This publication provides information on safety recommendations and available procedures to assist individuals in Banner Tow Operations.

TERMINOLOGY. For the purpose of this publication, the following terminology is applied.

Aerial Pickup Towline. The line connecting the grapple hook to the banner. The line is made of non-stretching material, extended length 250 ft. (76 m) is provided with an endless loop at forward end and snap at aft end for connecting to mast assembly bridle ring. Banner. A banner is an advertising medium supported by a temporary framework attached externally to an aircraft and towed behind that aircraft.

Grapple Hook and Cable Assembly. The device used to engage the towline when making an aerial pickup launch; consists of a ring on forward end (which connects to the tow-hitch) connected by a line to a multi-prong bar on aft end, provided with a safety link at forward end.

Mast Assembly or Lead Pole. A rigid pole that connects to the front of the banner and is equipped with bridle lines that join at a collector ring to which the towline couples. The mast stabilizes the banner and controls roll attitude. Only non-conductive materials are to be used.

Rudder Guard or Vee Bar. A device attached to the aft fuselage to guide the grapple line away from the tailwheel or control surface horns.

Safety Link. A weak link contained in the towing apparatus as recommended by FAA AC 43.13-2A. The link is strong enough for towing, but breaking strength is low enough to protect airplane and pilot in the event of an accidental overload.

Spring Keeper. A short length of spring attached to the bottom of the horizontal stabilizer or empennage.

Swim Line. A designated distance from the shoreline, which has an outer limit within which people would normally swim. This distance is usually set at 180 feet from shore.

Takeoff Launch Towline. Similar to Aerial Pickup Towline, but used for takeoff launch. Ring on forward end of towline couples to tow hitch, followed by stiffened section of the line that avoids fouling of the tailwheel. Made of non-stretching materials, this type of towline is normally 350 ft. (107 m) long.

Tow Hitch. The tow release mechanism and its mounting fixture that is normally attached to the tail of the airplane, serves as a point of attachment for all trailing equipment, and has a remote control release from the cockpit. Term usually includes the cockpit control.

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