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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 RobA
#402211
Okay, my .02. I am new in a sense. I took lessons a few years ago and got my H2 in California.
Reading the entries here I see a lot of excuse making. One guy posted about customer service and several guys are giving excuses why it isn't their faults. Really? How many of you keep going to the same restaurant after you've received bad customer service? What if it is the only hamburger joint in town? Eventually you may decide you are only eating hamburgers in another town or not at all. Maybe you turn to tacos.
Making excuses isn't fixing the problem. Few people have tolerance for bad customer service. It gets old fast. Because you have a passion for something doesn't mean you won't stop doing it. There are other passions to be had. I have called several places for more lessons and either no call back or weeks down the road. Are they busier than Domino's? Probably not, but I'm sure excuses will be made for them.

This thread is Growing the Sport of HG not making excuses that won't help. Improve customer service. Period. Sometimes it's as easy as a phone call, or two, or three.

Although I enjoyed my time in the air and planned on going further with it, I'm not going to keep hunting for a place to get an instructor (wrong numbers, disconnected numbers, no call backs, sheesh).

What if the costs were less? Hmm. Wouldn't it be better to have more customers at a lower price than no customers? Remember the numbers are dwindling. You may think you will charge a certain rate on principle alone. Shoot yourself. Again, grow the sport. The more people flying the more it grows. Cost is a bit prohibitive for me since I can be certified in many other things for much less overall (including equipment).

I realize the age of the instructors is increasing, but you boys have to realize things are different now. The customers that are there have to be treated well, because we can grab a good taco anytime. Especially if that taco is less expensive than a hamburger.

I realize that many will race to post nonsense without considering what I've said. Take heart this was especially for you and I won't be reading your response. It is your sport, do with it what you will.
By FlyingWolfe
#402230
Someone get this man some tacos STAT!
Im responding regardless assuming natural human curiosity will indeed trump your claims to not respond. Its a shame to hear you had such a hard time and im sorry to hear it. Throwing an umbrella over the entire sport of hang gliding due to the bad experiences you had in your area is like having a lemon Tacoma and saying the entire Toyota brand is s---, just because your car sucked.
The grass is always greener. I dabbled skydiving and had similar bad experiences with mentoring, gear, advice, etc. Plus setting my wing up while falling 120mph wasnt my idea of a good time after a few of those.
Good luck. :-o
User avatar
By NMERider
#402231
RobA wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:01 pm
....Improve customer service. Period. Sometimes it's as easy as a phone call, or two, or three....
This is correct in every enterprise and any aspect of life. Not just hang gliding. Could be anything. Dating, for instance. It can take a tremendous amount of persistence in this sport to get the training needed to reach the journeyman's level and grow from there. As far as good/poor customer service goes, I have found Yelp to be useful in getting the attention of local businesses to keep doing a good job or wake up and improve.
Good luck in your next recreation pursuit.
User avatar
By Toomb
#402233
Well you got your H2 a few years ago in California? ......and you are still looking for instructors? At this point your failure in hang gliding rests on yourself........not some instructor, or lack of instructors, or someone didn't return your call, or someone didn't hold your hand. You should be out there networking with local pilots, learning local sites from them, and advancing your skills under their mentorship. Sounds to me like you don't want to fly.......
User avatar
By NMERider
#402235
Toomb wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:56 pm
Well you got your H2 a few years ago in California? ......and you are still looking for instructors? At this point your failure in hang gliding rests on yourself........not some instructor, or lack of instructors, or someone didn't return your call, or someone didn't hold your hand. You should be out there networking with local pilots, learning local sites from them, and advancing your skills under their mentorship. Sounds to me like you don't want to fly.......
I can't think of even one soarable USHPA insured flying site that permits an H-2 to launch without an instructor present or at least a local instructor sign-off. His complaint may come across poorly but sadly, it's more legit than not.
User avatar
By TjW
#402241
It's true we have an instructor signoff for H2s at Crestline, but speaking for myself, I don't consider the H2 "finished" until the pilot has the skills to deserve that signoff.
User avatar
By Paul H
#402248
RobA wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:01 pm

What if the costs were less? Hmm. Wouldn't it be better to have more customers at a lower price than no customers? Remember the numbers are dwindling. You may think you will charge a certain rate on principle alone. Shoot yourself. Again, grow the sport. The more people flying the more it grows. Cost is a bit prohibitive for me since I can be certified in many other things for much less overall (including equipment).
So, you want cheaper lessons. It would be nice if there were people who would be willing to teach without needing to make enough to put food on their table. Good luck with that. Most people want to earn enough for a decent living and that requires students be willing to pay for what they get. Cost comparisons with other activities isn't really valid unless you are comparing hang gliding with other flying activities. Good luck finding cheap in aviation.
User avatar
By DAVE 858
#402250
Cost is a bit prohibitive for me since I can be certified in many other things for much less overall (including equipment).

I realize the age of the instructors is increasing, but you boys have to realize things are different now. The customers that are there have to be treated well, because we can grab a good taco anytime. Especially if that taco is less expensive than a hamburger.

I realize that many will race to post nonsense without considering what I've said. Take heart this was especially for you and I won't be reading your response. It is your sport, do with it what you will.

Hang Gliding is not for everyone. Bowling is probably more your speed. I assume this is what someone probably told you and now your mad. Let me tell you something, NO ONE CARES!

