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  1. #1

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    Youtube Hang Glider Pilot Cloud Flying


  2. #2

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    The pilot in that video doesn't think he is doing anything wrong in cloud flying. In reality, he puts many people at risk. The city you can glimpse below is a northern suburb of Los Angeles, Sylmer California.

  3. #3

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    First of all, he's near the clouds, not in them. He seems to have ground contact at all times, even if misty and judging by the sunny blue skies in most views, he has good vfr that way also. You can see a number of other hang gliders bellow him in the background also. So who is he putting at risk? Perhaps you are thinking of an ifr airplane coming through the clouds and hitting him. I dont know the exact area, but unliklely that ifr traffic, in real imc is that low in that spot or is going to insist on going in a cloud when it is blue skie a thousnd feet or so above. And as for as minimum clearanced distances from clouds, those regs may apply to airplanes and and hang glider is not withing those regs. I'll bet he knows where local plane traffic is, just like the hand and para gliders who come off the mountain here, and stay over and near town, not out where planes fly.
    I used to hang glide a little, its really fun and I can't ever recall even one accident of a person on the ground being injured by a falling hang glider or parachute. Probably about as common as getting rabies from a Bigfoot bite.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 01-11-2020 at 09:45 AM.

  4. #4
    Mayhemxpc's Avatar
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    I agree with Bill. Note that the film is a compilation of nine different fights taken over several years. MVA is typically 2000 feet above charted obstacle height. Even though he may have been closer to the clouds that VFR rules would allow (it is hard to tell and mist is not a cloud), he doesn't appear to have been anywhere close to 2000 feet above the terrain in the areas depicted. Therefore, I do not believe that "he puts many people at risk." Please note that I have never done any hang gliding and have never had any desire to do so, but I firmly support those who choose that as their aviation activity.
    Chris Mayer
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  5. #5

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    Part 103.23 says 1000 over, 500 under and 2000 horizontal. Hang gliders fly under Part 103.
    There is a reason the FAA doesn't want uls flying in clouds. These were repeated infractions to get youtube video and not accidental.
    Last edited by JBlack; 01-11-2020 at 03:05 PM.

  6. #6
    Sam Buchanan's Avatar
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    I suspect the FAA will not attempt to violate this hang glider pilot now.............
    Sam Buchanan
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  7. #7
    Dana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBlack View Post
    Part 103.23 says 1000 over, 500 under and 2000 horizontal. Hang gliders fly under Part 103.
    There is a reason the FAA doesn't want uls flying in clouds. These were repeated infractions to get youtube video and not accidental.
    In class G it's 1 mile viz and cost of clouds. As low as they look they're almost certainly in G.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mayhemxpc View Post
    I agree with Bill. Note that the film is a compilation of nine different fights taken over several years. MVA is typically 2000 feet above charted obstacle height. Even though he may have been closer to the clouds that VFR rules would allow (it is hard to tell and mist is not a cloud), he doesn't appear to have been anywhere close to 2000 feet above the terrain in the areas depicted. Therefore, I do not believe that "he puts many people at risk." Please note that I have never done any hang gliding and have never had any desire to do so, but I firmly support those who choose that as their aviation activity.
    Mist is a cloud when you can't see through it. These guys thermaled up nearby and glided down to 'explore' these convergence/condensation clouds probably more than 9 times to get their highly edited video. If they actually went into the mist/clouds, which they undoubtedly did, it was edited out because white out does not make good youtube video. They are clearly closer than 2000 ft. horizontal to these clouds.

    As it is, 9 flights busting FAR 103.23 each flight, is not as forgivable as someone getting sucked up in a thermal and accidentally getting in the mist. It happens.

    If any plane happened to punch through the cloud, (you never know) a hang glider is not going to be able to get out of the way. They are slow and slow to deviate even if they knew which way to go.
    The population of the whole Los Angeles basin was put at risk every time these hang gliding exploiters went to La La Land, exploring the mist.

  9. #9

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    "If a plane were to punch trough the cloud". I would guess that a hang glider has the same right of way as a glider, or sailplane thus has right of way over a powered plane.
    If you really are bothered about a few dozen folks in a 50 lb glider, you could go to your local FAA, FSDO and make a complaint.
    Alternately you could contact an attorney and ask about them filing a civil class action suit for damages on behalf of " the population of the whole Los Angeles basin" . The population of just LA is 4 million, and likely 10 million for the whole area, and if you did make it to court, the opposing attorney is going to ask you to show facts of how many of those 10 million who have actually been injured by a hang glider? Got any facts?
    Do you or have you ever hang glided yourself?

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