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ChattaroyMan
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Joined: 01 Nov 2009
Posts: 2269
Location: Chattaroy, WA -USA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 4:02 pm    Post subject: One year after ...... Reply with quote #1   
It's been one year now since BobK helped me return to the sky. Thanks again Bob! BIG thanks! I'm truly loving it! thumbsup

Here're some of my impressions.....

Gliders are different (I learned in '75 on a Standard and flew through '81 - last glider being an Aolus 190). Harnesses are different. There's a bit more to learn! It is taking me longer to get back into the flying acumen I had in '81 than I expected (not disappointed though). If you too are thinking of getting back into it after a long absence the Falcon is a sweet machine! The Sport 2 I fly a bit more now was harder to get used to than I figured - mainly in handling and setup. If you don't do tip wands right you get to exercise your 4 letter words often. Once you get them down you wonder why it took you so long!

Instruction.... I don't see why more people are not teaching themselves as opposed to driving long distances and chancing the conditions - honestly. We have great communication now + if one looks about one can find hills to train on. I'm not saying poo-poo lessons and a USHPA instructor. I'm saying that one could learn in a hybrid way as opposed to not learning at all due to instructor availability.

I'm dang near 60 and I'm not 30. %#&^( anyway. And, of course, I don't think it has slowed me down much (except in my ability to perceive that it has indeed slowed me down a bit). - Smile

If anyone else is an 'old-timer' thinking about getting back into it - GO FOR IT! You only live once! I can't really put forth in text just how much it has meant to me to be back under a wing! Closest thing to religion I'll ever get!

Communication.... I've learned bunches here and from local pilots - although I often fly by myself - maybe someone to drive but no other pilots.

Flying sites - Hey, they don't grow on trees! Get your butts out there and develop more of them! The work is worth it!

GoPros - or any attach to the glider video camera. What a wonderful learning and sharing tool! I bought one before any instruments. It has helped me bunches - especially coupled with the honest feedback you get here.

Instruments - don't have any. Yes, I could borrow them and/or just bite the bullet and buy them. But, I felt I needed to pay attention to the air/glider more than beeps and images. I'll definitely have a FlyTech of some sort before spring though. I'm doing OK with lift/thermals but now I want to do better.

Last but not least - HG.org - what a time saver! You guys/gals are the best. I hope I get to fly with as many of you as possible in the coming years! Got my gliders here, met even local pilots here, and get to spew forth my ramblings here.

All in all - one GREAT year! (And it is only gonna git better!)



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U2 160 Chattaroy, WA - USA
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flybop
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Joined: 02 Apr 2010
Posts: 781
Location: Livingston, Montana

PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote #2   
Isn't it great to be back in the air!!! Been away far too long myself... Looking forward to having you back in Montana next season for some of our big skiy. Grasyy Knob round II.

Hopefully you will be the inspiration that another long time away from the air pilot needs to take that first big step back into the sky.

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What a beautiful day! Let's go jump off a mountain!!!

"He did not know he could not fly and so he did" Guy Clark,

"The Cape" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6bZ37nexSY
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Dan Harding
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Joined: 21 Mar 2011
Posts: 703
Location: Washington State, close to the blanchard site

PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote #3   
I have been in Montana for the last five years every spring into early summer, If I am there this next year 2012, I'll be sure to bring wings and harness and look youall up.
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Avnav8r
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Joined: 06 Jan 2008
Posts: 1097
Location: Trenton, Georgia

PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote #4   
Hey Chattaroy Man,

I glad that you return has gone so well! This is probably the best time ever to be in our sport. Sure it was great back in the 70's and 80's, but in the early days, we were fortunate that we got away with flying in some of the conditions we did (flying single-surface gliders in 20-30 m.p.h. winds inland and being parked over a spot for 15-20 minutes thinking "this is great!) Now, there is plenty of great equipment and good instruction/information out there. There have been a few people that I know that have returned in the past few years after a lengthy absence and they all remark on how well the gliders fly these days. It is great that you are enjoying flying again! mosh

John Stokes
www.osceolabaldeagle.com
www.soarsouth.org

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AirNut
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Joined: 01 Nov 2011
Posts: 158
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote #5   
Seems there are quite e few of us old crocks lurking in the undergrowth!

I started in '76 and flew until '90. I'm just now going through the process of getting back into it. As the old saying goes, the best cure for mid-life crisis (or later-life crisis in my case), is to figure out what you did that was fun when you were young, and then do that again. For me, nothing beats hang gliding (although I still chase women, I've just forgotten what for).

I haven't flown yet (got a Moyes Malibu being built at the moment), but, as you say ChattaroyMan, hanggliding.org has been great in doing all the legwork and updating the old brain.

