SINS BEST CONFESSED

Rope breaks.  Towline failures.  Breakaways.   For too many reasons to enumerate here, they do happen.   Like flat tires they can be very inconvenient, but if you’re prepared and operating properly they don’t have to be disasters.  Even so, it’s better to avoid them than not to…

 

It’s gratifying that most in our daily operations here at SCSA occur in training.  The higher this percentage the better, if you think about it.  Today we propose a little procedural twist that may well prevent someone sometime (read YOU, SOON) to avoid unnecessary ‘inconvenience’.

 

We broke a rope just this past week while practicing slack line recoveries.  Not a big deal.   What’s noteworthy is our tow pilot felt a harder tug before the one that snapped the weak link.  This suggests that the first pull might have weakened the line…   And that suggests pilots under tow should report unusually hard yanks by radio the minute they happen (whether it was training or ‘real life’) so someone on the ground can take an extra close look before the next tow.

 

We all know how easy it is to casually glance over and nod before hookup without consciously registering visual evidence that the rope and ring(s) are actually sound.   Eventually some fellow pilot confessing an awkward moment on tow could provide you with just the heads-up needed to preempt a launch that’s been inadvertently sabotaged…