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Re: Rick Masters: Superiority of Hang Gliders

Postby Rick Masters » Thu Dec 29, 2016 5:18 pm

The Balloon and the Bronco
Ode to the parachute jumper

I can sit on a bronco's hurricane deck
When he kicks as high as the moon,
But darn my skin if you'll get me in
To an untamed Yankee balloon.
That goes up like a Winchester rifle shot
Up towards Heaven's back garden plot.

I have run some risks on the wild frontier,
When the Reds war about the land,
But to jump in the air from way up thar
Would exhaust my supply of sand:
You bet I'd hang on to that old balloon
If she bumped her side against the moon.

Suppose that overgrown parasol
Should happen to make a kick
An' fail to do as he wanted it to
He'd drop to the earth too quick,
And would sink so deep that his friends, no doubt,
Would go to China to dig him out.

I'm kinder glad that the old balloon
Refused to straddle the cloud
When he cut her way he meant to stay,
Tho' he landed to fill a shroud
And soon or late, you'll hear me toot,
He'll break his neck from that parachute.

And if I'm around when the corpse comes back,
And is laid in the last low bed,
And the soft winds sigh a sweet lulaby
O'er the poor balloonist's head,
I hardly think I'll be amiss
To write him an epitaph just like this:

"Here lies the body of one who flew,
Like a meteor up towards heaven's blue,
And then with a reckless sort of grace
Flew just as fast toward the other place.
Sometimes toward Heaven, sometimes toward – well!
He changed so often it's hard to tell
Whether upon his final shoot
He works a balloon or parachute."

-- Captain Jack Crawford, 1887
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Re: Rick Masters: Superiority of Hang Gliders

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Mon Jan 02, 2017 1:34 am

That last part sounds familiar ...

stone.jpeg
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Re: Rick Masters: Superiority of Hang Gliders

Postby Rick Masters » Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:11 am

Soaring parachutist takes selfie
Image
Look, Ma, no vertebrae!

Another selfie with a different camera.
Image

A paraglider, unlike the hang glider with its airframe, offers its operator virtually no assurance that it will maintain an aerodynamic shape in perfectly normal atmospheric turbulence, known in paraglider parlance as "A Freak Gust Of Wind (AFGOW)."
    Paragliding offers the pilot the dubious opportunity to no longer be a pilot of anything whilst still in the air.
This is known as the "Helpless Falling Human Syndrome (HFHS)," precursor to the common "Paragliding Limp (PL)" or the immensely popular "He Died Doing What He Loved Funeral (HDDWHLF)."
    A paraglider, unlike the hang glider with its airframe, offers its operator virtually no protection in a crash.
    The laughable air-filled harness, known as the "Paraglider Planter (PP)," creates a sense of immortality in falls below 3 meters but provides virtually no protection - surprise! -above that.
    A common myth is that the last thought of the soaring parachutist is "Oh boy, I'm about to die doing what I love!" but it is actually "Oh s**t, I wish I had an airframe! (OSIWIHAA-SPLAT)."
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Re: Rick Masters: Superiority of Hang Gliders

Postby Rick Masters » Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:56 am

Another paragliding selfie
Image
"The last thing Thomas Antalffy remembers is slowly circling towards the ground in the late afternoon... it was days before he discovered that in the paragliding freefall that he doesn't even remember, he broke his scapula and numerous vertebrae; cracked his skull and blood was pressuring his brain."
http://edition.cnn.com/2017/03/20/sport/paraglider-thomas-antalffy-accident-hike-vertebrae-skull-brazil-valadares/
-------------
Image
This paragliding selfie thing is getting to be the rage.
The US Hawks will probably need to pass out barf bags to viewers of this web page by the summer.
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Re: Rick Masters: Superiority of Hang Gliders

Postby Rick Masters » Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:33 pm

Hang glider pilots should always regard paragliders as dangerous objects.
WARNING: Paragliders are inferior aircraft and operate at a lower level of control than hang gliders.
They can kill you. Fly upwind of paragliders when possible.
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Re: Rick Masters: Superiority of Hang Gliders

