New Pilot Looking For Recommendations

A discussion restricted to the topic of hang gliding.
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ACLaversa
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New Pilot Looking For Recommendations

Post by ACLaversa »

My name is Anthony Laversa, my father is a former HG competitor and UL instructor, Charles Laversa. I have recently taken an interest in flying again with the passing of another great former HG pilot, my uncle, Mark "Harpo" Laversa who left us his two HG. When we took inventory of the gliders we only had enough parts to build one functioning wing and it is to large for me so I am on the hunt for a new one. We both instantly thought of Morningside, but alas we have also recently lost our close friend, owner/operator Jeff Nicolay...now we are unsure where to go for advice on more recent glider models. Per the statement below (from MFP website) and others made by friends of Jeff we do not know if we will have anywhere familiar to use as my training ground...at the very least until spring.

"Morningside Flight Park will be closed, this year, during the winter season due to the recent death of owner/operator Jeff Nicolay.
Doors Will be closed for the season on 30 October 2010 and reopen in the Spring.
Reservations for lessons and tandem flights will not be taken at this time, nor will gift certificates be available for purchase. Contact information remains the same for necessary communications.
Your patience and understanding are appreciated during this interim period.
Hope for an early Spring!!!"

I am reaching out looking for help, and the OZ Report seemed like it had enough experienced pilots that maybe someone could help me. Thanks in advance to all those posting replies.
Last edited by ACLaversa on Thu, Jan 20 2011, 09:22:35 am, edited 2 times in total.
Forever in the shadow of a true pilot, C.A. Laversa 1950 -
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ACLaversa
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Post by ACLaversa »

Also for reference, we are currently looking at the Moyes Litesport 4, Seedwings Sensor 710 145, WW Sport 2 155, or the WW U2 160 for my intermediate glider...but was unsure of if these were good choices, or if there are better options out there. As for my first glider, we have no clue. I am about 165 H.I. weight and have a lot of flight knowledge/course training, as well as some UL flight time logged, but no prior HG time.
Last edited by ACLaversa on Tue, Jan 18 2011, 03:25:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Fred Wilson
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Post by Fred Wilson »

Wills Wing makes awesome gliders, right throughout their entire range. So do all the others.

Best advice and support is going to come from a local school. Without them and their support, and ours of them, the sport is hooped. Where are you?
Look at http://www.ushpa.aero/schools.asp and http://www.ushpa.aero/instructors_map.asp and http://www.ushpa.org/instruction/
ACLaversa wrote:I have a lot of flight knowledge/course training, as well as some UL flight time logged, but no prior HG time.
Again, go through an instructor. It is madness to learn on your own. The instructor / school will provide the glider, equipment and ± reading material, cost built into the course, and it will be much more suitable than any of these to learn on. When you are ready to graduate to intermediate to intermediate / expert gliders like the ones you mentioned, they will clear you to go.
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Davis
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Post by Davis »

Start with a glider that is safe and easy to fly so that you can learn much more quickly without hurting yourself. None of the gliders that you mention are appropriate for that. A Wills Wing Falcon 3 would be the appropriate model for a person in your situation.

Also you need competent instruction if you wish to continue after the first few days. I suggest 2005 instructor of the year Steve Wendt at Blue Sky in Virginia. No need to buy a glider in advance.

http://blueskyhg.com
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ACLaversa
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Post by ACLaversa »

Although I have very few qualms with going through a school/instructor my father is more than qualified to teach me to fly. He has competed nationally, and internationally in his past. I know he has thousands of combined hours in the air and helped design many of the older gliders. This is all not taking in account running Plum Island Airport, Newburyport, MA for more than 12 years. My issue is I do not have the money for such an endeavor and a glider, I just don't. I will have no issue proving myself capable to any individual who is willing to test me for a Novice rating after my father teaches me what I need to know. My concern is primarily where can I practice, and flying what? But thank you for the links.
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Ksykes
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Post by Ksykes »

Next closest major flight park/dealer is Ellenville NY. Fly High - Paul Voight - Wills Wing Dealer and Mountain Wings - Greg Black - Moyes (I think)
have a lot of flight knowledge/course training, as well as some UL flight time logged, but no prior HG time.
The gliders you are listing are fine, but not for someone with your experience (or lack thereof). I would strongly urge you to get in touch with an instructor and get some lessons and flight time in a training glider before shopping for something permanent.

