Should Trike wings have ratings just like PPG wings?

Published by: Rizwan Bukhari on 16th Mar 2018 | View all blogs by Rizwan Bukhari

 

Hi all,

While we discuss the reason behind John Farmer's accident. Tony brought up a point that I have also discussed in the past. And I would like to know your opinion on that.

As you all may know that Paragliding and Powered Paragliding wings have ratings. And despite the fact that as far FAA is concerned sports like Powered Paragliding are under FAR 103 rules, so their is no license required. 

However because the wings have ratings, it helps a new comer and even experienced pilot to make the wing purchase decision.

How do you as pilots feel about a wing rating system? 

Is it practical?

Do you think it will help Trike pilots?

What challenges do you see in implementing such a system?

Some while ago we had a blog discussing if Spiral recovery should be part of Practice Standard Maneuvers and with Trike pilots' input we were able to make Spiral Recovery a part of Practical Standard Maneuvers.

My hope with this blog is to see if we could reach a consensus on this topic. So we could do take a practical measure and hopefuly no more lives are lost.

Regards,

 

Rizwan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

38 Comments

  • Andy Hughes
    by Andy Hughes 5 months ago
    ABSOLUTELY! I fly both. A new PPG pilot would kill himself on a speed wing used for PPG. Huge differences between PPG wings, speed , handling, passiveness and more. We have an EN rating system. Keeps us all in check so a noob doesn't go buy the fastest hottest wing. Its not that he get one, it just gives an idea what the wing will fly/handle like.
  • Paul Hamilton
    by Paul Hamilton 5 months ago
    Sounds like a great concept but not practical. This would be an additional task for manufacturers during the certification.

    The FAA tried this with the make/model but it got thrown out because it was additional regulation and a hassle. Just like airplanes, pilots are responsible to use common sense in transitioning to new aircraft types.

    There is currently the LSA speed at 100MPH/87 knots above/below per 61.327 now.

    Who would develop the criteria, what would the criteria be, who would regulate, and who would test/verify.

    We should all do a better job to promote common sense transition training as airplanes do.

    That is my opinion.
  • White Eagle
    by White Eagle 5 months ago
    That mine as well.
  • Bryan Tuffnell
    by Bryan Tuffnell 5 months ago
    Another issue is that a wing like the Arrow is, by most measures, pretty easy to fly. Easier than, say a Wizard.

    Another great beer-and-steak topic to try and order wings! Mine's a pale ale, venison medium rare...
  • White Eagle
    by White Eagle 5 months ago
    Bryan i didnt find the arrow or the wizzard hard to fly. I saw some strange behavior of the arrow from the backseat in and airbourne xt and i had no idea what the pilots imputs were. I am pretty sure ive been making good cordinated turns from my hang gliding exsperience. But you did a great job helping understand whats really going on with it and it clicked. I can see where that could get some unsuspecting pilot in trouble. I think ill have a dos equis with a lime and a large meduim well slice of wapati !
  • Rizwan Bukhari
    by Rizwan Bukhari 5 months ago
    What if it was not a regulation but a standard mutually agreed between the wing manufacturers. There is not that many companies that manufacture wings.
  • Larry  Mednick
    by Larry Mednick 5 months ago
    We must remember that at least when we’re talking about 2 seat trikes, there just really isn’t an excuse to not demo it before you solo it. TRY IT BEFORE YOU BUY IT!!! It’s a big investment, get on a plane and demo what you are buying. That’s the solution in my opinion. In the PPG and hang gliding world they don’t have that option, we do... You should be able to find out first hand what to expect, not from some rating system. As I mentioned a good place to start is to read the flight training supplement. Then try it out with an instructor who is familiar and competent with the wing. Then you are either ready to fly or solo, need more training or maybe you will never be ready to fly it because it’s too responsive or requires coordinating every turn, comes in too fast or whatever.

    We should also remember there have been more than a couple of cases where a pilot was warned not to fly an advanced set up and they ignored the advice. Would a high rating have been more persuasive in those cases?

