Can Hang Gliding be saved?

Wide open primary club forum. All users can read messages, but only registered forum users can post.
User avatar
pep
Club Director
Club Director
Posts: 98
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:01 am
Location: North Vancouver

Can Hang Gliding be saved?

Postby pep » Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:48 am

Interesting Podcast Episode put out by Cloudbase Mayhem:
Episode Info: Hang gliding is arguably the first "extreme sport" in human history and it literally changed the world. Drawing inspiration from Leonardo Davinci, Otto Lillienthal built the first foot-launched hang gliders in the late 1800's. His wings inspired Octave Chanute and his assistants to make thousands of flights at the turn of the last century on the shores of lake Michigan which led to the Wright Brothers' remarkable inventions- and humans take to the skies. Orville and Wilbur Wright's flights in the early 1900's are still hard to wrap your head around. Imagine picking up a 150 pound glider built out of bamboo and mizzen cloth in 30 miles per hour of wind and actually soaring!
This is something we always talk about but I dont see much effort done by current HG pilots to help reverse this "desapearing" tendency we have... I think we need to start a discussion on what can each one do to help get HG back if possible.

Here is the link to the podcast: https://app.stitcher.com/splayer/f/66786/57476256
Pedro Pedersen ( :hg )
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward,
for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”
Leonardo da Vinci

tnankie
Former Director
Former Director
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2014 8:42 pm
Location: North Vancouver

Re: Can Hang Gliding be saved?

Postby tnankie » Fri Nov 30, 2018 11:14 am

Ok, good topic.

First question should be, should hang gliding be saved? You need to make a case for it. What does it offer?

Secondly what are you saving it from, a gentle slide into a twilight of obscurity?

Having said all of the above I believe there are two major barriers to hang gliding, cost of entry and logistics.

How you solve those I really don't know.
Tom Dupree
:pg Advance Iota (Purple, white and lime green)

my user name @ gmail . com

User avatar
pecofly
Posts: 402
Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2006 5:44 pm
Location: okanagan falls bc
Contact:

Re: Can Hang Gliding be saved?

Postby pecofly » Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:18 am

Hang gliding to be saved? Hmmmm . Perhaps if we redesign it with say, no aluminum frame and build it so it fits easily into a pack and can be easily carried up a mountain?
Being a HG pilot since 1974 - 2009 , I well understand the joys of flying one but, since I began paragliding in 2009, I have never looked back and wished I could still fly Hang gliders ( never , ever thought I would say that, )
Truth for me is that the flying paragliders is so much easier to actually fly almost whenever I want to if the skies are good.
No need for anything but my own power to get up the mountain and I never ever really wait around if the conditions look good like I used to in a hang glider, ( waiting for that perfect cycle )
Did I mention the ease of landing a PG compared to a HG?
plus , if need be, I can land a PG almost anywhere .
With a HG??? Not so forgiving.
Ahh yes, put PG collapse and HG don,t
A matter worth considering.
HG are fairly easy to launch and almost anyone can fly one once in the air but landings?
Well, that's the trickier part .
And seems, the most critical.
The two sports seem not un similar to Windsurfing and kite surfing of course windsurfing to me sames the safer of the two
Here in the Okanagan ( Skaha Lake ) on a good day there used to be dozens of windsurfers.
Now there are pretty much only kites .
Ease of transport , setup and ease of landing are the main plus factors I see over HG
I do miss flying HG , but honestly? Not that much.
Sorry Pedro ( doesn't really help your bid )
I think it will always be here but personally, I now see why more people fly PG
Cheers
Peter

User avatar
pep
Club Director
Club Director
Posts: 98
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:01 am
Location: North Vancouver

Re: Can Hang Gliding be saved?

