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

Moderators: sg, mods

User avatar
By FlyLikeARock
I've been out of the game for 2 years, looking to start flying again. Before that I flew for 10 years, H4 rated flying a T2C.

I'm curious how good my muscle memory will be. Any recommendations for safe re-entry?
User avatar
By miraclepieco
Speaking as someone who came back after 6 years off:

Start right where you left off - same glider, same site, everything same and familiar. You have enough experience that the touch will immediately come back.

Some will advise returning to the training hill; I disagree. When you get on a bicycle after years without riding one, do you install training wheels? Do you have your daddy run beside you holding you up? Of course not.

A word about weather conditions: For your first flight pick a day that is soarable, but not intense. A soarable day allows more time in the air to re-familiarize yourself with handling the wing, making turns, etc. before having to perform the more challenging aspects of approach and landing. And a mild day will make landing a breeze.
User avatar
By TjW
I'll second this, depending on how comfortable you were on the T2C. If you weren't pretty comfortable with a no-wind landing, get a Falcon for a first flight. That will give you a good idea of how good your muscle memory is, and a lower stress landing.
By dencor
When I returned two years ago, after a 15 year hiatus, I ask our local instructor to treat me as a total nube. After a month of training, ie ground school/low altitute scooter tows/blah-blah, I jumped right back on the horse and have had two summer's of personal bests. Yeah, a lot of the old pilots teased and taunted me to just pick up where I was when I quit, and granted, a lot of skills were "muscle memory" awakened, but I don't regret the time I invested. Unlike a bicycle, the consequences of making a mistake on a hang glider are quite "magnified". HINT: Every hang rating stresses the importance of the pilot exercising good judgement. In the end, its a personal decision only YOU can make. Welcome back, and good luck!! (Hang-4 with darn near every skill sign off)
User avatar
By DAVE 858
Is there another glider aside from a T2C that you could fly instead? Other than that I would say you are good to go.
User avatar
By Dave Jacob
I took time off too (7 years) but found coming back to be very easy. I spent a couple hours on a falcon with an instructor which was surprisingly helpful. Aside from the first launch into some lift which was a little disorienting, everything felt like it came back immediately. However, the instructor wasn't as easy on me as I was on myself.

My angle of attack was too high
My eyes were focused on the ground instead of on the horizon when landing
I was not leaning through the control frame to tow the glider with my harness straps when launching.
I was cross controlling a little bit.

A couple of these things probably came about as a result of my absence from the sport. But it's likely a couple of them proceeded it. I think it is good idea to pay for a day with an instructor from time to time to tune ourselves up. I don't think 2 years is that big of a deal if you have a well grounded skill set. But I think coming back to the sport is one of the few times that we are willing to submit to going back to instruction. So I'd encourage that route just as a matter of good practice, not because you necessarily need it.

Welcome back.
By maaglide
I recently came back after 10-12 years off (got H4 in 1976). I agree w most above, as I jumped back into flying w a few easy flights on an intermediate glider then went to my first topless. It was a lot like riding a bike Re basic flying skills, just some subtleties probably lost (precise flair timing, etc.) - but remember much of what makes us safe or not is our judgment, so that shouldnt change simply by time off (tho confidence might). No reason not to got back to training hill, would certainly help my technique, but I dont see any reason why you cant fly advanced sites if conditions are not too challenging. Fortunately you wont get bumped back to a Hang 2 like I am - thanks USHPA! - Mark

Fun after work flight! https://www.youtube.com/wa[…]

Tough day, finally got a climb out only to get flu[…]

Fun day at the hill. A few others showed up. Nice […]

Another day at the local site, bald eagle and a fe[…]