    I know there are lots of cases where the person buying a new Wing has no one to help them, but I can site most cases where test flights/ first in type flights that have gone horribly wrong had a qualified instructor at the same airport willing to help.
  • White Eagle
    by White Eagle 5 months ago
    Well riz i think manufacturers at least usa already do that. Iam pretty sure paul , larry kameron dont sell wings to untrained pilots. And would you with a aeros wing? Then theirs used on barnstormers and private sales. So wheres this going. I could go buy my kid a maserati for spring break. truth is this sport is not for people who abandon common sense!
  • Joe Hockman
    by Joe Hockman 5 months ago
    In my view this is opening a big nasty can of worms. Comparing this to PPG wings is like comparing apples and oranges. I happen to agree with Paul H. view above. We don't need another level of regulation and mutually agreed upon standards among international manufacturers is a pipe dream. Ultimate responsibility resides with the pilot. What we really need is for existing trike pilots to be more of a pain in the ass with their trike pilot friends that are in the midst of moving to a very different trike / wing combination to insist that they either 1) get some transition training with a cfi, or 2) at least go up with a competent pilot intimately familiar with the new combination to practice a few maneuvers before going up solo.
  • White Eagle
    by White Eagle 5 months ago
    Once again joe A very good grounding in common sense.being a competent pilot yourself i have watched over the years purchacing wings and a new trike. You are maticulous in researching all the data.even though you know you have the ability you went and got exstensive training in your gt6. For sure buying a new or used afvancing wing go spend a weekend with a competent instructor! If that instructor says this wing is not for you dont buy it! I dont know any instructor that saw a pilot making uncordonated turns that would suggest there ok with an arrow s or any advanced speed wing. Pprobkem solved!
  • Bryan Tuffnell
    by Bryan Tuffnell 5 months ago
    I can't help feel that rating wings is a bad idea for another reason.

    While I firmly believe that transition training is a good idea, in my opinion it is a mistake to regard some trikes as 'more dangerous' than others. A pilot who cannot coordinate a turn is a simply a bad pilot, regardless of what they fly.

    Some trikes may be less vulnerable to some aspects of bad pilot technique, but that shouldn't excuse poor skills. Joe said it well: ultimate responsibility resides with the pilot. Bad techniques can kill on any trike, and contrary to what some believe, no trike is immune to such issues as spiral dives.

    To fly any aircraft takes a solid set of skills, and I think that's the bottom line, not rating trikes as to their 'forgiveness' of bad handling. If we're to get the fatality rate down, I believe the first place we need to open our minds and look at the skills we have as a pilots. And the way to upskill is to get good instruction.
  • Joe Hockman
    by Joe Hockman 5 months ago
    Agree with you Bryan. This wing rating idea is a bad idea from several different perspectives. To coordinate or not to coordinate. I can only speak from my experience coming from a HG background. A HG pilot would not progress in their skills or ratings if they did not learn to coordinate their turns. Additionally a HG pilot that never learned to coordinate their turns would likely end up hurting themselves or worse very quickly in their HG pursuits.

    I know I have previously shared here my story of my experience with first trike instructor. He got on me rather quickly about not needing to do the J turn when initiating a roll. He said we really do not need to do that in trikes like you do with HG. He did not have a HG background. Well I spent a few hours with him but decided not to return to him for further instruction and that was one of the reasons for my decision. I can't help but think how many students he may have taken on that had no prior WSC experience adopting his flying technique and perhaps later buying a trike / wing combination that would be a bit more vulnerable to bad technique in more extreme roll maneuvers. Maybe what we need is a bit more rigor in vetting capabilities and flying techniques from DPE's involved in granting trike pilots the CFI credentials. Hard to believe I just said that but I did. Well that instructor gave up instruction many years ago.

