Personal Journals about Hang Gliding

Re: Other dangerous sports news

Postby Rick Masters » Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:24 am

He probably fell asleep because Torry Pines is so boring to fly.
-- You can't go anywhere. Back and forth. Back and forth. Yawn...
-- The one time I flew there, I couldn't wait to land and get back to the Owens where there's real flying available.
-- It was so BORING!!!!!!! After I landed, I was even mad at myself for wasting my time there.

Then this guy must have woken up when he hit the water.
How else do you end up 300 feet off the beach on a parachute?

Time            Temperature    Dew Point    Humidity        Wind        Wind Speed    Wind Gust
12:51 PM        76 F              64 F            67 %                WNW        12 mph          0 mph
  1:51 PM        76 F              64 F            67 %                WNW        13 mph          0 mph

Paraglider ditchings are among the leading causes of death for soaring parachutists, due to entanglement.
They are also very dangerous for rescuers - especially in surf.
In the last 6 months, at least two men have died trying to rescue a soaring parachutist in surf.
https://www.eldiario.es/politica/austriaco-desaparecidos-accidente-parapente-Portugal_0_759074874.html

Image
      A cup of coffee should be mandatory before launching at Torrey Pines.
Rick Masters: Dangerous Thoughts    USHGA #30816    View my rating at: US Hang Gliding Rating System
A lot of foolish people think they're hang gliding with parachutes - but nobody ever thinks they're parachuting with hang gliders.
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Re: Other dangerous sports news

Postby Red » Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:03 pm

Rick Masters wrote:He probably fell asleep because Torry Pines is so boring to fly.
-- You can't go anywhere. Back and forth. Back and forth. Yawn...
-- The one time I flew there, I couldn't wait to land and get back to the Owens where there's real flying available.
-- It was so BORING!!!!!!! After I landed, I was even mad at myself for wasting my time there.

Then this guy must have woken up when he hit the water. How else do you end up 300 feet off the beach on a parachute?

Time            Temperature    Dew Point    Humidity        Wind        Wind Speed    Wind Gust
12:51 PM        76 F              64 F            67 %                WNW        12 mph          0 mph
  1:51 PM        76 F              64 F            67 %                WNW        13 mph          0 mph
https://www.eldiario.es/politica/austriaco-desaparecidos-accidente-parapente-Portugal_0_759074874.html

Yea, Rick,

That's exactly what I saw, when I went there once. I have the H4 (AW)CL rating, but even if I had a glider there (and I didn't), I would not have set up. The "roof" (altitude limit) set by Miramar is ridiculously low at Torrey, IMHO. Those Navy planes can climb and descend better than that! Shot the bull with some old HG buds for a while there, and then left. Gotta say, that AeroSpace Museum was great, though.
.
Cheers,
Red

P.S. Free advice, maybe worth the price,
for new and low-airtime HG pilots, on my web page . . .

https://user.xmission.com/~red/
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Re: Other dangerous sports news

Postby Rick Masters » Sun Sep 09, 2018 11:06 am

Red, the backstory on that day is interesting.
It was 35 years ago - the winter before I chased Larry Tudor on his 221.5 world record flight.
http://ushawks.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=56&t=2834
Steve Hawxhurst was President of USHGA and ran Flight Realities there at Torrey.
I'd tried to save George Worthington's life at his crash in Bishop at the Ultralight Soaring Trials on September 10.
http://ushawks.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=56&t=2833
Steve had scattered his ashes off the cliff in a powered Quicksilver a week or so later.
I was doing a lot of interviews at that time and Steve was on my list so I dropped by Torrey without my gear.
He offered me a glider to fly for free.

