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All things hang gliding. This is the main forum. New users, introduce yourself.

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By Skyhighwoman
#208660
Good for you!!

:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Never let someone tell you can't.

It is ALL dangerous when it comes down to it. Never forget that and always remember to have fun!!


Carm








User avatar
By mapjim
#208664
sweetie13 wrote:Some ppl have recommended paragliding for me b/c of my height and weight. I never knew paragliding is so dangerous. the elliptical wing looks so much like a parachute and you can always deploy a reserve parachute if you're falling.
My recommendation is to try one day each of HG, PG, and sailplaning, and see which you like. (I did, and decided on HG. ymmv)

The safety records of HG and PG are very similar. Both carry some risk.

Yes, with HG and PG you (should) carry a reserve parachute which you can deploy in emergencies, though they take 20-30 meters at least to deploy. PG parachutes are a bit quicker to deploy, but I saw a PG pilot who stalled and fell from 20 meters while landing, and didn't manage to, or didn't think to, deploy...broken leg. Very useful, but not panaceas, so you need to fly safely.

Although the PG wing may look like a parachute, a parachute is held open by moving down through the air, while a PG wing is held open by flying forward through the air. (Up close, you'll see that they have openings in their leading edge that let air into pockets, which holds the wing in an aerofoil shape while flying.) A nice thing about HGs is that they hold their shape even in turbulence, and act as a bit of a crash cage.

But overall, the safety thing is a wash between the two. Do the one you like (and to be safe, learn to do it well).

In terms of ease, PG is dead easy to learn the basics of. In my first (and only) three hours, I learned to fly down a 200 foot hill, no problem. At more advanced stages, PG is reputed to be harder. The total effort and time to become really good seems to be similar between HG and PG. One consequence is that there are similar numbers of skilled HG and PG pilots, but enormous numbers of newbie PG pilots, and a small but gregarious collection of newbie HG pilots. I've not had any difficulty as a HG pilot getting advice from more experienced HG pilots anywhere I go. I've read newish PG pilots complaining about a bit about difficulties getting coaching or advice, and have head club leaders discussing the problem. (But those truly keen, seem to get on.)

Anyway, more info than you may need. Give it a try and have fun.
User avatar
By jjcote
#208676
Go visit one of the hang gliding schools in the Ellenville area, and see whether you can pick up their smallest glider on your shoulders. If you can't get the control bar off the ground, then foot launching is going to be a problem. Translating what you said in the original post, you're 4'8", right? That is shorter than any of the pilots I know. Aerotowing-only is an option, even in the northeast, if you're enthusiastic enough.
Last edited by jjcote on Wed Oct 06, 2010 7:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By Flyking
#208680
Contact Lisa she is a super human being. If you are in N.Y. I highly recomend Paul Voight. Go for a tandem flight and see what you think. Tandems are great and you get to enjoy the air why someone with experiance flys the glider for you :) . PG I think is more dangerous than HG they just dont have the air speed and the sail can collapse. :twisted: :evil: Just my opinion. I have never flown a PG so I really don't know. I have been flying Hang Gliders now for 35 years and LOVE them. Get High fly a HG. :mosh:
User avatar
By hiflioz
#208681
Sweetie,

You're probably making this more complicated than it needs to be. Find a reputable instructor who has a F145 (you have many suggestions) and give it a go. You will either love it, or not. If you love it, you'll deal with any obstacles and succeed. Your height is no big deal if you have the right instructor with the right size glider.
User avatar
By SkyPilot
#208686
Hello Sweetie,

:welcome: to the .Org.

DO NOT, REPEAT DO NOT, GIVE UP even before you have started. You will regret it or at least wonder if you COULD HAVE DONE IT. This is way too important not to pursue!

That said, I'm the runt in my family - 5'2", 125LBS. I learned at LMFP and didn't even think if I was too short. I learned on a WW Condor and then moved to the Falcon 145 - no problems, was easy to carry and comfortable. I'm in good shape however so I think that is more important than size. But at the same time the Condor and the Falcon I used had padding on the upper section of the downtubes so it worked out great - the point is that even stocked equipment can be modified (by someone knowledgeable and certified of course) to make it work for you - so check with any instructors or go to LMFP!

:thumbsup:
By blindrodie
#208695
Hey Sweetie13.

You called me and PM'd me and I told you I would reply today.

However it seems you are getting all the answers you need from the .org, just as we discussed on the phone after I discovered you where in NY - Me in Kansas!

