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Interested in hang gliding? Currently learning to hang glide? Post your questions here.
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By Larykin
#404816
Hello everyone! I've been wanting to get into hanggliding for years, and since I'm in the Monterey Bay area for a while it seems like a good chance for me to finally get into it, but I'm dealing with a bit of information overload right now :lol:

I'm military, so I'll be in Monterey for about another year, and then I go to Texas for a few months, and then most likely back to Nebraska, so now seems like my best shot to learn for a while, but I don't have a car, or anywhere to store a glider here. It looks like the closest school is about an hour away, which I'm willing to find a way to get to, but what happens after that? And I assume that I won't reach a high enough level while I'm here to go off on my own once I'm settled in NE - if anyone can. Is there anyone on here that flies in the MIdwest?

I have a week off around March that I would like to spend flying if possible, but other than that I pretty much only have weekends. It seems like paragliding might solve some problems... but hanggliding sounds infinitely cooler :wink:

It felt like there were way more questions in my head, but I can't find them now :P Can anyone point me in a direction to take? I'm sure the much more experienced minds here can see some possibilities that I can't!
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By red
#404818
Larykin wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 11:02 pm
Hello everyone! I've been wanting to get into hanggliding for years, and since I'm in the Monterey Bay area for a while it seems like a good chance for me to finally get into it, but I'm dealing with a bit of information overload right now I'm military, so I'll be in Monterey for about another year, and then I go to Texas for a few months, and then most likely back to Nebraska, so now seems like my best shot to learn for a while, but I don't have a car, or anywhere to store a glider here. It felt like there were way more questions in my head, but I can't find them now :P Can anyone point me in a direction to take? I'm sure the much more experienced minds here can see some possibilities that I can't!
Larykin,

Sometimes it's not an easy destination, so the trick is to enjoy the journey. 8) Your desire will get you there, but it may take some time. Before you get too far into information overload, drop by my web page (linked below) and I am hoping it will be a good cut-to-the-chase source for you. The basics are there, and even some detail stuff, if you may need it later. Bring your questions here; you may get seven answers, and maybe a few of them will be useful (like any Internet discussion).

Immediately, I would suggest for you that going solo is just going too slow. You can speed up your journey. Find HG pilots, HG clubs, or flyin' sites and make friends, the more the merrier. Watch the flying, watch HG lessons, and talk to everybody. This is a fairly social flock, and most HG pilots will want you to succeed. We all started with the same dream.

Pilots here can probably help you with finding good people at new places. Hang tough to your dream, and take the steps you can, whenever you can; every step, large or small, gets you closer to the sky. 8)
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By waltspoint
#404821
Hey, checking in from Santa Cruz, just up the coast from you. There is a flying site at the Marina Beach. I don't think there is training activity there at the moment, but maybe. Lots of paragliding in the area, that might (as much as I hate to admit it) be easier for you. The nearest HG training operation that I am aware of operates at Tres Pinos, just south of Hollister, run by Mission Soaring Center. They would supply the equipment, as is typical for HG schools that take people through their Hang2 level. Slightly farther to the north is Ed Levin Park, where there are a number of instructors. Google should probably find them for you. I don't know how you would do it without a car to get you to Tres Pinos or Ed Levin. Maybe get a motorcycle? Let me know if I can help somehow. Good luck! /jd
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By DMarley
#404824
Larykin...
IMHO, please, please stay away from paragliding. If it looks to be impractical to take up HG at this moment in your life, do a lot of studying of HG (purchase Dennis Pagen's excellent books, etc.), get to know as many HG pilots as you can, or do some other sport or activity until you can get some wheels and someplace to store a hang glider.
Yes, Paragliding appears to be convenient in theory. Not so much after a canopy collapse within impact distance to the ground. Paragliding is a terrible accident waiting to happen. You have to live in your body for the rest of your life. If you wreck it too soon, your whole life could be severely limited.
Not saying that hang gliding doesn't have any risks, but HG is much more tolerant of low-level turbulence, especially when the pilot observes proper airspeeds.
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By Larykin
#404831
Thanks to all of you, you're all right of course :lol: I have some books on the way as we speak - don't know why I didn't do that ages ago! And I'll see if I can swing a day in Marina next weekend. If anyone knows any other flying sites near here where I can go try harassing people, I would be eternally grateful :P
By USHPA7
#404832
Would love to see you at Dockweiler Beach, in SoCal. You could get a lesson from Windsports in their big condo 330. If there is any chance you would be in the area be sure to let me or another SoCal pilot know.

Frank Colver
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By BubbleBoy
#404834
Marina was my home site for many, many years (started there in the '80s) so I am intimately familiar with it. You have simply been lucky enough to be plopped down a few miles from a site which can get your more 'new pilot' flight hours than any place on the planet (very little hyperbole in that statement). If you want to fly HG or PG, now is the time to make a serious push to get to the stage where you can solo there. If you reach point before spring, you will be greatly rewarded through the rest of your 2019 time in the area.