My relationship with USHGA wasn't all that good at the time.
Aoli, Comet Clones & Pod People had been released in the Spring and people were going nuts.
http://ushawks.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=56&t=2832
I was like some dangerous movie guy who wanted to pull hang gliding in the wrong direction. A loose cannon.
Later, I'd offer to replace Gil Dodgen as editor of Hang Gliding Magazine, backed by Bettina Gray at a Board Meeting.
I wanted to change the emphasis from safe sandbox fun on the sand dunes to dangerous edge-of-the-envelope science fiction adventure in 100-mile+ XC.
They didn't like that. Unh-ungh.
And my pissed-off letter demanding they abandon ultralights and stick to free-flight flew in the face of their blossoming financial fantasies.
Rick Masters, Letter to Hang Gliding Magazine, May 1981
It is now obvious that the honorable task which the USHGA took on several years ago, that of shepherding the ultralight powered aircraft craze through its infancy, has been successfully accomplished. The time is overdue for the representative organization of those who practice the art of hang gliding, the USHGA, to regain its focus and return exclusively to the pursuit of its original purpose.
Two powerful factors are working to estrange the USHGA from its defined path. The first is economic. The market potential for small powered aircraft is much greater than for hang gliders. Predictably, the hang gliding industry is rushing to fill this need. Caught up in this rush are a great many of those who are responsible for guiding hang gliding through the years to its present astounding level of accomplishment. Now blind with enthusiasm, they tend to pressure the USHGA down a different road.
The second factor has to do with the desires that motivate people to fly. Powered ultralight aircraft provide the pilot with unlimited airtime and unlimited mileage. The majority of pilots have no desire for engineless flight. Even hang glider pilots are turning to powered flight in droves. Screaming through the sky, motors snarling scant inches from their heads, they choose their destinations at will and claim they are hang gliding with engines. Blind with enthusiasm, they would take the USHGA with them.
It is indeed a sorry day that I must remind the members and officers of the USHGA, and the staff of its publication, Hang Gliding Magazine, what hang gliding is.
Hang gliding is the simplest form of flight. Our wings are light and maneuverable. Micrometeorology holds great meaning to us. We challenge the wind to games of skill. When we win, our rewards are airtime, distance and tremendous exhilaration. We desire the serenity of the sky. We are a breed apart.
Get power out of the USHGA or get the USHGA out of hang gliding!

Steve had, until recently, been the EipperFormance ultralight dealer in San Diego...

So I thought I'd check the gear first. Just in case.
I always did that anyway for any new (to me) ship, out of habit.
I proceeded to open it up there inside the building and "feel her up" by runing my hands the length of the leading edges.
Everyone seemed genuinely surprised when I found a sizeable dent in the right leading edge between the nose and crossbar junction.
"Well, we'll have to red flag that one," Steve said. He offered me a nice WW Raven 209 and a harness.
So I proceeded to launch an unfamiliar glider in an unfamiliar harness off an unfamiliar cliff takeoff, intending to punch through an unfamiliar rotor to top-land in an unfamiliar LZ.
It was no big deal. All hang gliders seemed prety much the same to me.

Pork gave me a wire assist.
I didn't need it. The wind was light.
My only concern was sinking out and having to carry the damned glider and gear back up the cliff.
I flew right, gained 100 and turned back at the end.
I flew left and turned back at the end.
I couldn't go anywhere. I was trapped!
BORING!
I top landed after one pass - flew way back and burned it in to the parking lot.
"How come you landed way back there?" one Torrey Rat asked me.
"You don't land way back there?"
"Unh-ungh."
"Why don't you come up and fly the Owens Valley? You could fly a hundred miles, crossing over two giant mountain ranges."
"Unh-ungh." Clearly the thought was unthinkable. "I might miss a good day here!"
I felt like I was visiting a mental hospital.
Rick Masters: Dangerous Thoughts    USHGA #30816    View my rating at: US Hang Gliding Rating System
A lot of foolish people think they're hang gliding with parachutes - but nobody ever thinks they're parachuting with hang gliders.
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Re: Other dangerous sports news

Postby wingspan33 » Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:38 pm

Rick Masters wrote: . . . "Why don't you come up and fly the Owens Valley? You could fly a hundred miles, crossing over two giant mountain ranges."
"Unh-ungh." Clearly the thought was unthinkable. "I might miss a good day here!"
I felt like I was visiting a mental hospital.


:shock: :lol:

As they say, One man's ceiling is another man's floor!

The closest I've come to soaring a place like Torrey is on Cape Cod and Long Island (along the north shore of each). Neither site was as high as Torrey, closer to 100 ft ASL than 400. Also, the terrain varied as you flew along. I remember flying 150' over someone's back yard. They had a dog and it was barking at me as I flew overhead. But to now exactly where I was it had to sit down so it could look up. That was very entertaining to me. I didn't know that about dogs until then.

