TOWING (IN)TO LIFT

A good tow pilot will bring you right to best lift, and the very good can even center thermals on tow.  However, if one or more gliders are already working a thermal, the tow should avoid their immediate airspace, not only for safety reasons, but also as a courtesy.  Those pilots need room to maneuver in unpredictable directions.  Also, some believe the violent action of a propeller can disrupt or even destroy thermals, somewhat like popping a bubble.  Whether or not this is scientifically true, towing through (or under) other people’s thermals is generally frowned upon.

Towing into traffic on a ridge requires similar planning and tact to accommodate ships already soaring there.  They do have the right-of-way!  If ever you see that you’re being towed too close to other gliders – or traffic of any kind – sooner is better than later for steering your tow pilot out of harm’s way.