Head on out to the local flight park and start living the dream... 8)
By sweetie13
#208839
Hi everybody, good to see your responses. You're all great. Today I went and got myself measured and weighed, and I weigh 140 lbs and am 4'11 and 3/4 inches, so I'm almost 60 inches exactly. Is this more hopeful in terms of being able to lift the glider and run with it, since it's VERY close to 64 inches?
User avatar
By hiflioz
#208860
sweetie13 wrote:Hi everybody, good to see your responses. You're all great. Today I went and got myself measured and weighed, and I weigh 140 lbs and am 4'11 and 3/4 inches, so I'm almost 60 inches exactly. Is this more hopeful in terms of being able to lift the glider and run with it, since it's VERY close to 64 inches?
Sweetie, below is an excerpt from an article about female HG pilots I wrote some time ago, with my bolding added. Just Do It! :) :) :)

"If you're fit enough to ride a pushbike, you'll be fine. Although I'm tall, I know three female pilots (four if you include ‘MrsPoser’ on the hanggliding.org list) who are below 157.5 cm (5'2"). They're all excellent pilots, because a good pilot is equally about attitude as physical skills. In California, there’s an advanced rated woman hang glider pilot who is 150cm (4’11") and 43kg (97 lbs)!

Don't worry about Physical Strength - Learn on the Right-Sized Glider !

In the air, where we use our body weight to control the glider, women have no disadvantage; in fact, even in competitive XC flying, which is largely about attitude, confidence and strategic thinking, top female pilots (even tiny ones like Corinna Schwiegershausen) can outperform men double their weight and triple their strength!

While learning, small women may be disadvantaged not for any difference in upper body strength, but because glider control frames are designed for men, who for any particular height are usually heavier, with wider shoulders, and longer arms and torsos. This means that the glider sits lower on our shoulders when ground-handling and launching, making both trickier if the glider is even slightly too big. Down tube padding helps, but doesn’t entirely solve the issue. In Australia, the smallest commonly available glider is a Fun 160, when most small women really need a Falcon 145. Our lower body weight (proportionally more fat, lighter than muscle) also reduces effective leverage if the wing area is too big, making it more difficult to influence the glider and learn control inputs.

It’s MUCH harder to learn on a glider that’s too big for you – imagine learning to ride a pushbike with the seat too high! – so, if you're below 157.5cm (5'2") or 55 kg (121 lbs), it’s especially important for you to find a school that has a 160 sq feet glider or smaller.

In fact, although accepted practice is to learn on the school's gliders and to buy your own when training finishes, if you're small, partway through training, and sure you want to continue, consider buying a glider the right size if the school doesn’t have one. You may put a few scuffs on it during training, but you’ll learn more, with much less work. The aforementioned 150cm pilot almost gave up until she got hold of the right glider for training (Falcon 145), after which things went well.

‘MrsPoser’ showed excellent technique on her first high glide and that's no coincidence, just silver lining. Tall men may get away with sloppy technique but short, light women who learn on gliders slightly too big for them are practically required to develop perfect control inputs! A new pilot, weighing just 40 kg (88 lbs), after learning and flying on a Fun 160, said to me after her first flight on a Falcon 145, "Wow, it turns when I want it to!" You bet it does! The best remedy always lies in appropriate equipment, not in compensations by the pilot for poor fit.

Upper body strength does modestly affect ground-handling, when we're not using our body weight to manipulate the glider, but instead leveraging with arm, chest, shoulder and back muscles. Weight training helps, but isn’t essential: good technique overcomes all!"
User avatar
By jjcote
#208889
4' 11.75"? Definitely doable.
(Hey, how tall was Ryan when he started foot-launching solo?)
User avatar
By SkyPilot
#208896
jjcote wrote:(Hey, how tall was Ryan when he started foot-launching solo?)
Good question! How young were you Ryan when your Pop taught you to hang glide? 6? Couldn't have been more than 4ft!
By sweetie13
#208936
Hi everyone, I have called Flyhigh to see if I can schedule some lesson next week. If I cannot do Fly high(The instructors hasn't called me back yet), should I try mountain wings with greg black?

I thought paragliders only need 1/3 of the wing to stay up, and if you let the brakes loose a bit, can't it reinflate?
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By AIRTHUG
#208940
I started lessons at 12, solo off the mountain at 13. I was probably around 4' and 120 lbs (I was a little runt back then) :lol:

Yes, paragliders are designed to reinflate on their own. But this takes time/altitude. A collapse 3,000 ft above the ground is a non-issue. That same collapse at 300 ft is a BIG issue. And there's usually more turbulence near the ground, so that's where lots of collapses happen.

