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Touring Motor Gliders Association (TMGA)

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  • Richard Pearl 15

2012 - Oct - Newsletter

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Richard Pearl

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2012 October Newsletter

The Touring Motor Glider Association was formed to exchange technical information, coordinate activities, and share experiences. Our goal is to be the (world-wide) Go-To source for all information about touring motor gliders.

The Touring Motor Glider Association was formed to exchange technical information, coordinate activities, and share experiences. Our goal is to be the (world-wide) Go-To source for all information about touring motor gliders. Recent Accomplishments of the TMGA: (1) The Association was launched January 1, 2012 and now boasts 320 members, of whom 58 reside in 19 non-U.S. countries, and (2) We recently completed the fourth annual TMGA fly-in in Minden, Nevada, and have begun planning for the 5th annual Fly-In (see below).

Website Updates – Over the past few months we have been both de-bugging the web site and adding new features. Many people initially signed up without filling in their profiles or ‘opting in’ to the various community activities. Please come to the website, update your profile, subscribe to the forums and/or connect with the RSS feeds, and join us in our online community. Together we want to build an unparalleled knowledgebase to support each   and promote the sport. nearly 600 articles. Our forum boasts over 1100 posts and our knowledgebase has In addition to the primary pilot data discussed above, we have created a worldwide Map, which shows our members airport location (or your city for non owner members). We believe this will be one of the coolest parts of the TMGA, and will greatly assist in arranging local and regional fly-ins. However...you must go to the Members > Map section of the web site and enter some data (data entry point just below the map) to make this truly valuable. Right now only about 22% of the membership has entered data. Please do so immediately!  West Coast Touring Motor Glider Fly-In: Past and Future. The 2012 TMG Fly- In was a roaring success. Twenty-four (24) ships graced the Minden, Nevada, flight line, including: Grob, Taifun, Ximango, Stemme, Lambada, Diamond, and Fournier. Aircraft came from California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina. Between pilots, friends, and prospective buyers, 55 people participated in the flying, presentations, and meals. We believe it was the largest gathering of TMG's in the country, and most likely the world. Great camaraderie... perfect weather... excellent speakers. Capping off the event was a presentation by Mira Slovak: Airline captain, unlimited hydroplane racing champion, aerobatic pilot, and holder of the world’s record for a test flight distance (a 36 horsepower VW –powered Fournier motor glider flight from Germany to Santa Paula, California via England, Greenland, and Canada (yes, several stops along the way). Mira received a well-deserved standing ovation from the assembled pilots and spectators. Several of the pilots elected to have their ships photographed over Lake Tahoe. One of the TMGA members flew up in his Cherokee Six (rear door off for an unobstructed photo shot). A once-in-a-lifetime experience (OK, perhaps also next year).

Next year, plan to join us for the 5th annual fly-in, again in Minden, Nevada, from July 25 to July 28. We will sending details for the upcoming event but based upon feedback we are considering adding: more flight instruction options (aero-tow, Flight Reviews, soaring coaching, etc.), demo flights in new aircraft, a group trek for lunch and perhaps fly- by of the Golden Gate bridge, and an experimental touring competition day. One of our international members said he would be interested in coming if he could coordinate the trip with a visit to Oshkosh for EAA mega fly-in. That’s now possible as we will be ending up our event when theirs is just starting. So, if you are one of our 58 international members, consider helping us to make this an International TMG event. If you are interested, our local California/Nevada team would be glad to help you with any arrangements. Our plan is to again stay at Walley’s Hot Springs Spa and Resort. The non-flying partners loved it, so consider bringing a “co-pilot” next year. The Members tab has a survey about the Minden Fly-In. Please take the time to respond; there are questions for those who came, and those who want to make their suggestions for future fly-ins.

