is not classed as aerial work or commercial operations providing it is taking place within a not for profit club environment (BGA clubs are not for profit).

Guidance on Operations rules, including EASA operations rules is available here.

BGA Good Practice

The BGA appoints a Senior Tug Pilot who can advise clubs on towing operations. He can be contacted through the BGA office.

The BGA recommends that clubs and tug pilots refer to the published BGA ‘Aerotow guidance notes’.

All tug pilots should make themselves familiar with the Safe Aerotowing detail available here, including the Aerotow Performance leaflet.

Towing with EASA aeroplanes

EASA pilot licencing regulation applicable in during 2018 will require tug pilots operating EASA aeroplanes to hold a sailplane towing rating on their EASA licence. See the pilot licence conversion webpage for the latest information.

EASA NCO SPEC rules apply to sailplane towing with an EASA aeroplane. Refer to the Laws and Rules ‘Operations rules’ webpage for details.

A BGA developed NCO SPEC sailplane towing generic risk assessment and checklist is available here.

Towing with EASA TMGs

An exemption from EASA pilot licencing permits tug pilots operating EASA TMGs to fly using NPPL SLMG privileges, which do not require a towing rating. See the pilot licence conversion webpage for the latest information.

EASA NCO SPEC rules apply to sailplane towing with an EASA TMG. Refer to the Laws and Rules ‘Operations rules’ webpage for details.

A BGA developed NCO SPEC sailplane towing generic risk assessment and checklist is available here.

Towing with non-EASA aeroplanes

Towing with non-EASA aircraft remains unchanged, ie a towing rating is not required.

Tug pilot training

Non-EASA aircraft tug pilot coaching is carried out at clubs by appropriately experienced pilots.

EASA aircraft tug pilot training is carried out in accordance with the relevant FCL rules under the BGA DTO. Read more about the BGA DTO and sailplane towing training on the BGA ‘Training organisation – learning to fly!’ webpage.