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North Carolina Wing's Newest Aircraft Pulls Wing Glider For The First Time

Capt Dave Stange flies the new tow plane on its first tow
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Capt Dave Stange flies the new tow plane on its first tow. (click image to view full size)
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3/31/2016––This past Saturday provided the North Carolina Wing an opportunity to use its newest 172 tow airplane. The Wing held glider operations at Triangle North Executive Airport near Louisburg, NC.

Captain David Stange was the tow pilot in the Cessna 172 while Capt. Steve Merritt was the pilot in the glider. Everyone was excited to see how the first tow flight went. Capt. Dave Stange, NC Wing Glider Orientation Flight Coordinator, stated that the flight was good. He said, “It is always a privilege and fun to fly CAP aircraft, especially towing the glider. This being the first tow for our new 172 we were focused on the performance of the aircraft while towing the glider. For this first test tow Captain Steve Merritt was at the controls in the glider. We communicated throughout the flight adjusting the tow profile to obtain the best performance for the 172. It was a successful flight in proving that our new CAP 172 tow planes can handle the job.”

Col David Crawford, NC Wing Commander and the “Air Boss” for the day commented “I had the privilege of picking up N726CP from the Cessna Factory in Independence, KS. As part of this test flight I hooked up the tow rope to the tow plane and verified that the tow hook and release mechanism functioned properly. I was very pleased with the flight overall. The addition of the C-172 to our fleet of tow equipped aircraft will provide us with the backup and redundancy needed to make sure we are able to execute our glider program.”

Watching from the ground it looked like any other glider flight. The excitement that was in the air, on the other hand, was palpable. You couldn’t help but get excited about and want to witness that first tow flight. Everything went off without a hitch. Once the flight was completed, tow planes were swapped out and Cadet glider orientation flights commenced. The Burlington Composite Squadron came over with some cadets. All had a wonderful time.

If you have not come out to Triangle North Executive airport during glider operations, you need to. You will experience a day full of awesome flying, great food and lots of fun.