Postby Rick Masters » Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:11 pm

April 18, 2017
Image
Paragliding fatality #1562

The fourth soaring parachutist to be killed this week crashed into this road barrier.
    Paragliders are not as controllable as hang gliders and place their occupants at greater risk with All-The-Sudden Weird Parachute Death Crap (ATSWPDC).*
    The other three dead soaring parachutists appear to have had their canopies collapse in perfectly normal atmospheric turbulence and their helpless occupants were killed in horrible fashion in vertical vector impacts.
    Hang glider pilots very rarely experience vertical impacts.
    We hang glider pilots fly in perfectly normal atmospheric turbulence all the time.
    It's part of the sky.
    It's not a big deal. Our wings are rated to -4 Gs. Paragliders are rated ZERO. Think about it. There's a reason soaring parachutists die like flies.
    Stay tuned for the upcoming yearly paragliding slaughter in the Northern Hemisphere, due to fire up shortly as soaring parachutists leap like lemmings into the perfectly normal atmospheric turbulence of inland Europe and North America.
See http://ushawks.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=1842&start=200&sid=e15088caf36c6e443c984e7d8fb58461&sid=e15088caf36c6e443c984e7d8fb58461#p20028

* The acronym ATSWPDC (All-The-Sudden Weird Parachute Death Crap) was placed into the lexicon of paragliding on April 17, 2017, by Rick Masters in a post to the U.S. Hawks Hang Gliding Association. Rick Masters encourages all new pilots wishing to learn freeflight to steer clear of the USHPA and their certified paragliding schools because they will lie to you about the dangers of paragliding and try to sell you a paraglider.
Last edited by Rick Masters on Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:53 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: Rick Masters: Superiority of Hang Gliders

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:26 pm

Rick Masters wrote:Paragliding fatality #1562


USHPA has about 10,000 members and I'd guess that more than half (maybe 6,000?) are paragliding members. The number of paragliding pilots in the world is probably some relatively small multiple of that 6000. So 1562 is a pretty big number from that relatively small pool.

Thanks for your persistence in documenting this Rick.
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Re: Rick Masters: Superiority of Hang Gliders

Postby Rick Masters » Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:34 pm

There may be 10 to 50% more worldwide paragliding fatalities that I don't know about.
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Re: Rick Masters: Superiority of Hang Gliders

Postby Frank Colver » Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:58 am

Rick, the Owens Valley seems like an especially dangerous place to fly a paraglider. Is there much paraglider activity there? I haven't seen any when i've been boating the river.

Back in the 70's, when I was flying hang gliders almost every weekend, I had friends who were flying the Owens Valley. They would try to talk me into joining them there. My common response was: Those are heavy conditions and these are light gliders, no thanks".

With the attitude I had then (still have) I can't imagine launching a paraglider there. :thumbdown:

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Re: Rick Masters: Superiority of Hang Gliders

Postby Rick Masters » Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:18 pm

Yeah, the Santa Barbara PG crowd held the US Paragliding Nationals in 2002 off Gunter in the Whites.
That was the one where one guy who signed up to compete collapsed over Mt. Langly on a flight from Horseshoe and got killed the day before it started.
Then San Francisco PG instructor Jodie Lucas got twisted at takeoff, arced back into launch and crashed. He died around Christmas.
There were lots of collapses and parachute deployments in that contest.
The rescue helicopter dropped a flare in Paiute Canyon trying to mark the location of a South African who went down, and started a big fire that closed the White Mountains to hang gliding for a week.
Then they did it again a couple years ago. A couple of broken backs to their best pilots, I think.
They'll probably hold more paragliding contests there again pretty soon because they are incapable of learning anything at all, as far as I can tell.

Kari Castle held PG flying tours in the Owens for years. Maybe she still is.
I actually saw one of her students get killed off Flynn's in a collapse when I was working for White Mountain Research Station around 2000-2001.
Saw him fall. A kid from Mammoth. Killed oughtright, I think.
Then another one got killed flying the Whites with her in November 2009 off Paiute. A lawyer from Vermont, Gwen Gifford.
Broken bones everywhere. She lived long enough to put her on a flight for life.
Both were relative novices. I doubt either of them understood the risk.
Thermals in the Owens can make your hang glider groan and pop.
I can't explain why any intelligent person would fly a paraglider there.
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