Many of the best guys in the world have taken low collapses and "gone in"... THAT is why I don't paraglide. When the best guys in the world are getting bit, I know I stand no chance as a 'new' student to the sport...
User avatar
By AllenJ
#208944
Don't get discouraged. There are lots of smaller, lighter weight pilots out there who have been successful. The key is getting under a glider you are comfortable with and an instructor-school with the proper equipment will make all the difference.
User avatar
By aeroexperiments
#208975
sweetie13 wrote:Hi guys and gals, I have a SERIOUS CONCERN before I go for hang gliding. I am only 56 inches tall(almost 5 feet) and I weigh 130 lbs. Will this make it very hard for me to lift the glider and takeoff and land with it? One manufacturer said this to me: "Yes, your height will make it difficult for you to lift the glider high
enough off the ground to be able to run with the glider in order to
launch it. Even on the smallest gliders, the basetube is about 56 inches
below the glider, and for training, there are normally wheels on the
basetube which make this distance even greater. Most pilots shorter than
64 inches have trouble lifting the glider high enough to launch." What can I do? Is there ANY hope? Or should I go to paragliding?
I suspect that you can learn foot-launched hang gliding. A Falcon 140 has a smaller frame than a Falcon 170. Padding the down tubes with pipe insulation or other foam at the point of contact with your shoulders will make the glider sit higher. My recollection of the 9-meter Pulse is that the control frame is quite small on this glider too.

A good starting point would be to go find a Falcon 140 that you can try on your shoulders, and bring some foam pipe insulation to pad the tubes.

Steve
User avatar
By Mrsposer
#406586
I'm not sure how I missed this thread so long ago. Yes, I loved that modified glider. Wish I had another just like it. It was so much easier to pick up and balance on my narrow shoulders prior to launch. I always had more confidence with a more appropriate fitting glider. Still 5'2" and about 100 pounds. You definitely have to perfect the art of finesse as a small pilot.
User avatar
By entelin
#406591
mapjim wrote:
Wed Oct 06, 2010 6:06 pm
The safety records of HG and PG are very similar.
While the fatality rate is generally similar, the minor and permanent injury rate is not at all similar. The Brits do a far better job at tracking and reporting non fatal incidents than we do in the states and the data is undeniable on this. It matches with my own experience as well, I know a ton of HG pilots and they are all fine. I know a handful of PG pilots and a couple of them are not fine. They just fly too slow for too long close to the ground.

Edit: oh crap I fell for the zombie resurrection.
User avatar
By DMarley
#406604
AIRTHUG wrote:
Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:20 pm
...Yes, paragliders are designed to reinflate on their own. But this takes time/altitude. A collapse 3,000 ft above the ground is a non-issue. That same collapse at 300 ft is a BIG issue. And there's usually more turbulence near the ground, so that's where lots of collapses happen.

Many of the best guys in the world have taken low collapses and "gone in"... THAT is why I don't paraglide. When the best guys in the world are getting bit, I know I stand no chance as a 'new' student to the sport...
That's what kept me from going PG. Saw too many cases of uncontrolled 'flight' close to the deck. Had many more PG guys woo me than hangies years ago, but I couldn't buy into the supposed safety of a poorly inflated bag allowing for reasonably safe flight within possibly turbulent conditions. Transporting logistics are one thing. Overall safety in flight is paramount. Pg fails miserably in the second category.

-zombie killer.
By USHPA7
#406606
It only took one day of a two day PG flight school to convince me that I never wanted to leave the ground under a paraglider. I didn't attend the second day, even though I had paid for it. Several years later the instructor (over 10 yr experience) I had that day was killed on a mountain side. Nobody witnessed the crash but collapse near the ground was the logical explanation.

A Pacific Northwest HG friend told me that the PG death rate is worse on the eastern, desert side, of the WA mountains. He had assumed it was because of more turbulent air in the desert. What he learned was that the forested side had fewer deaths because the thick forest trees were acting as a safety net for crashing paragliders. More injuries, but fewer deaths. Kudos for the forest!

FC
User avatar
By Karl_A
#406612
Intermediate Glider for a Small Person

Pacific Airwave Genesis

- Excellent Condition
- New side and front wires
- 138 square feet
- 48 lbs in the bag
- This glider has a very small control frame. The downtubes are 57 inches long, 4 5/8 inches shorter than the Wills Wing Falcon 145 downtubes at 61 5/8 inches
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