How do I register for the competition?

Registration is via this airtribune link www.airtribune.com/aerotowrevival/registration.
1. Please register for an airtribune account (Note: you do not need to have a FAI license and insurance should be your own insurance policy or BHPA 3rd Party).
2. Navigate to the competition page on Airtribune, linked above, and then select register. Submit your details to register.
3. You should receive a confirmation email that you have registered and you need to pay. If this is not received within 12hrs please contact us via the email below.
4. The entry fee is required within 7 days of registration (see local rules for allocation of places), please note aerotow fees are not included.
5. An email will be sent once your place is confirmed.
6. Count the days down to Spring and the start of the Great British Aerotow Revival!

What is the cost structure of the aerotow revival

The Aerotow Revival Organisation is a not for profit operation. Our aim is to promote hang gliding and the advantages of aerotowing. We want to make it inclusive, not just a competition for XC hounds, but a friendly atmosphere that encourages individuals and clubs to continue to develop aerotowing.

The cost of the event is split into two main parts:
1. Facilities - airfield rental, temporary hangarage for tugs, comp meal, supporting materials, and administration.
2. Tug costs - transportation, towing and tug pilot subsistence

The plan is to fund the above via three methods:
A) Grants, sponsorship and merchandise
B) Entry fees
C) Tow fees

A & B - will fund the facilities to cover the fundamental ground and administration costs of organising the event. Anything left over in this pot, after a nominal time, will be split between the clubs in a fair manner. Any distribution of funds left over will reflect the commitment through resources supplied to support the event and the number of tows performed during the event.

C - The tows fees will cover the tug costs which could include but are probably not limited to the transportation and operation of the tug, including tug pilot subsistence. We are estimating the tows to cost to be between £15-20 per tow. The first £15 from each tow will be given directly to the aerotow clubs that have provided the tug and tug pilot. The distribution of fees back to the clubs will be directly proportional to the number of tows the club and or their pilots complete during the event.

It is important to understand that although we have run a forecast budget it is just that, a forecast - or estimate. We have to protect against losses. Therefore, if it looks like we are going to make a loss or need to raise additional funds for something we didn't envisage, we reserve the right to raise the tow fees by a limited amount to ensure we cover all eventualities. The £15 set aside for the aerotow clubs will be protected.

Remember we are not here to make money, the bank account that we have set up is a not-for-profit bank account. On completion of the event the finances will be open to scrutiny. Like the aerotow clubs that are spread throughout the UK we want to promote aerotowing and thank them for their support. We aim to make the investment of funds, time and energy worthwhile.

How much will it cost to attend the event during the practise days and during the competition?

Tow fees apply whether you are a competition pilot or a recreational pilot.

If you are in the competition then your entry fee has already been covered, this includes the practice days you attend.

If you are a recreational pilot you must pay the entry fee to use the airfield, which is either £40 per day or £120 for 3 days or more.

Please remember that if you are attending the event during the competition days and plan to fly recreationally you will only be able to launch outside the competition launch window. If you are already a member of an aerotow syndicate and you are not competing in the event but your club's tug is being used for the event you can obviously negotiate your local club fee to tow behind your particular tug. This is a benefit for being part of an aerotow club. However, if you are towed behind another club's machine the cost is the standard tow fee as explained above.

Tow fees will be between £15-£20 (to be confirmed very soon).

How do I register if I just want to attend the event for a couple of days and not fly in the competition?

Recreational flying will be permitted outside the launch window of the competition when a tug is available. There will be an airfield charge (£40 per day or £120 ) plus aerotow fees (between £15-£20 for a tow to 2000') if you wish to fly behind one of the tugs. Please register via Air Tribune as if you were flying in the competition (see above) so we have your details. In the 'Sponsor' and 'Club' fields please enter the words 'recreational pilot' so we know you are not interested in flying in the competition.

How will the competition and Tasks run?

This will be managed by the meet director (Jamie Sheldon) who is very experienced along with the task committee. Rest assured that it will be designed to challenge a range of abilities and match the class that you have entered as well as the weather conditions for the day. Your main task will be to come along, enjoy the competition and fly with your friends.

Are there places to tie the hang gliders down while waiting to fly?

