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Beginner questions about buying a sailplane...



 
 
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  #1  
Old May 5th 09, 03:39 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
vic20owner
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Posts: 40
Default Beginner questions about buying a sailplane...


No, I am not planning to buy anything for at least a year ... but I
have often wondered what other "hidden" expenses or obstacles there
are associated with buying a used glider.

I regularly see older planes in the $10K USD range (which is well
within my price range). BUT, for future reference, what inspections
are required for the glider to be considered air worthy, and what else
should I know before considering such a purchase aside from obvious
structural damage or electrical problems? How much damage should I
consider "normal wear and tear" such as delaminating wing tips, bent
rudder, etc which is a relatively easy repair versus something which
is major (wing struts, etc)?

Also, is there any specific paperwork (flight hours, maintenance
records, etc) I should insist on seeing, etc. Is it common to pay
someone else to inspect the aircraft prior to purchase?

Lastly, are there any specific gliders one should avoid as a first
used glider? (such as homebuilt kit planes, etc)?

Thanks
-tom

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  #2  
Old May 5th 09, 05:19 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Surfer!
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Posts: 81
Default Beginner questions about buying a sailplane...


I am in the UK so it might vary, but:

1) talk to your CFI before contemplating buying a glider, and take
his/her guidance. At my club first gliders are usually glass, 15m and
unflapped - gliders such as the ASW19, Pegase, DG300, LS4, Discus.
These are all fairly easy to fly, have reasonable performance and will
cope with field landings.

2) when you buy a glider you also need a parachute, and if you have any
ambition at all an approved data logger. These cost money... And
parachutes need repacking. My club gets it's chutes done yearly but I
have a suspicion a more frequent repack is required in the US. My own
parachute is a second-hand German one which was inspected and repacked
before I brought it - in Germany parachutes have a finite life, in the
UK it's 'on condition'.

3) the biggest cost for me is insurance, how much yours will cost you
will depend on the value of your glider and how the insurer interprets
your experience.

4) I also have to pay to keep my trailer / glider at the club.

5) in the UK every glider has to have an annual inspection - expensive
at a professional workshop, but many clubs have inspectors who will do
it at a lesser cost.

6) *nothing* should be delaminating / bent. If it is walk away from the
glider - it has lead a hard life and/or not been looked after. IMHO
wear and tear is things like tatty upholstry, and minor gel coat cracks
for example at the corners of the airbrake boxes. Try to take an
inspector with you when you go to look at a glider.

7) you must be comfortable in whatever you buy, otherwise flying it
won't be the pleasure it should be. Sit in various suitable 'first
gliders' and see what seems to fit.

8) if the seat pad isn't Dynafoam (or equivalent) budget to replace it.


Hope that helps.



In message
,
vic20owner writes

No, I am not planning to buy anything for at least a year ... but I
have often wondered what other "hidden" expenses or obstacles there
are associated with buying a used glider.

I regularly see older planes in the $10K USD range (which is well
within my price range). BUT, for future reference, what inspections
are required for the glider to be considered air worthy, and what else
should I know before considering such a purchase aside from obvious
structural damage or electrical problems? How much damage should I
consider "normal wear and tear" such as delaminating wing tips, bent
rudder, etc which is a relatively easy repair versus something which
is major (wing struts, etc)?

Also, is there any specific paperwork (flight hours, maintenance
records, etc) I should insist on seeing, etc. Is it common to pay
someone else to inspect the aircraft prior to purchase?

Lastly, are there any specific gliders one should avoid as a first
used glider? (such as homebuilt kit planes, etc)?

Thanks
-tom


--
Surfer!
Email to: ramwater at uk2 dot net
  #3  
Old May 5th 09, 06:55 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
vaughn
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Posts: 93
Default Beginner questions about buying a sailplane...


"vic20owner" wrote in message
...

Lastly, are there any specific gliders one should avoid as a first
used glider? (such as homebuilt kit planes, etc)?


Buying a series of "wrong" gliders as a way of figuring out what you
want and discovering what fits your style of flying is an expensive and
complicated way to fly! Assuming that you have options near where you live,
consider renting for at least a year after the end of your primary training.
That year would be a great time to vacation at some of the better soaring
sites and get checked out. The result will give you a sort "post grad"
training and expose you in a variety of equipment and a variety of ideas.

Vaughn


  #4  
Old May 5th 09, 07:20 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
vontresc
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Posts: 216
Default Beginner questions about buying a sailplane...

