Monday, February 28, 2005

Hopping in the rain.

Woke to find it was still raining, since we had some paperwork to do, we went to Lejair's workshop to get this out of the way.

I was introduced to the hang simulator, put my training harness and helmet and learnt the basis of weight shift and pitch control.

As it was still raining, Tony took us to his microlight hangar in Villa Martin where I learnt how to rig a Stubby hang glider, and perform a daily inspection (SWANK). As the rain was not very heavy, and there was a nice breeze outside, Tony thought it would be a good idea to introduce me to the Stubby formally via some wind hopping exercises, so I clipped in and experience my first few seconds of hang gliding flights by hopping in the rain!

After completing the exercises, we went back to the hanger, de-rigged and drove back to Algondanales, while not a very busy day, I had completed a few tasks for my EP rating.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Excuse me Captain, are we in Spain?

Our plane took off on time, and we had a good flight to Jerez. On final approach as we descended through the clouds, you would have thought the Captain had merely been circling round the UK, as it was overcast and just as we taxied to the terminal, the heavens opened and it started to rain! It rained all the way through the drive to Algondanales, where we (Antonio, another student and I) meet our Instructors Tony and Rona Webb.

After a few drinks, we went to our apartment where we spent the rest of the day, looking out the window at the skies praying for better weather for the following day.

Towards the end of the day, another student Paul joined us, not a sunny and dry welcome we had expected, infact it was wet and very cold. Yes we were in Spain.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Leave for Spain

Left home at 11:00pm today for stansted airport.

My flight is 07:00am tomorrow with a checkin time of 05:00am.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Surprise Call!

I got a surprise call today from Andy Phillips who was the first person to fly a paramotor from Land's End to John O'Groats

He was very supportive, and I look forward to learning first hand from him useful tips for my trip.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Hang Glider waiting?

Hang Glider and waiting for weather

I'm not a qualified hang glider pilot yet, but it looks like I'm going to have to learn how to hang wait!

Been doing a lot of reading about hang gliding on the internet, and one thing that seems to be cropping up all the time is that this flying sport relies a lot on good weather and you should not be in a hurry to get in the air if the weather is marginal.

I'm also on the mailing list of my local (to be) hang gliding club, and even though it is tow based, it still hasn't been very flyable over the last 3 weekends.

I think I need to get closer to the man that stilled the waters which is what I will be doing while hang gliding.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Hang Gliding training costs.

This hang gliding experience is becoming expensive, and my bank manager is starting to compain.

Let's see where the money is going:

BHPA Membership £92
BHPA Pilot's Handbook £14.99
Hang Glider Training Manual £25
EP/CP Tow Hang Gliding course (Spain) £1000
Accomaodation (Spain) £168
Hang Gliding Insurance (Spanish HG Association for 3rd party liability) £50
Return Air Ticket £80
Travel Insurance (includes repartriation and Hang Gliding activity) £35
Car Rental (sharing a car with another student) £80
Stansted Express return ticket £25

You do the sums! I still have to buy a hang glider and other associated equipment, gain enough experience, before I can even think of the next course! Help please Sir Richard?

Edit 18th March 2005: The final bill for my trip to Spain included the following extras

Extra hang glider training £50
Expenses £170

Edit 17 Dec 2005: Here are the addtional expenses incured to get my Club Pilot (CP)hang glider rating

2nd trip to Spain
Training £960
Accomodation £84
Hang Gliding Insurance (Spanish) £50
Air Ticket £45
Travel Insurance Hang Gliding cover included £35
Car Rental £110
Train Tickets £25

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

I am a BHPA member

I am now a member of the Britsh Hang Gliding and Paragliding Assosiation hang glider flying member 22858, no pilot endorsements yet though.

You can't fly a glider aircrat in the UK unless you are fully insured, and being a member of the BHPA allows you to do that.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Hang Glider Training preparations

There is so much to do in preparation for my starting to learn to fly a hang glider in spain with Tony Webb. One of the tasks that I currently have to complete is ringing all my insurance providers to make sure I'm still covered with me now taking up hang gliding.