We will try to organised this but at this stage assume that the answer is no, therefore you should bring your own pegs or ground anchors. The dog tethers & tie-outs are perfect for this. A hang glider should never be left unattended without being tied down. If left rigged overnight two anchors should be the minimum one anchored to the hang strap and one to the wing.

Are the retrieves available?

There is no official retrieve system in place. We will try to coordinate retrieves with those happy to offer to retrieve pilots and those that need a lift. However, we recommend you organise yourself in to groups. A minimum of £10 should be donated to the vehicle owner or the driver of a car that gives you a lift back to the airfield. This will help towards mileage, insurance, expenses and general wear for having a vehicle that has been used to retrieve you back to the airfield. This should be standard whether your lift is 2 miles or 100miles. Retrieve vehicles and drivers are fundamental to making a task and a competition successful. Long live retrieve drivers!

Is this an official BHPA event covered by the BHPA insurance?

The BHPA, FAI and CIVL official procedures are being used as a basis for the organisation (rules). Key people in the BHPA and on the competitions panel were consulted for advice about insurance cover. All people flying in the event or helping on the ground will be required to be BHPA members so it will be an official event covered by the BHPA insurance.

Will I be charged a tow fee if a weak link breaks or I have to release low down?

If a weak link breaks or you have to release below 500ft and require a relaunch, there will be no charge.

Are there going to be hang glider spares & repairs available?

Currently Moyes UK, Avian, Green Dragons, Fly Pure Air, Cloud 9 hang gliding and Neville and his carbon repair shop are attending the Aerotow Revival.

Can I only fly behind my tug?

If you want to fly in the competition there will be a launch order and it is unlikely that you will be able to choose which aircraft you can fly behind. In fact, flying behind other aircraft is a very good learning process. It helps to further develop your flying skills so it is something you should actively seek to do. This competition provides the perfect opportunity to try towing behind different aircraft and tug pilots. However, if you are really concerned about this then you can fly behind your tug but you will have to wait until all competitors have launched.

Apart from the competition, is there anything else happening at the event?

We are exploring lots of areas and should be able to confirm some of the following things, if people are interested: Senior Aerotow Coach course, XC course, aerotow training, club coach course, first aid course, lectures and discussion groups. There will also be things for the family – such as tandem flights, social evenings and may be some microlight air experience flights. If you are interested in any of these or have any other ideas then please get in touch so we know that there is a demand for such things.

Are there camping and caravan pitches available?

The airfield owners are managing the camping facilities. There’s room for about 40 tents beside the hangar and cafe. There are also hard standing areas for a number of caravans too. We were told that camping or caravans will be £5 per pitch per night for two people (+ £2 for each additional person per night), [edit: this has subsequently changed with no additional costs for additional people per pitch]. If you need a hook up then it is an additional £5 per night. There will be limited hookups available and they are first come first serve. There are two conventional toilets, 1 shower on site too and running water. There are no refrigerators, cooking or laundry facilities available but there is a cafe on the airfield. You do not have to book accommodation to camp at the field. Brightside Camping and Caravan Club is a small commercial site opposite the entry to the airfield that has more substantial facilities.

The cafe is planning to cater for breakfasts and light meals.

Is there wifi available at the airfield or cafe?

There is wifi but it is intermittent and slow. However, there is good data signal.

Are dogs allowed at the airfield?

Yes they are allowed but the owner is responsible for the dogs actions and behaviour. Dogs must be kept under control on a lead at all times. A loose dog on an active airfield presents a hazard to aircraft.

Are radios mandatory otherwise how do pilots know if a task is stopped?

Radios are not required.  If you feel unsafe or uncomfortable with the conditions you need to land whatever is being discussed or decided by the safety committee.

The standard task cancelled signal for pilots in the air is when a pilot has their legs out of the harness and mimic a running/cycling action followed by pilots circling to land at the nearest safe field. However, please note that just because another pilot has landed in a field it should not be assummed that it is a safe place to land!

There will be a specific signal designated for the launch area just in case we need to clear the airfield for an emergency helicopter that is inbound. 

Are there any local B&Bs that you would recommend in the local area?

