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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

Moderator: mods

By once&future
#389301
entelin wrote:Greg Porter's XC flight from Migus to Meteor crator, as well as one of a guy thermalling amidst clouds. Those video's hooked me, it was something I was going to do regardless of risk.
As a visiting pilot I only flew that route once - and only half as far (out to Mormon Lake) - but over 20 years later it still sticks in my mind as one of the prettiest. The transition from the red rocks of Sedona to the greenery once you get up and cross over the rim is truly striking. Mingus is a great place to fly.
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By AlaskanNewb
#389310
Lots of people interested up in my neck of the woods.
USHPA instructor policies make it very hard for me to operate under their rules though.
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By idahoDal
#389650
I thought you flew at unregulated sites and believed that self taught is just fine? If that is the case why can't you teach at non-insured sites and then if one of your students ever needs a card from the org they can arrange to meet with a lower-48 instructor, prove they have the skills and take the exams and get their card in fairly short order.
By AichThree
#389652
idahoDal wrote:I thought you flew at unregulated sites and believed that self taught is just fine? If that is the case why can't you teach at non-insured sites and then if one of your students ever needs a card from the org they can arrange to meet with a lower-48 instructor, prove they have the skills and take the exams and get their card in fairly short order.
Excellent point.
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By Lucky_Chevy
#389653
It's not just the number of hanggliding pilots that are decreasing. The number of general aviation pilots are decreasing as well. So are the sports of skeet shooting, bowling, yachting, and golf.

I personally suspect the decrease is not due to motivation but the lack of discretionary income and free time. 60 hour weeks are the new 40 and dual income households are the norm and are required to combat a declining standard of living.

Global competition and automation have long exerted financial pressure on the middle class and now are squeezing white collar workers as well. The increased time/financial pressure on individuals coupled with the relative obscurity of our sport, the cost of its equipment and the availability of instruction is most likely responsible for the decline of our sport and of leisure sports in general. ...or didn't you notice that there weren't as many ice skaters, ice boaters and snow mobilers as there used to be.

Just an opinion.
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By zamuro
#389657
Lucky_Chevy wrote:It's not just the number of hanggliding pilots that are decreasing. The number of general aviation pilots are decreasing as well. So are the sports of skeet shooting, bowling, yachting, and golf.

I personally suspect the decrease is not due to motivation but the lack of discretionary income and free time. 60 hour weeks are the new 40 and dual income households are the norm and are required to combat a declining standard of living.

Global competition and automation have long exerted financial pressure on the middle class and now are squeezing white collar workers as well. The increased time/financial pressure on individuals coupled with the relative obscurity of our sport, the cost of its equipment and the availability of instruction is most likely responsible for the decline of our sport and of leisure sports in general. ...or didn't you notice that there weren't as many ice skaters, ice boaters and snow mobilers as there used to be.

Just an opinion.
Do you have data for other outdoor activities.? I checked scuba diving, which can get expensive too, and found no significant decline in the number of participants in the last 10 years.
http://www.statista.com/statistics/1913 ... ince-2006/
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By Lucky_Chevy
#389659
I think scuba diving is fairly constant because it thrives as a vacation activity. Most of my evidence is antidotal like my local sailplane club trying to find members and giving away the required training.

I live outside of Washington DC which skews my perspective quite a bit. In this area a one bedroom apartment goes for $1,800/month. Younger folks are saving to get homes, pay for weddings, and starting families.

I found Hanggliding when I was 38. I always had an interest but didn't have the time and money to persue training until then.


For the others, here are some articles:
https://iceboat.me/2015/08/09/iceboatin ... -research/

http://cs.amsnow.com/sno/b/news/archive ... cline.aspx

http://archive.sailingscuttlebutt.com/news/10/0423/

http://time.com/money/2871511/golf-dyin ... s-elitist/

http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/ ... ts-decline

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/1/prweb9093526.htm
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By Paul H
#389661
Money isn't the problem. There are plenty of other pass times that are far more expensive and have huge numbers of participants. Motocross is a perfect example.
By Roadrunner
#389662
Guys, now that I am in this self-induced, caused by my taking a pounding 6 years ago. I am not able to fly. For it seems that I may have been on March 28th 2010. I might have been a Pilot who due to the fact that I did take this severe pounding. I might be "One and Done".

But flying my Predator is always on my mind. Sure Iv'e been attempting to get myself back into the Air by flying a Grobe Sail-plane .

