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Thinking of buying used PW-5

 
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lonebeagle



Joined: 22 Feb 2005
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 10:01 pm    Post subject: Thinking of buying used PW-5 Reply with quote

I'm considering buying a used PW5. I like the idea of the World Class glider--I'm a low time pilot with no ambition of flying contests but would like to do some cross country later. I'm just a little concerned about whether the World Class Glider class will survive. Are new planes being produced and brought into the USA? I've heard mainly positive things about the PW5 from people that fly them. Is the PW5 in danger of turning into a plane that no one will want in a few years?

On another point, how hard is the PW-5 to rig solo? I was also thinking of a used Russia but with no dealer in the USA that is a very negative strike against it. But the Russia has a very active message board and you can see the problems encountered by owners. The PW5 doesn't seem to have any "community" online or anywhere else where someone can get information on the pros and cons of ownership.

Thanks in advance for any info you can offer.
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ptuckey
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Joined: 07 Aug 2004
Posts: 38
Location: Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2005 2:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to this board, lonebeagle.

We have some very active people working on keeping the World Class going strong. There have been some issues with some of the high performance moguls attempting to kill the class, but I am happy to say that it looks less and less like they are going to get their way. Although I can't give you a very definite prognosis for the long term outlook for the PW-5, I am fairly optimistic.

The best part of the World Class is the people. Although many of us compete our hardest while flying in contests, once we land for the day it is much like a big family. Everyone helps everyone else out, and we all enjoy the company of the other PW-5 drivers. I have found a much greater level of comraderie with the World Class than any other class (with the possible exception of the 1-26ers).

I have never rigged my PW-5 solo, but it would be fairly easy to create some sort of single handed rigging system. The only glider I have ever seen which is easier to rig than a PW-5 is a Russia, and there is not a huge difference between the two.

We are attempting to get an active discussion group going here, and the more people participating, the more valuable it will be. Thanks for being part of the solution.

Pat
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Pat Tuckey - I fly PW-5 N105PW "4K"
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pete cam



Joined: 08 Jan 2005
Posts: 1
Location: Darwin, Northern Australia

PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2005 10:45 am    Post subject: thinking of buying a PW5 Reply with quote

I bought my Pee Wee 2 years ago. I was a low time pilot and had only flew an L13 Blanik. It was a hard decision with lots of time weighing up the pros and cons. The PW5 is an absolute delight to fly. Very easy to convert from a 2 seater. It's modern, cheap, very easy to rig and a very tough little plane. You can also handle the plane on the gound by yourself, an absolute bonus if everyone else is busy. The challenge is always there to fly it better and who knows you may even break some world records, try doing that in a 30 year old glider that costs the same.
Go for it, cheers Pete (Australia)
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lonebeagle



Joined: 22 Feb 2005
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2005 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the feedback. It seems that the PW-5 is a very good plane for those of us who are looking for a fun, safe and decent performing sailplane. I owned a 1-26 once and I thought it was just great, but on those days when you needed some penetration to get through bad sink it was really frustrating to see that altimeter unwind after all of the hard work it took to get altitude. The PW-5 is clearly a much better performer than the 26.

How rugged and tough have you found your PW-5s to be? I've heard unsubstantiated stories that they weren't nailed together very well. How has your maintenance and repair experience been? Also, I heard that the one fatal PW-5 crash in the US involved a ground loop where the spar pivoted and struck the pilot's head. Is this true? How are the two spars joined together?
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ptuckey
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Joined: 07 Aug 2004
Posts: 38
Location: Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My experience has been that the PW-5 is about as rugged as an average glass glider. It will not withstand the amount of abuse a 1-26 will, but it is not as delicate as some of the nay-sayers would have you believe, either.

