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All things hang gliding. This is the main forum. New users, introduce yourself.

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By mtpilot
#403473
I think it's a much simpler problem. No place to train. If people saw gliders practicing on a training hill, a few people
would want to do it. It would seem within their limits of risk vs a mountain launch. Sadly there are very few training
hills and no way to get them back without huge commitment. No training hill = no new free flight pilots. The future
looks like flight parks and towing, something I have no interest in.
User avatar
By Takeo77
#403474
I would say Ed Levin park is an exception. If it's flyable there's always training going on there, and it's a park that is open to the public for other activities.
User avatar
By flybop
#403475
Hey Mt, hope to see you at the Hog Back again soon. We have our new wind socks, thanks for the contribution.

You are so right about training hills. Living where you and I do it just does not make sense, but they are few and far between. There is one outside of Whitehall, on a state section, that Don uses. He may have a few new students this season.

As far as public exposure goes, the Hog Back is great because launch is on a popular hiking trail and the main LZ is right next to the parking lot. We have a lot of onlookers taking pictures and videos on launch. And yes, as long as I am not hooked in I do take the time to talk to them.

I like the idea of cards to hand out. I'll try to come up with something this weekend since the winter storm warning we are under will keep me on the ground.
User avatar
By lizzard
#403476
Being from the beginnings 1974, there was a frontier to conquer , many things were a first and of course it was and still is fun and relaxing .

Now with insurance, check offs, ratings and wings that are so high tech they last just a few seasons . I find that flying just once month is sufficient and not worth the 300 bucks plus a year to be so called legal ....so i fly at sites where the geography and conditions are in my favor and there are almost no other people there . Just like in the 70's.

I have a small trike a fun 190, a harrier and a shark I also have a heavy 2 place trike which is becoming an antique.
all dacron wings are the number 1 requirement for longevity .





I am lucky to be in a remote coastal place where all this is possible .
I do hold a license that say i may operate an aircraft under 5700 kg's so there is that .
Flying alone most of the time is far more disciplined that it may seem .

Statistically however I do not exist and im sure there are many others .
User avatar
By Blue_Seleneth
#403512
This is chilling my soul. I got into hang gliding via just such a college trip, to LMFP. I'm a pretty milquetoast person, and I had no awareness of hang gliding beyond fail videos on "That's Incredible." It's hard to imagine any other path in life leading me to make the 5-hour drive to Lookout without that sort of group dynamic, of making the adventure along with 7 fellow college students. But, there were at least four such group trips over the years, and to my knowledge I'm the only person who went back for even a 2nd lesson. Maybe it's not really a significant pipeline for new pilots, but it was crucial for me personally.
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By uvflyer
#403557
Why young people don't get into the sport? Pretty easy: It consumes a lot of time, a lot of flexibility, quite a lot of money for most, not many school and no sites nearby. You need to have a car and have quite a bit of days off to get enough training/airtime.

Why (young) people abandon the sport? Same as above plus it's really hard to combine with a social live since weather forecast is not much reliable anything over 2-3 days in advance makes planning stuff in advance a b*tch.. At least if you're trying to get some proper airtime and not just 2 weeks during the summer
By cheesehead
#403561
uvflyer wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 4:04 pm
Why (young) people abandon the sport? Same as above plus it's really hard to combine with a social live since weather forecast is not much reliable anything over 2-3 days in advance makes planning stuff in advance a b*tch.. At least if you're trying to get some proper airtime and not just 2 weeks during the summer
You must not live out west. I did for 20 years. Much less fickle weather, some sites/regions soarable far more days than not 9 months of the year. I'm back in the midwest, hopefully not for too long. Weather forecasting here is a joke. Aerotowing has sure helped things, and there's some great mountains to fly like Tennessee, but the weather rarely allows for many good flying days in a row. Sucks. I've semi-abandonded the sport since returning but know I'll never quit.
User avatar
By uvflyer
#403562
cheesehead wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 11:51 pm
uvflyer wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 4:04 pm
Why (young) people abandon the sport? Same as above plus it's really hard to combine with a social live since weather forecast is not much reliable anything over 2-3 days in advance makes planning stuff in advance a b*tch.. At least if you're trying to get some proper airtime and not just 2 weeks during the summer
You must not live out west. I did for 20 years. Much less fickle weather, some sites/regions soarable far more days than not 9 months of the year. I'm back in the midwest, hopefully not for too long. Weather forecasting here is a joke. Aerotowing has sure helped things, and there's some great mountains to fly like Tennessee, but the weather rarely allows for many good flying days in a row. Sucks. I've semi-abandonded the sport since returning but know I'll never quit.
It's even worse, I live in the Netherlands, there are no mountains/hills at all. We do aerotow every now and then, but mostly/only weekends. Guess what, statistically most of the good weather days are during the week :? For some mountain flying the closest site is 6h drive.

