Aerotow Club provides experienced pilots with aerotowing services
and equipment rentals.
WISCONSIN HANG GLIDING CLUB,
doing business as the Sky Sports Aero Tow Club, Inc.
based at Twin Oaks Airport, Whitewater, Wisconsin
(262) 473-8800 (Office and Voice
(262) 473-8900 (Airport
Serving Wisconsin, Illinois,
and USHGA Region 7
Welcome to our Club!
The Wisconsin Hang Gliding Club exists to serve you, the hang
glider pilots of the Midwest. Our first priority is safety,
and our second priority is having a lot of fun. If our rules
seem firm, it is only with the best interests of the pilots,
instructors, and students in mind. Please take a few minutes
to review and familiarize yourself with our site protocol,
operating procedures, and equipment requirements.
The ranking officers of the Wisconsin Hang Gliding Club include
Brad Kushner, Bob Linebaugh, Rik Bouwmeester, Janice Haraldson,
Mark Furst, Jeff Nielsen, Pam Nielsen, Mike Kearns, Terry
Kramer, Derek Poff, Dan Morris, and Tim Thompson, . Any and
all decisions made by these officers will be made with safety
and the image of the hang gliding community as priorities.
The satisfaction of the individual pilots, instructors and
students is considered third priority. Tug pilots may refuse
to operate the tug at any time. Individual pilots may be grounded
for reasons of inexperience, weather conditions, equipment
concerns, or attitude. Any pilot operating any vehicle (aircraft,
golf cart, auto or bicycle) in any manner which endangers
persons or property, disrupts the flying activities, or even
shows disregard for landowners, spectators, neighbors, or
motorists driving past may have their membership privileges
suspended or revoked at the discretion of the officers.
As of this writing, we operate our four Dragonfly aerotugs
exclusively at Twin Oaks Airport. We also have access to training
hills. Additional sites will be opened, and we insist that
you arrive at any of our sites with a full load of common
sense and respect for persons and property.
NEVER DRIVE ACROSS GRASS.
Do not drive into fields, or on or alongside the grass runway
at any time, even to turn your car around.
PLEASE DON'T LITTER.
If you don't know where to park, park with the other cars,
or park on the shoulder of the road, walk in, and ask. At
our grass runway, there are dirt roads at the very ends of
the runway. Parallel parking is permitted along these dirt
roads on the right only (as you drive in) so as not to block
access by other cars. Do not park between the red & white
runway markers, or in front of the flight path of descending
aircraft, as your car may be hit by a trailing tow rope as
the plane approaches landing.Driving irresponsibly or littering
can jeopardize our leases and our permission to use the flying
ALL DOGS MUST BE LEASHED &
ATTENDED. Dog owners must pick up and dispose of their
ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES ARE NOT PERMITTED ON SITE until
the flight operations are over for the day.
ILLEGAL INTOXICANTS SHOULD NOT
BE PRESENT AT THE AIRPORT.
HGMA certified hang gliders
(or foreign equivalent) in good repair. Double surface gliders
are recommended. Some new single surface gliders aerotow well,
but most early single surface gliders are not recommended
due to high bar pressure experienced during fast flight. Pilots
may not fly gliders that are rated Intermediate or Advanced
unless they have the rating, skills, and/or experience that
the manufacturer recommends.
Parachutes are required.
Bridles are to be in good condition and at least 20 feet in
length (25 feet is optimum). Repacks and attendance at a parachute
safety clinic within the previous year are strongly encouraged.
Parachutes on tandem flights must be 22 gore at minimum.
Full face helmets are required.
No hockey style, soft shell, pro-tec or bicycle style helmets
allowed. Visiting pilots may borrow full face helmets without
charge. Special exceptions will be made only during nationally-advertised
Release mechanisms are
subject to approval, and must be capable of releasing at both
the top and bottom. Safety links / weak links will be provided
by the Club at no charge. No other materials may be used without
prior testing and approval.Wheels are required for all tandem
flights, are strongly recommended for all pilots with less
than 30 hours of hang glider airtime, and are encouraged for
everyone else. Snap-together split wheels are not permitted
for tandem and are not recommended for any other pilots, as
they have been known to break apart. If you must use snap-together
split wheels, they must be wrapped in duct tape.
Large (10-12") wheels are
most strongly recommended.
Radios are often operated by the tug pilot and crew on USHGA
channels for tow operation and novice supervision. All pilots
wishing to talk on the radio are required to yield during
tow operation of novices being supervised, and must either
switch to another frequency or minimize radio contact on these
frequencies during tow. Voice Activation (VOX) should be switched
off whenever using this band; the only exception is for the
pilot on tow who may use VOX only if the threshold is set
very high to prevent accidental triggering.All trainees still
under radio supervision of instructor add $5 per tow.
No charge for any flights released below 500 feet. Safety
first! Pilots encountering any difficulties are strongly encouraged
to release early and come back for a re-tow, rather than trying
to "ride it out". Tows released between 1000 and
2000 feet will be charged at the 2000 feet rate.
Are you an experienced hang
glider pilot, but new to aerotowing? We can help you get your
skills for your AT rating:
A) USHGA Intermediate through
Master rated, current pilots: No charge for ground
school. First few aerotows should be in smooth morning or
evening air. Tandem intro flights are available and may be
B) USHGA Novice with ample logged high altitude experience:
Minimum 1 tandem at $95 for checkout prior to solo flying.
Additional tandems may be required. No charge for ground school.
First few aerotows should be in morning or evening air on
C) USHGA Novice without high
altitude experience: Expect to need 5 to 10 tandem
lessons (or more) before towing solo.
D) USHGA Student and Beginner pilots may schedule tandem lessons
with Raven Sky Sports. Reservations are strongly recommended.
Visiting Tandem Instructors
may fly tandem using our aerotow system.
1) All appropriate ratings
for pilot and passenger must be current and documents carried
during the flight.
2) Pilots must have a
minimum of 5 aerotow flights within the previous six months.
If not current, the pilot must fly solo 5 flights on aerotow
before flying with a tandem passenger.
3) Tow Fee: $40 per tandem
flight to 3,000 feet (rental of tandem glider additional).
mechanism and weak-link condition are the responsibility of
the tandem pilot. All tandem tows above one thousand feet
are considered to be completed by Wisconsin Hang Gliding Club,
even if the pilot releases early, breaks a weak-link, or experiences
a problem during the flight. Problems with aerotug and/or
tug pilot which results in an early release will not be charged
to the tandem pilot, nor will any releases below 500 feet.
Consider the weather, wind gusts, and the condition of your
equipment and links prior to flying. We recommend against
flying tandem in strong/gusty winds.
MORNING CHECK-IN PROCEDURE:
All pilots are welcome to call (262) 473-8800 between 6:30
- 7:30 a.m. for a live ëhang gliding briefing' on any flying
day. Late changes due to weather, site changes, or equipment
problems will be announced by the voice mail system (option
#7, "Today's Update") at the above number, so pilots
are encouraged to check for updates if arriving later in the
day. If we're not too busy with flight operations, we also
answer the ëhangar telephone' at (262) 473-8900 while we're
on the field. Sometimes, we move to different runways (usually
due to changes in wind). If we're not where we said we would
be, phone in!
We're happy to have you in our club. Thanks for taking the
time to read this. Please contact me or any of our officers
for any reason at all.
Club Safety OfficerSky Sports Aero Tow Club, Inc. dba Wisconsin
Hang Gliding Club