Can Hang Gliding be saved?

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Martin
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Re: Can Hang Gliding be saved?

Postby Martin » Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:14 am

tnankie wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:50 pm
One thought that did just strike me about the sport locally is that you could make friends with the gliderport at Hope, that might give you some towing (or do they winch?) and on-site storage options. Potentially no truck needed.
(Tom, simply for "sport" I'm not done sarcastically kicking this thread around. BTW, not trying to be an a-hole... ok... maybe I am....;-) )

Gliderport in Hope? Seriously? It didn't work the first time around when the towing operation was there.... back then hangs already sniveled it's too far to get to Woodside, another hours drive would be unthinkable. Besides, if the hangs have to drive that far they might as well join the Hope club and fly sailplanes (btw, if they want to fly sailplanes they should brush up on their German and learn some good old fashion military discipline).

To be fair, the winch operation at Hope did work in the sense it created a few students, provided a few tandems and did prove it could work in cooperation with the glider operation and airport administration (and believe me the cooperation alone is a real big thing). The problem with Hope is it may work as a flying site for the sailplane guys but it wont work at a reliable soaring site for Hangs. Too far from Vancouver, Too windy and too limiting for hangs to make contact with reliable soaring conditions (ask anybody who has arrived at Hope, low, your not likely going to get back up!)

The only hope for Hang Gliding in the Vancouver area is an Aerotow operation within a reasonable drive. Hanger and storage with conditions that could lead to some airtime. There may be a few locations where this could work but it won't happen... simply not enough dedicated pilots that could support the very expensive costs of running such an operation. Toss in Airspace and the ever increasing numbers of sniveling Fraser valley, "want to own land" owners, I doubt you could ever find a secure home that would not piss off somebody...

Like I said, hang gliding is hard, people are lazy. If your hang glider pilot, suck it up and quit sniveling and just do it. If your a hang pilot and can't get out to Woodside for at least 20-30 hours of airtime per year you should switch to paragliding or video games.

Can the sport be saved? nope and no one cares. I'm I going to quit one of the greatest experiences of my life? Not a chance! I will take airtime in my hang anytime over my bag any day. I will reserve (pun intended... get it ?... "reserve".... ) paragliding for the hike and fly and for the times my air yacht is moored in Mansfield awaiting my next epic cross country.

Comrade Martin

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the other martin
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Re: Can Hang Gliding be saved?

Postby the other martin » Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:28 pm

It's raining outside and I have time on my hands. I figure I can throw in my opinion. Comrade Martin is hitting the nail on the head time and time again. If he hits the nail on the head one more time he can get signed off as a journeyman carpenter. I know I am retired and treat flying like a job. I am out pretty much every flyable day. Either Woodside or Bridal. Those are the two most consistent and easiest sites to fly in British Columbia. I love the sport of paragliding. I come from a hang gliding background however. If you want to save hang gliding I recommend you come out and fly. Period. It isn't complicated. There are enough pilots top landing who can drive your vehicle down for you. There are enough pilots around to help you hang check and wire assist. I seldom see hang glider pilots at Woodside. Rarely on a week day and seldom on the weekends. If you want to save hang gliding don't talk about it. Just do it. I think Nike got that slogan. All the other discussions are meaningless. You have a guaranteed launch site. You have a guaranteed landing field. Come out and fill in the middle bit.

I just ordered a new paraglider for the 2019 season. I would like to thank the working class for paying taxes. Those taxes go towards my pension. Keep up the good work.

Merry Christmas to all and on that note....good night.

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Re: Can Hang Gliding be saved?

Postby Randor » Sat Dec 22, 2018 1:42 pm

Hey Les...we have had a few show up from the Island over the years...keep sending them...If they are serious we will teach them...Lots of interest for 2019 as we are certifying new keen instructors to pick up the flag!! Hang Gliding is still alive and well and growing in Lumby...RauckOn ...Randy


....
silentflight wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:00 am
Complex question ,easy answer , Yes . I still get many inquiries every year as to where to get hang gliding lessons. The thing is the only thing I can do is refer them to Randy's operation in Lumby ( any takers Randy ?)
What it really comes down to is hang gliding instructor are far and few between. Why ? there is simply no money in it . You need a full time job to support yourself , and the instructional job is just a hobby business. ( especially in the lower mainland where the cost of living is so high )

After all when it comes right down to it how many have ever been able to make hang gliding instruction a full time occupation in Canada?
Looking at the number of paraglider instructors we have in Canada is suspect that many are not actively instructing . For most it is a hobby business and we are left with a few that manage to support themselves ,while possibly sacrificing a preferred lifestyle for the love of the sport.