And on the brain topic, I figure that there's four ways it can go:

1. Brain will remember but muscles won't.
2. Muscles will remember but brain won't.
3. Neither will remember.
4. Both will remember.

So, as I figure it, there's three out of four that are going to require work and effort. I'd be interested in your thoughts on what was easy and what was hard after such a long time away. Although it sounds like you're having fun which is the main thing.[/list]

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AirNut
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Joined: 01 Nov 2011
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Location: Australia

PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote #6   
...and what we old guys refer to as the 'good old days', were often really just the old days. And sometimes they were even just the bad old days...such as spending the first two years of your flying career teaching yourself to fly (no schools or professional instructors back then). And there were some pretty dodgy manufacturers around as well.

But for every story there's always someone who can top it. I was speaking with Bill Moyes last week and when I mentioned that I'm an old timer who started way back in '76, he just laughed and said, "'76? I gave up in '76!"

Now there's something to wrap your head around!

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SL195, Ranger2, Mega2, Stingray, Meteor 150, GT MIssile, Mars 170, Malibu 166
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gasdive
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Joined: 12 Aug 2009
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Location: port macquarie australia

PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote #7   
I found random things stuck and odd other things didn't. I had no idea how to put a glider together but was able to fly pretty well, even close to terrain and land no steppers right from the first flight.

=:)

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Lock a diver in an empty room for an hour with three ball bearings. On your return, one will be lost, one will be broken and one will be stolen.
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ChattaroyMan
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Joined: 01 Nov 2009
Posts: 2269
Location: Chattaroy, WA -USA

PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote #8   
AirNut wrote:
.....,.
And on the brain topic, I figure that there's four ways it can go:

1. Brain will remember but muscles won't.
2. Muscles will remember but brain won't.
3. Neither will remember.
4. Both will remember.

So, as I figure it, there's three out of four that are going to require work and effort. I'd be interested in your thoughts on what was easy and what was hard after such a long time away. Although it sounds like you're having fun which is the main thing.


I found that it all came back very quickly - brain and muscle memory - pretty much instantly. What has taken longer than expected is how quickly I can get wired into a particular glider. I remember being able to fly just about anything well pretty quickly. Now I have a harder time coordinating turns well. Where I'm slower to pick things up is bar pressure / pitch in turns and hence controlling speed well in turns (360s). I'm doing shallow 360s quite well now but the steeper the bank the harder I find them to do efficiently. I've had no problem getting used to better glides and landing well - excepting that some fellow pilots think I fly too slow on approach - so I've picked up my speed a bit on final. Being that I'm flying gliders a bit big for me that is/was part of my speed issue - I've since moved my hang point forward to help out.

I used to launch holding the DTs like pop bottles. I've found that I could not control the gliders (Falcon and Sport) in pitch well in that manner now so I went to the grapevine method - thumb in front like pulling out a root. This was awkward at first and feels darn good now. I'm also having a harder time with newer harnesses - pod (Tracer). I'm getting better at that though (better at getting in and zipped up and getting out and rotating to standing). Harness unfamiliarity has led to some shaky takeoffs (not having suspension snug before run - nose going up a bit). Back in the day I used to stay prone for much longer on landings - often even staying prone during a flare. I've only done that on my first day back at it - worked fine - but I now rotate to standing on or before final.

Please note that I haven't had all that much time to fly this year. I've made roughly 2 dozen flights and logged around 10 hours with 3 flights over an hour - 2 of which were over 2 hours. Except for the first day back I've not spent any time on a training hill. If I were to do the year over again I'd have spent some time at a local training hill and may very well yet do so before the year is out.

All in all I'd have to say that I can do the things I used to do pretty darn well. But, when it comes to new stuff - can't learn it as quickly as I used to learn new stuff ("old dog - new tricks" - sort of thing). I feel safe though and I feel very comfortable in the air with how well I can sort events out during a flight. My goal for 2012 is logging at least 50 hours and going XC regularly - even if for short distances. I plan to fly fairly often this winter as near where I ski we've developed 2 new sites; one of which will stay open all winter (if one doesn't mind a short climb of 120' over a 1/4 mile - Inkler's Point - 500' AGL launch - good ridge soaring and thermal site).

Steve

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flybop
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Joined: 02 Apr 2010
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Location: Livingston, Montana

PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote #9   
Dan Harding wrote:
I have been in Montana for the last five years every spring into early summer, If I am there this next year 2012, I'll be sure to bring wings and harness and look youall up.


Dan, just let me/us know when you are heading this way. We have lots of great sites and some very pretty scenery as a bonus!

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What a beautiful day! Let's go jump off a mountain!!!

"He did not know he could not fly and so he did" Guy Clark,

"The Cape" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6bZ37nexSY
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