Introduction to the ASG 32Mi
By Peter Kelly
You already know how to fly a glider. And, for sure, you certainly know the enjoyment you get from having 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.
I plan to fly this ship on the days that I want to fly, assuming the ship is available. 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. In any case, I will always be the PIC. Having flown mostly crew airplanes all of my life (about 25,000 hours) I typically now prefer to fly solo, 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. See notes below regarding sharing a flight with 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. 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. We take turns during the flight, and fly in a manner that does not require an engine start to save our lives.
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. 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 about sharing a flight with me, Peter.
I’ll always be responsible for the safe conduct of the flight. Or, to state it in terms of the FARs, I’ll always be the PIC. But aviation does have risks, and you always get a vote on the safe conduct of the flight. If you are not comfortable with my actions, then speak up clearly and voice your concerns. We fly for enjoyment. We don’t fly to scare each other. When flying, I am not there to try to impress you and you should certainly not be trying to impress me.
We’ll share the expense of the tow and the rental of the equipment. However, if you want a demo on the engine, there are additional costs, and I’ll be happy to demonstrate an engine start and short climb as long as we are in a safe position to do so. (Cost of engine ops is about $20 for 6 minutes (0.1 hours) of tach time, last I heard – but check with Noelle for details.) We’ll be taking turns flying, so it won’t be all my fault or all of your fault if we end up in a situation where we actually need to start the engine to get home, so we’ll share those engine ops costs.
I’ve found that flying in 20 minute increments is the most satisfying, and we’ll typically take turns doing the flying. We can each expect the other pilot to relinquish the controls every other 20 minutes, unless of course I’m not comfortable with our position. I may then usurp your turn at the controls. We’ll typically do a preflight together and review the cockpit setups. The main thing is, we have a safe and enjoyable flight.
Common footer for all ASG-32Mi Pages
Last Revised: 3/19/2017
Caveat: This page 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. Read (and adhere to) the Schleicher Flight Manual.