If you look at rigid wing hang gliders ,well that's a pretty niche market . Not many are willing to spend in excess of $25,000 for a hang glider,and yet this market still exists. Will it go away, not likely . Will hang gliding go away , pretty much the same answer ,it will always exist

For people who fly hang gliders ,convenience does not exist in their vocabulary . We fly them simply because we are willing to put up with their encumbrances for the performance.

I don't agree with Tom's comment about the cost . Quality used entry level hang gliders are very inexpensive ,and unlike paragliders will last for many more years without losing performance.

Maybe a few of us older pilots will consider instructing hang gliding as a hobby business when we retire . ( if we don't mind risking our retirement savings in a lawsuit )

Awe hell ,were doomed :) Les
Randy Rauck
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Freedom Flight Park
Lumby BC
www.FreedomFlightPark.com
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BeBOLD... but dont be to stupid!

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pecofly
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Re: Can Hang Gliding be saved?

Postby pecofly » Fri Dec 28, 2018 9:12 am

Right on Randy!!
Someone has to keep it going
Good on you man for being that guy !
I know my post for my part sounded a bit negative but that's my reality with screwed up shoulder and all (not from hg )
Bottom line both HG and PG are awesome sports for those of us who are looking for a little bit more out of life than just what the human pack does.
Being in an environment that very few of us ever dare to explore and seeing the world from a vantage point of an eagle and feeling the warm currents lifting us to incredible heights.
How is it that out of 35 million people in Canada that barely a readable fraction of us desire this?
How can HG be saved?
IMHO
Keep the equipment as cheap and as simple in design as possible .
Equipment that practically flies itself in the beginner stages so as to take the scary parts of launching and landing down to a level that doesn't deter someone from wanting to even try it out.
Beginners don't need any level of performance.
They just need to feel safe
That's the difference between PG and HG in my mind
A beginner PG can learn and feel the wing flying and supporting him even before their feet ever leave the ground
Not so easy in a HG
The biggest safety factor in teaching a student to fly HG I believe is flying tandem with a good instructor
Getting a feel and trust of a hg in the air and knowing what it feels like well before leaving the ground
Coupled with plenty of theory and tons of ground handling up to the point of self launching and landing.
This simply put is a major commitment from the get go.
So having a glider design that is relatively inexpensive and " super easy " and safe to fly.
In wind surfing we saw a huge drop in people learning the sport because in my opinion, the companies spent more time and $ developing faster and more complex equipment that made it increasingly harder for a beginner to get the concept and many would simply dropout. The beginner didn't have that beginner place to learn from to get comfortable and feel safe
To keep the sport alive?
The key again in my mind is simply, " Inexpensive and Super easy to learn" equipment.
That comes back to the manufacturer.
Good schools with easy access to equipment and great instructors like Randy and his crew
More positive media to the general public on the wonders of our sport
That is up to the manufacturers as well.
Anyways, Blah Blah Blah
Happy New Years to all
PeteR

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Ihor
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Re: Can Hang Gliding be saved?

Postby Ihor » Fri Dec 28, 2018 3:04 pm

Back around 1980 I took some hg lessons from TriFly on Main Street in Vancouver. A few classes in the the shop, and a few on a training hill in Abbotsford (Mr. Henry's back yard now I hear). The next step after that was buy one then fly Vedder.

The problem for me was not the money ($1400 new, I think). After all I was sleeping in my van in the west end and pissing into a jerry can. What more could you need? Life was good.

The problem was where to put the hg beast that was safe without any permanent structure over my head. So I dropped the whole idea. I took up drinking instead which probably would have gotten me my hg certification right there anyways.

Some, but not all of course, have managed to dance the hand glider (sic - I love that term) two step life by storing the monster near the LZ or such - enter, for example, Aerial Adventures (Mark Tullock in Langley) and Freedom Flight Park (Randy Rauch in Lumby). Or they got divorced. Keeping the hg out of sight at home seemed to be key. If you couldn't manage that then you got yourself a good dog for companionship and hoped your liver would hold out.


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Re: Can Hang Gliding be saved?