Regional Fly-Ins – Last quarter we reported on the West coast Regional fly-in. this year we’re planning on repeating that event and perhaps expanding the one-day event to a two or three day fly-in not only to Harris Ranch but also to the nearby coast wine country. We urge you to consider setting up regional fly-ins where you live. It’s easy to do using the resources of the TMGA website. Email Richard Pearl via this web site for helpful suggestions.   

Official TMGA Calendar – It’s getting late to do it this year, but if we get your flight photographs by November 15th we can produce a 2013 TMGA calendar in time for the Holiday season. Please upload any photos to the gallery section of the website and if you want to call attention to any in particular or you want to send extra high resolution of your favorites please send an e-mail to calendar@touringmotorgliders.org. Obviously, the higher the resolution you upload for these shots, the better. The Power of Many – One of the many benefits of the internet and special-affinity groups such as the TMGA is to bring people together to work on a common cause. Several months ago the U.S. FAA issued an Airworthiness Directive concerning potential corrosion in part of the vertical stabilizer. Several members of the Grob section, brought together through the TMGA, thought the AD was ill-advised as inspection options were not allowed and the fix as required might not actually be effective. With one day left to spare before actual implementation (October 9th), and after a personal meeting with the FAA, the AD was postponed for 90 days. The Grob group will be collecting data and will present it en masse to the FAA in support of their position. Bringing pilots together...it’s what the TMGA is all about.

Volunteers Needed – The TMGA is a volunteer-led activity and as in all such activities we need to share the burden. There are several ways you can help:

Website Community

  • Section Leaders -- We need section leaders for each type of Touring Motor Glider and for each Global Region. Steve Sliwa, our web master, assures us that programming skills aren’t needed. But like with any community, leaders need to emerge to help keep things organized and to help point people’s passions.
  • Knowledgebase – If you have interesting data or information that would be of use to your fellow TMGA members please navigate to ‘Add Knowledge’ in the Knowledgebase and upload the data/information/content. We also need volunteer editors who are willing to help us organize the information. Word Processing level skills are all that are needed.
  • Photo Gallery – Photos are needed. Please collect them up and upload in the photo gallery. We just started but we already have well over 750 photos and more are added each week. See video tutorial under Help > Tutorials if help is needed uploading the images.
  • Regional Event Host – As mentioned above we need hosts to plan a regional fly-in. Generally what is needed is coordination of a date at a good airport and help with logistics on the day(s) of the event. We will help you organize and announce the event.  
  • Instructors, Vendors, Suppliers, Service Providers – If you are a vendor and offer services or products to our community, please consider placing an advertisement in our classifieds section, which is free. We are committed to your prosperity as that enables you to support our community. Those with the means and are interested in more visibility we do have a couple of sponsorship slots reserved.

Membership/Contributions/Donations – All not-for-profit’s invest some energy to line up the resources to serve its membership and we are no different. So far the organizers have carried the burden (creatively and monetarily) but hopefully that could be spread over a larger base as time evolves. So if you aren’t able to volunteer time perhaps you would be willing to officially join for as little as $15/yr (via paypal). Anyone with interest can register to be a user of the TMGA website and automatically qualifies as an associate member of the association. Those that are able and willing to join (pay dues or contribute) as described in the website will, over time, gain access to more features. For example,   We expect to publish a pdf document with is an indexed, well-organized version of the knowledgebase on a regular basis.   We plan to develop an online tool for logging ‘airport caching’, treks, and soaring accomplishments accessible.   For privacy purposes, only Members will have access to the Pilots/Owners location maps.

Other Notable Items:

  • Get a Birthday Greeting from the TMGA. If you originally submitted, or will edit your current profile, to include your birthday, you’ll receive a Happy Birthday note from your (hopefully) favorite aviation group.
  • A few months ago we acquired a program that counts visitors to our web site. As of October 1st our new program has counted over 3,400 unique visitors from around the world.

Respectfully Submitted, Richard Pearl Organizing Chair, TMGA

TMGA Directors: Ray Buhr, Steve Sliwa, Ron Snedcor, Stu Ostrander

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