I'm getting quite keen on the idea of taking up hang-gliding. Never tried it before, (I flew conventional gliders up to silver c standard years ago before getting my PPL.) I just fancy trying some real back to basics, relatively low cost, flying and the idea of an aircraft that goes on the roof rack of a normal car appeals. I should be starting with a regional airline in the new year (Fingeres crossed) (so I guess most of my energy will be taken up with that for the first few months!) but once established the other appeal of it is that FTLs don't come into it and it is the complete opposite type of flying! Anyone else got expereince of it, any advice?
What is a bit worrying is the implications of a heavy landing. It would be rather painful. Also throughout the whole of my flying career I have pushed to go down and pulled to go up. This may be a very hard habit to brake, especially went one is required to fall back on one's instincts, in a time of crisis.
I used to paraglide when I was fitter and slimmer, it was a great way to spend a weekend, camarade with the fellow pilots, being in the outdoors, climbing hills, sunshine-everything that was fun, but if the truth be known, I used to cr*p it each time I flew. A couple of our chaps were commercial pilots- reckoned paragliding was proper flying
I always had this feeling something would go wrong, canopy collapsing, rotor, the ground suddenly rushing up, all three- a dread I never felt in light aircraft. I think it was because I saw a few injuries, and in the end, I cracked a few bones myself, and so made the decision that the sport was best suited to thin, powerful, wiry types, not lardarsses like myself. Gotta say, at the time, the flights were magic- the buzz stays with you for days.
I've never had a go with hang gliders, they used to share our airspace, I think one of the advantages was they could go out in conditions were marginal or blown out for paragliders- (parapunter may correct me but I think we were generally limited to an windspeed at the top of the slope of about 12 knots).
At the time I flew the British Hangliding and Paragliding Associations merged, (? BHPA), they were a friendly lot, always willing to put up with the shortcomings of us learners.
Used to have a Harley but sold it when I realised I'd never climb into the harness again.
Paragliding, student nurses, ten quid rent, Johny, Joey, Dee Dee- good times
Just found the link http://www.bhpa.co.uk/Latest News, Nicky Moss recreates the time she was attacked by eagles...... LOVELY
I'm the Paragliding Punter. That piccy is me, on the blue one, having a nice time at the Dune de Pyla three years ago. Ten minutes after that photo was taken, I piled on on my arse so hard, that I wiggled my toes to make sure I hadn't bust my spine.
And that in a nutshell is free flight gliding. Brilliant fun & a sport that could kill you in an instant.
All the pilots I know that have been killed, were more or less asking for it - I can't think of any type of flying that is tolerant in the end of the feckless, the gung ho, the fearless or the terminally un-empathetic. Have a go, make your own mind up, but above all, choose the right attitude on the hill & deploy your brain before takeoff & you'll be alright.
Location: Hughes Point, where life is great! Was also resident on page 13, but now I'm lost in Cyberspace....
A local cliff sees many hangliders and paragliders each weekend, I know if I was gonna try one it would be paragliding. The hangliders seem to be landed on the beach within minutes, while the paragliders seem to hang there for hours!
The Paragliders then just land, from where they departed!
Hangliding, looks like the effort doesn't match the reward...
Used to watch paragliders scoot off the top of nearby mountains, then they'd go away and land on the beach miles away. Great idea, you don't have to walk back down, and it looks cool. Until you started seeing the odd one hit a tree, rocks, cliffs, barbed wire fence or something equally dangerous or painful. Big chicken me. Just stuck to walking. Fos
Someone once told me that Hang Gliding is the only activity/sport that there is where the longer you do it and the better you become at it the higher the chances are it will kill you or seriously injure you.
Jump Complete - can I join you? I used to watch the hang gliders throw themselves off Sutton Bank in Yorkshire when I was a kid and have always wanted to join them! Anyone else I've asked have looked at me strangely and questioned my sanity...
I have tried many forms of flying. Including Paragliding.. I have a lovely crisp (but ancient) Advance o2 that is still serviceable.
Yes it is fun, and many occasion was spent in Lanzarote enjoying the hills.. In the UK I didn't do too much. Most of my flying time was spent around Marlborough. Finding good instructors and schools is a bit of a minefield. I have found both good and bad in my time..