Luckily you got back into the sport! how much airtime are you getting when not living in the West?
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By flybop
#403563
Cheesehead mentioned a subject that is a major obstacle here in Montana and Wy and Id, where I live/learned. In addition to a shortage, virtually none, of instructors and training hills we are faced with a 5 to 6 month period of non flying weather.

These are not insurmountable, but it certainly raises the bar as far as a level of dedication goes.

Having said all that (for the millionth time) the original point of my post was that we, as a community, are faced with a significant societal change. Another blatant example of my main point here is the Liberty Insurance commercial where the mom is so grateful that an insurance company "saved" her teenage son from a flat tire???

Seriously? Try to imagine the reception that this commercial would have received 20, 30 years ago. Hell, 10 years ago? I can remember my dad making me change a tire in the dark with no flash light when I was 15. (Yeah, I knew what a lug wrench was.) The fact that this commercial has been running for well over a year only re-enforces my main point.

The bottom line is that the gene pool for prospective hang glider pilots has been shrinking for a generation or more. We are competing with other (I never refer to hg as extreme) activities with a seriously declining number of prospects.

When you combine this with the perspective that hg is harder, takes more time, is more of a logistical hassle and cost too much, it is understandable that there are fewer younger hang glider pilots.

So I'll say again that it is up to every single one of us to seek out and mentor anyone who is even a little interested in what we do. We as a community need to help as much as we can others to get into hang gliding. That means removing or reducing as many of the barriers as we can. This can be making equipment available as cheaply as possible, giving up flying days to spend time with newbies and simply taking the time to talk to those who asks us questions.

I know they are out there. I just spent an hour with a young guy who is really interested. I gave him my number, he knows where we fly and I told him that all he needs to do is show up one afternoon in the LZ for his first lesson. I even have my old single surface that he can have to train with as well as a training harness. I really think, hope, that he will make the commitment. I am committed to him.
By cheesehead
#403564
uvflyer wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 2:03 am
cheesehead wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 11:51 pm
uvflyer wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 4:04 pm
It's even worse, I live in the Netherlands, there are no mountains/hills at all. We do aerotow every now and then, but mostly/only weekends. Guess what, statistically most of the good weather days are during the week :? For some mountain flying the closest site is 6h drive.

Luckily you got back into the sport! how much airtime are you getting when not living in the West?
Very little, but that's mostly my fault. There are several guys in these parts who get around 100 hours a year. Plenty of 100 mile+ XC flights. At least 90% of all flying in my area occurs at two aerotowing operations. Winter here is freezing with snow; mid-summer isn't consistently good because the air is hot, humid, and stable until fronts pass through. To make a long story short, all foot-launching sites are essentially closed or bandito.
But hey, isn't just about everything legal in the Netherlands?
User avatar
By uvflyer
#403582
cheesehead wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 8:31 am
uvflyer wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 2:03 am
cheesehead wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 11:51 pm
uvflyer wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 4:04 pm
It's even worse, I live in the Netherlands, there are no mountains/hills at all. We do aerotow every now and then, but mostly/only weekends. Guess what, statistically most of the good weather days are during the week :? For some mountain flying the closest site is 6h drive.

Luckily you got back into the sport! how much airtime are you getting when not living in the West?
Very little, but that's mostly my fault. There are several guys in these parts who get around 100 hours a year. Plenty of 100 mile+ XC flights. At least 90% of all flying in my area occurs at two aerotowing operations. Winter here is freezing with snow; mid-summer isn't consistently good because the air is hot, humid, and stable until fronts pass through. To make a long story short, all foot-launching sites are essentially closed or bandito.
But hey, isn't just about everything legal in the Netherlands?
Hmm that's a pity, hopefully moving will get you more airtime!

Haha, somehow that's what a lot of foreigners think about holland, but actually we are a country full of rules limiting lots of things :roll:
By cheesehead
#403655
Anyone know how many sailplane pilots there are in this country? My guess is a lot fewer than HG pilots, due to expense among other reasons. Yet their style of aviation lives on. We may have a continued decline in new HG pilots, that somehow can hopefully get turned around (several good ideas for doing so have been mentioned but not well-implemented yet), but I don't think we're in danger of complete extinction too soon.
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