On May 5, 9:39*am, vic20owner wrote:
No, I am not planning to buy anything for at least a year ... but I
have often wondered what other "hidden" expenses or obstacles there
are associated with buying a used glider.

I regularly see older planes in the $10K USD range (which is well
within my price range). * BUT, for future reference, what inspections
are required for the glider to be considered air worthy, and what else
should I know before considering such a purchase aside from obvious
structural damage or electrical problems? *How much damage should I
consider "normal wear and tear" such as delaminating wing tips, bent
rudder, etc which is a relatively easy repair versus something which
is major (wing struts, etc)?

Also, is there any specific paperwork (flight hours, maintenance
records, etc) I should insist on seeing, etc. *Is it common to pay
someone else to inspect the aircraft prior to purchase?

Lastly, are there any specific gliders one should avoid as a first
used glider? (such as homebuilt kit planes, etc)?

Thanks
-tom


Assuming you are in the Sates, you will need an annual inspection for
your glider. Depending on the condition this can range from $100 to
whatever it costs to remedy any discrepancies. Before writing out a
large check be sure to get a good pre-buy inspection by someone
knowlegable in the type of sailplane you are looking at. Make sure
that there are no outstanding pricy AD that have not been completed on
whatever you are looking at.

Good deals can be found. I got My Ka-6 for way below 10k in airworthy
status with a roadworthy trailer. It may not fe fast glass, but for
soaring in the Midwest it's hard to beat.

Pete
  #5  
Old May 5th 09, 07:30 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Ian Burgin
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Posts: 9
Default Beginner questions about buying a sailplane...

At 17:55 05 May 2009, vaughn wrote:

"vic20owner" wrote in message
...

Lastly, are there any specific gliders one should avoid as a first
used glider? (such as homebuilt kit planes, etc)?


Buying a series of "wrong" gliders as a way of figuring out what

you

want and discovering what fits your style of flying is an expensive and
complicated way to fly! Assuming that you have options near where you
live,
consider renting for at least a year after the end of your primary
training.
That year would be a great time to vacation at some of the better soaring


sites and get checked out. The result will give you a sort "post grad"


training and expose you in a variety of equipment and a variety of

ideas.

Vaughn

The vast majority of a gliders existance is usualy spent in a trailer.
After the glider itself the condition of the trailer and fittings can be a
major area of problems neglect to examine this at your peril!!!


  #6  
Old May 5th 09, 08:45 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Brian Bange[_2_]
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Posts: 34
Default Beginner questions about buying a sailplane...

If you don't have a hangar, then you will be assembling and
disassembling each time you fly. Make sure you know the effort
involved in putting the ship together. I know two guys who
bought a Phoebus in partnership, only to sell it the next season
due to it being an absolute bear to assemble. A general rule is
that the easier a ship goes together, the more it flies. Russia's,
Libelle's and PW5's almost fall together. You can get a LAK12
with almost twice the L/D for the same price, but watch your
friends scatter when you open the box.

Brian

At 18:30 05 May 2009, Ian Burgin wrote:
At 17:55 05 May 2009, vaughn wrote:

"vic20owner" wrote in message
news:0b8eb208-90ef-4146-a7f3-

...

Lastly, are there any specific gliders one should avoid as a

first
used glider? (such as homebuilt kit planes, etc)?


Buying a series of "wrong" gliders as a way of figuring

out what
you want

  #7  
Old May 5th 09, 08:53 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 67
Default Beginner questions about buying a sailplane...

On May 5, 10:39*am, vic20owner wrote:

Lastly, are there any specific gliders one should avoid as a first
used glider? (such as homebuilt kit planes, etc)?


Yes.

One way to tell: try to get your CFIG to fly it first. If he balks or
even slightly hesitates....

In general, I would only recommend a homebuilt with excellent
testimonials as to construction quality and flight characteristics by
people other than the builder/seller, at least a few hundred hours on
it, a generally good rep as to type characteristics, etc.

- T8 (former fast/cheap/scary home built glider owner)


  #8  
Old May 5th 09, 09:30 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Paul Goulding
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 3
Default Beginner questions about buying a sailplane...

At 17:55 05 May 2009, vaughn wrote:

"vic20owner" wrote in message
...

Lastly, are there any specific gliders one should avoid as a first
used glider? (such as homebuilt kit planes, etc)?