Also, very different from Torrey, is Dune Gooning. I know pilots who could cross a gap between bluffs a few hundred yards wide with a very shallow slope between, then climb back up to 100' over the next 100'-150' bluff.

My point is that successful ocean side HG soaring can involve some highly tuned and refined skills. They're very different for what is needed in the Owens valley, but probably require equal respect.

I wonder if Torrey has some "hidden features" that could require a Hang Glider pilot to use more advanced skills than most see at first glance. How about flying north until the ridge ends, soaring 10 feet above the beach then working your way back south to 100' over the 400' cliffs.
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Re: Other dangerous sports news

Postby Rick Masters » Sat Sep 15, 2018 1:22 pm

Powered paragliding        September 14, 2018

Here is an extraordinay video of a powered paraglider going out of control, then getting locked into a nose-down spiral dive to impact.
Make sure to view full screen.
https://infos-israel.news/%F0%9F%94%B4-voir-la-documentation-dramatique-du-crash-un-parapentiste-secrase-dans-un-champs-entre-tel-aviv-et-netanya/
Look like fun? :shock:
The pilot may yet fly again if they can fit his iron lung to a trike.
Why fly a real aircraft when you can die on multi-colored, trunk-transportable screaming garbage that wants to kill you?
No doubt, the paramotoring crowd will be all over this, blaming the pilot just like their cohorts on the free-flight side do.
Me, I try to find an analog to a real, three-axis aircraft or even a powered flex wing.
An epeliptic seizure by a pilot with hornet's nest in his underwear is about as close as can I get. :o
No thanks, I'll stick to hang gliding. :thumbup:

I have found nearly 300 paramotor deaths so far, without searching very hard.
There was a lot of talk early on by starry-eyed paramotorists that they were the safest aircraft ever invented.
I think that's gone by the wayside with about one-in-seven of over 2,000 paragliding canopy fatalities now a paramotor.
It's beginning to remind me of the ultralight craze of the 1980s, where many of our best hang glider pilots were lost.
The same thing is now happening in paragliding.

This morning, Centurion Airfield near Pretoria, South Africa had its fourth PPG fatality in four years.
Rick Masters: Dangerous Thoughts    USHGA #30816    View my rating at: US Hang Gliding Rating System
A lot of foolish people think they're hang gliding with parachutes - but nobody ever thinks they're parachuting with hang gliders.
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Re: Other dangerous sports news

Postby Rick Masters » Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:23 pm

Paragliding        September 13, 2018
Image
Violent clashes between paragliders in Austria
© EPA / Olivier Maire
https://www.kleinezeitung.at/steiermark/oststeier/5495404/Stubenberg-am-See_Gegenseitige-Beschuldigungen-nach-Attacke-auf

Fisticuffs are said to have taken place last Sunday at 910 meters above sea level on the paraglider launch site in Kulm, eastern Styrian. This is currently under investigation by the police. A southern Burgenland paraglider pilot claims to have been physically assaulted and injured in the meadow by another pilot. In addition, his opponent tore and damaged his tandem paraglider.

Image
Rick Masters: Dangerous Thoughts    USHGA #30816    View my rating at: US Hang Gliding Rating System
A lot of foolish people think they're hang gliding with parachutes - but nobody ever thinks they're parachuting with hang gliders.
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Re: Other dangerous sports news

Postby Rick Masters » Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:30 am

Hang Gliding

France's FFVL reports ZERO fatalities among its 10,346 registered hang glider pilots in 2017.
Compare that to the 21 FFVL members killed on paragliders in 2017.     :shock:

But some paragliding pilots disagree with Masters' remarks.
One argued that hang gliding is more dangerous as the speed is greater than paragliding.
http://www.thestandard.com.hk/section-news.php?id=198414
Rick Masters: Dangerous Thoughts    USHGA #30816    View my rating at: US Hang Gliding Rating System
A lot of foolish people think they're hang gliding with parachutes - but nobody ever thinks they're parachuting with hang gliders.
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