Friday, July 29, 2005

Learning to free fly in the UK?

Is it all doom and gloom?

I have had an email from a prominent and well respected member of the UK free flying community who has mentioned that a few people have contacted him expressing their concerns that entries in my training diary seems to paint a negative picture of the sport and I'd like to clear up a few issues.

First and foremost my diary relates specifically to my personal circumstances and in no way gives a general picture of what could be expected if you were training in the UK.

Secondly I'm going to list my personal circumstances to further shed light on the apparent lack of progress in my case.

Due to family commitments, I'm only available for training during the week, not weekends. In fact I remember a particular weekend day when a member of staff actually took the effort to call to mention that conditions where good for flying, but unfortunately I was not available to make use of the opportunity.

I have not booked a CP course with Green Dragons, and therefore only book one day of training at a time, and usually only once a week.
There have been weeks when I've not booked a training slot due to work or family commitments.

Obviously the UK weather has had its own share as well, so there have been days when I have been booked in and training has been cancelled for one reason or the other.
You might also want to know that BHPA instructors have a very high safety record, and their number one priority is to keep the student safe, so conditions which would be suitable for a qualified pilot would not necessarily be good for a trainee!

If you are thinking of training in the UK, your approach might be different, you might book a EP/CP course (highly recommended) and might therefore be able to book more days of training in advance, you might also be available on weekends, not forgetting you might begin your training at a different time of the year, and thus have much more suitable conditions (many people wonder why summer is not the most suitable time for learning).

So to summarise, my diary is here to show exactly what I'm going through as I embark on this challenge of mine. While I'm serious about this challenge, it is not something that has to be done at ALL COSTS, I live a normal life and have a family, and as I have mentioned on my main website I'm not going to do anything stupid to achieve my goal. In life we have many obstacles to go through, many give up after a few, others go on for longer, while some would be put off by difficulties others will be inspired by them.

No matter what happens in the end with this challenge, my hope is that someone will be encouraged not to give up on their dream just because they encountered one problem or the other.

Long Live the UK flying community, and may the BHPA continue to champion our cause.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

I'm off to Norfolk

Following the lack of progress with my hang glider training since my return from Spain in march of this year, I have decided to take a week off work and visit Tony Webb of Lejair while they are in the UK during the month of August this year.

Now I know there is no guarantee that I will get good weather during the week that I have booked off, but there is a good chance that there will be a few days that some training can be done, also since I will be on the winch completely, I'm increasing the likelihood of me completing the tasks required for me to earn my Club Pilots license.

I'm hoping that at the end of my trip, this step of my training programme will be completed, as I don't want to think of what will happen if I don't get the pilot rating.

A lot of time and effort has been put into this, and it just seems that my goal is not getting any nearer to being achieved!

Another day of cancelled training

Another day of un-settled weather, and all hang gliding training has been cancelled by Green Dragons.

I will not be booking any further hang gliding training sessions with them this month or next.

I recently added a few new photos to my galley, check them out.

My Hang Gliding Photo Gallery

Monday, July 18, 2005

Sun Stoke!

No not me!

Having looked at the weather forecast, which looked good 10mph westerly wind, no showers, I called the Green Dragons flight line to be told sorry the designated Hang gliding instructor is suffering from Sun Stroke, so no hang gliding today!

I called the office in the afternoon to re-book my appointment and was then told that the weathermen had also got it wrong, as the winds were too strong for training anyway.

My next hang gliding training is booked for Tuesday 26th July.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Nothing scheduled this week

Due to work and personal commitments, I am not visiting Green Dragons for any Hang Gliding training this week.

Training resumes next week, with a date booked for Monday 18th July, hopefully the weather will be fine and I'll be able to cover some tasks for my hang gliding club pilot rating.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Another no show day

Hang glider training was cancelled today due to bad weather (strong winds), so I've got to book another training session and another day off work.

Will he ever get there? (Theme song from Cock Crow at Dawn). The hang gliding challenge continues.