Archive for September, 2008

Instructor seminar in Vågå

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

This weekend it was instructors seminar in Vågå, and as responsible for rules and regulation in the hang glider and paraglider organisation I participated as “lecturer”. In Norway instructors have to renew their instructors licence every 4 year by participating at a two day seminar. As the seminar is for experienced instructors the main point is sharing experiences and discusing various topics. So the role of the course leaders is mainly to act as facilitators. We hold these courses twice a year, and I learn a lot every time, and hopefully the same is true for the instructors participating. As always the seminar was nice with lots of fellow instructors sharing knowledge and experiences, and a party Saturday evening.

I also tested the new camera (Pentax K200D) this weekend hoping to capture the colours of the autumn. Results below.

The view west-wards from the national centre.

Winter has arrived in the mountains.

Lots of wind in Vågå this weekend.

Saturday during the instructors seminar Arne Hillestad, head of the hang glider and paraglider organisation here in Norway, got the sad message about the fatal accident of a Norwegian paraglider pilot in St. Andre, France. My thoughts to his family and friends.

Vacation, hang glider course, and more

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

Last weekend my girlfriend and I spent the weekend in Paris as best man/woman in a wedding. A couple that have been two of our best friends the last 10 years had decided to get married in a surprise wedding, and had chosen the Norwegian embassy in Paris as their “arena”. Actually only two or three others knew about the wedding plans, and it was great fun receiving reactions by phone and on sms after the married couple sent mobile pictures (mms) from the wedding to family and friends. Following the wedding we had two fantastic days of the best from the French kitchen (and insane amounts of champagne) and shopping. We even had brilliant weather all weekend with day time temperature of 18 C and sunny. So, all in all, a perfect weekend.

Seine river boat – Paris. Photo taken using my girlfriends new Pentax K200D.

Hang gliding news: The Oslo Area Hang Glider Club has started our annual course. Only three students this year, but two of them are women, and all are doing well so far. We had hoped for 6 students, but 3 motivated ones are not bad at all. Also this year we are using scooter towing – and have only postive experiences so far.

5 dangerous things you should let your kids do

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

Interesting thoughts from Gever Tulley, founder of the Tinkering School, below in the video. Not very controversial thoughts here in Norway, but definitely something to think about. Is really all types of protection and warnings making us safer and better at dealing with risk?

Having been a hang glider instructur for 7-8 years I have seen a wide spectre of knowledge and attitudes towards risk; everything from people that are afraid of everything/a lot of things (quite a few of them actually do turn up for intro days before a hang glider course and some even start flying), some that has no idea what so ever how to judge risk, and finally those who do not care about risk (considering breaking an arm is just part of the learning process and an interesting experience). Still, most I have seen on intro days and hang glider courses, at least so far, have a fairely good and healthy perception and understanding of risk, and act accordingly.

More intro days

Sunday, September 14th, 2008

This weekend Øyvind and I had instructur duty and we had two more introduction days before starting this years hang glider course. Saturday we had 10 potential students trying and Sunday 6 turned up. It was long days and a lot of running back and forth for us instructors as we have to follow up everyone closely as this is the first time most of them have ever lifted a hang glider. In addition we provide a little extra help and service now before the course starts. Luckily we got help from Terje S on Saturday and Terje B came by on Sunday.

At our intro days we start off by having the students do a few runs with a Falcon and harness to make them learn to balance and run with a hang glider and to teach them the absolute basics. Then, if conditions are perfect (close to 0-wind) we hook them in under the Condor 330 and let them try a couple of scooter tows. The Condor is so stable that everyone that has managed to balance and run with the Falcon do pretty well.

Most of the people that turned up at the intro days Thursday and this weekend seemed pleased but it still remains to see how many that signs up for the course.

Saturday: 10 potential students turned up.

First time airborne in a hang glider (Wills Wing Condor 330).

Environmental friendly line retrieval. Terje S. pulling the tow line back.

Sunday we did a couple of high tows with a Falcon for a hang glider pilot that need some flight to have his licence renewed. It seems like he needs to perfect his landings a little more.

More pictures from the weekend HERE. The pictures are taken with my girlfriends new Pentax K200d camera.

Intro days 2008

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

Today we had a introduction day before this year’s hang glider course. Øyvind, Øystein, and I had an intro day at our training hill at Årvoll, while Steinar had an intro day for collegues from SAS. We had 10 potential hg students, while Steinar had 5. Pretty good turn up, and hopefully we will have 5-6 signing up for the course. This weekend we will have our two last days of intro before starting the hang glider course. Again we will use scooter towing as our main training method.

Some love their glider more than others

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

From the International Flightlog: A normal day at the LZ in Norway – some love their glider (Laminar Z9) more than others (if you see no picture following the link, forget it – you just missed the picture of the year at the flightlog).

Tip wand installation and haulback tip

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

Jeff O’Brian has published these two videos with rigging-derigging tips for Wills Wing gliders.

Tip wand installation and removal.

I use the same technique for installing the tip wand, but I have not had the “cup” facing down but backwards. This has made it difficult to fit the cup over the end of the wand. But I use a different technique for removing the tip wands. Here I stand at the tip of the glider facing the nose, then grip the wand half way up with my trailing edge side hand and then pulling the lever and cup of the wand with my other hand. It takes some force but is normally no problem.

Haulback tip

I have never even thought about this method in the video for releasing the haulback wire.

Source and (C) Jeff O’Brian for both videos.