I didn't bother to take my flying above club level.. Main reason is that I found it limiting as to when you could fly, as you are rather restricted as to the maximum winds that you can fly in. Not to mention the travel involved getting to suitable sites. Hang gliding is a little less limited, as you can fly those in stronger winds..
The nice thing about a Paraglider. Is that you can throw it into the back of a car without any problem. As for accidents.. Yes I have seen idiots doing stuff on the hillside that made me feel sick. The biggest 'fault' I have seen. Are those who don't get up enough speed before taking off, some just take a couple of steps forward and go, then wonder why (when the wind drops a bit) they find themselves dumped on the ground.
My one and only accident was landing at one site that had severe wind shear. The descent rate was such, that I managed to break part of the undercarriage (namely one leg) .... Not nice. I hasten to add that, that was very early on, and I didn't do what you should do. Which is. Come in with the brakes fully off, then when you are near the ground add brake.
So the only real downsides as I see it. Is the number of days that are flyable + the travel to sites... The latter could be resolved by venturing into Paramotoring.
Hangliding is more fun but much more hassle than paragliding. The performance is better but you would just not carry the thing on the offchance that the conditions are good. A paraglider in the boot of your car is no hassle at all. Hangliding is also a little more dificult and less intuitive. It is also harder, but not imposible, to fly on your own as it is very difficult to do a final check on the gear once you have straped in. Hangliders fly on marginally higher winds and cope better in turbulence on the other hand they also need stronger winds to ridge soar.
It is a wonderful sport but the key is to get trained properly and have the right attitude. Is like any other type of flying but the limits are very narrow. You exceed your limits (and mean yours and/or the gear) and you are taking grave risks, you stay within them and is pretty safe. You need a level head to drive for four hours to a mountain in Wales, carry your kit to the top of the mountain and then decide that you will not fly because is a couple of knots too strong. If you can do that you will be OK.
Astral, that would be an Advance Oh-my-god 2? I love the way Paraglider wings always get nicknames. For Example: Nova made the Xyon (die-on), Airwave the XXX (cripple X), Gradient hte Saphire (Suffer), Gin, the Bandit (rammed it) and so on. Presently, I fly the Nova Mamboo (man-boobs), true in so many ways.
What hasn't been mentioned yet is the feeling. Sat on a hill, watching conditions closely, then once decided, taking off, hooking that thermal & climbing to cloudbase, perhaps 4-5000 ft agl on a good day, then gliding downwind, climbing & gliding, climbing and gliding until all too soon you land out maybe 20, 50 or even 90 miles from the hill. It's a bit spesh doing that - I never knew a pilot begrudge the long hitch home after a great xc.
Years later, when learning to fly powered craft, I used to reflect back to me paragliding days, and it did seem that, for me, it consisted of everything that was wrong; (I never got to 4000 feet, I used to feel scared to death and sick at 200 feet), crowded airspace, turbulent conditions, flying near hills, delicate undercarriage, stall speed close to your airspeed, lots of accident page reports, etc etc.
But boy oh boy, it does make you feel alive.
I reckon sitting on the couch, smoking 20 fags and watching the telly is probably more dangerous.
My first close-up encounter with hang-gliding was in the mid 1980s at the 'top' of a mountain in Switzerland (probably the Matterhorn top station). Several guys were 'stepping off' into space with several thousand feet of nothing below. I reasoned that the size of the free-space available probably gave them a greater chance of recovery and finding lift, although it was hard for me (as a novice who had only previously seen hang-gliders launching from sloping sites) to come to terms with. I guess you could kill yourself with a much smaller 'fall'. A couple of years later (mid to late 1980s), when crossing the Hardknott Pass in the Lake District (UK) I saw 'big birds' circling which turned-out to be humans suspended below 'hang-gliders' - but they were coming and going and not descending (which turned-out to be my first sight of powered paragliders). Just like the first time I saw someone on a surfboard (jutting out from St Anne's Head into the shipping lane at Milford Haven - propelled by a stiff offshore westerly wind - there were white-tops once he got out of the lee of the headland and we were struggling to keep our hats on). We had to leave before he managed to make any progress back towards the shore . . . He must have been one of the first surfboarders in Britain - very early 1970s. It looked like very hard work for him (he kept falling, but when he went it was very fast!).