Description of sample flight training for banner tow pilots. Some areas may not be applicable in all situations and additional areas may be added.

I. Hands-on Training for Special Equipment for Tow Aircraft.

A. Traffic Patterns. The pilot is trained to maintain an accurate pattern altitude in the traffic pattern while towing a banner.

B. Banner Pickup Maneuver: Swings.

1. The pilot should practice swings. This is accomplished without a hook installed on the aircraft and is designed to produce an understanding of the visual cues associated with a banner pick-up maneuver.

2. The pilot should fly swings with a hook installed on the aircraft. During this time there is a ground support person, with a radio, positioned in the vicinity of the poles providing precise information about the height of the hook during the maneuver and whether the swing was early or late.

3. When the instructor considers that the pilot has the mental picture and understanding of the swing, the pilot should complete actual pickups and drops of a banner with the instructor monitoring the maneuver and providing additional instruction as required.

4. The pilot in training should fly actual banner flights accompanied by a qualified banner tow pilot if possible. This banner flight time should teach the pilot:

  • Familiarization of banner routes, check points or landmarks
  • Fuel management
  • ATC procedures and communications
  • If flights are conducted with two people in the cockpit, limiting the banner must be considered to compensate for the weight of the extra person. Aircraft must be operated within its weight and balance limitations.

II. Solo Work.

A. Upon completion of training, the pilot will complete pickups and drops while a check pilot monitors the maneuvers from a ground location near the pickup poles and provides instruction as necessary.

B. The pilot should include upper air work including power on and off stalls, slow flight, steep turns, as well as takeoffs and landings. This provides awareness and appreciation of the flight characteristics of the aircraft.

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