Postby pep » Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:41 am

Is not my bid, I have my mind set regarding :hg and I don't think :hg will disappear, it will just evolve and of course be get more expensive, but the same will happen with :pg .
I posted this because I think is a great article and it merits to be discussed.
As for the points you mention, you imply that the demise of hg is regarding landings or complication of transportation, I heard not long ago something on PG vs HG that made me think (and smirk), :hg performs better in the air and PG performs better in the ground (think about that ;) )
For me :pg and :hg are aircraft designed to take you away from the flat world and let you play and enjoy space in 3D as we take advantage of some interesting physic laws that allows us to do that. I don`t agree that, once you are in the air, one is more difficult than the other, at the end of the day they are aircraft that have different ranges of performance and`for that limitations, now don't take the word "performance" as an indication of been better of worst, performance is just a word that define what are the limitations, for example when the wind reaches 15Km on Launch most :pg will pack, and for :hg is when it starts getting interesting...
My opinion is that both aircraft require proper training, and been current will keep you safe and with happy and safe landings, and I think that been current (or the lack of it) is what create the frustration and accidents.
Yes, :pg are more convenient, they are easier to transport, and because the landing speed is low you can put it in almost any place, I just don't understand why :pg think trees as good landing options ;)

In my opinion, apart of the convenience, the next reason why we don't have more :hg pilots in our region I think is the lack of instructors and the rules that HPAC is imposing on immigrant pilots, something that should be changed.
This probably merits a separate post but expanding on the HPAC, we have :hg pilots that have moved here with a FAI rating of H3 or more and are not permitted flying until they get certified by an instructor, in our case it means having to go all the way to Lumby or Alberta to do take and exam.
I would like to change that so a pilot that moves to the province with an international rating, (that HPAC recognize) can be sponsored by a pilot with a similar rating from Canada and give them at least an H2/P2 rating, and this could also be questioned if not to give the same rating as the one achieved internationally since no pilot can participate in competition if they have not achieved a H3/P3 rating.

Again, going back to the intention of the post, lets not focus on what is better :pg or :hg we will never agree on that, but in what :hg pilots should do if we want to keep the sport going.
Pedro Pedersen ( :hg )
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward,
for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”
Leonardo da Vinci

silentflight
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon May 30, 2016 7:18 pm

Re: Can Hang Gliding be saved?

Postby silentflight » 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


tnankie
Former Director
Former Director
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2014 8:42 pm
Location: North Vancouver

Re: Can Hang Gliding be saved?

Postby tnankie » Mon Dec 03, 2018 2:14 pm

Rather than comparing to paragliding compare it to another extreme sport Les.
Take skiing, similar logistical challenges, number of really good developed places in the world, an option to do it grassroots/backcountry if you choose, seasonal restrictions etc I think its a reasonable comparison.

Now look at cost of entry. $300 on lessons if you choose, reasonable second hand hardware $300, software $400. your off skiing. Get brand new touring gear and maybe its $5000 for everything (skis, boots, skins, airbag, avy training, avy kit, full set of latest clothing). Sure you can spend a bit more on top of the line gear, but the same applies to HG.

Hang gliding is an expensive sport with a high cost of entry, I'm not talking about running costs which are lower than paragliding, I'm talking about the initial capital outlay. Glider harness reserve helmet (instruments? not sure if these are a must have for HG) and lessons to get you qualified/safe/having sustainable fun. I'm also not saying that paragliding is better in this regard.

All I'm saying of all the possible ways of spending your free time HG has a high initial outlay, large set of logistical challenges (including finding/getting to an instructor apparently, news to me) and like all air-sports only seems to appeal to a minor subset of the population.

As for Pedro, I don't know why anyone, PG or HG, thinks water is a good landing option. :P
Tom Dupree
:pg Advance Iota (Purple, white and lime green)

my user name @ gmail . com

User avatar
pep
Club Director
Club Director
Posts: 98
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:01 am
Location: North Vancouver

Re: Can Hang Gliding be saved?

