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Touring Motor Gliders Association (TMGA)

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2012 - December - Newsletter

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Richard Pearl

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2012 December 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 360 members, comprising an aviation community spread over 24 countries, and (2) All of the technical data from the Grob and Ximango individual web sites have now been transferred into the TMGA model-sites. Another TMG model group is considering having their members use the TMGA web site as their primary method of communication. Integrated or stand-alone, the TMGA’s goal is to support every area of touring motor gliders. Knowledge is Power!

Official TMGA Calendar – It’s being published in early January 2013. It includes great shots from all over the world. Reserve yours via the website at the following link: [sold out] [Cost is $20 including postage, USA;   $26 USD including postage outside the USA). Your order also includes one official TMGA windscreen sticker.

Website Updates – We continue to improve the web site and add 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.   Our Forum boasts over 1,200 posts and our knowledgebase has nearly 600 articles.

In addition to the primary pilot data discussed above, we have continued to build our 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! Note: no information will ever be used for non-TMGA purposes and the data is not accessible by unregistered users (or search engines).

West Coast (USA) Touring Motor Glider Fly-In’s: 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.

This year, plan to join us for the 5th annual fly-in, again in Minden, Nevada, from July 25 to July 28.  We have preliminary details for the upcoming event on the website (Events Tab). This year we intend to add: 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 80 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” this year.

Regional Fly-Ins – Last year we reported on the West coast Regional fly-in. This year we’re repeating that event on Saturday, May 4; several of us may stay over to link up with the glider folks at Avenal glider port, or perhaps fly over to the near coast for a night away while checking out the nearby 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. E-mail Richard Pearl via this web site for helpful suggestions.

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 ill-advised as inspection options were not allowed and the fix as required might not actually be effective. The Grob group collected data and presented it to the FAA in support of their position. We’ll know the outcome sometime in January. 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

o   Section Leaders -- We need section leaders for each type of Touring Motor Glider and for each Global Region.  Steve Sliwa, our webmaster, assures us that programming skills aren’t needed.  But like with any community, leaders need to emerge to help keep things organized and to nurture people’s passions.

o   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.

 

o   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.

o   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.

o   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:

o   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 favorite (hopefully) aviation group.

o   A few months ago we acquired a program that counts visitors to our web site. As of December 30th our new program has counted over 4,800 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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