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.


Anonymous said...

Interested to read your diary. I tried hang gliding lessons many years ago, and gave up eventually because it seemed they were trying to get rid of me! After relatively trouble-free first three days of training, every time I rang the weather was no good (even though it looked alright to me from London, in my ignorance). I am thinking of trying again, and am much reassured by your diary and others. Perhaps the instructors weren't trying to get rid of me back in 1988 after all!

Keep on going. If you don't, you'll only have to start again in a few years. You'll never forget that you were flying once. Good luck!

Shola said...

Fiona, thanks for your comments and glad to hear you are going to try hang gliding again.

I'll do my best not to give up, and hope one day you can join in too.