    In my view there are different degrees of coordination that may be needed or work well with different wings / trikes. A huge J swing is not needed with many wings and rounding out a roll with a small pitch up input maybe all that is needed to coordinate a turn. At least some billow equalization can happen with a small pitch up input to finish a turn and that may be just enough to get the desired response even in steeper banks with some slip. But yes some level of pitch input should be combined or coupled with roll inputs and pilots that never learn that need to unlearn their bad technique and learn better technique.
  • Joe Hockman
    by Joe Hockman 5 months ago
    Lastly we must be realistic on expectations related to trike fatalities. As long as there is the human element in flying trikes (the foreseeable future from my perspective) we will never completely eliminate fatal accidents. Just like we will never eliminate fatal auto accidents. What we should desire is for the frequency to be very rare but again it will never go to zero with humans involved in the decision making process. I say this because Rizzy's last line in blog intro includes "no more lives are lost". Of course it is worthwhile to hope for this but in reality fatalities will never go to zero. As a statistician (among other hats I wear) I know a little about probabilities and modeling of extremely unlikely events and it gets very difficult to get the kind of data needed to accurately predict such events. What we should strive for is be a good enough pilot that we personally do not show up in those statistics and going one step further perhaps try to exercise our influence among our trike pilot friends and students when we see them do some thing (eg jump into a new trike / wing without transition training) that makes us feel uncomfortable from a safety standpoint. We don't want our friends to contribute to those statistics either. Enough said.
  • Bryan Tuffnell
    by Bryan Tuffnell 5 months ago
    You know, Joe, sometimes there's a disconnect between what I'm trying to say and what I write, and reading your post crystalised the point I'm trying to make: it can be just as dangerous, difficult and demanding to transition from a fast wing to slow wing as it is to go the other way. Going in either direction, transition training is a good idea.

    I do think you're right; I believe better instruction would save lives. And I think Larry Mednick did the trike community a huge service in bringing the spiral dive issue to the centre of our attention and deserves credit; we've got a concrete example of two lives saved. If we keep hammering at turn control, those who listen will benefit. "No more lives lost" would take perfect piloting; we should at least aim for perfection. If we miss, we'll get to be good.
  • Joe Hockman
    by Joe Hockman 5 months ago
    Bryan, you are exactly right on regarding danger and difficultly of moving from fast to slow wings. I have really enjoyed my passion for soaring and looking for the lightest wing loading and lowest sink rate to do it. But I know some trike pilots flying 2-seaters that came from the GA world would freak out at how much you feel the turbulence in the control bar in mid day flying or how it can quickly upset your approach on final. The larger the wing and the lighter the wing loading the more you feel turbulence. One has to quickly learn what your wind and turbulence tolerance boundaries are. On the extremely in wing loading, you don't see butterflies out for a leisurely flight during hurricanes and tornadic conditions or even in stiff winds. Timing and magnitude of WSC inputs for this transition can be alarming for pilots accustomed to fast trikes with high wing loading. Sadly there really are few if any options for transition training from fast to slow, simply because few if any instructors at least here configure their training trikes with large wings to provide a better simulated experience for low wing loading. Of course, there are many more transition training options from slow to fast.
  • White Eagle
    by White Eagle 5 months ago
    A cordinated turn is also used in a g a aircraft and sailplanes. A really good way is to advance your understanding is go to the hobbie store and get yourself a radio controlled slope souring sailplane
    Back in the days when we wernt hang gliding about 10 of us hangies would hang out and do slope combat. A good cordinated turn and a emelman turn finally got me some respect and a good pilots wing chopped off from above. Maybe different movements on a rc radio transmitter but it sure helps you understand the principles.
    I too had an instructor tell me i didnt need to carve my turns joe? I couldnt agree with you bryan ,paul ,larry more!
  • Noel Clifford
    by Noel Clifford 5 months ago
    Hello Bryan,
    Great to hear your words of wisdom on these subjects. Training and execution of co ordinated turns is obviously a life preserving, important technique and in a fixed wing aircraft we have a turn/slip indicator to help manage this phenomenon.
    I remember seeing Larry video with a string taped to the front screen of his trike showing the effects of side slipping along the runway. Could this be used as a rudimentary turn/slip indicator in a trike?.
    I believe I fly co ordinated turns and mine is a wing which is probably relatively forgiving (Bionix 15) however what are the practical indicators in flight that a turn is properly co ordinated and what are the symptoms of an uncordinated turn?.
    Forgive me if these questions are somewhat rudimentary however I would appreciate some clarity.
  • Larry  Mednick
    by Larry Mednick 5 months ago
    Noel, most turns in a Trike start out a slip and then need to be coordinated. The 2 tell tale symptoms of a slipped turn are going to be the nose of the carriage dropping below the horizon and an over banking tendency that if you remove your hands the turn will steepen. The BioniX 15 is a good example of a Wing that virtually cannot slip no matter how bad the technique. The combination of slow roll rate and winglets all but eliminates adverse yaw from ever forming in the first place. A Wing like the RIVAL S Must be coordinated on virtually every turn or the slip will be very obvious and show up with over roll and nose dropping tendencies. While the RIVAL S is stall proof making a terrible training machine for a student to understand stalls, it is perhaps one of the very best for understanding how to coordinate a turn properly. The RIVAL S will let you know if your turn is uncoordinated right away. You will hate that Wing until you learn to coordinate each and EVERY turn. For those that would like to experience a RIVAL S and test their abilities to confirm they are coordinating properly or to learn to coordinate properly there are flight schools that all use this Wing for primary training:

