Winch and Turnaround Set up, Tear down

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Not for everybody, a winch can weigh 20 lbs plus a good battery even more,, and If you cant drive to the setup, Launch location you will be walking  carrying heavy bits , schlepping a cart ,  perhaps you have the facilities to store a golf Cart at the field or bring one with you each time out.

Set Up

Most times I approach my field from the north end and the direction the wind is from.

The winch sits in the rear of the cart, I take the turn around out set it in the right direction and set the two guy wires with 12 inch stakes.





Next I run the line thru the turnaround, up thru from  the bottom.


Holding the ring and chute in one hand I drive to the other end of the field, I can hear the spool unwinding, and feel the pull on the line, and take care such that the spool doesn’t over wind and knarl the line.

Once at the other end, south end of the field  I tend to slow down such that when I get to the winch set location, the spool is no longer spinning, with speed the spool very well could be unwinding after I stop

Up  next I set the winch, stand back 20 ft or so and align it to the turnaround and set the two stakes, thru the winch frame.

After the 1st launch I check if the spool is taking up the line centered or make slight adjustments of the winch alignment.

Connecting the battery ,and locating the switch is quite straight forward, I do watch though to set the switch so it is firm on the ground so there is winch action when I press on the pedal.

Soft footing is not good

Most times when I launch, I check the chute and see If it’s coming towards me, If it’s blowing towards bush on right, I will blip the peddle a few times and check where chute is and wind it in, this keeps the chute and line in the field.

Some practice at this is necessary, and you’ll soon find no time is spent during a flying day pulling line from the pushes or a corn patch.

Chute retrieval very often is with the golf cart, sometimes though, I will walk out to it as I am flying and use that location as a landing spot.

This offers good exercise as well , though the middle of the field doesn’t offer the seating comfort of the golf cart.

Walking back after landing with the plane and chute I am ready for the next Launch.

Often there is a loop of line from turnaround to the chute which I will tension out before I re launch.

Tear Down

After I am done flying I place the foot switch in front of the winch, turn around side.

Making my way towards the turnaround I find the chute and carry it over to the line from the winch to the turn around.


I continue on to the turnaround, pull the guy wire stakes store them and the wires in top of the turnaround, and walk the turn around back allowing the ground line to make it’s way thru the pulley the entire distance,  enroute I pick up the chute and bring that with me

This gives a huge loop of line with the ground line passing thru the pulley

When I get with 10 – 15 ft of the winch I set the turnaround down pulley up, and of course  with the ground line still thru the pully.


I feed the chute line and chute thru the pulley as well and set it near the winch.

Now I simply wind in the line, soon I have it all back on the spool , and with care I can wind the last couple feet onto the spool this after I have disconnected the battery.

Now Simply stow the battery, winch , turnaround and foot switch, stakes and I’m done.

There are times when I set up the winch at the north end of the field

In this case I set the winch, stake it and head to the south end of the field with the turnaround and chute.


Place the turnaround, feed the chute and line thru and head north back to the winch.

Procedure for tear down is the same

That’s how I deal with the Winch set up and tear down task.

For those having to walk, well ideally I suppose you would want to drive  as close as possible to the launch location , to unload your stuff, and then you just need to walk the turn around out.


Flying with a Group, one winch could work for all, take turns retrieving  the chute. Casual flying yes. :)

Now if it’s a contest with more winches, retrievers etc , well then things get a little more complicated and dedicated resources may be needed