Buying a series of "wrong" gliders as a way of figuring out what

you

want and discovering what fits your style of flying is an expensive and
complicated way to fly! Assuming that you have options near where you
live,
consider renting for at least a year after the end of your primary
training.
That year would be a great time to vacation at some of the better soaring


sites and get checked out. The result will give you a sort "post grad"


training and expose you in a variety of equipment and a variety of

ideas.

Vaughn



Vaughn,

First buy a glider with good handling qualities - avoid early glass ships
with poor airbrakes.

Buy a glider that is popular with glider pilots ASW19b , cirrus, etc
My advise would be a GROB ASTIR CS .. good handling .. indestructable Gel
coat, most have original 1977 gel. Roomy cockpit and good performance.

As a previous post stated Beware the dodgy trailer!! if its apig to rig
then you will not be getting it out very often! If possible look for a
Lift Top Trailer ...Komet .. Cobra ..Swan etc these are the best for ease
of rigging.

Hope this helps,

Paul

  #9  
Old May 5th 09, 11:52 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Discus 44
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Posts: 53
Default Beginner questions about buying a sailplane...



You pose a good topic for this group. There are going to be several
opinions offered so I will submit my commentary and hope this helps.
If you are serious about purchasing a glider even in a year or so, do
some research and focus in on a specific type of machine. Whether it
is glass, wood, or any other construction, find one to look at, sit
in, ask to help rig the machine. Ask lots of questions of an owner
who regularly fly's that particular model and type. Ask about the
sailplane log book and read the entries about maintenance and
depending on it's AW certificate type find out if there are entries
for each instrument installation, and modification. Purchasing a ship
with bad or sloppy paperwork can be difficult to rectify during an
annual inspection if you inspector goes strictly by the book. Check
to see if the hours are up to date and it has a current annual
inspection. Cheap prices can mean there are large maintenance items
pending. Having someone you pay to inspect and look for issues is
very cheap insurance to avoid potential problems to repair later. If
you do find a good machine, it must have a good trailer and fittings.
Nothing makes a misery more than a poorly organized trailer. The
annual maintenance costs will vary with each machine, be prepared to
spend at least $1000 annually. You may not have to spend this much,
but i'd be suprised if you didn't. after all you will need a better
Vario, or a updated PDA or maybe a flight computer, a new main tire,
or tailwheel, Self rigging dolly and the list goes on and on...


Buy what you can have fun with and stay within your budget,

Hope this helps

TU
  #10  
Old May 6th 09, 12:42 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
ContestID67[_2_]
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Posts: 202
Default Beginner questions about buying a sailplane...

All good answers above.

My suggestion is to ask the seller to have you help them assemble the
glider. This will be telling. It will tell you if YOU will be able
to assemble the glider easily and two people can do it, or if it too
difficult and needs more than two people. It will also tell you how
good the trailer is. To understand the continum of easy to difficult,
help those in your club assemble their gliders. This happens often
for glass (once a flight), but not very often for non-glass (once a
year). Or bring along someone experienced who will give you a rating
1-10. That is a good idea anyway to spot things that you might note
(blinded by visions of a new glider).

Hidden expenses - Not many. Insurance (get a quote) and annual
inspection is obvious. Tape, polish, etc is cheap. What might be a
surprise? An instrument that isn't working. They can be expensive
but this happens surprisingly seldom. But how can you test when you
are on a buying trip and the glider is on the ground short of a test
flight? (unlike powered, you will almost never get a flight before
buying unless its a two place) Answer, you basically can't. So get
the seller to guarantee the instruments are good. Most sellers will
not have an issue with this.

Trailers - Someone told me that the first glider you will buy for the
fuselage and cockpit, and the second for the trailer. For the $10K
range, you will most likely not get a great trailer. The assembly
test above is key to seeing if the trailer is good enough for you. I
love my trailer and its a homebuilt! The only problem is that it is
heavier than the nicer fiberglass/aluminum trailers. How mechanical
are you? You might be able to take an iffy trailer and fix it up
(easier than fixing up an iffy glider's airframe). I went from a
trailer that was OK to rig to one that is really quite easy to rig by
adding a few innovations of my own.

Automatic control hook ups - For $10K you probably won't get this. I
have a DG-101 and it has hotellier. Not too bad. Again, a trial
assembly is useful. DG's are basically easy to rig and easy fly.

My $0.02.

Good Luck,
John DeRosa
http://aviation.derosaweb.net/dg101
 




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