Modification Issues

Following are observations and experiences of Standard Cirrus owners regarding the problems of legally modifying their gliders. These are offerred in hopes that others will look before they leap.

Modification Issues in the EU

I imported a Cirrus from Slovenia last year and one of the first things I wanted to do was replace the skid with a tailwheel, much safer for crosswind takeoffs with the bellyhook, but am not allowed to by EASA, the CAA or the BGA. This is because all mods have to be certified now and nobody has done this with the tailwheel. I've contacted Schempp (who just ignored me), Grob (who are sympathetic but aren't going to spend the thousands it will cost to get the mod certified) and the BGA technical people (J.Hammerton, who also isn't interested) and have not managed to get anywhere. Basically you cannot make a well known safety improvement because the powers that be refuse to accept years of experience over their own small minded power trip. If you were to make the mod then when you need a CofA next year you may find yourself with an expensive gate gaurdian.

What you can do is fit the tailskid with an embedded wheel as made by R.Littner. This is not as good as a tailwheel but is better than the skid, and he has EASA form 1 approval. Sorry for the bad news, if you live in Europe that is.

Daren Kershaw

Modification Issues Elsewhere

If your have words of wisdom to share, please contact Jim Hendrix.