    Zephyrhills Fl
    Larry Mednick
    RICARDO Fantuz
    Wes Frey

    Clear water Fl
    Dane Hauser

    Elbert Colorado
    Tracy Tomlinson

    Carson City
    Paul Hamilton

    LA California
    Henry Boger

    Washington
    Scott Johnson

    Oahu Hawaii
    Eric Nakamoto
  • White Eagle
    by White Eagle 5 months ago
    Remember the term stepping on the ball with rudder pedals. I think the same is true in cordinating your turns. I think larrys information on nose dropping in a slipped turn is priceless. I would love to come down to florida sometime and just hang out learning from larry. But that would be like a what about bob movie.
  • White Eagle
    by White Eagle 5 months ago
    Iam wondering would a aircraft turn and bank indicator work on a trike. You dont have rudder pedals but the concept should be somewhat like larrys string definition.
  • Paul Hamilton
    by Paul Hamilton 5 months ago
    One of the best ways to learn to fly a trike is to get rid of ALL the instruments and look outside the cockpit and FEEL the aircraft.
  • Larry  Mednick
    by Larry Mednick 5 months ago
    Also another mistake I see pilots who are coordinating their turns make, is that they are not controlling their G force when they let the bar out. And in some cases start the Trike climbing. Remember it only takes 2 Gs to coordinate a 60 degree bank. We shouldnt be feeling anywhere near that in a 30 or 40 degree banked turn. Let the bar out smoothly as needed and that can ONLY be done while viewing the horizon. Not the ground and not the gauges...
  • White Eagle
    by White Eagle 5 months ago
    I almost always fly by visual with the horizon and the feel.thats general for hang gliding and whats i was taught in a sail plane. Occasianally cross refrensing. So i dont really get all these,accident caused by uncordinated turns in the arrow..isint a cordinated turn something a pilot should have before leaving their examiner????? Its not a difficult task!! So something here by definition doesnt add up.i ither we have poor instructors , examiners. Untalented pilots that shouldnt fly or wings for the general public that are sacrificing stability for performance or all of the above? My female general aviation instructor told me that my figure 8-----60 degree bank cordinated turns were better than hers. That was 35 years ago.
    In a hang gliders no one was with me to judge other than i lived..ln a trike carving a turn i think is easy. I maybe lacking in long term exsperience in faster wings. but looking at the data of arrow s wing fatalitys a few that were friends of mine and the majority trained pilots and some high hour pilots. If some wild behavior and fatalitys in the arrow. S wing are due to uncordinated turns .than what are we saying about the quality of training out there. Shouldnt you know how to cordinate a wing turn by the time you leave your instructor?
  • Bryan Tuffnell
    by Bryan Tuffnell 5 months ago
    Noel, it won't surprise you that I agree with Larry. Yaw strings are a bit of fun on a trike (by all means, try it!), and work great on a sailplane, but the best instrument on a trike is the Mark I Eyeball. Most pilots seem to develop a 'feel' for it pretty quick, and steepish continuous 360's are a fun way to get it together. If you can get around a bunch of circles while keeping your body fixed and airspeed and bank angle constant, you've found the sweet spot.
  • Bryan Tuffnell
    by Bryan Tuffnell 5 months ago
    WE, I couldn't agree more when you say that everyone should be coordinating turns fluently and automatically before going solo.
  • John Glynn
    by John Glynn 5 months ago
