Experienced Tow Pilots are the life blood to any gliding operation and CSA is constantly looking to develop pilots with single engine land experience for this crucial club position. Because this is a club operation, Private Pilots are eligible to tow for other club members. Once you qualify as a Tow Pilot you will be welcomed into the club as a CSA “Tow Pilot Member”.  Tow pilot club members do not receive any pay for towing gliders and there is no club initiation fee or monthly dues. Tow pilot members also have access to any of the CSA club gliders. Additionally all tow pilots must be a member of the Soaring Society of America (SSA). CSA can process your SSA application each year when renewing your CSA application. (SSA membership is $55.00 a year)

Club Tow Pilot Application

  1. Schedule an interview with the Chief Tow Pilot to ensure you meet the FAA aeronautical experience and insurance requirements
  2. Fill out a club Tow Pilot application and submit it to the chief tow pilot for CSA Board consideration.
  3. Be approved by the CSA Board
  4. Complete the Soaring Safety Foundations’ on-line ground training program at www.soaringsafety.org.
  5. Complete the CSA Tow Pilot Flight Training Program


Our insurance company has established standard aeronautical experience requirements for Glider Tow Pilots. If you do not meet these requirements you must complete an insurance company pilot application. The Chief Tow Pilot will forward it on to the insurance company for consideration. The insurance underwriter will review your qualifications on a case-by-case basis and if satisfied they will add you as a named pilot on the CSA tow plane insurance policy.

Tow Pilot Aeronautical Experience Requirements:

  1. Private or Commercial Pilot Certificate, Airplane Category, SEL Class
  2. Current Bi-Annual Flight Review
  3. Current Class III (or higher) medical certificate
  4. 500 hours PIC in powered aircraft with a minimum of 100 hours in SEL
  5. 100 hours PIC in tail wheel aircraft
  6. 10 takeoffs and landings in Piper Pawnee PA-25 aircraft
  7. 10 glider tows accomplished in any aircraft

If you don’t meet any of these requirements we may be able to assist you in doing so. If you’re light on Tail Wheel time or High Performance endorsements, we can refer you to a qualified CFI. Not many people have 10 takeoffs and landings in a Piper Pawnee PA-25, and we can assist here as well.

FAA Tow Pilot Experience Requirements – CFR Part 61.69

You must also meet the requirements of CFR Part 61.69 in order to be qualified to tow gliders. Essentially this requires:

  1. A logbook endorsement from a CFIG (Glider CFI) that you have been given ground and flight training in the safe operation of glider towing.
  2. A logbook endorsement from a qualified tow pilot that you have accomplished three actual or simulated dual glider tows.
  3. You must remain current as a glider tow pilot which basically requires a minimum of 3 tows or 3 PIC flights in a glider within the last 12 months.

CSA Tow Pilot Ground and Flight Training Program

After you have received approval from the Chief Tow Pilot, the CSA Board and the Insurance Company, you can begin the CSA Tow Pilot Ground and Flight Training Program. The training program uses the Soaring Safety Foundations’ on-line Tow Pilot Training Course as a basis for the required ground training for all applicants. The link is www.soaringsafety.org. At the end of the on-line training course you can print out a certificate of completion. After the on-line course is completed the Chief Tow Pilot will complete the tasks outlined in the Tow Pilot Training Record with you. After completion of all ground and flight training tasks you will be ready to start as a regular line Tow Pilot for the club.

Have more questions? Interested in getting started as a Tow Pilot?

Contact Daryl Smith

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