- Wed May 23, 2018 2:57 am
Cheesehead mentioned a subject that is a major obstacle here in Montana and Wy and Id, where I live/learned. In addition to a shortage, virtually none, of instructors and training hills we are faced with a 5 to 6 month period of non flying weather.
These are not insurmountable, but it certainly raises the bar as far as a level of dedication goes.
Having said all that (for the millionth time) the original point of my post was that we, as a community, are faced with a significant societal change. Another blatant example of my main point here is the Liberty Insurance commercial where the mom is so grateful that an insurance company "saved" her teenage son from a flat tire???
Seriously? Try to imagine the reception that this commercial would have received 20, 30 years ago. Hell, 10 years ago? I can remember my dad making me change a tire in the dark with no flash light when I was 15. (Yeah, I knew what a lug wrench was.) The fact that this commercial has been running for well over a year only re-enforces my main point.
The bottom line is that the gene pool for prospective hang glider pilots has been shrinking for a generation or more. We are competing with other (I never refer to hg as extreme) activities with a seriously declining number of prospects.
When you combine this with the perspective that hg is harder, takes more time, is more of a logistical hassle and cost too much, it is understandable that there are fewer younger hang glider pilots.
So I'll say again that it is up to every single one of us to seek out and mentor anyone who is even a little interested in what we do. We as a community need to help as much as we can others to get into hang gliding. That means removing or reducing as many of the barriers as we can. This can be making equipment available as cheaply as possible, giving up flying days to spend time with newbies and simply taking the time to talk to those who asks us questions.
I know they are out there. I just spent an hour with a young guy who is really interested. I gave him my number, he knows where we fly and I told him that all he needs to do is show up one afternoon in the LZ for his first lesson. I even have my old single surface that he can have to train with as well as a training harness. I really think, hope, that he will make the commitment. I am committed to him.
What a beautiful day! Let's go jump off a mountain!!!
"He did not know he could not fly and so he did" Guy Clark,
"The Cape" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6bZ37nexSY