I was talking to my friend Tim one day. When I said to Tim: "Tim, all I think about is flying my Predator again." Tim replied: :You need to find something new to do." I say to that: What do you do to replace Hang-Gliding? What is the activity that you do to use to full-fill your avion desires?
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By Nigel Hewitt
#389665
zamuro wrote:Do you have data for other outdoor activities.? I checked scuba diving, which can get expensive too, and found no significant decline in the number of participants in the last 10 years.
As a UK diver I'm seeing less activity from the divers. There are less charter boats operating and it's harder to get a few extra people to make up the numbers. I suspect people still rate themselves as divers but didn't actually dive recently.

I confess I do more archery these days because I can sling the gear in the car and be on the field and shooting in 20 minutes. Scuba and the HG needs a lot of pre-planning and preparation work.
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By Jim brindley
#389670
Paul H wrote:Money isn't the problem. There are plenty of other pass times that are far more expensive and have huge numbers of participants. Motocross is a perfect example.
I agree with Paul....boating, for example....an outboard motor costs more than a hang glider.....the fees associated with hang gliding are rediculously cheap also....I live very far from any sites, but I am amazed that I haven't encountered one person that wants to try this......they seem indifferent to the sport.....wierd
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By wonderwind_flyer
#389674
...

Maybe throw this into the equation too:
http://theantimedia.org/children-less-t ... -prisoner/

I live in a safe, semi-rural neighborhood and there are several families with children here. There are woods, creeks, grassy fields and hiking/biking trails within the neighborhood and my wife and I are on these trails several times a week ... but I never see any children out exploring. In fact, I rarely see their parents outside unless they are mowing grass or getting in their cars.

I grew up near a marshy area at the end of a small lake. Almost every day after school (and all day in the summer months) my neighborhood friends and I were climbing trees, catching snakes and floating on home-made rafts. When hang gliding came along it was a natural extension to what I had been doing as a younger boy ... but even more fun!

...
By Flyboy5131
#389725
Davis is correct. Schools and instructors make new pilots. Pull a mag from the 80s out of the closet and see how many schools had an add then check the ratings page. Where did all the schools go? Hang gliding IS local. [/quote]
By Jakeramp
#389727
I'll answer it fairly quickly. I'm a new h2 pilot at 29 years old. I bought gear, a glider, books, and instruction last July. From August- end of season I had 70+ training hill flights (no bonk) and only 1 "high" mtn. Fast forward to this season. 7 high mtn sled rides and a 1 hour soaring flight. My problems: 1- every step of the way, Ive been second guessed. "Don't get that wing" "or that vario" I did my research! 2-restrictions we place on ourselves. The home site is rated h3, so all the local pilots fly there. (Side note: it's very disheartening having friends always ask, "did I see you fly today?!?!" No, no you didn't, probably won't this season.) Why drive 50 miles to fly a less predictable site? Which leads me to the most crutial and possibly dangerous problem 3- INSUFFICIENT AIRTIME. There is a learning curve with hang gliding, and if you get 1 5 minute sled ride a month, it's like starting from scratch. It's not my lack of initiative. The club members could attest to that. Or my availability. Maybe I should start poopergliding...
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By SeeHoweToFly
#389754
Jakeramp nailed it
'll answer it fairly quickly. I'm a new h2 pilot at 29 years old. I bought gear, a glider, books, and instruction last July. From August- end of season I had 70+ training hill flights (no bonk) and only 1 "high" mtn. Fast forward to this season. 7 high mtn sled rides and a 1 hour soaring flight. My problems: 1- every step of the way, Ive been second guessed. "Don't get that wing" "or that vario" I did my research! 2-restrictions we place on ourselves. The home site is rated h3, so all the local pilots fly there. (Side note: it's very disheartening having friends always ask, "did I see you fly today?!?!" No, no you didn't, probably won't this season.) Why drive 50 miles to fly a less predictable site? Which leads me to the most crutial and possibly dangerous problem 3- INSUFFICIENT AIRTIME. There is a learning curve with hang gliding, and if you get 1 5 minute sled ride a month, it's like starting from scratch. It's not my lack of initiative. The club members could attest to that. Or my availability. Maybe I should start poopergliding...
In my area we have one school run by a uninsured instructor who never shows up on time, then when you finally can get to your H-2 rating there is nowhere to fly within 100 miles and even then you have to be a H-3. Coloma Club (beer drinking club with a hang gliding problem) H-3 plus you have to pay a hundred dollars to join and wait for a so called director to invite you to fly EVERYTIME. Fort Funston H-3 and 2 hour drive, Slide Mountain H-3 but they really can't enforce it and a 1 hour drive. McClure H-2/3 but the clubs falling apart and 2 1/2 hour drive. Hat Creek, great place to fly but a 4 1/2 hour drive each way.
But I can drive to the local airport, whip out my PPC or Trike and be flying in 20 minutes and no club drama.
By Jakeramp
#389755
Yes! Club drama! It reminds me of being in a band. Everyone has their own thing going on and it's rare that everyone can meet up to practice. Im sorry to hear that you have similar site issues. This is a big problem though. Both for the sport and for pilot safety. Conditions are rarely even worth watching,, but the last 3 days it's been perfect....and I can't get even 1 person to go flying. Seriously! perfect L&V should glass off....but no, I don't get to fly, yet again. Instead I'll be looking at apartments and minimum wage jobs in draper, ut. Wish I had a trike :mosh:
By Jakeramp
#389759
Roadrunner wrote:Guys, now that I am in this self-induced, caused by my taking a pounding 6 years ago. I am not able to fly. For it seems that I may have been on March 28th 2010. I might have been a Pilot who due to the fact that I did take this severe pounding. I might be "One and Done".

