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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

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User avatar
By RobertKesselring
#391131
EricH wrote: I tell them when formal classes are over that I become their coach, and we'll just go flying together.
You, sir, are awesome. :thumbsup:

I'll bet the retention rate among your students is pretty good. We need more like you. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
User avatar
By TjW
#391142
DAVE 858 wrote:I can understand feeling intimidated as a newly minted H2 Pilot. However, a newly minted H2 SHOULD have all the necessary skills to not die as the result of poor technique or judgement of conditions. Unfortunately this does not always happen with every H2. A good example being the first post of the following thread:

http://www.hanggliding.org/viewtopic.php?t=34638

HOW IN THE f*** ARE WE ISSUING H2 RATING TO SOMEONE THAT DOES NOT KNOW WHAT A GRAPEVINE HOLD IS!?!?!?

Being an instructor is a really hard job in the fact that they are placed in quite a precarious position. How do you tell someone they are not cutting the mustard after they have invested thousands of dollars & time training? How are they going to handle hearing "this isn't your sport & maybe you should take up bowling."??? This conversation almost never happens & ratings are bought & not earned & people either scare the s*** out of themselves & quit or the community is left to deal with trying to sort out what was missed or lacking throughout the course of instruction. An observer can only do so much as far as being a mentor goes.

One possible solution to this predicament is that instructors should be more selective with who they take on as a student. Maybe some kind of pre instruction interview or application process. I think it helps to know a prospective students background & find out why they want to learn to hang glide & even make them acquire letters of recommendation from a rated aviator of any type. At the very least, instructors should ascertain whether or not the student is physically financially & mentally capable of completing the program.
I don't see what the shouting is about. The nomenclature "grapevine hold" might be useful for an instructor talking to another instructor. It's a convenient shorthand. But it ain't a good launch. The nomenclature is not the thing we're looking for.
I'd much prefer to be around an H2 who can keep the nose from popping up by whatever means he prefers, and knows why that's important, than an H2 that memorized "grapevine hold", and perhaps even uses it, but still lets the damn nose pop up.

In point of fact, the OP of the thread in your link knew what a grapevine hold was, said specifically that he used it up until the wing is loaded and the strap is tight, and then transitioned to a bottle grip, just as he had been trained to do by the several instructors he had trained with.

Now, if he's letting the nose pop up, he needs to fix that by whatever means necessary. But (at least according to his possibly biased account) he isn't being criticized on the substance of the launch, but rather on his style.
User avatar
By Zopilote
#391199
Reading this tread.Why no body is mentioning that after the student spend a lot of many in the training hill,tandem flys and equipment at the instructor school.The student is just left by Himself after the h2 certificate because the instructor is too busy repeating the same cycle with other students that He not even have the time to answer a question. :x
By blindrodie
#391200
You came to the right place. Ask away!!

8)
User avatar
By AlaskanNewb
#391243
gluesniffer wrote:No h2 should fly without supervision. Whether it be an observer, instructor, or a more experienced pilot.
.
If that was true I would have been forced to quit the sport.
You can fly just fine as a new H2 out on your own.

I accumulated my first 150 hours as a new h2 with no help at all unless i was visiting AJX or similar place.
User avatar
By TjW
#391251
AlaskanNewb wrote:
gluesniffer wrote:No h2 should fly without supervision. Whether it be an observer, instructor, or a more experienced pilot.
.
If that was true I would have been forced to quit the sport.
You can fly just fine as a new H2 out on your own.

I accumulated my first 150 hours as a new h2 with no help at all unless i was visiting AJX or similar place.
So, how much help were we?
By gluesniffer
#391253
AlaskanNewb wrote:
gluesniffer wrote:No h2 should fly without supervision. Whether it be an observer, instructor, or a more experienced pilot.
.
If that was true I would have been forced to quit the sport.
You can fly just fine as a new H2 out on your own.

I accumulated my first 150 hours as a new h2 with no help at all unless i was visiting AJX or similar place.

Yeah newb.... You also say you don't need any instructor at all so....

:ahh: :ahh:

