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Touring Motor Gliders Association (TMGA)

Chairman's Corner

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  • Richard Pearl 15

2015 Fall Newsletter

Richard Pearl


2015 Fall 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.

TMGA Statistics

The TMGA membership currently stands at 946, spread among 41 countries. A quarter of our group comes from non-USA countries; twenty-three percent of the members (worldwide) have their own TMGs. We continue to grow virtually every day and some time over the winter we will likely reach the 1,000 mark.

USA Fly-In – October 1st, 2015 – Wrap up

A dozen TMGs descended on Cottonwood (Sedona), Arizona in early October to participate in the 6th USA TMGA fly-in. Together with potential TMG owners the group totaled 32 participants over the four-day event. Every day was flyable and the group took advantage of the spectacular location to fly out for lunch at different airports every day, and just enjoy the scenery. Phoenix took the TMGA Flight Line Award for the most aircraft in attendance in 2014 (and continued the win streak in 2015). 


The event speaker was Al Grisemer co-pilot of a record-breaking TMG flight covering 8,000 miles and spanned from Barrow, Alaska to the very tip of South America. Unbelievable pictures and some great stories of this epic journey. The graphic at the right portrays the flight, which was broken into northern and southern segments (Reno, Nevada to Barrow, Alaska and return, then Reno to Punta Arenas, Chile, and return).


2016 USA Fly-In (West) – September 8th thru 12th

For 2016, it's back to Minden, Nevada, our “home base”. Start thinking about this event, scheduled for Thursday, September 8th thru Sunday September 12th.  They call Minden the “Diamond Mine” of soaring for a reason…so prepare for world-class flying in terms of altitude achievements and distance flying. All this, with LAKE TAHOE just 20 miles away. 

Weather permitting, we’ll try for a San Francisco Bay Tour with a lunch at Half Moon Bay. Flying over the Sierra crest at 12,000 MSL it’s a straight shot to the Sacramento valley and then on to San Francisco with a pass over the Golden Gate Bridge.

For our international group, why not combine aerial pleasure with land pleasure, i.e. a family holiday to San Francisco AND the fly-in. Minden is only hours away via from the City By The Bay via the interstate. More on the fly-in in later newsletters – but mark the dates now!

Oh, and for those who love speed, the incomparable Reno Air Races are scheduled for September 16 – 20, 2016. Come to the TMGA fly-in, enjoy Lake Tahoe or San Francisco for a few days, then enjoy the Air Races for some or all of the days (guaranteed action every day).  [ Minden Sign-Up Sheet ]

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2016 USA Fly-In (East) – April 7th thru April 110th

This will be the first TMGA event on the East coast. Jim Lee, the Phoenix USA distributor will be hosting this event at his home base at Melbourne International Airport (MLB) in Florida. MLB  is a Class D airport with lots of advantages: plenty of area for our aircraft, nearby hotels/motels with conference facilities, restaurants, and of course, local attractions e.g. Disneyworld, the Cape Canaveral and Kennedy Space Center, and world-famous beaches for non-flying activities.


Jim says that it’s highly likely that a Space Shuttle runway over-flight (200 foot above the runway), called the NASA Tour, can be arranged. The picture at the right shows Jim’s daughter Rachel setting up on base leg for the fly-by. You won’t get to do this anywhere else in the world!

We’ve timed this fly-in to coincide with the Sun ‘N Fun International Fly-In and Expo for those who want to experience the #2 air event in the USA. The Expo is about 2 hours from Melbourne, or perhaps a short hop to a near-by airfield and then a car shuttle to the event.


The East coast event is only four months away, and we’ll be posting information in the Event section of the Website shortly…so start thinking about coming NOW! If you are one of our non-USA members, think about a flying/family vacation in a world-famous part of the USA. We would love to have you! [ Melbourne Sign-Up Sheet ]


501c3 Non-Profit corporate structure opportunity

The TMGA currently is an “affinity” group with no legal or protective status. This was fine during our formative years but we’re now approaching 1,000 members and perhaps more importantly, we’re organizing multi-faceting fly in events on both sides of the USA – with others hopefully to come internationally.

There are two reasons to form a 501c3 non-profit corporation: event organizers protection from lawsuits when staging events, and potential revenue generation for “mission” growth.

Legal protection: Being the unpaid, volunteer organizer of flying activities has inherent risks to individuals. As the events get larger and more numerous, it is important that those volunteering their time have adequate legal protection. This can be done with a corporate structure, and is strengthened when that corporation is an educational/charitable non-profit.

