Hang glider repair and maintenance in Pacifica, CA
To order a glider or parts (Wills Wing or Moyes), see details on my other site, California Hang Gliding.
Very detailed maintenance, fast parts service, 10/10 would use again.
Dave is the go to person for all HG repairs. Very reliable, knowledgable and communicative, with several years of experience with gliders. Very reasonable rates.
Just wanted to say thank you one more time. I didn’t have much time to speak with you yesterday as I was itching to get into the air. I wanted to say the glider flew beautifully and I had a great time. Nice work.
– Dave Jacob
|Bottom side wires replacement||$80|
|Complete VG service||$130|
|Mylar LE inserts recondition||$120|
|Sail-off inspection + test flight||$350 Falcon, $400 others|
|New sail install + frame inspection + test flight||$350 Falcon, $400 others|
|Other work||By quote|
Multiple jobs on a given glider that can be done in the same session are billed at a lower rate.
See below for typical job details.
If you want to watch or “help”, I charge double. I only can do careful work on your glider when focused and at my own pace.
Bottom Side Wires Replacement
The bottom side wires are the most common periodic replacement item on every model of glider. Unlike any other wire on the glider, a bottom side wire break renders the glider totally uncontrollable and necessitates a parachute deployment. They can get damaged over time from hard landings, bad pack-up, exposure to salt water, abrasion, aerobatics, and repeated use.
Replacing these periodically is also a good practice because it’s an opportunity to check components in the control frame and xbar-LE areas that are often damaged or misassembled.
This job requires new nuts, a special punch (on most Wills Wing and Moyes gliders), and hardware must be reinstalled with the correct tension to allow the tangs to self-align. After replacement I set the glider up partially to verify correct alignment of all parts and load test the wires.
For gliders equipped with VG, a nice easy pull depends on several parts in the glider being as low-friction as possible. These parts wear, become dirty, need more lubrication, and are sometimes misassembled by someone previously doing work.
I replace the bottom VG rope (rope cost is extra) and check the pulleys condition and alignment, bearings condition, xbar-LE connections, noseplate connections, keel surface, basetube corner bracket, and cleat. As needed I lubricate the corner bracket bearing, keel, and xbar center bearing (T2/T3).
The upper VG rope, which goes along the keel, normally does not need replacing but can be replaced for an extra fee. The lower VG rope starts at a point inside the downtube and is good to replace periodically because of abrasion and dirt.
This involves pulling the sail completely off the frame, inspecting the inside of the sail, and disassembling several components to check for wear and damage.
Depending on the manufacturer, the official recommendations are to do this every year, 100 hours, or 300 flights. I recommend it also after major structural damage or a lot of rough landings.
- Bolts – bends, corrosion
- Safety Rings – bends
- Ball Lock Pins – sticking
- Washers – wear
- Frame Tubing – dents, bends
- Battens – shape
- Batten Tips – strength, wear
- Batten Strings – fraying, shrinkage
- Tip Wands – cracks
- Sprogs – free movement
- Lock Nuts – replace
- Flying Wires – kinks, broken strands, torn coating
- Wire Tangs – bends
- VG Ropes – fraying
- VG Pulleys/Bearings – rust, damage
- Other Ropes – fraying
- Aluminum Fittings – bends, crushing
- Sail – wear holes
After the inspection, if the glider appears airworthy I do a test flight at Funston.
An inspection is a good time to replace some key maintenance items at half the normal rate, such as:
- side wires
- VG service (see above section)
- hang loop
Manufacturer maintenance item recommendations:
Wills Wing – Every year or 300 flights replace bottom side wires, hang loop, VG rope.
Moyes – Every 6 months or 50 hours replace bottom side wires. Every year or 100 hours replace top side wires.
North Wing – Every year replace bottom side wires.
Aeros – Every year replace bottom side wires, hang loop, VG rope.
Icaro – Every year or 100 hours replace bottom side wires. Every 2 years replace all bottom wires.
Manufacturers suggest lubricating a few things periodically.
Based on the their recommendations and my experience, for any glider where applicable I recommend lubricating the keel, tip wands and receptacles, battens, VG bearing, and glider bag zipper. I use a few different lubricants depending on the location/material. This will keep everything moving the way it should during setup and flight and help parts last to avoid costly replacements.
New Sail Install
A new sail typically needs parts from the old sail transferred such as mylar leading edge inserts and transverse battens. The battens tension need adjusting and maybe the leading edge tension.
For my own safety when test flying and to ensure there won’t be a hidden problem for you with the new sail, I need to do an inspection of the frame and wires, making the rate the same as an inspection. If I have done an inspection recently and you haven’t beaten it up in the meantime, I can probably skip it and discount this rate.
This is a good time to replace some key maintenance items at half the normal rate, such as:
- side wires
- VG service (see above section)
- hang loop
- Mylar LE inserts recondition
Afterwards if the glider appears airworthy I do a test flight at Funston.
Mylar LE Inserts Recondition
Your leading edge sail depends on mylar inserts inside for a good airfoil shape. When the inserts become creased, your glider suffers in handling and predictable flying characteristics. The turn your glider has developed could be from this.
The creases are hard to prevent and can be caused by tight sail ties, racks, or folding the tips.
I remove the mylar inserts from your sail, use a careful application of heat that brings them back reasonably flat, and reinstall them.
Topless gliders with stiff carbon-kevlar leading edge inserts do not need this service.
I coordinate with a local professional who does a great job replacing entire panels. If it’s a small puncture in an area that is not in danger of tearing further, I apply sail tape appropriate for the material.
or call David Kiesling 510-754-6842