(Posted February 24, 2015)
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: As of February 16, 2015, with being in operation for only three years, the TMGA now records 812 members, located in 36 countries and on every continent except Antarctica. With 202 non-USA members it is clearly safe to say that we are truly an international association. The non-USA members, by country, are as follows:
When it comes to TMGs owned, our members have the following aircraft:
How is our website being used? The following is very informative:
Picture Gallery: 1,554 pictures and 474,549 views
Forum: 1,588 Posts and 386 Threads
Most users ever online: 369 (9/16/2013)
Classified: Current ads (24); views (48,968); items sold (23); value of items sold ($1.3 million USD)
Number of Knowledgebase Articles: 5,593
Donors: Platinum (19); Diamond (17); Member (9)
So, keep sending in those pictures, and be sure to upload articles of interest to our Knowledgebase.
USA Touring Motor Glider Fly-In October 1-4, 2015; Cottonwood/Sedona, Arizona:
Cottonwood/Sedona is one of the USA’s premier flying, and sightseeing, locations. The TMGA was there last year in June and although we experienced heavier-than-normal winds, a great time was had by all.
We’re returning to Cottonwood again in 2015 and expect more cooperative weather both for local flying, and for those who travel significant distances (the majority of the attendees). Last year we had TMG’ers come from all points of the USA, and one pilot joined us from Japan. Think about a Sedona vacation if you're an overseas member. We’ll guarantee you air time with our pilot/members. Contact Richard Pearl for further information. (see below).
Great camaraderie… guaranteed perfect weather… incomparable geographic setting…excellent speakers – it won’t get any better. YOU NEED TO BE HERE! Whether you have a TMG, or are looking at buying one (new or old, they’ll all be on display), or are just interest in the TMG world, everyone is welcome.
- Each day will see a different aerial trek to some astonishing vantage points in the region, followed by unique dinners.
- There are a lot of very special tours and sights in the area, so think about not only coming, but also extending your stay for some incredible sightseeing.
Bottom line, go to the Events tab of the website for details. It’s very important that you sign up in the event spreadsheet if you’re thinking of coming (and yes, we understand about weather and small aircraft). Make sure you are set to receive announcements through the Forum > Event Planning > 2015 Fly-In thread. This is where all the important announcements will be placed.
Regional Fly-Ins – The USA West coast group has had a regional fly-ins each year at the Harris Ranch in the central California area…and will do so again this May.
We urge our TMGA members 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.
The Members section of the website has a Map subsection to display where our membership lives throughout the world. It’s entirely voluntary and takes but a few moments to fill in the additional lat/long coordinates. Currently we have 169 members on the map, which is only 21% of our membership.
Why get mapped? One, it’s interesting and fun to see where our members live throughout the world, and two, if you travel anywhere, you’ll likely find a new friend. From personal experience, this mapping has opened new friendships for me both in the USA and around the world. Through the TMGA I have flown with pilots in South Africa and Germany. I have returned the favor with pilots from England, France, and Germany. I recently returned from a trip to South America where I was hosted by Dick Carlstein, a new TMGA’er looking to purchase a TMG. We stayed with Dick at his Colonia Del Sacramento (Uruguay) home. It was a delightful time meeting his family and talking airplanes and his specialty – energy systems.
Website Updates – 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.
Mira Slovak – TMG pilot extraordinaire passes away. Mira Slovak, who piloted his brand-new 37 horsepower Fournier RF4 on its test flight from the factory in Germany to Santa Paula, California, died June 21st, 2014 at the age of 84. In a life worthy of fiction, in 1953 and in the midst of the Cold War, he overpowered a DC-3 flight crew (he was the youngest captain in the Czechoslovakian Airlines) and flew the plane to Berlin where he sought political asylum.
From there it was on to the United States where he became Bill Boeing Jr.’s private pilot, a national champion in unlimited hydrofoil racing boats (Miss Wahoo and Tahoe Miss), a crop duster, Reno air racer, and aerobatic stunt pilot. On the initial Fournier flight he got caught in a downdraft at Santa Paula Airport and crashed into a ditch and required months in the hospital. Oh, and then there was the time his hydrofoil racer (Tahoe Miss) exploded at 195 MPH and threw Mira 50 feet into the air…another trip to the hospital where he said “I got to know lots of nurses by their first names”.
Mira was our featured speaker at the 2012 TMGA fly-in in Minden, Nevada. He flew up there in his Bucker Jungmann biplane from his home in Southern California, landing later than intended due to an oil line leak. We had a DVD of his life and showed the section about his Fournier trip (he did a reverse, uneventful trip the following year). At the conclusion of his talk, Mira received a standing ovation and there were more than a few misty eyes. A real hero, and a real gentleman. (picture courtesy of Andy Robinson)
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. Mike Downey, a new TMGA’er who divides his time between the UK, Switzerland, and Florida, USA has just uploaded a story of his flight from Popham field (Hampshire, UK) to Venice, Italy in his Grob 109 B. A great, and fun, retelling! Also, make sure that you’ve clicked on receiving the Forum.
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:
o 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.
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. 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.
Richard Pearl, Organizing Chair, TMGA
TMGA Directors: Ray Buhr, Steve Sliwa, Paul Randall, Stu Ostrander