There are lots of local B&Bs and pubs that have accommodation. The nearest village is Weldon less than 5 minutes away with many facilities for accommodation like the local pub ‘the George’. The large town of Corby is only a few minutes further with lots of hotels and B&Bs.

Will I get a refund if there is a nationwide lock down?

There is a refund policy which is outlined in the local regulations.

What are the rules about releases?

The Aerotow revival is following the guidance of the BHPA Technical Manual (https://www.bhpa.co.uk/documents/bhpa/index.php?doc=BHPA_Tech_Manual_21.pdf). Specific references relevant to releases can be found on Pg 92 - section 2.7.4 Equipment Requirements, paragraph E hang glider bridle and also on pg 95 - section 2.7.6 A Paragraph 4 launch procedure, 'the checks'.

Do I need to bring my own weak links?

Weak links for the pilot end tow line will be provided by the Aerotow Revival Organisation. If you wish to add any further weak links within your own bridle this is your own decision and at your own risk so will be your own responsibility. Please note that adding a weak link within the release bridle is not a standard practice or guidance from the BHPA.

Is the tug safe where it is kept overnight?

There is a fixed hangar which we are planning to store the microlights in overnight. There will also be people on site 24hrs of the day too.

What tug spares and tools should the clubs bring?

It will be best if each club brings their own tools and equipment to keep their tug operating. There is a microlight organisation at the airfield and they sell things like tyres, inner tubes and most basic common microlight spares. Mick is the point of contact if you have any specific questions about the spares available. (https://ukga.com/airfield/deenethorpe) Flylight is also conveniently placed 20nm to the SW.

Are there going to be enough charging points for our electrical equipment?

The hangar has full power and the cafe also has power sockets next to each table. There are plenty of electricity outlets available at the airfield and the operator has been told that there will be a requirement for many tugs to charge instruments.

Can the airfield take a crosswind?

Yes we have confirmed use of a short grass cross runway at the airfield. However, there is an excellent grass airfield available that caters for a crosswind. This is a few miles away and we have been informed it may be available if the wind is not suitable at Deenethorpe.

What do we do about fuel?

Each tug will be responsible for fuelling their own aircraft as they would on a normal day flying. There is a petrol station 7 minutes away from the airfield. The operators of the airfield said the fuel station understands that they need more than x1 20L can filled at a time. The fuel will be covered by the launch fee that is directly fed back to the clubs.

Will there be other GA traffic operating at Deenethorpe?

Deenethorpe is a quiet airfield. However, even with that in mind as part of the negotiations to use the airfield it has been agreed that when launching during the competition aerotowing will have priority access to the active runway. However, there is still a chance that a GA aircraft may not have read the NOTAMs or have a radio so a good look out will still be required, as it always is.

Isn’t it going to be confusing because every club operates differently with different procedures?

We will be aligning the event with the BHPA Technical Manual which is a requirement for UK clubs. However, we do realise there will be minor local differences which will be identified when we gather the tug pilots together with the safety director before the competition and during the warm up to discuss and agree SOP's.

How do I pay for my aerotow fees?

Aerotow fees will be paid in advance to the GBAR organisation. If you don’t use all your tow fees you will get a refund. Payment options are: cash (paid to a GBAR organiser or launch manager at the daily brief), online bank transfer, or pay pal (additional £1 handling fee). Payment details are the same you received when you registered via the airtribune page. There is no particular preference but PayPal charges us a handling fee which we need to pass on to avoid aerotow clubs losing out. Remember all tow fees go directly back to clubs.

Will our club get money to take the tug and tug pilot to the event?

The cost of each aerotow will be agreed with the clubs before the competition. They will be given back to the clubs that provide a tug or a tug pilot. The aerotow fees will be collected by the organisation in return for tow tickets, the fees will be paid to the clubs in accordance with the number of tow tickets the club collects during the event. Therefore, a club that does twice the number of tows compared to another club will receive twice that of the other club. The tow fee will be agreed such that on completion of flying the club's costs should be covered for running the tug, it's transportation and keeping the tug pilot happy!

Are there going to be lots of noise complaints if we are continually operating?

At the moment there are no known noise sensitive areas. We should still avoid flying directly over residents and fly neighbourly as they say!