Sail Off Inspection

complete hang glider strip down inspection with sail removed
T3 hang glider sail removed from frame for annual inspection

Also called an annual or “strip down” inspection. Manufacturers recommend this about every year, 100 hours, or 300 flights. I recommend it also after major structural damage or a lot of rough landings.

I always find things that need attention. There’s a reason that they recommend doing this even though the glider looks ok to you from the outside.

This inspection involves pulling the sail completely off the frame, inspecting the inside of the sail, and disassembling several parts to check for wear and damage.

Components inspected:

  • 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 address key maintenance items that are due on the same schedule as an inspection, which I can do at half the normal rate during the process:

  • new bottom side wires
  • new hang loop
  • VG service

damaged keel bolt on hang glider
hang loop fraying on glider
kingpost cap damaged from hang glider
corrosion inside kingpost of hang glider


or call David Kiesling 510-754-6842