But flying my Predator is always on my mind. Sure Iv'e been attempting to get myself back into the Air by flying a Grobe Sail-plane .

I was talking to my friend Tim one day. When I said to Tim: "Tim, all I think about is flying my Predator again." Tim replied: :You need to find something new to do." I say to that: What do you do to replace Hang-Gliding? What is the activity that you do to use to full-fill your avion desires?
what's the extent of your injuries brotha? and you keep that predator!!! I must say that is the 1 wing I've always wanted to fly... Don't ever give up! Mosquito harness? What about building one like e-lift? This sport needs innovation. And role models
By Jakeramp
#389796
AIRTHUG wrote:
What hang gliding needs now more than ever! Ive been brainstorming this idea for the last year. What is the Achilles heel of a hang glider? Falling into the keel, collapsing the glider.
I have to respectfully disagree. Falling into the keel and breaking the glider is not a design flaw in the aircraft that is need need of solution. It actually happens VERY rarely. But besides that, it's not something that just happens to people. If I could use the word always, I'd say it's always from failed aerobatics. If there were any exception to that, it would be flying in turbulent conditions that exceed the stability of our aircraft...

Both of these things are STUPIDLY-SIMPLE to solve, via avoidance. Speaking from very personal experience, it is extremely reasonable and possible to "train your tricks" and work up to looping, so that by the time the pilot is performing loops there is a very, very high expectation of success. Like near-certainty. No gambling allowed.

Now... if you could solve the HUMAN condition, which is to seek adventure, always wanting more... but at the same time to not be willing to put the time and work in to build (and follow) a multi-year progression and training regime. Essentially, ACCEPTING risk taking rather than exercising the much harder practice of risk MITIGATION.

So- again I'm very sorry- but I don't think people falling into and breaking their gliders is a design flaw in the gliders, it's the effect side of a cause/effect relationship... that follows the real problem... people trying things they aren't ready for, don't fully understand or possess the skill for, and basically accepting the uncertainty in how their "attempt" will turn out... maybe even being SURPRISED when it *does* work out?! (so they do it again, and again?! LOL!)