Postby the other martin » Sat Dec 29, 2018 8:22 am

My Ford Econoline had Wart Hog Farm painted on the side using rustoleum paint. Long story involving Brazilian monkey weed. I quit drinking in 81 after quitting my job and getting a divorce. I think hang gliding and paragliding are worse addictions but at least I remember the next day what actually happened. I am one step above living in a van and loving it. Ev still seems to want to hang around with me so life is good.

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Re: Can Hang Gliding be saved?

Postby silentflight » Sat Dec 29, 2018 7:13 pm

Let's put this into perspective .Lets draw a parallel on the storage issue for hang gliders . Look at how many kayaks you see being transported on the roofs of vehicles. They can be seen on anything from F-350 Ford pickups to smart cars . Most kayaks are 5 meters long ( a meter short of a hang glider ) but much wider.

I would bet that there are more kayakers in Canada than all of us HG/PGer's combined. Storage and transportation obviously is not an issue for these people.

And for the rest of those that wanted to take up kayaking ,but found it too inconvenient , probably said " I'm going to take up swimming instead" :) :) :)

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Re: Can Hang Gliding be saved?

Postby wazungy » Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:33 am

Peco... I disagree,

Beginner hang glider models do fly themselves. The pilot does not have to hold the control bar while in trim flight. The glider will fly itself.

"A beginner PG can learn and feel the wing flying and supporting him even before their feet ever leave the ground
Not so easy in a HG"
and
"Keep the equipment as cheap and as simple in design as possible .
Equipment that practically flies itself in the beginner stages so as to take the scary parts of launching and landing down to a level that doesn't deter someone from wanting to even try it out."

If anything, beginner gliders have become safer since I started flying in early 80's. The model I learned on would drop out of the sky with little notice when stalled. Current beginner models are harder to stall unintentionally (they tend to go mushy well before stall, lots of warning ). As for ease of launching? For a proper footlaunch on a gentle slope (I would consider woodside to be just a little steeper than gentle) the wing is definitely flying and supporting most of the pilot weight while the pilot's feet are still on the ground running. Such a launch is a gradual progression from having the pilot supporting the full weight of himself and the glider to having the glider supporting the full weight of itself and the pilot.

Yes, it is WAY easier to abort a launch with a PG. Hangies have to commit 110% to their launches, probably makes them a bit scarier.

Ihor. The storage problem is something I have had issue with in the past but it was not an insurmountable one.
A few years at a farmer's barn, dad's garage, on my balcony (Really bad for the glider bag !!!), a friend's place....

as for kayaks... they can be stored outside, hang gliders... not so much.
Do not confuse the number of people who have a storage spot somewhere for a kayak, own one and have a car rack to carry it with to the number of people who own hang gliders. I would guess that the latter is far far fewer and hence the reason why you do not see so many gliders on roof racks. The reason you see more kayaks is not a storage issue. There are just far more kayakers (or people who think they can).

I came across another internet news story of a U.S. tourist almost falling from a tandem flight somewhere in europe. I am not certain if this is the same one I saw a few weeks ago on the TV news,.. if it is the same one it is resurfacing for some reason...
I point out again that the only time hang gliding (or maybe even paragliding) gets widespread attention is when something goes terribly wrong and it is caught on video.

There are thousands of perfectly fine flights recorded on youtube for the masses to view, but the public in general do not watch hang gliding videos,.. unless someone falls out of the sky or such. Why is that?

How can we make the sport of more interest to the general public?

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Re: Can Hang Gliding be saved?

Postby pecofly » Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:48 pm

"Wazungy"
" How can we make the sport of more interest to the general public"

I guess it boils down to the manufacturers and how much they want to sell their product.
Windsurfing kept strong for quite a while by upselling the next latest,fastest and greatest inovations to people already involved in the sport and as I saw it, they kind of forgot about the beginner, because perhaps it was easier to sell a product to someone already keen and involved ?
Anyways, ( just using windsurfing as an example here ) it wasn't long before the only windsurfers you would ever see on the lake were the ones that were highly experienced and beginners " no more ".
This is where I believe the manufacturers need to step up and really aid its industry by motivating folks to want instruct and making it somehow $viable
There in, at least to me , lies the crux of the matter and then when you add to that, negative press,, well its a recipe for disinterest
" Bad Press and too hard to find instructional facilities "
Maybe some hang gliding meets with a public invitation to watch the excitement of hanggliding launches and landings and aerobatics and what have you.
I always loved flying HG since 1974 - 2009 until I permanently wrecked my shoulder (working ) and no longer had the confidence in being able to deal with a harder than usual landing, hence, over to the other side. And happy to still fly even more than I ever would have been able to with hang gliding ( logistics ) I can hike any mountain I want with my gear and yep, I used to do it with a HG too but,,,,,,,,,that was a long time ago. And the gliders were lighter in the beginning (:
Again just to help keep the conversation and so the sport alive,
I really would hate to see it phase out
Had some really great memories with Hang gliding
PeteR
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Re: Can Hang Gliding be saved?

