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2015 Annual Fly-In - West - Planning

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Richard Pearl

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2015 Annual Fly-In - West - Planning
Oct 1-4, 2015

It's now definite ... we are going back to Cottonwood, Arizona.

The fantastic Sedona area location, the wonderful reception we had by the city of Cottonwood, and the facilities, made for an easy decision. Specifically, the fly-in will be Thursday October 1st thru Sunday October 4th, and this year we're guaranteeing no repeat of the unusually high winds we had last year in June. Actually, the weather is marvelous there in the fall, with beautiful foliage, ever-changing light patterns on the Red Rocks of Sedona, and milder temperatures. This year we expect to be able to fly to the Grand Canyon and several of the national parks for day flights. The October time frame also means that we should miss the monsoons of summer, and the late fall storms.

Last year, many pilots arrived at least a day early, on Wednesday, and this seemed to work out just fine. The actual schedule hasn't been set yet, but will most likely see daily fly-outs, and evening group dinners. Since it's the Sedona area, there are also many outdoor activities for non-flying partners. We'll be working on these arrangements but, like last year, they'll all be extra-special.

So, mark your calendars! We'll be setting up a special sign-up sheet in the Events section of the TMGA website, and starting a special Forum section. If you're planning on coming, let all of us know via the Forum, and as soon as possible.

Remember, the Fly-In is for all TMGA'ers, both owners and prospective owners. We'll be working with the various TMG manufacturers to have demo aircraft at the event. If you have an extra seat available for a passenger, or if you need a seat, note that on the signup sheet. We'll again have a Map of the prospective attendees.

Also, if you are one of our 195 non-USA members, consider coming to the event as part of an American holiday. Last year, Hideki Matsuura of Japan came specifically for the fly-in, and we were pleased to get him airborne on many days in several ships.

A great small-town airport and community close to the world-famous Sedona Red Rock wonderland. Our local TMGA group surveyed the area and recommended the city known as the "Heart of the Verde Valley". The city and the local community are really rolling out the red carpet for us. The municipal airport (3,560 MSL; 4,250 X 75 runway) has sufficient room for us (and we're anticipating a lot of TMG's on the ramp), they are making a large hangar available to us at no cost, waiving the tie down fees, and they're offering low-cost fuel.

If you've been to one of the past Minden, Nevada Fly-Ins, you know how great they are: super soaring, a congenial group of aviators and those actively looking at TMGs, knowledge-sharing of aviation, maintenance, and safety issues, and just plane (couldn't resist) fun.

The TMGA fly-In is the world's largest gathering of touring motor gliders. At our previous events we had TMGs come from all over the country, and many potential TMG owners attended to check out the various aircraft. We expect that the major TMG importers (Pipistrel, Phoenix, Lambada, and Diamond) will again have aircraft there for demonstration rides. Other proud TMG owners of the legacy brands (Ximango, Grob, Taifun, Fournier, etc.) have always taken up non-owner attendees for rides.

For this Fly-In, when you combine fantastic soaring and a vacationers delight (some of the country's best national parks, old west charm, mining camps, back country jeep tours, unique shopping and restaurants, etc.), you should definitely think of extending your stay to truly capture the spirit of the region. Sedona is 10 air miles and 19 car miles to the northeast. Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (PHX) is a two-hour drive to Cottonwood for those arriving commercially.

We've made special lodging arrangements with the Quality Inn of Cottonwood, and Enterprise Rent A Car. We're currently working on some fun restaurants and group activities.

We're hopeful that we can entice Andy Robinson, an aviation photographer who has previously worked with our group, to fly out in his modified Cherokee Six for some air-to-air shots (over the Red Rocks, etc.). You most likely won't be able to duplicate this opportunity again. It won't be inexpensive, but it will be memorable. Due to time limitations, there will be a limit on the number of potential photo flights, so you'll need to sign up early and coordinate with Andy. Pictures below are Steve Chase in his Lambada, and Roland Martin in his Ximango, Jim Lee in the Phoenix from Andy Robinson's photo shoot over Lake Tahoe:

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In addition to Andy, Sedona aviation and soaring photographer Ted Grussing (part of the Team Sedona logistics and planning group), will be documenting this event from the air and the ground.

VERY IMPORTANT. This event is being staged in one of the country's premier vacation areas. If you're thinking seriously of coming, you need to book your room early. Note: there are other hotels in Cottonwood, and in nearby Jerome and Sedona, but the Quality Inn has given us a great price, and they are only a short 10 minute walk to the airport. Quality Inn (928.634.4207); ask for the Touring Motor Glider Association special rate. There is a no-fault cancellation period 24 hours prior to arrival. Note: the property has only 50 rooms; our price cut-off date is Sept 1st.

We also need you to sign up NOW in the TMGA web site Events section, 2014 fly-in spreadsheet. This is critical for us doing the planning, and critical for you because we have to make restaurant and activity arrangements. The registration fee is $20 per aircraft, including one pilot; each additional participant is $10. All fees go for hard costs at the fly-in, or directly to TMGA support.

There will be experienced TMG instructors at the Fly-In. If you need a BFR, or are a current power pilot and a glider pilot, you can get an on-site TMG endorsement in your aircraft, or the instructor's aircraft.

Spread the word. If you know of any TMG pilots, encourage them to participate; if you know someone who is interested in TMGs, have them join the TMGA and join in the Fly-In fun.

If this will be your first long distance excursion, use the website to set up a 'caravan', either through the Forum or direct contact by others who have signed up in the Event spread sheet.

Available non-flying activities include the Verde Canyon Rail Road, Indian ruin tours, wine tasting, ghost towns, mining towns, backcountry jeep tours, and southwestern art and shopping. We'll be setting up some organized tours; other activities can be coordinated.

We'll be rolling out information on the website, and in direct email communication, over the next few months. In the meantime, see what's in store for you as you visually fly with Ted Grussing (first picture) and Michael Tomazin (second picture) shown below:

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