In order to launch a glider, we must use a towplane with enough horsepower to pull a glider into the air. The towplane has a powerful engine to ensure maximum safety for the pilots of both the glider and the towplane. However, a by-product of the engine is noise.
We are very conscious of the noise and we have taken a number of mechanical and operational steps to reduce engine noise for our neighbours.
Our aerotows are only 6-8 minutes in duration with maximum power being used for only the first 1-2 minutes. We reduce engine power after that, and often return to the airfield in a powered glide in the towplane, with almost negligible engine noise.
We invested in a greatly improved muffler system and propeller for our towplane resulting in a significant reduction in noise.
We redirect each launch pattern so that the same houses and farms are not constantly overflown. Weather permitting, we may also change the direction of our take-offs and landings in order to give our neighbours a reprieve from the sound of the towplane.
We further limit our towpilots to areas where they can fly and areas where they cannot, e.g., over the town of Colgan below 1000' is a no-fly area for our towpilots.
We do not fly over the local churches during services or other events, such as weddings.
We remain concerned, however, by the number of erroneous reports of our towplane flying over neighbours. Our towplane was once reportedly doing aerobatics during the winter when, in fact, our towplane was stored in a hangar at that time and there was two feet of snow on the runway!!! Local residents may not be aware that there is a large restricted airspace around Pearson International Airport which pushes light aircraft movements away from the city, and ironically, directly overhead the Tottenham area.
We continue to study ways to further improve the mechanics of our tow plane and our operations policies to avoid noise-sensitive areas while maintaining safe parameters of operation.