The fatal crash I know about involved the only home-built PW-5 to date. Although it is true that the wing spar did pivot into the cockpit to cause the fatal injuries to the pilot, the wing attachment system on this particular PW-5 bears no resemblance whatsoever to any production PW-5 ever built. Unfortunately, some people have leapt to the unwarranted conclusion that since this pilot was killed by the wing spar moving, there is a problem with the way the PW-5 wing spars are put together.

Indeed, in Slovakia we saw a PW-5 launched with one of the wing spar pins not installed correctly. The fact that the pilot of this glider was able to return to the field unhurt speaks well of the durability of the design.

Pat
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lonebeagle



Joined: 22 Feb 2005
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 3:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy Thanks for the reply. I took a look at the assembly manual for the PW-5 (the Orange Co Soaring Assoc has it online), and I'm certain that the way the wing spars are attached that there is no way for the spar to pivot and hit the pilot. And it looks to be impossible for the left spar to hit the pilot since it is behind the right spar. In the Nicks accident (according to the NTSB report) he took off his left wing.

I looked up the other 4 PW-5 accidents and there was one in which the right wing was ripped off and some very serious accidents but all the pilots survived. I also looked at the New Zealand CAA site where there were several PW-5 crashes. Even though some were quite serious and there was one which took off a wing (I think), there were no fatalities.

The PW-5 seems to be a very safe glider and certainly no less safe than any other glass ship out there. I'm not at all worried about the safety factor of this ship.

I just looked at a Russia today and was impressed--but I don't want a retractable gear since there just are too many hassles with it. This plane I looked at was landed gear up once and the Russia's retractable gear system and tires take a lot of fiddling and tuning to keep working properly.

So I'm leaning towards the PW-5 in spite of all of the garbage that gets thrown at it from the lurkers at rec.aviation.soaring! I don't know what's wrong with so many glider pilots! Flying gliders is 100% for fun and sport--if you want to get somewhere fly a Cessna which will beat any glider 99.99% of the time. I spoke to the president of one of the clubs down in Texas which has several PW-5s and he said that the PW's are quite rugged and reliable. They are very happy with them so I think that answers my questions about reliability.
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john downing



Joined: 13 Aug 2004
Posts: 4
Location: Anaheim, Ca.

PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2005 7:53 pm    Post subject: PW5 Reply with quote

Greetings Lonebeagle,
When I saw you took a look at the OCSA PW5 I had to jump in. I was the first owner of that glider and sold it to OCSA. I now own a B-1 PW5 and have it currently at Elsinore. May move it to Warner soon.

If you would like to see one rigged send me an email and we can get together. I use a Udo-made wing dolly and have almost always assembled solo. Can do it in 30-35 minutes and most of that time is spent working in the cockpit!

Having been a dealer for the B-1 version I have had the opportunity to be at least superficially involved in at least two accidents. In both cases the pilot walked away from the aircraft. In one instance the glider crashed into tall pine trees, was totalled, and the pilot told me personally he: "Had a little whiplash." I have pictures. In the other, the pilot flew into a phone cable during an off-field landing. The wing was damaged severly but the gentleman who repaired the wing and attachments commented to me about how well the glider had been built. Thanks Pat for explaining the accident with the homebuilt PW5.

So if you would like to get together email me directly with your phone number: johnd@downingsailplanes.com
and we can get together.

John Downing
1PD
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lonebeagle



Joined: 22 Feb 2005
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy Well I took the plunge and bought PW-5 17.11.002 from a club up in Washington. I haven't flown it yet since it's been a while since I've piloted a glider. I went up with an instructor and now I'm current again. So far I really like the PW and aside from some normal wear my PW-5 seems to be in great shape.

This ship made a few landings in rocky conditions judging by the rock chips on its belly. The lip in front of the main wheel has a deep gouge in it from rock strikes. Any suggestions on repair methods? Does it need to be re-glassed or can I just fill it with some Superfil (Stits epoxy filler)?

Once I get a chute I'll be ready to take her up. I can't wait.
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ptuckey
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Joined: 07 Aug 2004
Posts: 38
Location: Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lonebeagle,

Congratulations on your new ship! You will love it.

