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Thread: Youtube Hang Glider Pilot Cloud Flying

  1. #11

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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.

  2. #12

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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?

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Greenwood View Post
    "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.
    Wrong, Bill.

    103.13 Operation near aircraft; right-of-way rules.

    (a) Each person operating an ultralight vehicle shall maintain vigilance so as to see and avoid aircraft and shall yield the right-of-way to all aircraft
    .

    Also:

    103.21 Visual reference with the surface.

    No person may operate an ultralight vehicle except by visual reference with the surface.


    Take a look at ultralight history. They boomed for a while...then tanked when they started getting a bunch of bad press after accidents occurred. Having a Bonanza run into a hang glider while flying IFR would certainly reflect badly on the sport.

    Getting the press on your side for that would be kind of tough. For instance, the FAA is trying to require that all RC aircraft heavier than 0.55 pounds carry, essentially, ADS-B. Not too long ago, a news helicopter in the LA area was clipped by a small UAV. What side of the issue do you think THAT station is going to take?

    For that matter...why should a 1-pound RC aircraft flying over Montana be required by the FAA to have a tracker while a ~300-pound hang glider (including pilot weight) operating at the fringe of the LA Class B *not*?

    Next step for the FAA will be to require the same systems on all Part 103 aircraft...including hang gliders. This is not the time to tick off the FAA about hang gliders.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Greenwood View Post
    If you really are bothered about a few dozen folks in a 50 lb glider...
    Damn! That's an impressive glider!

    Ron Wanttaja

  4. #14

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    In your FArs that you quote, where does it say "hang glider". I think and most pilots likely also that an ultralight is something with an engine, which a hang glider does not have. In the video shown it looks like there is visual contack with the surface. In mist you can often see down through it to the ground if not horizontally just like you might see up toward the sun.

    Ron , you could be the expert witness in his class action suit against all those deviate and dangerous hang glider pilots. And if you really want to gather lots of video evidence come out here this spring, and there will be dozens of paragliders, non powered, and even a few hang gliders over the mountain a half mile from me. I have never seen an ultralight up there, that is not anything with a wing or a chute that also has an engine.

    PS while you are righting such major wrongs you might want to also go over to the hiking trail 1/4 mile away where some deviates are reputed to hike up and not have their dogs dragging a leash. Do you know the damage that could ensue should one of these dogs jump up and bite an airplane in the bottom of a cloud?
    If you do have an actual NTSB accident report of an collision between a hang glider, ( without engine) and an airplane in flight, I would love to see it and would pay $25 for your trouble. Or I will trade you a Big foot sighting report for it.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 01-15-2020 at 03:23 PM.

  5. #15
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Greenwood View Post
    In your FArs that you quote, where does it say "hang glider". I think and most pilots likely also that an ultralight is something with an engine, which a hang glider does not have.
    103.1 Applicability.

    This part prescribes rules governing the operation of ultralight vehicles in the United States. For the purposes of this part, an ultralight vehicle is a vehicle that:

    (a) Is used or intended to be used for manned operation in the air by a single occupant;

    (b) Is used or intended to be used for recreation or sport purposes only;

    (c) Does not have any U.S. or foreign airworthiness certificate; and

    (d) If unpowered, weighs less than 155 pounds; or

    (e) If powered....


    Sounds like hang gliders are *exactly* what it's describing.

    Ron Wanttaja

  6. #16

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    Don't know where that 155lb limit comes from, it sure doesn't fit the hang gliders I have flown, which are a set of hollow aluminum tubes with a nylon fabric cover, and since you mostly launch by lifting the glider off the ground and running downhill with it, it would take an awfully strong person to do that with anywhere near 155 lbs. I have never weighed one, but just a guess a normal hang glider might weigh 30 lbs?

    As for one occupant, well paragliders, ( parachutes) are often flown here tandem and I think sometimes though rarer, hang gliders may be also. If that FAR means hang gliders then they should say it in plain English.

  7. #17
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Greenwood View Post
    If that FAR means hang gliders then they should say it in plain English.
    What's the legal definition of "hang glider"? YOU know what it means, and *I* know what it means, but that doesn't mean our definitions match. It's like "Assault Rifle"; a term that can mean different things to different people.

    You don't write regulations using ambiguous terms. If Part 103 said "hang glider," someone might claim the regulation didn't apply to a particular vehicle since it had a seat and the occupant didn't "hang" in it. You might recall this exact situation came up before the implementation of Part 103. The "ultralights" back then had to be "foot launchable" to qualify as "hang gliders."

    So the Feds ignore descriptive terms such as "hang glider" and describe "ultralight vehicle" in simple terms that are easy to verify such as weight or number of occupants, and don't restrict the design. If you use the term "hang glider," you're actually limiting the types of air vehicles that might qualify under Part 103. The FAA was smart to avoid the term.

