Interested in hang gliding? Currently learning to hang glide? Post your questions here.
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By brianmh13
Hi everyone I havnt posted in awhile. Before I was looking for a wing to purchase or looking for a free wing to learn on. Most everyone encouraged me to seek lessons and said that If the community could know I was serious and doing things safe that there were plenty of wings out there for me. I havnt lost the desire to fly HG and have watched the movie Free Flyers so many times that I'm pretty sure me and the movie became one for a minuet... Anyway I still want to fly but I'm also still pretty poor. I live on the Central Coast of California in San Luis Obispo. I don't really have the ability to travel right now and Santa Barbara is probably the farthest I could go. If anyone knows of an pilot in my area that would be gracious enough to get me going even to spend time with doing like ground school sorta learning for free or very low cost I'd be happy to be there at they're convenience. I'm not worried about getting my own wing like I was saying wings will always be there. Oh I'm a very good handyman type and do functional glass artwork so if there is any work that a pilot trainer could use I would certainly be willing to trade what I can do for lessons. Thanks that's about all I can think of to write.

-Brian H.

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By flybop
Hey Brian. Learning to fly a hang glider, or any type of aircraft, takes a lot of several things. First and foremost it takes real passion. From the passion comes the drive, the commitment and the creativity to make it happen. You seem to have the passion and drive. What you need now is to make contacts, get involved with the community. Go to flying sites. Hang out in the back ground. Watch and learn. Offer to drive. Ask good questions at the appropriate times. Not during set up time.

Before you know it someone will have you holding a wing in the LZ. You'll get the chance to do some ground runs. You'll learn to set up and break down a glider. Most of us are more than willing to share with a genuinely interested prospective pilot. Having said all this, it does and will coast money to learn to fly a hang glider. Believe me, I got into this flat broke. I saved money, passed up on doing other things. I was passionate and driven.

There was no training close to me. I ended up spending more time and money traveling to my training. My best advice is to go to a school and spend as much time there on each trip as you possibly can. The best way to learn is to be totally immersed in this for as long as you can. You will learn faster and spend less money. And yes, somewhere along the way a wing will find you.

Learning to fly a hang glider will be an amazing experience. In the end you will be rewarded with experiences that you can only imagine now. It will take time. It will cost money. It will take you away from other things in life. And, it will be the most incredible experience you will ever have. Go for it .Make the commitment, save your money and study up.

Good luck and keep us posted.
By blindrodie
:ditto: :goodidea: :mosh:

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By Lucky_Chevy

If you know that hang gliding is for you it's possible to find a way to finance it. Hang around the sport. Offer to drive for pilots. Go to a flight park and offer to work in exchange for lessons. Training for a week or more continuously will help you advance a lot more quickly then taking a lesson a month for a year.

If you don't have the time or money right now you can always start in a few years when your situation improves. Like the old saying goes, "The mountain will be there and the wind will

Hang gliding can be more life changing than you may realize. It's not really something that most pilots do twice a year on vacation, it's big part of their lives. Many pilots have relocated or changed professions just to be able to fly more.

The sport draws together people with similar character traits and I'm sure you will feel right at home almost immediately.

So take a seat by the campfire, drink someone's beer, and join in the stories.
Keep us posted,

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With the state of hang gliding instructor INSURANCE right now... you will most-likely find one of two extremes (or possibly both)...

a) Formal schools that are doing their best to offer professional flight instruction. This will be cheap when compared to other forms of aviation... but not cheap compared to what hang gliding instruction used to be like... the positive is that these schools have a greater degree of oversight and guidance now, which should help improve safety, as well as how effectively they teach.

b) Instructors that teach FOR FREE. Instructor insurance is expensive, and purchasing it requires some paperwork and formality to become a "certified school"... and some instructors aren't into that. Bundled with the instructor certification comes insurance that covers all instruction offered at no charge... so there are a number of passionate instructors that have turned to teaching for free. It sounds like, with your current situation, you might need to find one of these people...

I will say, my personal opinion is that- generally speaking- the professional flight instruction avenue is the way to go. Not because it supports one or more instructors, keeping being an instructor a viable option for them... although it does do that... but because we are talking about aviation, and I feel a more formalized program is overall in the best interest of the student. And by having the oversight involvement, that means some people that are removed from the school or business have gone over their lesson plans, syllabus, curriculum, etc... so there's a much better chance of learning the most-accepted best practices, rather than what might be a more personal or localized way of doing something. But I will also say I know a couple very top-notch pilots/instructors that are now teaching for free... so definitely do not think all no-charge instructors are below par or anything like that... some are very, very good!

Specifically though, I'm sorry to say I don't know the area there well enough to say who's around you and they're operating as a formal school or offering no-charge instruction...

He's a paragliding instructor/school... but in SB I have a very good and trustworthy friend whom I'm sure could better inform you about who's in that area- Chris Grantham with Fly Above All Paragliding. I learned to PG from him and he's a top-notch teacher... so he would be able to recognize who else is a good teacher. He also hang glides from time to time :thumbsup:
By once&future
He's certainly not free, but Willy Dydo of Fly Away Hang Gliding in Santa Barbara is a fine instructor (and a helluva pilot and a really nice guy). I was a USHGA Advanced Instructor for many years (now retired) and I wouldn't hesitate in recommending Willy to anyone wanting to learn to hang glide.
By once&future
Also, you probably already know about the local SLO hang gliding club SLOSA (http://www.slosa.net/). I use to fly with those guys years ago so I'm not sure of their current status, but they still have some really good flying sites around there from the training to advanced level. I'm much more familiar with the Santa Barbara hang gliding community. The local club there ( http://sbsa.info/ ) is very active but is mostly oriented toward paragliding these days. There is still still a hard core of 5-10 active HG pilots, and again, Willy who feeds a few new pilots a year into the community.

I think either of those clubs would welcome a new prospective pilot and be better able to give you the local "lay of the land" than we can.
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