Cheers!
By FlyingWolfe
#402260
Paul H wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:53 pm
RobA wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:01 pm

What if the costs were less? Hmm. Wouldn't it be better to have more customers at a lower price than no customers? Remember the numbers are dwindling. You may think you will charge a certain rate on principle alone. Shoot yourself. Again, grow the sport. The more people flying the more it grows. Cost is a bit prohibitive for me since I can be certified in many other things for much less overall (including equipment).
So, you want cheaper lessons. It would be nice if there were people who would be willing to teach without needing to make enough to put food on their table. Good luck with that. Most people want to earn enough for a decent living and that requires students be willing to pay for what they get. Cost comparisons with other activities isn't really valid unless you are comparing hang gliding with other flying activities. Good luck finding cheap in aviation.
Two things you dont cheap out on: Doctors and aviation. :lol:
User avatar
By magentabluesky
#402261
RobA,

You would have gotten a totally different response if you would have expressed a different attitude.

If you would have said:

"I am new in a sense. I took lessons a few years ago and got my H2 in California.

I have called several places for more lessons and either no call back or weeks down the road.

It is getting frustrating finding and scheduling a decent quality instructor.

I am located in XYZ, does anyone have any recommendations for a good quality instructor, flight school, or local hang gliding club in my area? I truly would love to pursue my passion for hang gliding. Your input would be greatly appreciated."

You would have been well on your way in accomplishing your goal, Hang Gliding.
ATTITUDE by Charles Swindoll

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think, say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play the one string we have, and that is our attitude... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.

And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes.
Michael Grisham
User avatar
By flybop
#402275
Sorry to hear that you have had some difficulty. However, I am even more sorry to hear that you are taking your ball and going home because of it. ANY form of aviation takes, more than money, time, effort, devotion, dedication, motivation, etc... Someone else mentioned a different, more constructive approach that would have produced better results. Yes, going to flying sites, hanging out, being a driver, bringing a few beers, asking questions and most of all: Presenting yourself with a positive, humble and willing to learn attitude would have opened doors for you.

Sitting at home waiting for the phone to ring kept you on the ground. Getting out, meeting local and regional pilots would have eventually gotten you back in the air. IF the passion, drive, dedication and the dream to fly are still there, take our advice and improve your approach. Hint: Coming across here with a pissy attitude towards yet to be posted responses is not the right attitude or way to get some help.

Good luck and if you have the right attitude I do hope you get back in the air.
User avatar
By hgldr
#402286
RobA, I understand your anger... been there. Had an instructor, but not financially capable, and wanting to fly more than teach on Saturdays (well Duh!). Like you I was, "fk this!", yeah - I was frustrated. Then, 35 years ago I found Kamron (owner of Northwing). He had 4 in his classes and he made himself available and we all got thru to our hang-3. It was with this group I learned that you have to drive for the experienced pilots, hang out at the LZ and just basically BE THERE. I went several weeks with only one tandem flight 'cause Kamron had his own business to run, but I met people and had really good times around the nightly campfire at the LZ.
OK? Don't give up. Come back and party with us.
Darrell Hambley - H4
By Lazypilot
#402289
Rob A, If you want to fly you can come and stay here at my place with Diane and 4 good kittys. We live only 9 hiway miles from Crestline launch.

You can stay free. All ya gotta do is quit your job, or get the boss to give some vacation time. Seriously, hang gliding is so special it's worth giving up a job and a marriage for. I did over 40 years ago and never lost a minute of sleep over it.

Lost sleep over other crap though....

Make friends with us. The modern people seem to be more selfish than we old timers were. We have always bent over backwards to help anyone fly. Come and camp up here on the mountain at 5300' where it's 70 when it's 90+ down the hill. In a month you'll get more airtime here than you'd get in a year most any place else. If you have H2 qualities it will only take a day or two to get signed off for the mountain. I'll do anything I can to help you fly, and that goes for the friends you bring also. I prefer Corona but I'm not choosy. :)

I've given away a lot more flight instruction than I ever got paid for. No matter to me, I loved teaching flight. I've given gliders and harnesses and gone on the road for a week, just to see to it they got exposed to a lot of Hg.

Anyways I guarandamnteeyou that if you make even the smallest of effort to make friends with HGer's you'll be rewarded with phone calls begging you to drive for them. Don't let them get you down, insist that drivers get the pick of seats on the way up, and free food and beer the rest of the day. Some folks are cheapskates and they'll try to get by with a hot dog and Coors Light. Don't let them get away with it, if they say you're being greedy just remind them you didn't insist on sex, how could you be greedy? Everybody lighten up.

Take a day off from HG and we'll get some RC Slope Glider flying in while we're at it.
User avatar
By flybop
#402292
Lazypilot, sounds good. How much Corona for a few days of site intro and some new flying buddies? It's cold as hell here in Montana and all the roads to launch are covered in deep snow. I need some warm, sunny days asap!
By Lazypilot
#402315
I'm on sabbatical from flying at this time, but I'm sure I could help out, and in the meantime you'd have a place to shower and sleep. I'd recommend waiting until April if you want maximum soarable days in a month, but some of the other guys are smarter so call Rob McKenzie or Rebar Dan.

I'll assist where I can, and find assistance where I can't. Ya just gotta have a one-track mind...flyflyflyflyflyfly.

Steve Corbin 909 273 3372, or sensor610f@gmail.com

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