Though I have flown both, I prefer HG. That said however, don't buy the site nonsense about PGs being more dangerous than HG -- the data has shown for years a nearly identical safety record on a flight hour basis. Yep -- you can find more PG accidents as a whole, but that's because there are more PG pilots in the air and they tend to fly more (because of convenience). HGs are shown to be safer in turbulent flight (an airframe holds up in turbulence better than no airframe), while the launch and landing speeds of HG provide greater and more potentially damaging speed differential on impact. All of the differences above can be mitigated or exacerbated based on site selection, wing selection and condition selection.

The stretch of dunes from Monterey north (up to the Salinas River) is one of the absolute safest places in the world to fly a PG. With countless hours there (mostly HG but some PG) I can say it's an absolutely awesome place to fly either. With a little local knowledge, you will quickly learn to select conditions which will reward you with hours and hours of some of the smoothest, safest air in the world.

Having said all that, given your constraints (no car, no storage), you have a single choice. Get a PG, take lessons and get the required ratings to fly the site (that's P3 for the park launch but there used to be a launch in Seaside that was unregulated -- I would speak to the locals).

To take lessons in similar conditions, fly down to Torrey Pines dunes where they have a large PG school. Once appropriately trained, you can store your wing in your closet and Uber your way just a few miles up the coast and grab airtime with ease.

Forget the HG vs PG debate. If you want many hours of airtime in the next year, this is how it will happen. With your constraints it simply will not happen with a HG.

And one last thing ... first rule of beach flight. THE OCEAN WILL KILL YOU. Crash in the sand before landing in the water - even ankle deep water. Once in it's claws, the ocean will attack you and your wing relentlessly.

http://www.coastalcondors.org/

(If you can locate Lee Gardner at the site, you will have hit local knowledge (PG and HG) gold. )

JB
Last edited by BubbleBoy on Mon Sep 03, 2018 10:31 am, edited 2 times in total.
By Roadrunner71
#404835
Laryskin D Marly's advice to regarding staying away from Paragliding I think is Spot-on. I am in the process currently, of recovering from a devastating accident that I had when I was landing my Hang Glider. Since I was not physically able to launch my Predator due to my Landing accident when I was landing my Predator after an X-C Flight. I have gotten myself into a grobe Sail-plane. Next weekend I will try my hand at trying my hand at flying a R-C Glider. I also might get to fly a general Aviation air-craft. But not a Paraglider.

Well I hope to see you at an L-Z Somewhere someday Laryskin.

Good By Chris McKeon CCMCK@GOLDSTATE.NET 925-497-1059
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By waltspoint
#404837
The other sites in the general area are Waddell Creek, about 20 miles north of Santa Cruz, Big Sur a couple of hours south of you, Ft. Funston sea cliffs at SanFrancisco/Daly-City. Also Mission Ridge (on the same mountain as Ed Levin), Diablo, Mt. Tamalpias. Ft. Funston an Ed Levin are the most active sites. wingsofrogallo.org is the EdLevin/Mission club. All the coastal sites {Funston, Waddell, Marina} require on-shore westerly winds about 15 miles/hr, which happens intermittently and sometimes consistently in spring/summer/fall, but rarely in late fall, winter, early spring. Tres Pinos is a perfect training hill for HG which is very consistently flyable through the whole year. They also operate a winch so as you progress, you can do tow flights up to about 1000 ft. Ed Levin has a nice training hill, but the wind tends to be cross (not ideal) frequently. Mission Soaring, which runs Tres Pinos, is more expensive but I feel I got my money's worth there. I fly there at least once a month during winter to keep current when the soaring isn't happening elsewhere.

HG takes at least a year to learn and get certified, two flying seasons probably. It takes a lot of effort, dedication, and typically investment. The training phase is actually really fun though. PG (which I have not done) trains up a lot quicker, cheaper, and with less effort. I think that's why there are so many goofballs flying PG that don't really know what they're doing, get in trouble, and cause problems. HG IMHO is better: more fun, exciting, fulfilling, more big-air potential. HG pilots fly like Super Man, PGs fly around like they're sitting on a toilet. We know we're more cool. PG is foot launched flying nonetheless, and seems to me still an extraordinary activity compared to what most people do for fun. BTW you can do both. You have to make up your own mind about safety, either sport will bite you if you let it. HG can't be done practically without a car, except for the training stage when you are using shop equipment. HG is actually sort of expensive compared to what most non-flyers expect. If you approach it seriously, expect it to be a primary theme in your life. It has been well worth it for me.

You'll find that HG flyers are often down on PG. PG flyers get in the way of HG, due to their tall wings and slow speed blocking the lift band. And PGs always seem to be doing stupid stuff and not abiding by right-of-way flying conventions, getting sites closed by landing on someone's roof. Non-flyers always seem to think that PG is safe and HG is a death sport, which is annoying.

If your life keeps you on a short leash, weather and wind patterns will drive you crazy.

Definitely take a few intro lessons at Tres Pinos or Ed Levin (Or Marina if someone is teaching there) to test the waters. Another thing you can do is a tandem flight at Ft. Funston, where you'll get to soar on your first HG experience. Tres Pinos also does tandem with the winch tow, but it doesn't look as fun as a Funston flight would be. The PGs also do tandems from the 'Dumps' at Westlake (south end of the Funston cliff range). But you'll look like you're sitting on a toilet with a friend, not that there's anything wrong with that I guess...

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