Postby silentflight » Sat Jan 05, 2019 8:36 pm

Nice picture Pete. Scareomeous ? ( Cawston ) Brings back memories of the mid to late seventies where literally 50 maybe 80 HG pilots would show up from all over for a long weekend.

It's popularity came from the fact it was very easy to soar there ( usually in high winds )

Often pilots would have trouble getting down and have to fly 12 to 16 km south to get out of the lift. I remember Chuck Balla top landing ( we actually grabbed his flying wires as he crabbed low past launch ) after spending over an hour trying to get down .

I remember watching Peter Mitchell on the lee side of the mountain on the other side of the valley parked in one spot but climbing like crazy (possible wave ?) He finally gave up and flew about 12 km south to get down.

Witnessed few gliders backing up into the landing area in 50 to 60 km winds. And then there was this snot nosed kid driving a Volkswagen beetle sideways around every corner going up the mountain with his Phoenix 8 on the roof .
A windy and wild place aptly nicknamed Scareomeous

In the evening the local bar was inundated with hang glider pilots. There were so many of us the bar manager put a sheet of plywood over the pool table , as we had taken up all the other tables .

One off my most funny memorable flights at Cawston was when Chris Cameron ( now Dr. Cameron ) attempted to launch in a downwind on his Mueller standard in the early morning. Chris ran and ran and ran and disappeared from view , followed by a loud thump .

Chris staggered up the hill ,face covered in dirt ,torn jeans looking a little worse for wear and proclaimed " I just broke every f***ing tube in my kite. " Well almost . . .. . when he rebuilt his glider the kingpost was still usable . :D

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Re: Can Hang Gliding be saved?

Postby pecofly » Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:50 pm

Yes Scarameous.
Good name
I remember those flyins very well and my first soaring flight in my 18' standard Muller kite in 1975 for over 2 hours!
Those were fun days and yep also a few days backing into the the LZ in 60 or more km winds.
Ray Galan and I got driven up and dropped off at the top of Fairview at least another 1000 ' higher than upper launch is now and ended Hiking with our wings back down to upper launch since it was simply too flat to get out of there safely.
I remember also you guys grabbing the guys wires so he could get out of the air
seems around 1977-78 or so?
Pete Jackson was I believe the guy with the Phoenix and VW bug
I did almost 18 years tandems from Cawston and Kobau as well
Great hang gliding memories.
Yepper , got many stories with some pretty interesting scenarios
Cheers
PeteR

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Martin
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Re: Can Hang Gliding be saved?

Postby Martin » Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:42 pm

Typical Hang Glider pilots, half demented, wallowing around in the foggy olden days.... everything all blurry and hard to recall, as if looking through the dozen empty "stubby's" left sitting on the table at bar after another night of old school death and glory stories....

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Just saying :wink:

Comrade Martin
Last edited by Martin on Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:45 pm, edited 3 times in total.

silentflight
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Re: Can Hang Gliding be saved?

Postby silentflight » Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:21 am

Comrade Martin . I'll have you know ,I'm fully demented . And quite comfortable with it. . . . . . . . . now where's my Baileys ? Les

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Re: Can Hang Gliding be saved?

Postby silentflight » Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:40 am

P.S. I think it was your VW that I almost had a head on collision with in my 69 Ford Econoline van ( Red shag carpet throughout, bed in the back ) . I was driving up to launch at Cawston when this grey VW bettle with a rack on it came flying around the corner in a 4 wheel drift ,coming down the hill.
The driver just about lost it.He was in my lane so I had no choice to pass to the left of him ( kinda like the way the Britt's drive )
Wasn't you was it? :evil: :evil: :hg

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Nikolai
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Re: Can Hang Gliding be saved?

Postby Nikolai » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:23 pm

Salvation is there for those who believe. And for the rest of us, this thread is a hilarious read! Thanks guys! This stuff is almost publishable!!

Bill N.


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