Why does life have to be so complicated? No wonder people give up so many dreams. Too much hassle. I guess if the flying dream is big enough, then I'll have to do it. Algodonales, here comes the novice glider pilot hoping to return home after 2 weeks with a BHPA CP hill and tow rating.

Friday, February 11, 2005

I'm Joining a Hang Gliding Club

I've decided that I need to join a local suffolk hang gliding club, the nearest tow club to me within the M25. While it is about 100 miles from my home in London, it is not uncommon for hang glider pilots to travel these type of distances to enable them to fly in the sky and enjoy their free flight sport.

I've made contact with the club secretary, but won't be able to join the club untill I've got my hang glider Club Pilot qualification, but I will be making a social visit shortly if weather permits to see how they operate and meet my future hang gliding colleagues, as well as get to know some of the typical hang gliders used in the sport.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Hang Glider CP Course preparations continue

Hang Gliding Training

Air Plane tickets have been booked, travel insurance arranged, and in a way I'm now looking forward to the flying course.

I'm going to miss my family though, as this is going to be the longest seperation from my wife since we got married.

Starting to think of suitable companies that I can approach for hang glider sponsorship.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Opposition to hang gliding dream

It looks like this hang gliding adventure of mine is going to be a tough one to live down.
Both my spouse and mum are against the idea of flying at the moment, being from African origins, this is not surprising since it is not a good thing to temp fate and being strapped to nothing more that a simple hang glider frame and 'jumping' off a mountain as they see it, is taking too much risk.

I keep you updated with my hang glider training progresses and how the family is taking it.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Hang Gliding CP Course Booked

I've booked myself on a 2 week hang gliding course with Lejair run by Tony Webb a British instructor based in Algodonales, spain, so all being well, I will be a CP (tow) on March 13th 2005

A hang gliding CP course is the minimum pilot rating that anyone learning to fly a hang glider should attain in order to be able to join a UK hang gliding club and gain experience and improve their flying skills

Learning to fly a hang glider using the tow launch method is a very good hang gliding training aid as you don't need to find different hills to launch from when the weather changes, and doing it in spain where the weather is more favorable means you will make more progress in your BHPA CP pilot rating.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

How am I fly hangglider across the UK

To responsilbly fly a hang glider in the UK, you need to be a member of the British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association and posses the right pilot endorsements.

This verifies that you have undergone the right hang glider training and are insured against any 3rd party incidents.

I therefore intend to get a full FLPA (foot launched powered aircraft) endorsement which will enable me to do the cross country flight.

First step is to obtain a CP (club pilot) endorsement, this will allow me to fly in a club environment using a sky floater like the Aeros target hang glider get some valuable fly experience and the fufill the entry requirements to join the FLPA course.

Once FLPA qualified, I will build up my XC (cross country) hang gliding knowledge before embarking on the challenge proper.

So for those of you who are asking if this is going to be a power free attempt, the answer is no, I intended to be using a doodlebug harness and a target glider.

I hope to build a support team of experienced pilots who will guide me through training, help plan the route and all logistics to do this safely and ensure success, I will also have a video production team with HD cameras following me filming a documentary which will either broadcast on TV or made into a DVD.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Hang Gliding Challenge Introduction

For full details of the my proposed hang gliding challenge, visit my hang glider website.

Summary: In Jan 2005, I decide that I would like to fly across the UK in a hang glider, meeting the locals along the way. not a bad idea, the only quirk being I've never flown a hang glider, and I'm from African origins!

This hang gliding blog in addition to my website will detail how I get along from the initial training to become an elementary pilot, then getting my CP rating that will allow me to fly in a club environment through to motorised doodlebug powered hanglider training, raising sponsorship and planning the flying adventure itself.

Shola Ogunlokun The first Nigerian Hang Glider pilot of the MB Challenge fame