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Old Feb 08, 2013, 12:30 AM
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SoaringDude's Avatar
near Sacramento, CA
Joined Aug 2010
692 Posts
Here's a trick with the Hyperion EOS battery tester: it plugs directly onto the Life (or Lipo) battery pack balance connector. So then you turn your plane on with the tester connected and it reads out voltage under your plane's actual load.
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Old Feb 08, 2013, 08:47 AM
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United States, CA, Folsom
Joined Jul 2007
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Lots of good opinions on retriever operation, so I'll add mine. I don't use a glove, and never use my left hand. I'm a one hand kind of retriever guy. This way there can only be one operation going on at a time and there is no possibility of the left and right hands getting in each other's way.

My technique: pilot steps up to the line and hooks up. I ask to check for power on the airplane. On proper response I check to ensure the launch corridor is clear, then release the pilot to launch. As soon as I see pilot has released from the line and I hear no further power to the winch I grab the retriever line with right hand and place it around the hub. Then with same hand engage the power button to the retriever. Then watch the retrieve until the strap is about 25 feet from the hoop then disengage the button. Right hand back to the retrieve drum to stop the strap about 3' from the hoop. End of retrieve.

My pet peeve with launching pilots is those that feel they need to continue to power the winch after their plane has left the line without warning the retriever operator. I firmly believe that once the plane has released, the pilot should vacate the area immediately and not continue to power the 12V string cutter without the full knowledge and permission of the retriever operator. If, and only if, the retriever operator requires that slack be pulled in by the winch, the retriever operator should request the added help. In no case should the pilot continue to power the winch by his decision alone.

JT
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Old Feb 08, 2013, 09:18 PM
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United States, CA, Sacramento
Joined Mar 2006
175 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtlsf5 View Post
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My pet peeve with launching pilots is those that feel they need to continue to power the winch after their plane has left the line without warning the retriever operator. I firmly believe that once the plane has released, the pilot should vacate the area immediately and not continue to power the 12V string cutter without the full knowledge and permission of the retriever operator. If, and only if, the retriever operator requires that slack be pulled in by the winch, the retriever operator should request the added help. In no case should the pilot continue to power the winch by his decision alone.

JT
I've run the retrievers quite a bit myself and have seen this happen too, especially on windy days. I know that our winches have two series solenoids (in case one sticks) and have always thought it would be a very good idea to have one of them wired to a "dead man's" switch that the person operating the retriever would have control of. This would prevent the pilot from operating the winch before everything was ready (I've seen this happen too) as well as allowing the retriever operator to know that the pilot was not going to run the winch during the retrieve, whether accidently or intentionally. It would also allow the retriever operator to terminate a tow if things go very wrong. (Line break, tangle, lock out, etc.)

Greg Williams
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 12:04 AM
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SoaringDude's Avatar
near Sacramento, CA
Joined Aug 2010
692 Posts
Knowledge transfer

Great safety knowledge and topic sharing so far. I know more posts are coming but I'd like to pose a question: with all this highly valuable injury-preventing safety advice floating around in the heads of our more experienced members, what is the best way to benefit from it?

Take the winch operator advice rendered in these posts. One dirt simple thing we could do is direct club members via an email to read the posts (referenced by post #'s) before the start of the season. Incrementally better, we could assemble the "best of" from this thread into a single text that gets posted as a sticky thread in this forum.

Other ideas?

Chris B.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 01:55 AM
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awilmunder's Avatar
United States, CA, Novato
Joined Jan 2009
433 Posts
Before any plane goes up one of our club winches, we need to verify the pilots' AMA membership, that the pilot is familiar with the equipment, and that the plane and TX have gone through basic checking for flight worthiness. A sign on the winches should inform visitors of this process and the operator can point visitors towards someone to talk to.
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Old Mar 17, 2013, 01:29 PM
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near Sacramento, CA
Joined Aug 2010
692 Posts
I just posted a "post mortem" on our first TD contest of 2013 here. The reason I'm referencing it in the Club Safety Thread is that I highlighted two safety issues I saw and directly experienced.

To summarize the concluding point in that post, it's very important each contest participant keep conditions safe based on their common sense, experience, and points brought up here and in live discussions.

Chris B.
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