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Touring Motor Gliders Association (TMGA)
bruce erickson

bringing Motor Glider into youth aviation program

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bruce erickson

I am presently volunteering with a non profit youth aviation program here in Grand Junction Colorado as one of the CFI's giving flying lessons. I am also a CFI-G and have recently gotten my self launch endorsement. This site has access to a lot of expertise and  would appreciate any advice based on your experience with various motor gliders that would be available and practical for our purpose. This program is called HAWK aviators and I believe starting these young aviators out in a Motor glider program is the better way to go overall. Thank you and I look forward to your input. 

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Eric Greenwell

Hi Bruce, I can definitely say it's not Phoenix like I own. It's fine aircraft, but expensive for your purposes and difficult to learn to land well - not good for inexperienced pilots. Some of the Scheibe motorglders are intended for your purpose - take a look at them.

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Vic

You may also want to consider joining a Civil Air Patrol unit.  They are committed to getting youth into aviation - each person gets 5 powered and 5 glider flights for free.  They have glider programs around the US and are open to starting new programs.  I don't know where the closest gliding unit to you is  (I know of some on the East side of the Rockies).   You could also see about starting a group as they have a program where they partner up with SSA clubs - Air force pays for the tows/glider use and CAP or club provides the aircraft. 

One wrinkle is that their current regs, for some reason, exclude motorgliders, but we're hoping to get that changed.  Let me know if you want more info.  I can also put you in touch with the CO wing glider guys.

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bruce erickson

Thanks for the suggestions and recommendations, I have a number of friends who are involved with the CAP and I have thought about getting involved there too. The Hawks program is an offshoot from the EAA chapter 800 group and  the young eagles program.  it is a 501C3 that was started out of the need to have a way of offering an aircraft and path for flight instruction to youth to try and get them their private license’s as inexpensive as possible. We have a donated PA28 that works well except it burns about $45.00 in fuel per hour. This is where I see the motor glider really shines. We could potentially get many more private pilot glider ratings for these youth than we are able to turn out now. Right now even the Ray scholarship program which is a great idea , gives 1 youth a  $10,000 voucher = 1 private license. Imagine if we stretch that into many glider private license’s for many youth. I think it’s an exciting idea. Please keep the suggestion’s coming. Thanks Bruce.

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HiFlite

Fairly recently, I have been flying a Scheibe SF-25c with Sandhill Soaring here in Michigan. Handling wise, it's a good choice for training, with low stall speed and rugged gear. There are 3 significant downsides, however, with our particular one at least.

1) The Limbach 1700EA of about 60 hp is pretty marginal on a hot day, even at our low altitude. We have trees on hills about 2300 feet from our starting position and it's uncomfortably close. 

2) Useful load is ~ 370 lbs.

3) It's registered experimental.   

As a training motorglider, the Schweitzer 2-37 (2-32 with fixed gear and Lycoming O-235) might work. AFAIK, all would be ex-Air Force. Yet fuel burn would be like a C-152, which is a better trainer for general use vs as a path to sailplanes. Any S-LSA with the Rotax would probably be closer to what you want. IMO 🤗

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bruce erickson

Thanks so much for your great suggestions, especially since I know they come from a lot of experience. I have been checking out and flying some various Motor glider types and I agree about the Rotax power. We are located at an airport with an elevation of 4600 above MSL. So horse power is a consideration, also cost and parts availability is a big concern. I have a fellow retired , airline friend with one of the Schweitzer 2-37’s that came from the Academy.  I haven’t been able to get him to let go of it, yet, but I’m working on it. Has anyone got experience going to Europe to purchase a Motor Glider? That may be a next step for us. Thanks Bruce

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Eric Greenwell

I'm glad my suggestions are helpful. I"ve been helped by many pilots in the past, and know how useful that help can be.

By "going to Europe to purchase a Motor Glider", do you mean going there and buying a used one? Or maybe to visit the factory to closer examine what they make, and possibly buying one at the factory?

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