A week back on a clear day at Minden-Tahoe airport a Schweizer SGS 2-32 glider was parked peacefully in the sun. The glider had just enjoyed a few hours of soaring over the Sierra Nevada mountains giving a couple of tourists a wonderful ride over Lake Tahoe. What a day!
As she sat on the ramp reflecting on the good she’s brought to the world in the form of joyous rides over the lake another glider was being towed by her behind a truck. Just as the glider-in-tow rolled by the towbar failed and the moving glider came off the tow-bar and slid into the ground bouncing three times. The winglet struck the 2-32 in the rudder.
The damage was more than skin deep. It not only tore the fabric but it bent the spars that make up the frame. I don’t have any pictures of the metalwork, but we remade the spars (which was a riveting experience) and began putting new fabric over the repaired rudder.
Update: The frame repairs have been finished.
After repairing the frame, we prepared the fabric with multiple treatments, and then stretched it over the frame. After curing, we did a few more treatments, and then painted the fabric with a pearl white paint, and re-installed the repaired rudder on the 2-32. Behold the results:
And now, the 2-32 is back to doing what it does best, which is providing tourists, locals, and glider enthusiasts with the best aerial views of Carson Valley and the Tahoe Basin available.
All in all, a very satisfying conclusion to the 2-32’s rudder saga.