    I have a fun game to help you to hone your coordinating skills. Remember I started as a hang glider pilot and thermalling is fun. Pick a safe day, light lift, and choose a safe altitude based on experience. Please check for traffic before trying this as well as you always clear your turns. The power off sink rate of a two place trike is sometimes up to 700 fpm. I do not suggest power off but leave the engine idling. Increase the throttle until you have about 200 fpm sink rate. If you want to pretend you are a higher performance hang glider add a little more throttle. Now find a thermal, when you first encounter lift, count about 7 seconds, if still in the lift start your most coordinated circle. If you turn efficiently you can gain altitude. If you fly too slow and mush around turns, you may be flying around with one wing half stalled. Not very efficient. If you fly perfectly coordinated, maybe even a 10 - 15 degree bank, a little faster than you think but coordinated, you can climb. Want more of a challenge, cut back on the throttle. I do not want to start a big stream of unbelieving emails but yes you can even soar a two place trike such as a 912 smaller winged machine at engine idle and do not need a super rowdy day. Staying in the thermal and flying coordinated is more important than engine idle sink rate. Clear your turns, be smart about altitude, and have fun and sharpen your skills. I have more exercises for those interested that will make you a more efficient pilot when you are ready. Have fun and fly safe.
    John Glynn
  • Noel Clifford
    by Noel Clifford 5 months ago
    Thanks gents for the feedback.
    Bryan, My eyeball is one of the earlier models however I think it still serves me well. Given your feedback Larry about the symptoms of an uncoordinated turn I am sure I am coordinating my turns even accounting for the forgiving characteristics of the Bionix wing. Essentially, as I understand, we are just adjusting the wing shape slightly (by pushing out slightly as we enter a turn) which has the equivalent effect of a rudder in 3 axis in achieving a coordinated turn.
    I have a few days of flying coming up so amongst other things the suggested practice techniques will be on my agenda.
  • White Eagle
    by White Eagle 4 months ago
    So larry mednick the rival x wing fits in this conversation i think as i understand, the increase in squares, and the under surface not being attached to the upper surface increases billow , Increasing stability.
    I talked with henry about it . Great speed range ,fast very light roll pressure , looks like it is very forgiving with not cordinating your turns perfectly. Some pitch pressure but that is cured by electric trim. Great for penetrating that bumpy day flying. At 90 mph top speed i think putting that mix together is an acomplishment. Do i have all that right.
    Someday i like to fly it. With all this talk about instability in uncordinated turns . As henry told me the rival x is very easy to fly fast wing. These are qualitys wings should have in my book!
  • Larry  Mednick
    by Larry Mednick 4 months ago
    WE, the high billow does not in itself create stability, but it does creat the ability to billow shift a lot. As soon as you mix high billow with high speed you get fast roll rate. As soon as you get fast roll rate you get adverse yaw, and as soon as you get adverse yaw you as a pilot need to be sure to coordinate each turn. I spent a considerable amount of time working with Henry Trikelife and transitioning him to the RIVAL S. I still tell the story of Henry’s words after he completed his training with me. “Larry say EVERYTHING I do is WRONG!!!” Most pilots would say 90 percent of what I teach is very different. Now Henry is flying different. I just spent nearly 10 hours transitioning an XP 15 pilot to the RIVAL X. So truth be told it is super easy to fly and stabile enough to Fly hands off and fix itself by letting go of the controls. But it can also be over controlled by pilots that highside every turn and are clueless to coordinating turns. When the RIVAL X is put on a lighter higher drag carriage like a REVOLT, that roll Rate is slowed by the reduced speed and becomes easier to fly it “wrong”. Henry coming from a RIVAL S on his REVO to the RIVAL X was saying it’s so easy... let’s put it this way, if you don’t want to do any transition training whether it’s 5 minutes or 5 hours for you and just jump in and Fly our Discovery is that wing. Is it as fun to fly as the RIVAL X? Not even close. Is the S even more fun to fly? Yes with the right training.

