mattboy wrote:My point was that accessibility isn't really an issue as there are usually roads up to established (and safe) take off sites. Maybe there are a bunch of take off sites available that are only possible to hike to, but I imagine that's the exception rather than the rule.
Once again I respectfully look at your point from a different perspective. Established (and maybe
safe - as safety is in big part judgement) take off sites happen to be in locations where there are roads since those locations are the easiest places to get to. Last time I looked around on Google Earth there are far more hillsides, mountain tops, ridges, etc. without roads to the top of them than with roads. A lot of these places would make sweet launch and flying sites - and can be if you have a para as opposed to a hang. Sure you can pack a hang just about anywhere you really want to fly. I used to do that in the Beartooth Mountains of MT. But, you're not going to do that very often. With paras that option is much more attractive. One of the sites I have my eye on to establish is in a natural area that allows no wheeled traffic - just foot traffic. I'm a hang pilot only but will begin working on the site just so paras can fly it. Since it is close to town it could generate interest in flying paras. And, some of those would-be para pilots will skip paras and go to hangs - maybe the other way around too. So what?! I'm convinced we're better off with both sports than with only one - and we should champion them both.
I'm not ranting on here to belittle anyone on this org. I really like this place and the sharing of ideas, techniques, etc., etc. But, in some ways I feel us hang pilots are killing the goose that's laying golden eggs (paras). I even think there could be a successful hang gliding school that was designed to start students on paras then move them to hangs - or not if the student wished to stick with paras. In a couple of years the para guy/gal may choose to get a hang. If the sports are integrated more there's a dang good chance of that sort of thing being commonplace.
Do I want to take this "argument" to the extreme and start actively getting para pilots to join hg.org - NO WAY! I also like it here because I don't have to wonder what "glider" means when someone is talking about one. I know it is a hang and that's where my own personal flying interest lies.
Steve Baran ï¿½ U2 160 ï¿½ Chattaroy, WA - USA ï¿½ USHPA# 16529 ï¿½ www.centeroflift.org