Purchase of Lark Glider

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    • #6767
      Don GrilloDon Grillo

        This is my letter and recommendation to the Sky Soaring Board of Directors concerning the possible purchase of the Lark Glider that Sylvania Soaring in Beloit, WI. has for sale. I am posting this in the message forum since it concerns all members of the club and this topic was brought up at the monthly meeting.  Also note that an informal vote was taken to sell the SGS 1-34 to help finance the purchase of the Lark.


        Hello BOD,

        At today’s meeting it was discussed that Sylvania Soaring in Beloit was selling all their gliders, tow planes and equipment.  A committee was formed with me as chairman. Two other members, Larry Kase and Mark Mallamo were also chosen to be on the committee.  I contacted Steve at Sylvania and made arrangements to go out and look at the items he has for sale. One item that Larry Kase was interested in was the Lark two place glider.   Everyone had a good look at it and we asked many questions and also looked through the log books.  The Lark is in fairly good shape for as old as it is.

        After careful review and asking many questions, I can not recommend this glider for club use at Sky Soaring. My reasons are posted below.

        This glider is a complex sailplane.  It has flaps that operate in either a positive or negative position, spoilers, a partial retractable gear and trim tabs.  This will not be a glider for new student training or for solo students, nor will it be suitable  for low time glider pilots. Sylvania only used this glider for rated power pilots transitioning to gliders. It was always flown with an instructor, according to Steve at Sylvania. Most of our members at Sky Soaring are low time students. Our most experienced pilots at the club own and fly their own ships. I don’t see this glider getting much use at the club. And if low time pilots are allowed to fly this ship, I believe, it’s just a matter of time before an incident or accident happens.

        The glider empty weight is 900 lbs with a max weight of 1301. Useful load is 394 lbs. This is a very heavy glider compared to the club ships we have now.

        It has a good useful load and you would be able to get 2 heavy pilots in it however, I think our tow plane will have difficulty towing this very heavy glider off of our grass strip. Beloit tows off of pavement which makes for an easier roll.

        The tail is so heavy that one person can not pick it up. It requires either two people or a special dolly to rotate the glider.  This is going to make it difficult to spin the glider when positioning for tow or when mooring it at tie down.  This will discourage our older members from even taking it out to fly. They will prefer the lighter Krozno instead.

        Our golf carts may not be able to tow 900 pounds.

        One gotcha I noticed is that the spoiler and flap handles are very close together. I foresee a low time pilot pulls the spoilers all the way out then uses the flap handle thinking it is the spoiler handle. He lands short in the farmers field.

        My conclusion is:  To big and heavy. To complex for students and low time pilots. Not a good fit for Sky Soaring and it’s members.

        My pictures in a separate email.

        — Don Grillo Sky Soaring Membership Coordinator Mobile: 630.303.2871

      • #6769

          <div class=”ydpa2964cbbyahoo-style-wrap”>
          <div dir=”ltr” data-setdir=”false”>
          <div dir=”ltr” data-setdir=”false”>
          <p id=”ydp57c6548fp-10″ data-page=”6123″><span style=”font-size: small;”>Cracks were reportedly detected, located at stringers in the rear fuselage of a number of IS-28B2 sailplanes. The subsequent investigation attributed these cracks to induction of a pre-stress during the manufacturing process of the affected parts.</span></p>
          <p id=”ydp57c6548fp-11″ data-page=”6123″><span style=”font-size: small;”>This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to reduced structural strength, possibly resulting in a loss of structural integrity of the sailplane.</span></p>
          <p id=”ydp57c6548fp-12″ data-page=”6123″><span style=”font-size: small;”>To address this potentially unsafe condition, Aeroclubul Romaniei (AR) issued Service Bulletin (SB) SB-IS-28B2-AR-01 to provide inspection instructions. AR is currently developing modification(s) to provide a design solution for the affected sailplanes.</span></p>
          <p id=”ydp57c6548fp-13″ data-page=”6123″><span style=”font-size: small;”>For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires repetitive inspections of the structure of the rear fuselage and, depending on findings, accomplishment of applicable corrective action(s).</span></p>