    Hope that puts some real world perspective on it. In the next post I’ll
    Post the link to the 1.5 hour video of the XP 15 pilot learning to fly his REVO RIVAL X.
  • Larry  Mednick
    by Larry Mednick 4 months ago
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=share&v=2-h-y3zoRpc
  • White Eagle
    by White Eagle 4 months ago
    I remember henry telling me that larry when he was going through transition training in the rival s. Off course every pilot finds a comfort zone or qualitys they like in wings. Like Bryan Tuffnell says its great we have a choice. Flying here in big mountains and trees i like a little more wing aera as you down in sunny thick air florida may not desire. So wing preferance also is dictated to your,e envirement as well.
    I think of stability as being a wing doing what its designed for when you want it to do it . And of course being flown correctly. Anyways i know henry likes your rival x alot. Based on what ive seen in your,e videos and testimony from other pilots i say it has some really my kind of likable qualitys! Lot to be said for the safety of a good roll rate if flown correctly. Ive only had a taste of electric trim flying in austrailia and with leo fitzgerald . But mixed with the roll rate on the rival × and the way henry discribes its handling in turbulance and your hands off discription of returning to level flight . Thats qualitys i like in a wing personally! Top speed is 90? Is that vne? Anyways i like your,e flagship!
    Another wing i liked was the gt5 and 6 just felt good flying it.
    One day id love to get you in my log book thanks
  • Bryan Tuffnell
    by Bryan Tuffnell 4 months ago
    I think much of what's labelled as 'transition' training is just unlearning bad habits and learning correct ones, rather than learning how to fly a new machine.
  • White Eagle
    by White Eagle 4 months ago
    I think we are all prone to some bad habits bryan. Well except for larry mednick ( not ment derogitory hes an encredable pilot ) . I find that after a long winter my landings errode. And also because the demanding conditions physically, financially and hardships of making a living prevent me from flying as often as i would like!
    Personally i dont like the term cordinating your turn. To me its a more technical term, I have always liked terms that relate more to pilot feel like carving your turns.. As an artist i identify more woth the flow and feeling of action. For example for the winter i am a lift operater at a ski aera. Part of my job is to assist in getting skiers and snowboarders off the lift. New snowboarders have an aweful time on my steep ramp. When i see a newbie snow boarder coming up with an instructor and the instructor says put the weight on the front of the board 70% of the time they crash in the ramp. Iam really good at getting them off the chair. As the chair passes i tell them relax , keep your foot on the board, stand up straight ( lean forward) it works almost every time. And i get a smile and thumbs up! If i think of after initiating my bank of carving my turn theirs a graceful feel of a little pressure carving that turn. Now if iam wrong please correct me but ive spent hours admireing videos of great pilots particularly larrys. (And yes theirs some brown nosing going on here but you never know when publishers clearing house may knock on your door). When i watch larrys exstreem video i see a pilot who has mastered the feel of his wing. Yes he may have mastered the knowlege but thats not what i see working between the brain and the imput. A truly talented pilot has mastered the feel of flight! IF i feel that iam deteriorating in my skills i have no problem going to an instructor and just getting on top of it.when you are flying good you feel it !
  • Bryan Tuffnell
    by Bryan Tuffnell 4 months ago
    WE, my bad habits are far-ranging: sleeping in, far too much fatty foods, snoring, childish ringtones, laziness...

    'Carving' sounds like a pretty good word to me. A skier will understand that there's no slip or skid and that the g forces are felt perpendicular to the 'lean'. 'Balance' is the GA term used here in NZ but carving is certainly how it feels.