Postby pep » Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:07 pm

tnankie wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 2:14 pm
Rather than comparing to paragliding compare it to another extreme sport Les.
Take skiing, similar logistical challenges, number of really good developed places in the world, an option to do it grassroots/backcountry if you choose, seasonal restrictions etc I think its a reasonable comparison.
I don't think you can't really compare :hg to any other sport and this discussion is not about comparing but more about what to do to keep the sport alive for the people in it or interested to ever become a :hg pilot.
Make comparison to :pg is natural because the laziness, I meant the convenience of :pg is put up as a reason of the sport demise, been easier to handle etc...


tnankie wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 2:14 pm
Hang gliding is an expensive sport with a high cost of entry,

Where are you getting your facts? are you comparing this cost to what it cost to get in to paragliding? In reality Paragliding seams more expensive as I see the different courses that are offered. For :hg I estimate that you can get a H1 and H2 rating for a total of $3000.00 to $4000.00, and for equipment an intermediate glider you could get for about $1500.00 and harness, helmet and Parachute for around $500.00
Considering this, I don't think :hg is more expensive than :pg in the contrary, for some prices I have seen I think that probably :pg is more expensive now days.

tnankie wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 2:14 pm
As for Pedro, I don't know why anyone, PG or HG, thinks water is a good landing option. :P
And for personal experience I can say that marshes are not a bad place to land, I prefer them compared to the option of a tree... ;)



silentflight wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:00 am
What it really comes down to is hang gliding instructor are far and few between.
I agree with silentflight, there is a need for instructors for sure.
Pedro Pedersen ( :hg )
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward,
for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”
Leonardo da Vinci

tnankie
Former Director
Former Director
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2014 8:42 pm
Location: North Vancouver

Re: Can Hang Gliding be saved?

Postby tnankie » Mon Dec 03, 2018 4:38 pm

Pedro....I was NOT comparing it to paragliding I was comparing it to other pass times like skiing, which is considered a rich mans sport and I was pointing out that the initial outlay to go skiing is far less than paragliding or hand-gliding.

There are plenty of sports that have an even lower cost of entry.


Regardless of whether you agree with the above or not, here is another reason.

rate of inflow << rate of outflow
Hang-gliding is mostly a sport of middle aged (or older) white men. And your slowly dying out.
Tom Dupree
:pg Advance Iota (Purple, white and lime green)

my user name @ gmail . com

User avatar
pep
Club Director
Club Director
Posts: 98
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:01 am
Location: North Vancouver

Re: Can Hang Gliding be saved?

Postby pep » Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:14 pm

tnankie wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 4:38 pm


rate of inflow << rate of outflow
I think we already agree that we are not getting new pilots.
Pedro Pedersen ( :hg )
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward,
for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”
Leonardo da Vinci

User avatar
Martin
Former Director
Former Director
Posts: 1223
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 6:59 pm

Re: Can Hang Gliding be saved?

Postby Martin » Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:57 pm

tnankie wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 4:38 pm
Hang-gliding is mostly a sport of middle aged (or older) white men. And your slowly dying out.
What a pile of insulting drivel... last time I checked, none of my PG buddies are getting any younger, in fact everyone of us are just walking compost wishing we had worshipers for our "new religion".

As an old white guy I could care less about the "likes" or what's "trending". Neither of our righteous sports contribute anything to humanity. At best they selfishly entertain us and if we are lucky will give us a false and terribly misguided sense of importance.

Like I often tell my "friends", I've wasted 46 years of my life hang gliding... and have plans to waste a few more and really don't give a flying frack if anybody else understands why.....

Comrade Martin

tnankie
Former Director
Former Director
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2014 8:42 pm
Location: North Vancouver

Re: Can Hang Gliding be saved?

Postby tnankie » Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:07 pm

yeah its far too much work to read whats written Martin and much easier to imagine what is being said and go with that.

paragliding is the secret to eternal life and if you do it you miraculously get younger :roll:

median and mean age is what I'm fairly obviously talking about not the individual. As to why your dying out notice every time I suggest a reason why your sport might not being in the best of health and an avenue to try to address it you immediately compare it to PG? This isn't a f*** thread about whether PG is better than HG, despite your raging inferiority complex, its about how to improve the health of HG.

Maybe the reason you sport is dying is that you think its fine the way it is and discourage any attempts to change it, irrespective of whether anyone else agrees with you.
Tom Dupree
:pg Advance Iota (Purple, white and lime green)

my user name @ gmail . com

wazungy
Posts: 195
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 2:55 pm
Location: vancouver

Re: Can Hang Gliding be saved?