I don't really know enough about the subject to comment on your repair situation; perhaps someone with some more expertise could chime in.

Pat
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lonebeagle



Joined: 22 Feb 2005
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pat:
I was wondering what people do about the "finite life" items? The manual calls them rudder "tension members"--do they mean rudder cables? They also specify replacing the release "tension members".

Then in the back of the manual it says that it is impossible to replace the rudder and release mechanism tension members without affecting the structure of the glider!

How difficult is it to replace these cables? My glider has less than 400 hours but it is over 6 years old--the cables look like new. Is everyone else replacing these items? How much does it cost for an A&P to change them out? Do the cable guide sleeves also have to be replaced (this would mean cutting into the fuselage big time)?

I don't like the idea of spending a lot of money every six years to replace perfectly good cables.
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ptuckey
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Joined: 07 Aug 2004
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Location: Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

lonebeagle,

I believe that when the Poles say 'tension members,' they mean springs. No one that I am aware of has replaced the rudder cables, but many pilots have replaced the rudder tensioning springs with weaker springs. The original springs have so much tension that they interfere with the control feel of the rudder. This does not bother some pilots at all, but at least one pilot I know of flys with no rudder springs at all.

The tow releases are a different issue. The Tost manual for the releases specifies a service life on the releases before they are sent back to Tost for overhaul. The A&P who does my inspections says that since my glider is not used commercially, the releases do not need overhaul, but your situation may be different. If you do need the releases overhauled, the usual proceedure is to get two recently overhauled releases, and exchange them for the ones on you glider.

Pat
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lonebeagle



Joined: 22 Feb 2005
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pat:
I hope you're right about "tension members" being springs because in section 2.3 of the maintenance manual the items identified in the drawings as "tension members" all look like cables (rudder, tow release, wheel brake). And I don't know what they mean in section 8.4 about replacing these parts. Maybe something just got goofed up in translation.

I'm aware of the Tost tow hook mechanism overhaul requirements. It doesn't make sense to replace cables that frequently--I sent an email to Charles Yeates asking if there is a kit for these finite life items. I'll see what he says.

Thanks
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pinf



Joined: 10 Aug 2004
Posts: 34
Location: Knoxville, TN

PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did that 6-year change of the tension members (shock absorber donuts on the wheel, tow cables, rudder cables, brake cable) on mine since I had transfered it to Standard Certificate from the original Experimental category. You can purchase a kit from Charles Yeates, the dealer for North America (yeatesc@ns.sympatico.ca). Then the process is tedious, but quite straight forward, at least for the A&P I worked with who had all the tools and techniques. There is nothing in this change that affects the structure of the ship at all.
François
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lonebeagle



Joined: 22 Feb 2005
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2005 6:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Francois:
Thank's for the imformation. I guess the maintenance manual meant that the replacement of the cables should be done by a qualified mechanic. About how many hours did your mechanic need to change all of the components?
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PJ



Joined: 12 Aug 2004
Posts: 10
Location: SOSA Gliding Club - ON - Canada

PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 9:30 pm    Post subject: Thinking of buying used PW-5 Reply with quote

Hi lonebeagle,
Congratulations on your very smart decision. Welcome to the family.
I had the 6-year kit installed in my older PW-5 as well, which I got from Charles Yeates.
Be sure to ask to have ALL LITTLE PARTS needed to do the job included as well. There are little clamps that go around the cables that in my kit were missing. My mechanic couldn't do the job at first.
Be prepared to spend many long hours by yourself up there now. Get used to the relieve system. It works very well. You'll notice that you'll progress very quickly, and will be able to hang on to thermals like never before. This glider helps you like very few others do. Don't take chances with dehydration, always take lots of water with you, whether or not you think you'll stay long, you will! At least 1 litter for every 3 hours.
Have fun!
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Jaime Pinto
SOSA Gliding Club
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