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

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By Saint Michael
#400425
Morning everyone,

I've experienced my first tandem flight and I'm looking at getting into the sport of hang gliding. I have some questions for people out there. Are they any hang gliding clubs in Ontario Canada? By clubs I mean people who get together and HG on a regular basis? I've scoured the internet trying to find some, but haven't located any other than the 3 major tow fields.

Does one usually store their glider at a field and pay a monthly fee or does it break apart and can be stored in a garage?

How is the learning curve for learning to fly? Is it hard to land hang gliders?

What sort of physical shape should you be in to take on a glider?

Most of my other questions have been answered via websites I've gone to, but the above remain a mystery

Thanks for your responses

St. Mike
By blindrodie
#400427
I've experienced my first tandem flight and I'm looking at getting into the sport of hang gliding.
br: Sweet. Welcome aboard!
Are they any hang gliding clubs in Ontario Canada?
br: Google Bob Grant. You can start there. A number of maple leaves on here I believe.
Does one usually store their glider at a field and pay a monthly fee or does it break apart and can be stored in a garage?
br: Yes and any number of ways. Many store at home. Others at the flight park with rent, etc, etc.
How is the learning curve for learning to fly?
br: Depends eh! I grew up flying in general aviation so it was natural for me to do it. Others not so much.....
Is it hard to land hang gliders?
br: Not once you learn how! I never found it an issue. Again, others not so much.
What sort of physical shape should you be in to take on a glider?
br: I believe one should be in "decent" physical shape. You don't need to be a stud muffin but good physical strength
and coordination can go a long way.

Get in touch with the locals and hang out with them. Then get good instruction and GO FOR IT!

8)
User avatar
By red
#400432
Saint Michael wrote:
Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:15 pm
Morning everyone,
I've experienced my first tandem flight and I'm looking at getting into the sport of hang gliding.
How is the learning curve for learning to fly? Is it hard to land hang gliders?
What sort of physical shape should you be in to take on a glider?
Most of my other questions have been answered via websites I've gone to, but the above remain a mystery
St. Mike
St. Mike,

If you can ski or skateboard with any proficiency, just imagine doing that stuff in 3-D, in the open sky. The glider (when adjusted for your weight) will fly in straight lines, at the proper airspeed, with your hands in your pockets. Even skis or skateboards will not do that for you. :wink: Having an unknown glider without good knowledge on tap is full-tilt dangerous, so HG instruction is highly (pardon the pun) recommended. 8)

Landing the HG is easy, but needs some finesse. It's about like turning a skateboard uphill and stepping off at zero speed, with no footsteps. For a HG though, you always have the "uphill" available on totally flat ground, with no turning. Watch videos of nice landings; the good pilots push the nose up, slow the glider to a stop in mid-air, and step lightly on the ground. Beginners can roll in on wheels, or run out (on foot) the landings that they did not stop in mid-air first, but you should soon be landing like a pro. The instructor will help to get that right for you.

Lessons are the hard part of HG, unless you learn entirely with tandem flights and/or low towing. Short flights on a hillside and a hike back to the launch point are enough to tax the best athletes. Take your time, then; HG lessons are not supposed to be a stamina test, it is a "learning to fly" adventure. A good instructor should end the lesson (based on each person's strengths) before the student gets too tired to learn anything more, on any one day.

I do recommend a full-glider HG Simulator session (or two) just before starting HG lessons. Learning to fly in mid-air is not a great idea, if you can learn how with a full HG Simulator first, instead.

More details are on my web page, linked below.
User avatar
By TjW
#400434
Solo lessons on the hill aren't necessarily as exhausting as once they were.
At Crestline, we use a Gator or a pickup truck to take the fully assembled glider up the training hill.
This is much faster than a short hike with the glider, and has two advantages: More repetitions in a day, and a less physically exhausted student. Both of these advantages make the learning easier, and more fun.
By Saint Michael
#400463
Thanks all for the tips and tricks. I will be living on Youtube for the next little while. For me it doesn't make sense to start a new hobby just before winter and then have to take a break while the snow flies. I do actually snowboard, I tried skiing but I didn't like it.

Right now I'm researching an air field that looks reputable and carries a lot of experience in my local area. I've found 2 tow fields I would like to personally check out.

Once you're in the air, what's the average time you can spend up there before you have to land?
User avatar
By red
#400464
Saint Michael wrote:
Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:16 am
Once you're in the air, what's the average time you can spend up there before you have to land?
St. Mike,

If I don't get an hour or two in the sky, it was not a good day. 8) A lot depends on where and when you fly, and on your skills. When the air is stable, you get sled rides. When the air is active, you might go up, and it might be a bumpy ride. (WAH-hooo!) You can learn to fly far above your launch site, and for long distances if you like, on a good day.

You descend at about 200~250 feet per minute with a HG, so you need to find lift exceeding that, on average. You can soar on ridge lift, thermals, and maybe small shears. Typically, you can climb at hundreds of feet per minute in a thermal, then lark around or travel where you want to go (known as XC or Cross Country flying), until you need another thermal. A good XC flight can cover a hundred miles or more. The distance record is over 400 miles, and the duration record is well over 24 hours. I do not fly on those terms; I fly for FUN.

The ancient Romans had a proverb: "You can never step into the same river twice." The sky is like that, too. Some days can be like past days, but there is usually something unique or challenging about any given day.
By blindrodie
#400465
Once you're in the air, what's the average time you can spend up there before you have to land?
This depends entirely on the type of "lift" one is flying in. On a ridge (3 feet or 1000's) one can experience mechanical lift for as long as the air is moving (rising) against and over the "ridge" enough to overcome the rate at which your wing is coming down.

Also one might be flying in thermals or "packets" of lifting air that rise faster than the wing is coming down. As long as the thermals are there and one can find them flight will continue.

Sounds like you need to get Pagen's book on flying a hang glider. Go for it!

8)
By Saint Michael
#400467
This is all good stuff, thanks for the information.

In terms of being a new flyer, when I choose to get a glider, is there one glider that is better than the others? (IE more forgiving, more durable etc?)
User avatar
By TjW
#400471
There's several good beginner gliders. I wouldn't worry much about it until you have your H2. By that time, you should have a good relationship with an instructor, and opinions from lots of other people as well.
Until then, you'll be using your instructor's equipment.
My recommended order of equipment purchase would be:
A comfortable helmet. Your instructor will have some, too, but having your own is nice, even on the training hill.
A comfortable harness. Like the glider, this can wait until your H2, but the harness can be with you through several gliders and can have a big effect on how enjoyable flights are.
Then the glider.
By dbhyslop
#400482
Also, don't set your expectations too high as a beginner. If you're at an aerotow park it might be a dozen or two sled rides in increasingly bumpy conditions after your H2 before you have your first soaring flight, and it might take many more before you can reliably soar for hours.

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