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Touring Motor Gliders Association (TMGA)

Owning a GROB 109A


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I am a CFIG who has not flown in years. I do keep in my CFI current for the day I do return to flying. I did have a flight recently last feb at Newcastle in the ASK-21. I could fly the tow and gliding, once I got to the landing I knew I was behind the curve and gave the stick back to John.  I have been trying to sell my extra house (house rich and cash poor) and once I do I am interested in getting back to flying. However glider clubs are still hour and a half drive. I will be hitting up Bermuda High Soaring to get current.

So here are the reasons why I would be interested in a GROB 109.  Currently there are two for sale, one in really good shape and within budget.  There is one in Cali that would be project plane.

  • Local Flying - I can fly to Bermuda High and teach and fly back in less time than driving.  I know by the time, I get to the airport, pull it out, fly it, I might only save a half hour. So let's be real, the purpose is to fly and use any excuse possible to fly it. 
  • Instruction -  As a CFI, I can put the GROB 109 as a teaching airplane and at least reduce the financial bleeding. 
  • Wifey - My wife solo powered years ago.  At Newcastle she really enjoyed the glider flying.  A motor glider will be far more cost efficient than owning a standard plane and her instructor will be free.  
  • Long Distance Trips - Her parents live in eastern PA about 650 miles.  The idea of using a plane for trips is very appealing. 
  • I am very mechanical (rebuilt engine parts etc) and I would like to do much of my own maintenance as possible?

OK here are the questions from the above goals.

Summer time density is between 3000 to 4000 feet, how is the plane in those conditions? I live in Columbia SC and it get's very hot and windy here.

  • How easy is the plane for a beginner flyer? I know they use them for primary training but really would like some honest opinions.
  • What are the vices of the plane?  
  • What is the baggage space on this plane?
  • How reliable is the engine?  
  • How is the cross wind performance? How does it handle windy conditions?
  • How much planning is needed before engaging the engine transitioning from soaring to motoring? 
  • What is parts availability? 
  • Flying cross country, what are the typical issues? Fuel? Comfort? Baggage? 

As a side note, I have seen it mentioned but I can't really find evidence of this.  Has anybody really developed a conversion kit for the Rotax 912 conversion kit? Personally the airframes have much life to give, I am not so sure about the motor and availability of parts. 

Thanks in advance!  







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It's a taildragger. Takeoff and landing can be a challenge for a beginner. It isn't a SGS 2-33. No big deal if experienced.

The flight manual says crosswind limit is 12 knots  (difficult at 8-10 on right side crosswind)

I need 700 feet ground roll solo at sea level standard temp. I suspect much longer run at altitude. Climb is about 400-500 fpm.

VW experience is preferred. Much different from local airplanes. Can be low cost if owner maintained.


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14 hours ago, bberson said:

VW experience is preferred. Much different from local airplanes. Can be low cost if owner maintained.

Thank you for replying.  One thing that I have done is owned at least two beetles and my grandfather owned a Volkswagen repair shop.  I know those engines, alas I was never very good with tuning the carb and with mags I don't have to fuss with a distributor ( I hope ). I prefer computer controlled EFI but that's me.  😄 

Considering there is 23 of type, I strongly suspect getting information is going to be hard.  

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Back to the question on long distance flying with the GROB 109A.  How is it?  What is baggage space is like?  I have read through the GROB 109 B flight manual. I have not found a 109 manual. The limit is 44 pounds.  that is more than plenty sufficient for two people packing light. I see the weight limit is 240 per seat and my own weight is 220 (maybe I really need to get serous about my diet 😄 ).  

Pictures of anybody's plane showing the baggage space will be appreciated. 

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