Postby wazungy » Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:35 pm

Hang gliding.... I love it.

Belly down, head first, it's the way , insects, bats, squirrels, birds, certain snakes and fish, and super heroes do it.
It is the "natural way" to fly, IF you are not in an airplane of course.
OK, all kidding aside.

I see the lack of instructors as one reason for the declining population of hang glider pilots.
In the fraser valley there are a few people who teach paragliding.
I do not think there is anyone who teaches hang gliding.
There was an outfit in Hope that did for a while but they moved east, did they not?
Anybody teaching on Vancouver Island?

I do not see the equipment required to be overly expensive, except for the truck. A used HG and harness can probably be obtained for 2 to 4 grand. A good off road truck will more than triple the money you spend on the gear otherwise.
Sure you could skip the truck but then you are forced to fly with whomever has a truck and is flying at the site you want to fly, at the time you want to fly at,... IF they are willing to drive you up with them.
Then there is storage room. Not everyone has a garage or a barn to put a gilder into.
Imagine how easy it would be if the wing could be stored at a safe secure location at the gliding site? I'd seriously consider paying an annual fee for this !!
Hey, just thinking out loud... why doesn't someone open a glider rental business at Golden BC?

I have flown a Hang glider on and off since about 1981. I feel once you understand proper speed to fly and how to land, and what, how, and why things make a glider hard to land and how to solve them, ... develop a respect and understanding for the conditions you may or may not want to fly in, take your time to progress to the next level(s) , among a few other points, ... the sport is really quite safe and quite enjoyable.
I also think that if more people see us enjoying a safe and enjoyable sport, then some of them may be willing to give it a go.

Such a shame that the only time you see it on the news or TV it usually has a sad story or close call involved, which sends out the message that the sport is dangerous, for thrill seekers and risk takers only.

That's my 2 cents worth.

User avatar
Martin
Former Director
Former Director
Posts: 1223
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 6:59 pm

Re: Can Hang Gliding be saved?

Postby Martin » Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:49 am

tnankie wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:07 pm
Maybe the reason you sport is dying is that you think its fine the way it is and discourage any attempts to change it, irrespective of whether anyone else agrees with you.
I no longer care about pilots sniveling about this self inflicted gun shot wound. Truth is, big picture here.... It's society that is is dying ;-) The whole mess is on the way out, and typical of all human actions and reactions with this poor planet we will do as much damage to the place as possible (like renters that don't care about the damage deposit ;-) )

Hang Gliding is hard, people are lazy, nothing more than that.

Paragliding is hard, people are lazy (and if somebody thinks paragliding is not "hard"... then they are stupid and the "Darwin" rule is applied). Fact is, when the lawyers and associations finish making our sports better you can start picking out a burial plot. The "organizers and saviors" among us will sanitize everything into boring bland paste that interest no one.

Why do you think speed wings are having their day? Its exciting, its new, its unregulated... nothing says freedom like doing mach 10 in a deep rock canyon with a pair of flip flops and a rip stop tent fly for a wing... soon it will become hard, expensive, regulated and boring and the adventures will move on to the next great adventure.

The whole conversation reminds me about a Monty Python skit about a Parrot...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vuW6tQ0218

Comrade Martin

silentflight
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon May 30, 2016 7:18 pm

Re: Can Hang Gliding be saved?

Postby silentflight » Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:33 am

Pep ,it seems your well intended post has gone a little off track ,I tried to send you a p.m. but it doesn't seem to be working ,Contact Stewart or Martin for my email,I have some historical insight you might be interested in . Les

tnankie
Former Director
Former Director
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2014 8:42 pm
Location: North Vancouver

Re: Can Hang Gliding be saved?

Postby tnankie » Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:50 pm

wazungy wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:35 pm

Then there is storage room. Not everyone has a garage or a barn to put a gilder into.
Imagine how easy it would be if the wing could be stored at a safe secure location at the gliding site? I'd seriously consider paying an annual fee for this !!
Nice idea and if it could coincide with a gondola that would be amazing, Bridal falls perhaps.

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 Dupree
:pg Advance Iota (Purple, white and lime green)

my user name @ gmail . com


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests