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By ShatnerFreude
#372505
Hello all,

I recently became obsessed with hang gliding after a dream I had, and I'm going to try it for the first time very soon. I've been skydiving before, but it just felt kind of short lived and without any finesse, so I'm hoping that hang gliding will be more satisfying... like actual flying, rather than controlled falling.

Anyway, I'm going to start with a tandem Hang Gliding the Hudson flight, and then, if I like it, I'll probably take some lessons in Ellenville, NY. That is, unless you guys can offer me some recommendations for other places in the Northern NJ area that would be good for a beginner?
I would eventually like to be able to solo launch from a mountain / cliff using my own rig. (I know that lots of time and money are needed to get there).

Also, are there some resources / materials that you can recommend for "Hang Gliding Basics" that I should read through?

Thanks!
By JackieB
#372509
Welcome! I think there is a good chance that hang gliding will be exactly what you dreamed about. I also found skydiving to be as you described - a huge thrill, but not what I was seeking.

A good book to start with from Amazon would be Cheney's Hang Gliding for Beginner Pilots, but you don't need to buy any literature at all yet if you wish. Your instructor will let you know what you should buy if you take lessons.

If you don't yet understand the basics of how aircraft fly, and how hanglider/sailplanes can use lift to soar like birds, that would be fun to start to learn.

Have fun and keep us posted!
User avatar
By Mr Pou
#372511
ShatnerFreude wrote: Anyway, I'm going to start with a tandem Hang Gliding the Hudson flight, and then, if I like it, I'll probably take some lessons in Ellenville, NY.

(I know that lots of time and money are needed to get there).
Welcome! I'm another newbie who started in March training on weekends and am now a very very inexperienced H2.

Yes, try a tandem, that's how I started, and if you love it, start lessons. I don't know what lessons cost up that way, but you should be able to get to H2 for ~$1000-1600, and included in that will be all the gear you need to train. No use thinking of what gear you might want to buy until very late in the training process, and your instructors will help you choose when the time comes.

Let us know how it goes!

Edit: And read the web page in Red's signature. I've read it many times and will reference it again, lots of great info.
Last edited by Mr Pou on Fri Jun 26, 2015 2:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By red
#372513
ShatnerFreude wrote:Hello all,
I recently became obsessed with hang gliding after a dream I had, and I'm going to try it for the first time very soon.
I would eventually like to be able to solo launch from a mountain / cliff using my own rig. (I know that lots of time and money are needed to get there).
Also, are there some resources / materials that you can recommend for "Hang Gliding Basics" that I should read through?Thanks!
ShatnerFreude,

Welcome to the forum! Pull up a chair at the Campfire; hydrate, and ventilate. 8)
I started from the same dream, and it only gets better, in the daylight.

There's some stuff to get you started on my web page, linked at the bottom of this post.
You probably won't need books just yet, but if you like, here are some:

http://www.hanggliding.org/wiki/Pilot%27s_Bibliography

Everybody here just expects, you will have questions, so feel free to ask and discuss.
This is a mostly friendly crew, and they bring a lot of experience to the table.

:mrgreen:
User avatar
By trnbrn
#372516
Hello and welcome! Happy for you...will be a lot of cerebral fun.
User avatar
By ShatnerFreude
#372517
Wow! Thank you all for the warm welcome and advice. Seems like a really great board you've got here! I'm looking forward to becoming part of the community.

First dumb questions:
When you are up there, is the wind loud in your ears, or is it peaceful? What kind of speeds do you hit?
Must you always register a flight and pay a fee, or once you are at a certain level, can you just kind of go somewhere and hang glide without all the fuss?
What is an H2? I assume it is a rank of pilot based on experience, but how much and what kind?
User avatar
By Lucky_Chevy
#372518
Once you are flying the wind doesn't factor in in the same way. It's like swimming in a river; if your moving with the flow you don't feel the current.

A hang glider flys at 18-25 mph on the low end and the high performance models can sustain speeds over 60 mph. When you start you will be on slower wings with less glide performance.

The cost is variable. You generally have to pay to be towed into the air. The going rate for an arroyos is $25 and that gets you to 2,000-2,500 ft. Truck towing is about half of that cost (and altitude). Foot launching off a mountain is the least expensive . You may have to belong to a club or pay something to the owner of the site but it's minimal.

Welcome but beware. Hang gliding is extremely addictive. You may find that you see your non-flying friends a lot less. You will also never have another day in your life without noticing the clouds, wind, or landable fields.

Take care,

Dan
User avatar
By Lucky_Chevy
#372519
Oh, hang gliding is self-governed by an organization called USHPA. They also handle paragliders. As you progress you will earn ratings. This is a brief overview:

An H1 rating is a brand new pilot that can fly straight and land on his feet more times than not.
An H2 can fly competently in mild conditions with large landing fields.
An H3 is an experienced pilot that can fly in all but the most extreme conditions. An H4 can fly in a wide range of conditions and know when not to fly.
H5 is an honorary designation used for pioneers and promoters of out sport that have a H4 rating and meet a bunch of other requirements.

There are also a bunch of special skills like foot launching, aero towing, landing in small fields, taking passengers, etc.
User avatar
By Mr Pou
#372520
In addition to Red's web page, be sure to look at the wiki page here (tab at top) and look at USHPA homepage (www.ushpa.aero).

As for what's an H2, you can see the pilot proficiency system here:

http://www.ushpa.aero/documents/sop/sop-12-02.pdf
By JackieB
#372521
ShatnerFreude wrote:Wow! Thank you all for the warm welcome and advice. Seems like a really great board you've got here! I'm looking forward to becoming part of the community.

First dumb questions:
When you are up there, is the wind loud in your ears, or is it peaceful? What kind of speeds do you hit?
Must you always register a flight and pay a fee, or once you are at a certain level, can you just kind of go somewhere and hang glide without all the fuss?
What is an H2? I assume it is a rank of pilot based on experience, but how much and what kind?
I see that your questions were already answered, but I can chime in with a little more information.

-It's relatively quiet. About like sailing in a sailboat on an average day with moderate wind

-Hang gliding is self-regulated except for the FAA Part 103 that governs all ultralight vehicles (the federal government refers to our aircraft as "vehicles"). There is a governing body called the USHPA that issues the ratings.

Legally, hang gliding is relatively unregulated (by aviation standards), which is something we all appreciate. However, it's extremely important that we all do our part to keep it that way by obtaining proper training, following rules at local sites, staying off of the property of landowners who don't want us there, etc. The best hang glider pilots are always thinking of how their flying choices affect the rest of the community and the public as well.

From a technical standpoint, you want to approach hang gliding as you would any type of aviation (i.e. with a great deal of discipline and respect). Hang gliding can be done safely, but demands that we develop our skills and exercise excellent judgement. It's not a "thrill-seeker" sport at all, it's learning to fly an aircraft, just like if you decided to take lessons at your local airport.

The rewards for those of us who are hooked on hang gliding are difficult to put into words. It is truly "you" flying. The hang glider is literally an extension of your body and weights only 55-90 lbs on average.Everything that is going on in the air around you is something you feel because you are directly attached to your wing. It's wonderful.

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