As a h4 I still prefer to consult with and fly with locals when flying new sites. In my book a real pilot is a ripping soaring pilot and until then there is much to learn and it is wayyyyy safer with proper guidance. A h2 ain't s---. I've said it to you before, a knowledgeable skilled pilot could probably look at your skills and give advice to make you better. Why go it alone?
User avatar
By TjW
#391270
The "H2 ain't s---" attitude could be one reason hang gliding ain't doing so well with the younger crowd.
Who wants to be around people who have that attitude toward you?
The H2s around me have far better education in aviation and risk management, and are flying far safer equipment than the doofuses I flew with on standard Rogallos forty years ago.
Granted, there wasn't much in the way of good instruction then, but why not let the instruction program be a success?
By gluesniffer
#391281
TjW wrote:The "H2 ain't s***" attitude could be one reason hang gliding ain't doing so well with the younger crowd.
Who wants to be around people who have that attitude toward you?
The H2s around me have far better education in aviation and risk management, and are flying far safer equipment than the doofuses I flew with on standard Rogallos forty years ago.
Granted, there wasn't much in the way of good instruction then, but why not let the instruction program be a success?
The reason this sport is not doing well has nothing to do with me saying h2 ain't s---. Give me a break. A bare minimum h2 or 11 hr h3 is still a step in the right direction, however there is so much more learning ahead. Fresh pilots need to stay with an experienced flock for the best chance of success.
User avatar
By TjW
#391304
gluesniffer wrote:
TjW wrote:The "H2 ain't s***" attitude could be one reason hang gliding ain't doing so well with the younger crowd.
Who wants to be around people who have that attitude toward you?
The H2s around me have far better education in aviation and risk management, and are flying far safer equipment than the doofuses I flew with on standard Rogallos forty years ago.
Granted, there wasn't much in the way of good instruction then, but why not let the instruction program be a success?
The reason this sport is not doing well has nothing to do with me saying h2 ain't s***. Give me a break. A bare minimum h2 or 11 hr h3 is still a step in the right direction, however there is so much more learning ahead. Fresh pilots need to stay with an experienced flock for the best chance of success.
Of course there is more learning ahead. For me, too, I hope.

But the whole purpose of an H2 is to show some minimum level of competency. An H2 should be competent to fly without supervison in familiar conditions.

It's possible that your opinion is correct, and H2s shouldn't fly without supervision, even in conditions they're familiar with. In which case the instruction/rating system is a dismal failure.

Flying in unfamiliar conditions, then pretty much any pilot probably should listen to the advice of pilots more familiar with the conditions, whatever their respective ratings are.

Hang gliding is only going to do well if it's fun. Being told "you ain't s---" ain't fun. Being around people who hold that dismissive attitude toward you, even if they don't say it out loud, ain't fun, either.
By Fletcher
#391318
I was lucky to learn at Morningside and had my instructors and other local pilots to help me learn even when I wasn't paying for instruction.
Then on to Ellenville where Paul Voight and several local pilots helped me with my mountain flying skills.
I made a point to hang out and fly with skilled pilots who's judgement I trusted.
I also tried to have an open mind for the criticism I got from knowledgeable pilots.
Aviation is NO place for thin skin, so if you can't accept some critical comments please go bowling.
Two examples of low hr pilots not listening were-
#1 Two low hr H-2s called several local pilots to get someone to fly with.
All the pilots called said the day was predicted to be very turbulent so they were staying home. Said H-2s went anyway and the first one to fly hit a power line trying to land in Nasty air and broke his arm, never to fly again!
#2 Low hr H-3 asked me if I would fly with him the next day. I mentioned that day would probably be pretty extreme for his skills and I would probably not fly either.
I suggested he call me that morning for a better assessment of the conditions.
Knowing that I would probably call the day off, he and another relatively low hr pilot went to fly without calling. (I chose not to fly) Both did fly, one didn't make an LZ but survived UN-unscathed, the other made the LZ but due to his lack of knowledge of landing in extreme heat pounded badly and broke his arm.
Most of the experienced pilots out there are trying to help you when the offer advice. Be wise and listen so you can enjoy a long and relatively safe flying career.
Fly High Be Free
Fletcher
By lynntalon
#391334
lets compare it to the p2s what can we do better to train ours lets show and test our students to show what they can do and help them to be ready for there tasks ,this will give them the building blocks they need. this will protect our sites.
By Katapus
#392166
I really appreciate this discussion. This resonates with me as a low airtime H2.

(Hi! First time poster!)

I've done all my solo flights to date at LMFP. I've also been in the same situation that Mr Pou describes as to assessing what seem to be great conditions but with no other pilots around to talk with, typically because it's so early in the day. (So far I've always had my driver with me, so if something were to go terribly wrong, there is at least someone to call 911.) I'm old enough that I'm pretty damn cautious about stepping outside of my comfort zone, but that also makes it more challenging to advance and learn new skills. I take assessing the conditions (weather, my equipment, my self) very seriously, but I retain that fear of the "unknown unknowns". I want to (carefully, and with guidance) stretch my skills so I can learn new things. I don't know how else I would ever get better at this.

Bottom line, I'm not going try something new at this stage in my development as a pilot without first talking it through with a much more experienced pilot who I trust, but, for the reasons skoozey brings up, it can be a challenge to get that guidance, which means slower advancement and less flight time. Which may very well lead to trouble with retention in the sport.
User avatar
By Helix3
#392172
Katapus wrote:I've also been in the same situation that Mr Pou describes as to assessing what seem to be great conditions but with no other pilots around to talk with, typically because it's so early in the day. (So far I've always had my driver with me, so if something were to go terribly wrong, there is at least someone to call 911.)
As a relatively new H3 I once found myself alone on launch on a weekday morning at a mountain site I had previously launched and flown 2 times before in midday conditions in the company of experienced locals.
There were pilots in the LZ within line-of-sight of launch (which satisfied my personal condition of never flying alone) but none at launch to help confirm my novice assessment of real-time conditions.

