This forum is dedicated to discussions on how to grow the sport of hang gliding. We will take a methodical approach to collect data and come up with implementable ideas on how to increase our numbers. This includes effective marketing, lead generation, site access issues, improving regulations, lack of instructors, lack of sites, etc

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By Lazypilot
Blindrodie wrote:

"The difference for me? It's all worth it. It's all worth the privilege to actually fly on my own. I'm OK with a lot of the issues that keep a lot of folks on the ground. They prolly should stay there anyway! I'm OK with the sport being hard to get into. I don't want "everybody" flying..."

I've known people that I would rather not see flying, and some of them did fly. Not everyone that expresses a desire to fly will have the "right stuff", for want of a better term, but if it's true that the sport will improve for all of us if it grows then I think making it more attractive will bring in more participants.

Gaining experience and skill is very time intensive for Hg. I get a distinct impression that the Pg crowd doesn't have to spend as much time as Hg.

When I took airplane pilot lessons I usually flew at least once a week, and often I flew at least twice a week. So in about 6 to 7 weeks I had soloed. The instruction was fast paced and a lot was learned in the hour that most lessons used. Motorized quick turn arounds can help a lot, as at Crestline, but if pilots are frustrated with the slow learning curve perhaps we can come up with an instructional curriculum that speeds things up.

It could be done with more tandem flying, my airplane lessons were all dual until I soloed, and after that about half were probably with at least some dual. I continued until I only needed 2 or 3 hours to get my license. Then I tried out hang gliding, and never went back to the airport.

But the airport is a place where we can find more Hg pilots. But I don't think that they will find us attractive if we don't offer more variety in the choice of equipment. It's not a good thing to get in a rut and stop advancing technologically, which is what Hg has done for 30+ years. Continuous refinement of old designs is all we have to show, and the hang glider remains just as limited as ever.

So to answer the original question, Yes in some ways it might be a good idea to go back to our roots. We just can't afford to return to our root fatality record. But the popularity of the Flugtag events indicates that the original spirit still exists.

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