    One thing to remember is that Part 103 describes the LOWEST POSSIBLE category of manned air vehicle. It doesn't matter if it's a hang glider, a "sit glider", a rogallo wing, or a fully cantilevered structure using carbon fiber and spider webs. If it doesn't have an engine, only carries one person, and weighs less than 155 pounds, Part 103 applies. Put an engine on it, obey the 255 pound limit, obey the fuel restriction, and you're still good. But if it violates any aspect of the Part 103 rules, then Parts 21/23/43/45/65/91 come into play and the owner's situation is far more complex.

    Ron Wanttaja

  8. #18
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    Hang gliders and paragliders, both powered and unpowered, are ultralights. Unlike most fixed wing ultralights they're actually part 103 compliant. Paragliders didn't even exist when part 103 was written. As for the 155# limit for unpowered ultralights, yes, most modern hang gliders are much lighter, but some designs, like Volmer Jensen's VJ-23 Swingwing of the 1970s as well as the modern ATOS, are 100# or more.

    The USHPA has a training exemption for tandem hang gliders and parachutes. BTW, paragliders and parachutes, while somewhat similar in appearance, are very different things, under different regulations (parachutes are part 105).

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Greenwood View Post
    In your FArs that you quote, where does it say "hang glider". I think and most pilots likely also that an ultralight is something with an engine, which a hang glider does not have. In the video shown it looks like there is visual contack with the surface. In mist you can often see down through it to the ground if not horizontally just like you might see up toward the sun.

    Ron , you could be the expert witness in his class action suit against all those deviate and dangerous hang glider pilots. And if you really want to gather lots of video evidence come out here this spring, and there will be dozens of paragliders, non powered, and even a few hang gliders over the mountain a half mile from me. I have never seen an ultralight up there, that is not anything with a wing or a chute that also has an engine.

    PS while you are righting such major wrongs you might want to also go over to the hiking trail 1/4 mile away where some deviates are reputed to hike up and not have their dogs dragging a leash. Do you know the damage that could ensue should one of these dogs jump up and bite an airplane in the bottom of a cloud?
    If you do have an actual NTSB accident report of an collision between a hang glider, ( without engine) and an airplane in flight, I would love to see it and would pay $25 for your trouble. Or I will trade you a Big foot sighting report for it.
    Again with the Big Foot reference.. and dogs.. Mr. Greenwood, you should quit while you are just behind. You keep digging deeper and deeper.
    On the Sylmer hang gliding forum, the maker of the cloud flying video in question pens this thread: "Aircraft Proximity Alertness Reminder"
    http://shga.com/forum/phpBB3/viewtop...2d000491a60767

    Aircraft Proximity Alertness Reminder



    Post by JD Thu May 14, 2015 5:04 pm
    The following encounter occurred on Tuesday. The Cessna Grand Caravan EX that flew past us was approximately 475' from the first glider and 1000' from the second. I have had helicopters come a lot closer than this but not at Sylmar. In two of three encounters I never even heard or saw the helicopter until I was 1/2 second from the closest point. That is simply not enough time to react in a meaningful way. It is a good idea to occasionally turn your body from side to side in order to look behind you. Don't rely on other pilots to tell you where an approaching aircraft is. There are perspective illusions with moving objects when viewed from a third location.
    FAR 103.13 requires our vigilance but you already knew that, right?

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_h7DCYzu88[/youtube]

    The video has been taken down.
    Note that the Grand Caravan incursion happened in May 2015, and yet this same hang glider pilot 'cloud flew' again in December 2015, in the same area.
    He also posts the cloud flying video on the Sylmer site where he gets 80 some views and one comment on how great it is.
    Hang glider pilots don't know the FARs they fly under. I hope more than Ron gets it here.

    What I want to do with this topic is come up with a plan to correct the ignorance of all that need to know better, make it safer for everybody in the air and on the ground and protect Part 103 pilots from people working their best to unwittingly revoke that privilege.

    This may be a hard task but should be easier than proving Big Foot exists.

    Last edited by JBlack; 01-15-2020 at 07:39 PM.

  10. #20

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    The ultralight or certificated glider pilot is legal if 1200agl (above the mountain) and clear of clouds. So it's a good idea for the faster airplane pilots to avoid these glider zones. Because even though the ultralight is legally suppose to give way, it can't easily if a fast airplane comes from behind.
    The sailplane pilot has the legal right of way over the airplane pilot. So best for the airplane pilot to avoid these glider areas.
    Last edited by Bill Berson; 01-15-2020 at 07:42 PM.

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