The TMGA is an all-volunteer group of TMG devotees. No one gets any reimbursement for any type of service to the organization. Numerous TMGA members have generous in donating to the TMGA and these donations have helped fund certain costs associated with our fly-ins, and convention and other materials. Several of the original organizers have also donated funds for web development. We envision continued outreach and this can only occur with donations. 501 C3 allows all donations to be tax deductible.

To qualify for 501c3 non-profit status, the corporation must have a   “public good”, e.g. it must have a charitable, educational, religious or scientific purpose. We believe we certainly qualify with our member-to-member technical postings, knowledgebase library, and potential-TMG owner educative information distributions.

By becoming a non-profit, we would follow the example of the Auxiliary-powered Sailplane Association (ASA), and other similar groups.

With the above in mind, we have begun the process of forming a 501c3, which requires creating a non-profit corporation (most likely Nevada, our “home base”), then seeking official non-profit status from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. This typically takes several months. Once the status is official, there will be annual forms to submit and the usual governmental fees and accounting reporting, but these costs are not prohibitive…and who knows, there might be some specialists in our organization that can help out (hint, hint).

Becoming a non-profit will require up-front costs of about $1,500 (note: tax deductibility becomes effective once the non-profit corporate status is obtained from Nevada).


Member profile – Ian Hutchinson.

We continue with a new section started in last update by profiling a TMGA’er, this time highlighting Ian Hutchinson of the UK.  

Ian is a syndicate member in a Grob 109B, based at Rufforth Airfield, York, UK. He was one of the first people to join the TMGA’s Grob 109 predecessor group (in June 2010), and the first of our non-USA TMGA’ers to join the new organization (January 2014).

Ian is a retired Construction Cost Consultant and Project Manager. He has his Private Pilot License (A) with a TMG endorsement. In 2010 he bought into a Grob109 B syndicate, joining seven other local pilots. Ian has also flown the Falke and did his TMG rating in a Super Dimona.

Although he gained his license flying Piper Warriors and Robin aircraft, all of his flying these days is in the Grob. As well as visiting local airfields for the traditional ‘bacon sandwich and a pot of tea’ he mainly enjoys touring to other airfields around the country. This year his flights have taken him north to Kirkbride (just below the Scottish border) and southward to Stratford-upon-Avon and Norfolk, as well as numerous places in-between.

When not flying, he enjoys cycling and taking advantage of retirement by taking lots of holidays with his wife.


SSA Convention - TMGA is hosting a booth (with the financial assistance of the Phoenix, Pipistrel, and Sundancer organizations) at the Annual Soaring Society of America (SSA) Convention in Greenville, South Carolina, Feb 18-20, 2016. If you would like to participate in the booth, please contact TMGA Director Paul Randall via message on this website.

TMGA Website

How is our website being used? The following is very informative:

  • Picture Gallery: 1,568 pictures and 597,635 views
  • Forum: 1,658 Posts and 412 Threads
  • Most users ever online: 369 (9/16/2013)
  • Classified: Current ads (30); views (66,663); items sold (25); value of items sold ($1.6 million USD)
  • Number of Knowledgebase Articles: 5,593; 14,402 views of the Website “how to” construction
  • Donors: Patron (5), Benefactor (5), Platinum (20); Diamond (17); Member (16)

So, keep sending in those pictures, and be sure to upload articles of interest to our Knowledgebase.

Website Update – Changes in the works

Our website has served us well over the past few years, but time moves on and change is in the works. First, let’s remember that the TMGA is an all-volunteer organization and the webmaster responsibilities rank up there at the very top of the workload efforts of the TMGA. Our Webmaster – Steve Sliwa – has been researching improvements and has this report:

Well it's about to happen. A new website and a new web location: www.motorgliders.org. The prime reason we are changing is improved flexibility. We can’t do any updates on the existing package without a major reprogramming. Going forward we will be using Invision Power (link). Anticipated benefits of this transition are:

• The new platform can easily be used on iPhones and tablets (responsive design)

• We will be able to develop a Resources section that will replace our Knowledgebase and will be editable by members.

• We will be able to create a file exchange as part of our resources section.

• New content and capabilities will be able to be added with a minimal programming (or at least that's my hope).

• It will have an integrated system for handling catalog orders, memberships, and fly-in deposits.

• The tools allow for direct mail to members for the website membership lists, making it easier to make announcements.

The bad news is that it will be different and will require learning some new tools and approaches for the users.

Any suggestions or comments while we get ready for the transfer would be appreciated.

Your Story, Your Words – Done something unusual that you’d like to share? Please submit those great stories to the Forum section of the website and just start a new Thread.

Respectfully Submitted,

Richard Pearl
Organizing Chair, TMGA

TMGA Directors:  Ray Buhr, Steve Sliwa, Paul Randall, Stu Ostrander



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