    I was lucky to share the air over a paddock in the Owens Valley with Larry Tudor, back when I was a hotshot kid in the early 80's. We were both in good hang gliders and we had a ton of height to play with, and with the arrogance of youth I thought I'd be competing with a master aerobatics pilot and looping and spinning away that altitude with him. Instead of putting on an aerobatics display, Larry knocked my socks off with the most beautiful flying I have ever seen in any aircraft: mostly lazy 8s, probably never exceeding 60 degrees of bank and +/- 30 of pitch. But every movement was perfect: the rolls were tight, back to back, and always reversed at the bottom of the dives; maximum bank was always precisely at the apex of pitch; everything was smoooooth and graceful. He gently guided his aircraft through maneuvers, it was never shoved or forced or brutal. Loads came on and went off slowly. It changed the way I thought about flying, and I guess I've been trying to catch up since. I try to pick were I'll rotate on takeoff and make every turn precise and land on the pre-picked spot whenever I fly, because I was inspired that day - not to be the best, which I don't care about, but the best that I can be. And like you say: when you fly good you feel it, and for me it's a great feeling.
  • White Eagle
    by White Eagle 4 months ago
    Those words you speak bryan resonate memories . The owens valley classic Larry Tudor, Jim Lee, JC Brown. You flew with legends bryan . For trike pilots that dont know flying the owens valley classic was competing with the best of the best in the wild west of thermal exstreem. As a fledgeling i was lucky to hang with them in a house at point of the mountain. Just to watch them fly was pure magic. When i was down at scott johnsons he was showing me pictures of the ol owens valley wooden sign. And memorbillia from the classic. The rest of us hangies from around the world could only open up hang gliding magazine and drool of you guys competeing their bryan.
    And that wealth of exsperience passing and transfered into your trike flying, wingsuit flying. Brings tears to my eyes thinking of the spirit and adventure everyone had back then. Jonathan livingston Seagull possessed me back then ,Still does. Although it models itself in fiction,inspirering ,enlightning a young mind with the thrill of flight. You know bryan theirs that part in the pages where Jonathan gull makes it to that enlightend beach finally and their meets this brilliant gull who teaches him to just think as a thought . You know bryan i see a distant beach i think maybe New Zealand. Theres a trike , a campfire , a dome tent and i think maybe theirs more to that book than just fiction.
  • Bryan Tuffnell
    by Bryan Tuffnell 4 months ago
    Wow,WE, that brings back memories, and you were obviously part of it too... it was such an exciting time, with the concealed floating crossbar gliders everyone could see potential and no one knew what the limits were... and people were crossing old boundaries at such a rapid rate. WE, did you know Eric Raymond? He was really pushing what could be done, particularly in terms of aerobatics, and had, I think, 19 parachute deployments. The Owens was then the XC capital of the world, and the guys you mentioned were learning fast and pushing hard in that scary, wild and sometimes outright dangerous place. An awesome time. Remember that film, Aoli, Comet Clones and Pod People? Rick Masters?

    Something I love about flying other things is the chance to be a beginner again. I find it great to have a totally blank slate and start from zero, picking up band new skills. And be scared witless from time to time!

    Hope you make it here for that beer and steak, and an overnight flight to a beach. We'll have a lot of stories to swap!
  • White Eagle
    by White Eagle 4 months ago
    Of course Eric Raymond i met him but most of us wanna be fledglings would kinda stay over on the groupie side of the nest and bow are beaks in reverance! I dont even know if stuff like the telluride aerobatic competition still goes on. I can think of a hundred pilots that i would love to see again.those were really fun days bryan.
    Of course i remember watching that but i cant remember where i think it was at a hang gliding party. I got my ol hang gliding buddy back into flying trikes . So then he bought a ww falcon hang glider . Then he moved on to really nice ww sport 2 . Keeps sending me pictures of him at mingus 14 thousand. But flying my soaring trike is so convienient.
  • Doug Boyle
    by Doug Boyle 3 months ago
    WE, in your case think of your motor as your mountain! When living in Atlanta the 122-mile trip to Lookout Mtn. became onerous once the Soarmaster became available for my C5A. My flying hours expanded exponentially once the flatland became a viable option.
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