Cheers,

RV
sorry, I'm reposting this twice. Don't pm me to b---- about my thread. This guy is case number 1: I start a thread titled innovation just taking a stab at an idea I've had that someone could make better regarding tumble protection. He decides to pm me his problems instead of include them in the forum constructively. He starts off with an apologetic tone and subject (clever title *eye roll*) in NO vation, then gets into his groove of "this is teaching poor piloting" not, hey bikes have training wheels, motocross have foam pits, this could save lives!!! Wake up, this is part of innovation and learning. I'm duplicating this for one reason. To show the arrogant elitist attitude that some jerkoffs portray.. Seriously, f--- this guy. Especially the insincere very sorry, aura like he is teaching me how hang gliders work as if I'm 10. His argument is generic bullshit. To say that a collapse is always caused by a loop failure is nonsense. More times than not, the pilot had no intention to perform aerobatics. Yeah they made a mistake, clearly, but does that mean that they don't deserve the best chance to try it again? I'm trying to grow the sport by helping make it accessible. If a mistake is made, maybe the glider will self correct and save a life. Not just Darwin splatter the guy that gets tangled in his parachute. Lastly, take a long look in the mirror air thug. You are the problem, you passive aggressive, arrogant moose knuckle. Sorry but there's a couple club pilots that this sounds like and I need to vent. Cheers ;)
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By Tormod
#389803
Jakeramp wrote:
AIRTHUG wrote:
What hang gliding needs now more than ever! Ive been brainstorming this idea for the last year. What is the Achilles heel of a hang glider? Falling into the keel, collapsing the glider.
I have to respectfully disagree. Falling into the keel and breaking the glider is not a design flaw in the aircraft that is need need of solution. It actually happens VERY rarely. But besides that, it's not something that just happens to people. If I could use the word always, I'd say it's always from failed aerobatics. If there were any exception to that, it would be flying in turbulent conditions that exceed the stability of our aircraft...

Both of these things are STUPIDLY-SIMPLE to solve, via avoidance. Speaking from very personal experience, it is extremely reasonable and possible to "train your tricks" and work up to looping, so that by the time the pilot is performing loops there is a very, very high expectation of success. Like near-certainty. No gambling allowed.

Now... if you could solve the HUMAN condition, which is to seek adventure, always wanting more... but at the same time to not be willing to put the time and work in to build (and follow) a multi-year progression and training regime. Essentially, ACCEPTING risk taking rather than exercising the much harder practice of risk MITIGATION.

So- again I'm very sorry- but I don't think people falling into and breaking their gliders is a design flaw in the gliders, it's the effect side of a cause/effect relationship... that follows the real problem... people trying things they aren't ready for, don't fully understand or possess the skill for, and basically accepting the uncertainty in how their "attempt" will turn out... maybe even being SURPRISED when it *does* work out?! (so they do it again, and again?! LOL!)

Cheers,

RV
sorry, I'm reposting this twice. Don't pm me to b**** about my thread. This guy is case number 1: I start a thread titled innovation just taking a stab at an idea I've had that someone could make better regarding tumble protection. He decides to pm me his problems instead of include them in the forum constructively. He starts off with an apologetic tone and subject (clever title *eye roll*) in NO vation, then gets into his groove of "this is teaching poor piloting" not, hey bikes have training wheels, motocross have foam pits, this could save lives!!! Wake up, this is part of innovation and learning. I'm duplicating this for one reason. To show the arrogant elitist attitude that some jerkoffs portray.. Seriously, f*** this guy. Especially the insincere very sorry, aura like he is teaching me how hang gliders work as if I'm 10. His argument is generic bullshit. To say that a collapse is always caused by a loop failure is nonsense. More times than not, the pilot had no intention to perform aerobatics. Yeah they made a mistake, clearly, but does that mean that they don't deserve the best chance to try it again? I'm trying to grow the sport by helping make it accessible. If a mistake is made, maybe the glider will self correct and save a life. Not just Darwin splatter the guy that gets tangled in his parachute. Lastly, take a long look in the mirror air thug. You are the problem, you passive aggressive, arrogant moose knuckle. Sorry but there's a couple club pilots that this sounds like and I need to vent. Cheers ;)
There's nothing wrong with you asking questions and presenting your ideas here but you seem to be not taking critique very well, you're attacking a very knowledgeable and good pilot with harsh words. He's entitled to his own opinion of your idea and I for one, agree that it's not a problem. If it was, the manufacturers would simply have made the keel stronger.

I will add that the problem if you break the keel is not being impaled but simply that you might get separated from the glider and our emergency systems is not designed for the free-fall deployment which will occur if you delay deployment for a few seconds. At least Moyes have implemented a strap that will keep you attached to the glider in the case of a broken keel.

Edit: I posted this on that "innovation" thread to, go read, this guy is a hoot.
By blindrodie
#389817
I just don't have much sympathy for the wannabe's that complain about a long drive to learn to fly. I drove 7 hours each way to get a rating and I have to drive 5 hours to get good mountain flying.

The sport is what one makes it. The rewards are high and I like that enough to make the trips to stay safe and enjoy the freeflight community a priority.

If not, maybe the sport is not for you! :twisted:

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