Spoilers - IN & LOCKED

General Discussion Board. Public access. The opinions expressed here may not reflect official York Soaring policies and procedures. Posts deleted after 240 days.
Post Reply
User avatar
Mark Lightfoot
Posts: 99
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:47 am
ysa membership #: 367
Location: Burlington
Contact:

Spoilers - IN & LOCKED

Post by Mark Lightfoot » Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:04 am

Pretake-off checks - pilot and wingrunner.

SPOILERS: Suggesting that that the phrase IN and LOCKED be used both by the pilot and the wing runner prior to take-off, instead of just 'Closed'.

A closed position but not locked spoiler may not be apparent, or missed, on some gliders. For new wingrunners, there are plenty of graphic videos on YouTube showing the result of gliders experiencing unexpected deployment of unlocked spoilers during takeoff/early climbout.

tom fraser
Posts: 174
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2009 7:39 am

Re: Spoilers - IN & LOCKED

Post by tom fraser » Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:04 am

Many if not most of our wing runners are themselves almost brand new at wing running. It must be up to the Pilot to be sure to understand how his or her spoilers are stowed for T/O. The fact that the wing runner reminds the PIC to check their harness,spoilers and canopy should be enough. Many do not have a very big background in sailplanes and get stuck with this job far too often and are new learning this very important function. The concept off in and locked is good but adds a level of complexity to beginners just trying to learn the basics. Very few regular experienced members offer to run wings.

One of our new runners caught a pilot about to button up with the tail dolly still attached. A great catch by a new W.R. with about 3 days of gliding under their belt. Great if we can get our experienced members to run the wings and help fully train our newest members.

User avatar
James Kingdon
Posts: 437
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 1:51 pm

Re: Spoilers - IN & LOCKED

Post by James Kingdon » Mon Jun 24, 2019 9:12 am

Good points both. We all need to make sure we're doing thorough pre-flight checks and not just going through the motions. Were you distracted half way through? - start over. Spoilers closed (or in!) and locked should be burnt into our routine, along with canopy closed, pins in and resists upward pressure. I'm finding the additional reminders from the wing runner really helpful, and catching a forgotten tail dolly is huge. For lighter pilots who fly close to the aft C of G, a forgotten tail dolly could easily be a fatal accident.

User avatar
Tony Firmin
Posts: 463
Joined: Sun May 24, 2009 8:26 am

Re: Spoilers - IN & LOCKED

Post by Tony Firmin » Mon Jun 24, 2019 9:21 am

While we are on the subject of 'locked' I noticed while in the back seat of the K-21 UZH the left hand canopy latch may need to be pressed firmly to engage the clip that holds it shut. There is no clip on the right hand side as Charles has observed already.

User avatar
Mark Lightfoot
Posts: 99
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:47 am
ysa membership #: 367
Location: Burlington
Contact:

Re: Spoilers - IN & LOCKED

Post by Mark Lightfoot » Mon Jun 24, 2019 10:16 am

Gliding is unique within general aviation in that we have a temporary co-pilot of sorts just before take-off - a welcome layer of redundancy - the wing runner. Pilots make mistakes, especially junior pilots or pilots transitioning to different aircraft. At least with a few critical items, the wing runner can not only remind the pilot to check those items, but confirm they are done. Yes, the PIC is ultimately responsible for their ship, but wing runners can and do catch things that may have resulted in a mishap or tragedy. We saw last year, quite dramatically, what can happen if the PIC forgets something or mistakenly believes it to be done, and the wing runner doesn't challenge check the pilot for confirmation. That was a canopy not locked issue. The intention of this post was based on the eventuality that a pilot, perhaps being rushed and/or who flies multiple types, indeed closes their spoilers yet forgets to lock them BUT does not benefit from the popular 'spoilers closed' only challenge check from the wing runner. I don't see it as being an onerous or unreasonable requirement for the wing runner to add "and LOCKED" to the challenge check.

User avatar
Stan Martin
Posts: 555
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 1:07 pm

Re: Spoilers - IN & LOCKED

Post by Stan Martin » Mon Jun 24, 2019 11:38 am

I noted a few flights where the wing runner pushed or lifted the wing on the run out. It is something that needs to be talked about especially with the students. I appreciate that it is not always noticed. It takes concentration like every other part of the launch.

User avatar
Charles Petersen
Posts: 1869
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:48 pm
ysa membership #: 150
Skype: onewhisky
Location: Toronto or Florida

Re: Spoilers - IN & LOCKED

Post by Charles Petersen » Mon Jun 24, 2019 1:41 pm

And Mark, this year too I watched a wing runner check catch an unlocked canopy on GIKI. The lever was forward, but the canopy had not been lowered onto the pins.

And, it was an experienced pilot.

I suggest to my students that on gliders where the spoilers will not remain in the open position, unlike the Schweitzers, when the checklist 'Spoilers' is done, they are cycled and then locked to avoid this kind of thing.
They will soar on wings like eagles - Isaiah 40:3`

User avatar
Mark Lightfoot
Posts: 99
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:47 am
ysa membership #: 367
Location: Burlington
Contact:

Re: Spoilers - IN & LOCKED

Post by Mark Lightfoot » Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:01 pm

Precisely what you taught me Charles and what I've always done since. Cheers.

User avatar
Doug Carman
Posts: 490
Joined: Wed May 20, 2009 9:15 am
ysa membership #: 437
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Re: Spoilers - IN & LOCKED

Post by Doug Carman » Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:37 pm

And another is trim: check operation first, then set for takeoff. Then check your ballast!! Two flights this year where I was in back seat or nearby and the ballast check revealed that the aircraft was not ballasted properly. It's the last chance before takeoff, and ballast and trim go together. After takeoff it may be too late and very bad if not meeting weight and balance.

Post Reply