I seem to remember a Mark Laversa from when I lived in New England. Any relation?

Kinsley
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ACLaversa
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Post by ACLaversa »

Ksykes wrote:
I seem to remember a Mark Laversa from when I lived in New England. Any relation?

Kinsley
As stated in my OP, he was my uncle, but he passed away recently.

The gliders I listed are the ones I was interested in buying for after my instructional/novice period...although I did find a post...
Boner wrote: It has been claimed that the U2 can wery well be your first glider, and I tend to agree.. (If you are one of those guys who flies well from the very beginning) But be aware of the glide on final approach... it just goes and goes, (like a toppless) thats the only reason I see for it not being your beginner glider. (and of course a good reason to go for an "eagle" or a "sport 2" kind of glider)
...suggestions on a "first glider" are something I was looking for as well as thoughts on my next so that I can plan for future costs. As I stated before, I may not have the opportunity to train at a school where they provide them...as like many early HG pilots I am perusing this dream to fly like my father and uncle before me on a serious budget.
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Davis
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Post by Davis »

You would be crazy to buy any of those gliders after your instructional/novice period, but I doubt that you will listen to me. So many people leave the sport because they buy a glider that is too advanced for them and then scare or hurt themselves.
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ACLaversa
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Post by ACLaversa »

Davis wrote:You would be crazy to buy any of those gliders after your instructional/novice period, but I doubt that you will listen to me.

So many people leave the sport because they buy a glider that is too advanced for them and then scare or hurt themselves.
Well I am not so ridiculous an individual that I will not listen to those around me with more experience and knowledge, and I have come here for that input. My question then becomes what glider can I see effective performance from for a few years? I don't doubt that I will be an early bloomer flight wise...for instance I flew a two seat Quicksilver (powered UL) and understood many of the flight principles behind it from 7-10 years of age. That statement in no way means it will be the same, but it intended to express how if I am actively participating in the sport and putting in many hours I know I have the ability to progress quickly. My concern is that I will buy a beginners glider and find its limitations in a season or two...even if I save all my extra money for both of those seasons I will have a hard time then reinvesting in a different wing and be stuck with one that limits me and is no longer as fun.
So, where do I turn for a wing that will not limit me, that allows me to at least attempt to keep up with my father once I am comfortable and will have a decent glide ratio, good AR for my level of skill, med. breakdown time, not overly huge BD length, and ok weight with respectable/responsive flight control.
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Fred Wilson
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Post by Fred Wilson »

ACLaversa wrote:
Davis wrote:My concern is that I will buy a beginners glider and find its limitations in a season or two...even if I save all my extra money for both of those seasons I will have a hard time then reinvesting in a different wing and be stuck with one that limits me and is no longer as fun.
Being just introducing yourself to the sport, there is one critical fact you are not aware of.
There are far too few beginner and novice gliders (used) that ever get on the market. Therefore they hold their value far, far in excess of blade wings.
You likely won't lose a dime on a beginner glider, neither will you on a novice glider, and selling them will come liketey split.
So this is one area our best advice is: don't sweat it. Keep your eye tuned to the Oz Report Classifieds and their clone over at http://www.hanggliding.org/showclassifieds.php
- but again, way better, easier, faster to go through a local instructor, who will, for sure do trade ups and make the process even easier!

Check them out. I think you are in for a big and pleasant surprize! In fact, I know of a more than a few pilots who have traded money DOWN from novice gliders to newer intermediate wings. The classified prices on the above links attest to this.
Last edited by Fred Wilson on Tue, Jan 18 2011, 06:59:43 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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