The training and endorsement of tow pilots was formally devolved by CASA to GFA on 29 June 2017 via Instrument number CASA EX71/17 ‘Permission, direction and exemption’.

The Aerotowing Manual sets out the guidelines and rules for the towing of gliders, including take-off and glider towing techniques, and certain aircraft maintenance and inspection matters. The Aerotowing Manual also prescribes the required qualifications, eligibility and competency standards for the GFA’s issuing of Glider Towing Certificates and the associated glider towing endorsements to pilots.

To become a tug pilot, a pilot needs to:

  • be licenced or certificated to fly the class and design features of aircraft being used for aerotowing gliders and comply with the conditions of their licence or certificate; and

  • have logged a minimum of 100 hours aeronautical experience, of which at least 40 hours shall be on Australian or Overseas or RA-Aus registered fixed- wing powered aircraft including touring motor glider types. Of the remaining experience, sailplane, powered sailplane, fixed-wing military powered aircraft and high performance 3-axis control ultralight aircraft flying time may be counted in full toward the total aeronautical experience; and

  • have satisfactorily completed a course in towing gliders conducted by a Tow Pilot Examiner; and

  • have demonstrated competence in the towing of gliders to a Tow Pilot Examiner; and

  • be a current member of the Gliding Australia

The Aerotowing Manual is incorporated as approved by CASA from time to time. Refer to the Aerotowing Manual (OPS 0008).

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