So, I took panoramic photos of the skies, dug up links to various local weather forecasts, took wind meter readings and called up a mentor.
Sent the photos, wx links and relayed real-time wind meter readings.
He asked me to give my assessment first, then he walked me through the criteria of what he looks at + notices in order to make a decision about whether conditions are within his personal risk profile to launch, fly + land.
He didn't make my decision for me, rather, he gave me the tools to make that decision for myself (hallmark of a stellar teacher by the way).

Develop quality mentors + feed them beers and food every now and then :thumbsup:
User avatar
By AIRTHUG
#392178
Helix3 wrote: So, I took panoramic photos of the skies, dug up links to various local weather forecasts, took wind meter readings and called up a mentor.
Sent the photos, wx links and relayed real-time wind meter readings.
He asked me to give my assessment first, then he walked me through the criteria of what he looks at + notices in order to make a decision about whether conditions were within his personal risk profile to launch, fly + land.
He didn't make my decision for me, rather, he gave me the tools to make that decision for myself (hallmark of a stellar teacher by the way).

Develop quality mentors + feed them beers and food every now and then :thumbsup:
This is an awesome student - or should we say "new pilot". You had a good idea of what you didn't know, and respected your newness and the complexity that is assessing conditions. You took initiative, and creatively problem solved the no-mentors-on-launch holdup.

AND... whoever that was that you called... they were A) available, and B) extremely generous with their time! To look at photos you sent, and talk through your assessments, and what they look for... that's not a 2 minute phone call! Doing this for/with you, either took them away from work... INCOME GENERATION FOR SURVIVAL OR PLAY... or from their time off, IE potential "me" time to recreate! They made a choice... to give you that time of theirs. You obviously get it, because you certainly sound appreciative of their assistance... but so many do not!

Your last line- "Develop quality mentors + feed them beers and food every now and then"
IMHO you don't even have to feed them a thing, just make sure they know you recognize and appreciate their contributions and sacrifices to help you have fun, or have fun without taking unnecessary risks. I've seen too many EXCELLENT mentors just get totally burned out by people who call up and say "is it flyable today?". Or there is almost the expectation that these mentoring individuals will wait to launch, delaying their flying (fun), until after they give assistance to the others on launch. Speaking personally, as soon as it feels like something someone expects me to do, rather than something I CHOOSE to do with my time out of kindness or passion for sharing flight... it leaves a really bad taste and makes me not want to do it in the future.

So... yea... DEVELOP (and maintain!) quality mentors!

The last part that needs mention... is that as mentors to tire or burn out... others need to step up and offer what they know. They don't need to know it all, or be the best pilot on the hill. Most any experienced pilot 'aught to know more than the new flock... they just need to have the willingness to share... AND make that willingness known. Like in the story above- the new pilot knew someone to call and send the pics to. Right now we have a gigantic lack of people stepping up to be new mentors, as the old guard seem to be burning out and stepping out of being so active with their advising...
By dnl
#392183
RobertKesselring wrote:
EricH wrote: I tell them when formal classes are over that I become their coach, and we'll just go flying together.
You, sir, are awesome. :thumbsup:

I'll bet the retention rate among your students is pretty good. We need more like you. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
I am one of EricH's students and recently made it to H3. What he does to help his students is above and beyond what I have seen other instructors do. So, yeah, he helped a lot.

But there is something else that meant a lot to me and that was having someone to fly with. It helped even if it was another H2. That may sound like the blind leading the blind but collectively we were better than any of us alone and we certainly helped each other along.

Of course I am alone in the air but it made a big difference if I wasn't alone before launch and after landing. What I mean is having another pilot to share the experience. I won't fly if no one else is around.

For me, an important part of retention (during H2 and going forward) is having friends to fly with.
User avatar
By Karl_A
#392202
dnl wrote:
I am one of EricH's students and recently made it to H3. What he does to help his students is above and beyond what I have seen other instructors do. So, yeah, he helped a lot.

But there is something else that meant a lot to me and that was having someone to fly with. It helped even if it was another H2. That may sound like the blind leading the blind but collectively we were better than any of us alone and we certainly helped each other along.

Of course I am alone in the air but it made a big difference if I wasn't alone before launch and after landing. What I mean is having another pilot to share the experience. I won't fly if no one else is around.

For me, an important part of retention (during H2 and going forward) is having friends to fly with.
Becoming part of the community is the most important part of retention.

H2s talking to H2s is also very important because each of them knows different bits and pieces and the more they talk the more these bits and pieces merge and turn into useful knowledge and even wisdom.

As far as dealing with mentors, show you're making an effort to learn, reading posts, articles, books, watching videos and thinking about it. Better to say, 'I looked at this and that and I think today will be (good, bad, whatever), what do you think?', even if you're wrong, than to ask questions that put it all on the mentor like, 'Will it be good today? How do you know it will be good?'
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