          <h1 id=”ydpbb8f9185h-3″><span style=”font-size: small;”>SUMMARY:</span></h1>
          <p id=”ydpbb8f9185p-3″ data-page=”6123″><span style=”font-size: small;”>We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Aeroclubul Romaniei Model IS-28B2 gliders. This AD results from mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) issued by an aviation authority of another country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as cracks at stringers in the rear fuselage of several Model IS-28B2 gliders. We are issuing this AD to require actions to address the unsafe condition on these products.</span></p>

          <h2 id=”ydp1775d4d3h-12″></h2>
          <h2 id=”ydp1775d4d3h-12″></h2>
          <h2 id=”ydp1775d4d3h-12″>Costs of Compliance</h2>
          <p id=”ydp1775d4d3p-21″ data-page=”6123″>We estimate that this AD will affect 30 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 2 work-hours per product to comply with <span class=”ydp1775d4d3printed-page-wrapper ydp1775d4d3unprinted-element-wrapper”><span id=”ydp1775d4d3page-6124″ class=”ydp1775d4d3printed-page ydp1775d4d3unprinted-element ydp1775d4d3cj-fancy-tooltip ydp1775d4d3document-markup” data-page=”6124″ data-text=”Start Printed Page 6124″ data-tooltip-template=”#print-page-tooltip-template” data-tooltip-data=”{"page": 6124}”><span class=”ydp1775d4d3text”>Start Printed Page 6124</span></span></span>the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour.</p>
          <p id=”ydp1775d4d3p-22″ data-page=”6124″>Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $5,100, or $170 per product.</p>
          <p id=”ydp1775d4d3p-23″ data-page=”6124″>In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions would take about 15 work-hours and require parts costing $1,000, for a cost of $2,275 per product. We have no way of determining the number of products that may need these actions.</p>


        • #6770

            Why would we need the Lark? Stars and Stripes along with Pumpkin seem to get the most use.  Also, why sell the 1-34?  If it is little used then it appears that after Don’s review the Lark will be used less than the 1-34.  The only way the club should look at the Lark is if we get it at a firesale price of $1,000 or less. Let them out it up for sale and it will probably languish there for a year.  Do we need a limited use glider?  How much revenue is it projected to bring in?  If only a few members would be qualified to fly it then they can buy it with their personal funds.  Why should the “low time students” subsidize the apparent junk pile?  If the low timers will never fly it then they should not have to pay for it.
            My recommendation is for the club to get serious, train the students to fly all club gliders, and then decide if we buy more gliders.  The season is short here and most of the flying is done on weekends. Is another “new” glider worth the price to have it sit around and have the potential pilot liability issues when flown (as explained by Don)?

            Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

            • #6787
              Dennis BurkeDennis Burke

                To Rich W.
                I don’t think your assessment of the 2- place glider from Sylvania, is
                first, because the 1-34 glider 1-place, JUST CAME BACK ON LINE. Maybe you
                don’t know , but it was privately owned by club members, and came back
                available, THIS SPRING. So don’t say that members, low-time or high-time,
                would not get use of 1-34. I am planning to try & use 1-34, & similar with
                PW-5, barring other issues I have.

                Second, nobody can tell how “low-use” a Lark or Any Other 2-place would be.
                Have you soloed the Krosno yet? If not, do it.
                SSI does not have have the L-23 2-place anymore, so what’s your suggestion?
                How about some positive feedback with an alternative. And what does a short
                season have to do with anything?? Burke

                On Sun, Jul 21, 2019, 11:50 AM Sky Soaring

                • #6788
                  Karl LandlKarl Landl

                    This is a different topic. When I am sending an email to all the members why don’t I get a confirmation in my inbox that it actually went out? It used to do that! This is very frustrating not knowing. Like this morning I wanted to know if there will be an operation today but no response yet.

