This was an epic 4-hour, 37 mile flight from Sylmar to San Dimas on Sunday. I doubt this flight has ever been done so low on a hang glider. I have flown this general route at least 4 times before but never this low. I do a little talking at the end from the LZ but I'm debating whether to just shorten the video and/or add voice-over narration. I suggest watching in 1080p full-screen in stereo if possible.
Thanks for your input.
Last edited by NMERider on Mon Apr 16, 2012 5:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
Oughta sight Jonathan. I watched the whole thing captivated. Wow...
What do the golf course personnel say now that you've landed there a few times? Do the charge you a greens fee? HAHA...
Amazing how far you travel with no firm plan and just let the trip unfold. True freedom of flight. Inspiring. Can't wait to meet you in person so I can ask the 1387 questions I have for you...
Cheers on another great vid.
Thanks r8pistol! Oddly, I wasn't approached by anyone. I know from experience to pick a fairway w/ no activity and to get off and away from ball trajectory ASAP. The running joke is, "Did you replace your whack divot?". I did get a couple of rides from one of the staff to/from the pro shop along with a lot of interest in seeing the videos.
As far as flights like this are concerned, I usually have one or two primary plans along w/ a number of alternate plans and continually update my bailout plans along the way. Honestly, it's far more technical than it it is spontaneous.
The video may make it look free and spontaneous but it's anything but. Also, the stress level is huge on a flight like this. I have done so many long, low and deep flights now that I've learned to accommodate the stresses but I never lose the fear of disaster.
I can tell you that the moment I feel 'safe', I will turn back for the LZ or land at a bailout. In other words, I see broken gliders and fractured bones in my mind's eye along w/ the usual visions of glory and accolades. In fact, during this flight I kept flashing on the stainless steel femur repair rod and screws that a close friend keeps in the back of his truck. This was inserted and later removed from his bones after he got cocky once upon a time.
I don't mean to burst any bubbles here but the joy and elation of this type of low-level X/C flying is balanced by the fear of consequences. I've had many now late or crippled friends over the past four decades who I guess lacked that grim reminder of devastation from their consciousnesses.
I'd prefer to do this type of flying in a climate controlled environment with padded walls and floors and a spotter to keep an eye on me but such luxury is beyond my means. Anyhow, I am driven by the desire to develop the skills I need to soar to and from soar places that offer spectacular scenery. Yesterday had an abundance of this and I was grateful to have been able to enjoy there and share it here.
I figured there was more planning, preparation and backup involved. you do a good job of making it seem effortless and like it all goes as smooth as can be. a testament to your calm demeanor and editing skills I guess.
It's helpful to know the back story and hear of your honest sobering worry, trepidation and stress level involved in such endeavors. its also good to keep yourself in check and in reality that way, especially when you hang it out as far as you evidently do.
Believe it or not I was just making a reference to this flic in the context of Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris. We were at the Mingei in Balboa Park after passing Mike H. on the 5 fwy as he headed for Saturday's epic at Torrey. I never did find out how good it was.