Winching in a chute

Winching in a chute

Avoid at all costs winching the chute too hard and stopping too late causing the ironwork to hit the azimuth rollers. Keep in mind that a damaged azimuth guide roller with a circumference of 10 cm. worst case touches the cable 20,000 (twenty thousand) times per take-off!

 That is why it is important to report all "wired in chutes" to the technical person responsible for the winch. He or she will inspect the rollers for damage.

Landing the chute

Make sure the chute lands about 25 meters in front of the winch. Avoid unnecessary dragging on the ground.

Another weak link

Make sure that there is always some kind of weak link present during rope retrieve (i.e. between the rope and the towing vehicle). This prevents damage to the rope and the winch and in some cases it can also prevent the towing vehicle from toppling over.

Never drive over the rope

The day to day handling of the cable is crucial for its service life. It's no problem to completely destroy the rope in one go! There are dozens of occasions to do so. This is one of them:

Only drive over the rope in an emergency. Plastic rope is optimized for tensile strenght. The rope cannot tolerate side loads.

Avoid winch ropes touching each other

Always avoid the winch rope in use touching other winch ropes that are stationary.

The lying rope gets hot very quickly and burns out or is at the very least damaged. This danger is also great with winches with more than one drum if the ropes are not pulled out straight. When taking up slack or at the latest during acceleration, there is a good chance that the rope to be winched will straighten and thereby rub over the other rope(s). This danger can be prevented

-a- by driving straight and

-b- by observing at all times the rule that the starting glider must start at least one wingspan next to the cable that is not in use. 

The risk that the glider will take the other cable with it is also virtually zero. 

By the way, it makes no sense to put aside the cable that is not in use (unless you would do so along the entire length of the cable). Only putting the glider aside helps!

Low tension winching by the end of the day?

Synthetic rope stretches and shrinks. Stretching occurs under load and occurs immediately. Shrinking back happens afterwards and easily takes a whole week. The load on the drum ever increases during this week and ends up being extermely high!

That's why in some clubs the ropes are pulled out once again and is winched in with a low load after a day of operation. For example by hanging an old tire on it.


For the rope this is not necessary!


However, there are many winches with drums that are too weak. It must therefore be determined for each winch whether it is needed to spool up again without load after a day of operation.



Always avoid the moving cable rubbing against objects.

For example, if the cable has ended up in the trees, the best solution is to first remove the cable from the tree before winching in. The second best solution is to winch in the cable very slowly (walking pace), otherwise the cable will become too hot. Plastic cable already melts at 150 degrees and is damaged at a lower temperature.

70 degrees = max!

Never winch further than 70 degrees. In the top piece no more height is won (not a single foot!).

However, tension is rising enormously. Loads reflected after cable release; where there is a good chance that the cable will wrap around parts of the winch. As a rule of thumb, the cable angle can be a maximum of 70 degrees before the throttle is closed.

Something counterintuitive!

Make sure that the rope does not touch the ground right after release. This is made easier by not winching for too long and by giving a little gas again before the glider has released the rope. Don't worry, you won't notice this at all in the glider.


It sometimes happens that you have to winch with a tailwind. 

In that case, winching must be stopped even before the 70 degrees rule. That feels unnatural! The glider is already going up with difficulty and attains only a very moderate height. Still, it is very important to do because otherwise there is a very high chance that the rope will blow over the winch when winching in the loose rope.

Rough surface

Avoid pulling cables out (and winching in) over tarmac, stone, gravel or other obstacles. If this is unavoidable, it helps to build or lay something in front of and behind the obstacle that the rope runs smoothly over.