                    A frustrated member,

              • #6771
                Larry KaseLarry Kase

                  I would like to address some of the issues on the Lark purchase.
                  Training: The lark is used as a trainer by numerous operators in the US and Europe. Our club has previously operated 2 L13 gliders with exactly the same (complex) configuration.
                  With 45 years experience as an instructor, I have trouble understanding the idea that this aircraft is too complicated for students. I consider it more complex than the 2-33, but half as complex as a Cessna 150.
                  We may choose to give some presolo training in it but use the 2 2-33s and the 1-26 for student solos.
                  Weight: The Lark weighs 110 lbs more than the Krosno. The Krosno rides on the skid during takeoff. The Lark rides on wheels. The takeoff roll might be similar.
                  The Lark is only 21 lbs heavier than a Grob 103. If the Lark is too heavy for our club, we will have to get rid of any future plans for a Grob. Let’s find out with an inexpensive option instead of building a hangar for an expensive ship that is too heavy.

                  more than

                  Sent from my iPad

                • #6773
                  Dennis BurkeDennis Burke

                    (I needed a break from family med problems)…..i learned to fly in ’86 in the L-13 ( and 2-33’s, 2-32) that Ron R. had at his W.C.S. at 1C5…..I really enjoyed the L-13. They trained us in correct flap usage, I was ok with it. It seems that the fiberglass duals are ~100, to 140 lbs heavier than older aluminum gliders. The ask21 heavy, Pw-6 heavy….and probably too expensive anyway. A hot day in >800 lb craft might be difficult for the c182.

                  • #6789

                      I don’t think I am in a position to really comment on the wisdom of either pursuing or forgoing the purchase of this glider, but I wanted to raise a point in regards to the complexity of the Lark

                      While I think Don makes excellent points about the issues that purchasing a complex glider for the club would raise,  a glider like this is what we would ultimately need in order train low time pilots to reach a level of proficiency more akin to our private ship owners.  The use of any such glider by club members would need to be handled judiciously to ensure safety for everyone, and now may or may not be the right time to do it.  Thinking long term though, the purchase of a complex 2 seat glider may be something the club would want to consider at some point.

                      • #6791

                          Not an expert by any stretch but I question the wisdom of buying an other glider that is “ orphaned” in regards to product support etc.
                          I also wonder what the takeoff performance would be towing this glider with the 182 on a hot day with some humidity ( density altitude ) and a tail wind
                          Has anybody looked at performance charts.


                          Sent from my iPhone

                      • #6794
                        Tim PonsotTim Ponsot

                          I’ll go on record to agree with everything Logan has said. I don’t necessarily want to put myself in a position where I’m signing people off to fly single seat high performance or complex gliders with no firsthand information as to how they handle a high performance or complex glider.

                          • #6795
                            Art SilvermanArt Silverman

                              It handles and performs like the Krosno- big two place metal ship.  when it was flown at Sylvania, the commercial pilots never raised the landing gear.  Our 1-34 also has retractable landing gear and that has never been a problem for our private pilots.
                              The only major difference is that the lark has flaps.  Obviously that will take extra training, and we should limit who flies the Lark because of the flaps, but I don’t think the “Flaps” should be a make or breake issue.
                              The number one reason to purchase the Lark is to get another two place ship with a CG hook.

                              I have felt that we should start to replace our 2-33’s with two place trainers witch have a CG hook.Art

                              —–Original Message—–
                              From: Sky Soaring <webmaster@skysoaring.com>
                              To: Arthurttu

                              • #6796
                                Steven SnyderSteven Snyder


                                  I have flown a Lark and have 20 winch launches in it. I do not consider myself an expert but I do look forward to learning more about what it can do. I don’t see the retractable gear or the flaps as being an issue. It is simply part of the training.


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