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Touring Motor Gliders Association (TMGA)

Flying from a homebase (discussion)


MattEglView
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I saw the following statement on your site and came to the conclusion that I came to the right place. - "We are firm believers that touring motor gliders are the best way maximize the utility and enjoyment of pure flying"   

With that as an introduction, I am hoping to generate some good discussion around owning a motorglider (Pipistrel Sinus is my desired machine) and owning my own landing strip in the country somewhere.

I am not a pilot yet but hope to earn my glider certificate in the next couple of years. I am nearing retirement age and wish to spend my retirement years touring the country.  This generates all sorts of questions in my mind, such as:

-How much does it cost to land and refuel? (Rotax 912, regular unleaded )

-Is there a forum or group of people that own and share there private landing strips, and if so how do I reach them?  It would be great to build up a list of places throughout the country to land at and even greater if they had fuel at their location.

-What is acceptable cross country weather for travel with a TMG and where is the distinctive line drawn to ground me? (VFR flight in a lightweight plane/glider)

-Is it really that hard to maintain a grass landing strip?  What are the logical things involved with the maintenance (grass cutting... grass cutting etc..  ).  I have watched videos on installing the substrate: Grading, installing Mesh, Large rock, Filler rock, Sand, Soil, Grass seed.  I've toyed with the idea of converting from grass to brick. All this is of course for light aircraft such as the Pipistrel Sinus. How may times larger should the landing strip be (what factor (2x, 3x  ...)) than the takeoff and landing distance of my plane?

-What are some recommended places in the Midwest (Minnesota) to get my Glider rating?  I am told that it is possible (not probable) to get it with only 10hrs. of training at around         3 - $5K in cost. The dream for me would be to get my certificate 1st, then have my land purchased and an out building in place to house my MG, then fly a commercial flight to the location of my recently purchased motor glider and fly it home or near home.  Finally, build the landing strip.  In the mean time gaining some flight hours landing and taking off at different locations.

_I am told that The Pipistrel Sinus is hard to beat in a number of categories: 

   -Flight efficiency (approx. 3 gal/hr @ around 100knots)

   -Low maintenance all around.

   -Uneventful Stall Profile

   -Excellent glide ratio 28:1

   -Excellent flight performance, with a climb rate exceeding 1000ft/min.

   -Short takeoff and landing ability (approx. 400')

Did I forget anything? Let me know.

I'm sure that you can punch some holes in my statements and philosophy (above). In fact I'm looking forward to being set straight in any areas you can enlighten me in.  I really want to do this in the future, but I want a solid plan to execute by. Please help me and humor me with your discussions.  Thanks in advance. 

 

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I just recently bought a grob 109B and got my self launch endorsement in a pipistrel virus.  The pipistrel likes to drop a wing through the stall.  So while you get warning, I would not consider the stall to be that benign.  You must be really on top of the rudders through the stall.  Secondly, since it has flaperons, it's very easy to aggravate the stall with the ailerons.

the best way to estimate training costs is this: 
12 Hour estimate to learn, each glider flight is average to .3 hours.  That's  about 40 flights.  In a day a student can handle about 3 to 4 sorties in a day, so estimate half to a full year.  For some reason it took me a year to get mine and I don't remember.  🙂

While the pipistrel has great power, it will take longer for a grass strip.  The pipistrel is a high wing which is great for dealing for obstacles on the ground. But you do have to be very careful, the wings are long and them some!  

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Hmm, Interesting about the stall and the control surfaces that need attention, ok, good to know. Also your note about extra drag on a grass strip makes sense, so I'll up my landing and take off distance maybe 50%.  Thanks for your input.😀

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As for Grass strips, I have a bit of a good comparison.  When I got my grob we did a few take offs and landing on this grass strip in Ionia, MI.  We had enough room for one take off but no room for an abort.  Having it extra wide means alternates when multiple land at the same time. My ideal runway should be about 7000x300.  While I could take off at 3000 feet, having the extra distance gives you oops room. 

http://www.airnav.com/airport/Y70

Runway 18/36

Dimensions:  4261 x 340 ft. / 1299 x 104 m
Surface:  turf, in fair condition

So part of your budget is not only a good airplane but a rather expensive mower....LOL

 

 

 

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Contact Rand Vollmer for Pipistrel info and flight training in Tampa Florida area.  Take a vacation and train at the same time.  These aircraft are a great choice for 3.5 to 4 gallons per hour fuel burn when flown cross country. (most efficient and cost-afforable.)  As for runway length, you can take off and land in 600 feet but you need three times that for runway PLUS margin for wet grass or density altitude.  I have operated a Phoenix from a 2000 foot grass strip which is comfortable although you must have plenty of width too.  Grass must be VERY smooth for the small wheel size.  Storage for a Pipistrel needs to be wider than some other TMGs with folding or removeable wings (Some Pipistrels have removeable tips).  As for your plan, I will say this: Currency is the most important trait in flying any aircraft, and TMG or LSA are rare to find rentals to maintain currency.  Make your plan go immediately from training/license, to build experience/currency, to owner/operator.  If you break that chain you will incur more expense and greater risk.  Partnerships are a great way to lower cost and achieve those goals.  Don't forget to allow for insurance cost which is crazy high right now for late-model TMG.  Why build a runway when you can buy a home on existing one?  

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/8/2022 at 10:16 PM, TeriStar said:

Contact Rand Vollmer for Pipistrel info and flight training in Tampa Florida area.  Take a vacation and train at the same time.  These aircraft are a great choice for 3.5 to 4 gallons per hour fuel burn when flown cross country. (most efficient and cost-afforable.) 

...

As for your plan, I will say this: Currency is the most important trait in flying any aircraft, and TMG or LSA are rare to find rentals to maintain currency.  Make your plan go immediately from training/license, to build experience/currency, to owner/operator.  If you break that chain you will incur more expense and greater risk.  Partnerships are a great way to lower cost and achieve those goals.  Don't forget to allow for insurance cost which is crazy high right now for late-model TMG.  Why build a runway when you can buy a home on existing one?  

I second this ^^^^^^^^^

I flew with Rand too!  I second him as an instructor.  And TeriStar's advice about currency is spot on.  I attended a seminar regarding glider accidents.  The highest risk times for a pilot in type (specific make and model ) was the first 20 hours and the last 200 hours.  The first 20 hours, you are just learning the plane, and the last 200 hours is a period of over confidence and aging pilots.  

 

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