Introduction to the ASG 32Mi
By Peter Kelly
You already know how to fly a glider. And, for sure, you certainly know the enjoyment of a good flight, but what would it be like to fly the latest and greatest glider? Well, wonder no longer! Just as I have done, you too now have the opportunity to experience that flight here at Williams. This is a dream machine. As many of you may know, I have been flying motor gliders since 1998, and have extensive experience in both the DG800 and the Schleicher ASH26E. Although the 32 has the same basic rotary engine that was in my 26E, this version is improved enough to almost call it a different engine. I am publishing these pages so that pilots will have some info about this new resource, the ASG32Mi, now available at WSC.
As with every reward, there is some effort required in order to have the best experience. The good news is – it will not require extraordinary effort on your part. I have created these pages as an introduction to the ship. You should be familiar with how a glider is equipped before you strap in for your first flight in any glider. Read these pages and review the manual as needed (see Noelle for a manual). If you are flying with me, I know it’s not because of my charming personality, and I recognize that you are aboard to simply enjoy flying this fine machine. You don’t need to be a high time pilot to fly the ASG32. These pages will help you to become familiar with what you will see in the cockpit and provide some insightful info. If you can fly an ASK21, then you can easily handle this ship – in fact it is even easier to fly than a K-21, if that is even imaginable to you. You simply need to become familiar with the equipment, and apply the skills you’ve already acquired.
Personally, when preparing to fly a glider I’ve never flown before, I find it a bit overwhelming to only have a few minutes of cockpit time, just before launch. You may have experienced something like that already. On your first flight in this ship, even though there is a qualified pilot in the front/ back seat, you may feel uncomfortable while at the controls of this ship even from 1,500 feet and higher. Sure, you have located the altimeter and airspeed, and you can easily maintain a good position on tow, but it is a case of sensory overload. It’s easy to fly. There’s no challenge to flying the 32 on tow. There are just way too many new things (distractions) within view. You want to look around the cockpit; see where everything is; see the effects of the flaps, etc. No one wants to appear distracted while controlling the ship on the first flight in a new aircraft, no matter how easy it is to fly.
I have created two other pages, besides this one, to familiarize you with the 32Mi. See the footer at the bottom of this page. One page will be for the glider (with no references to use of the motor) and the other page will be primarily about motor operations, thus supplementing the section on glider ops. You should have some familiarity with the motor operation, if for no other reason than to just learn something new. I’m sure you will find the engine ops to be fascinating. Here are other pages that describe the ASG32Mi that you should/ may also visit:
- The Schleicher web page: http://www.alexander-schleicher.de/en/
- The Schleicher page for the ASG-32: http://www.alexander-schleicher.de/en/flugzeuge/asg-32-mi/
- The WSC web page. The Schleicher Dealer here in the USA: http://www.williamssoaring.com/schleicher.html
Notes to pilots who would like to share a flight with me (Peter).
I plan to fly this ship on the days that I want to fly, assuming the ship’s available. I have no need to have others help me to pay the cost of the rental, but I’m sure that Rex would appreciate it if you would make a contribution, such as the cost of the tow, but that’s about it. Although it is a two-seater, I’m just renting the ship. I’m not in the ride business, and, not being a CFIG, I don’t do instruction flights. But that said, it is fun to fly with others, but not always. Having a co-pilot is fun when conditions are right for this ship. Having a co-pilot is NOT fun when soaring conditions are marginal.
Marginal soaring conditions defined: If it is the kind of day which may require the use of the motor to get home, or the use of the motor to do a relight just to stay in the air longer, then I would strongly prefer not to have anyone else on board. those are “marginal” soaring conditions. I don’t enjoy getting so low that I may need to take the controls myself, or when low enough to cause me concern and feel the need to coach the co-pilot towards better lift, just to feel more comfortable with our altitude.
I certainly cannot allow the co-pilot to fly while I am in the “struggling mode”, trying as best I can to gain a bit more altitude, just so I can maneuver to a safe place for a possible engine start. If I am in crisis, the co-pilot will not be enjoying the flight at all. Who wants to be aboard when the other pilot is at risk of a landout. Landouts may damage the ship, and may even damage my body (and yours, if you are aboard). No, I don’t need the added worry of the safety of another pilot. If I don’t think it’s the kind of day that will be an “easy day”, then I’d rather fly solo, if at all.
Rex has asked me to invite various pilots to ride along with me (and it is getting to be a lengthy list), but since I only want to fly dual on days when conditions are very good, there may not be very many opportunities for me to invite others to fly – given the concerns I’ve noted above.
In any case, if we do fly together, you will be the co-pilot, and I will always be the PIC, that is, I’ll always be responsible for the safe conduct of the flight. But, you get a vote on everything while we are in the air. Safe conduct of the flight is paramount. I don’t want to damage the equipment, and I certainly don’t want to endanger you or myself. We must always communicate, and you need to voice any safety concerns you may have. Having flown mostly crew airplanes all of my life (about 25,000 hours) I typically now prefer to fly solo if soaring conditions are not great, but, since the only way to fly safely is to keep learning (and relearning things that I think I used to know) flying with a copilot is still enjoyable to me.
You will see on the Engine Ops Pages that I do not count on the engine to save me from crashing in an unlandable area. The engine is only for avoiding an aero retrieve. I typically do not attempt an inflight start unless I am well within glide distance of a landable field, and have enough altitude to stow the engine if it fails to start – before entering the landing pattern. Before takeoff, both cockpits are set up with the same parameters. Glide to goal altitude = 1,000 ft over the goal, MC is set at 2.0. I always allow the co-pilot some stick time, and we will fly in a manner that should NOT require an engine start to get home. If you have some familiarity with the avionics, the flight will be more enjoyable – see the sub-pages.
If you are flying, I may request that you relinquish the stick and I will take the controls – if I am concerned about our position or altitude. Don’t be offended if that happens, I may just be planning much further ahead than you are, considering both my motor glider experience and the fact that I don’t want to risk a land out.
We’ll typically do a preflight together and review the cockpit setups. The main thing is, our goal is to have a safe and enjoyable flight.
Common footer for all of my ASG-32Mi Pages
Last Revised: 5/24/2017
Caveat: This page is mostly my personal opinion and is not intended to be instructional in nature. Some of my info and techniques may not be correct and may even be in conflict with proper procedure, so due diligence is required by you. FAR’s take precedence, as does the Schleicher Flight Manual.