Tow launched flight are the biggest advantage that Space
Apple has over other training schools. It simply means
we do not waste a day even if the winds are too light or
from the wrong direction. Even when the winds are 'just
right', we will often forego the efforts of climbing the
hill to take a short flight and opt to spend the day at
the beach enjoying leisurely tow launched flights up to
1000' or more above launch, then landing right back
where you took off from.
For beginners on solo
flights, tow launched flight 'bridges the gap' between
the typical training hill flight where you may not be
able to escape natural obstacles at takeoff and
landing. We first tow to lower elevations, then
progressively to altitudes as high as 1500', our
students gradually gain high altitude experience before
launching from a 'mountain' site.
For group tandem flights,
tow launching from a sandy beach has proven to be the
easiest and safest way to first experience paragliding
flight. Launching from the flat ground and gently
ascending to altitude eliminates any nervousness
associated with running down a hillside to get
airborne. Also for those with a possible fear of
heights, we can keep you at any elevation you feel
comfortable with, climbing higher only after you give us
Check our video
opportunity for more advanced pilots is XC towing.
Fortunately we are blessed with over 20 kms of sea beach
and huge open paddy fields. We occasionally venture out
to these open fields, where the object of your tow
launched flight becomes not landing as close, but as far
away from launch as possible! Using the thermal currents
of the air, pilots can easily climb up over the flats
and head for a cross country flight without having to
worry about getting above or away from a mountain.
Though not as challenging as XC flight from a hill you
get used to the idea early in your training.
How it works:
We use a static pull in
winch. The pilot is attached to a rope which is
connected to a drum. The drum rotates and pulls in the
line thus pulling the pilot and his glider up like a
kite. At desired height the winch operator reduces the
power. The pilot detaches himself from the rope or
towline. Once the pilot releases from the
towline, he/she is free to fly off in any direction he
chooses, and the tow operator will reel the extended
line back into the drum and get ready for next pilot.