New Pilot Looking For Recommendations

A discussion restricted to the topic of hang gliding.
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Jim Rooney
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Post by Jim Rooney »

This may help:
http://www.delta-club-82.com/bible/hang ... -bible.php

Lets see... off the top of my head...

Aeros Fox
Haven't flown one yet, but it's the update to the Target... so you can't go wrong.

Aeros Target
Bulletproof choice. A bit more tail heavy than the Falcons, but an exceptionally suitable beginner glider.

Airborne Fun
An other bulletproof choice. I have absolutely nothing bad to say about this glider.

Apco Nimbus
No idea... never heard of it.

Ellipse Twist
Same... no idea.

Enterprise wings Aero
1st level DS wing. Similar to something like a Pulse.
You'd struggle to find parts for it.

Europ Sails Alfa
No idea

Icaro Mars
I currently train with both sizes of this glider.
It's a bit of a pain to set up as it's a very old design, but I love it.
The hangstrap unfortunately is designed with a safety catch. This is a very bad design. It's good when assembled correctly, but has a tendency to kill people if they forget the safety. I wish Icaro would update this glider cuz I love teaching with it.

Icaro Relax and Rx
I wish I was a millionaire.
These are obnoxiously sweet gliders. Incredibly easy to fly. I won't teach with them cuz you don't learn anything! (kidding, but they are truly that easy). I would love to have one around as my personal "just having fun" glider.

La Moulette Atlas
No idea

Moyes Malibu
So sweet.

Northwing EZY
Not sure, but it should be fine.

Seedwings Funky
I don't know first hand, but I've heard good things

WW Falcon
The gold standard in beginner gliders.
You can't go wrong with any model of Falcon... they're all fantastic.

WW Skyhawk
?.. going to have to look that one up. That an old model?

Jim
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Tormod
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Post by Tormod »

Wrongo. Way wrong. This is not a game here for anybody. Our instructors to a man (or woman) are serious people with serious attitude in a serious business. 99.9% of their business is depends upon word of mouth. They will never ever steer you into a wrong glider or any other gear for that matter.
Wrong! I'm NOT saying that there are many out there, but some people, INCLUDING instructors, will sell you anything if they can. It happened to me, almost quit flying back in the nineties and I've seen it happen to others. I've been able to stop a few newcomers from buying the wrong equipment but I still see newcomers arriving at the site with an old competition glider. Most of the time I see them only once.

I flew wrong gliders for years, my third glider after less than 20 hours airtime was a to small Moyes xtralite 147. Every flight was a struggle and learning was slow. Only my stubborness and strong bones kept me in the sport. Only when I got a U2 after hundreds of hours I could relax and begin to actually learn to fly.

Luckily the mentality have changed and most people now recommend SS gliders to beginners.
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Andrew Vanis
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Post by Andrew Vanis »

Tormod wrote:
but some people, INCLUDING instructors, will sell you anything if they can.
Getting the right instructor is key.

Wouldn't it be cool if the USHPA site had a place where folks could rate the instructors? Like Amazon or Angie's list, 1-5 stars and a place for comments.

It would help keep the instructors honest and give insight to newbie's that is now more-or-less unobtainable.

The good instructors will see their numbers increase and use this marketing tool. The bad ones will grumble about it and eventually go away to the benefit of our sport.

Yes, now prospective students can post here or on HG.org and ask about instructors but the folks that have left the sport due to bad experience with an instructor won't be on these boards by default to give the necessary feedback.
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ACLaversa
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Post by ACLaversa »

Fred Wilson wrote: Plus the differences between all the big name companies products are minimal. Tiny factors. Not worth spending any time on at the novice level.
I feel that same way about some of the climbing gear I use, and prefer to review differences between the more high performance gear I used when I stepped up to the "big boy plate", but alas I still ended up breaking the beginner equipment down for my students because they constantly asked. I think when your chin deep in an adventure sport it is harder to explain the small differences between one novice carabiner and the next, but it is important to the ones just starting out. They want to feel confident in the gear they buy...I mean they are trusting their lives to it...so despite the fact that there may not be many differences there are some and those are worth discussing.
Fred Wilson wrote: Your graph shows some serious attitude. Thumbs Up!
As I said before...
ACLaversa wrote: I am a mature, intelligent, detail oriented and organized individual.
...and when your serious about starting out in a sport like this I believe you have to be. Again, your life is on the line, there is no mistaking that.
Fred Wilson wrote: We had one nearby novice that went out and bought a whacking expensive flight deck GPS / vario / flight computer combo and flew quite unknowingly straight into a mountain face from way, way out. Eyes glued to the dweeb stuff instead of staying down to earth sensible. Classic story. "Learn from our mistakes, not your own... its way way easier on the pocket book and bones!"
Great story! I feel bad for him, and I am of the new age tech-crowd, but I also understand that one reason HG is so beautiful is because of its simplicity...no one should over complicate the experience, especially in the beginning.
Fred Wilson wrote: (Me too, I launched unhooked and scared the gee gee sus crap out of myself. Brain could not grasp the difference between the training hill and a big cliff... it thought I was a goner for sure and split from me before it had to take any of my hurt!)
I would have been scared as sh*t too! I am glad your around to tell the tail.
Fred Wilson wrote: Quoting another "Sky God" Martin Henry:
"Amongst the crowd of wannabee's there are generally a few who truly have the thirst. I respect them all but its the "thirsty" ones are the only ones that will stay."
Well, I am feeling pretty thirsty...I have always wanted to fly, especially growing up on an airport. I had some time in an UL, but I let go of the dream for fear it would make me like my father who I rarely saw due to so many flight hours...but he had to make a living and I was just to young to understand that. Now I see the value and happiness flight brought him in his life, even if he had to fly more than he wanted to sometimes, and I yearn for flight as I did when I was younger.
Christian Williams wrote: If some guy tries to sell you his old double surface for $500, telling you you'll outgrow your SS glider in six weeks and might as well start with a "real glider", punch him in the teeth and then back over him in your car. Be careful his ass doesn't puncture your tires. In short, he's not your friend.
I literally almost spit my Coke all over the keyboard...this was cruel and yet hilarious...kudos!
Andrew Vanis wrote:
ACLaversa wrote:All this is done not just for my own sake, but for those like me...otherwise there would be no point in posting in a thread
If that is one of the objectives, then maybe change (go back and edit or ask Scare to do it) the title on this thread to somethign like - "New pilot looking for hang glider recomendations". Then we can find it in the search easier and just point the next "exceptional one" to this thread.

cool spread sheet. An upload of the spreadsheet file would be usefull.
Done, and done...
Tormod wrote:
Wrongo. Way wrong. This is not a game here for anybody. Our instructors to a man (or woman) are serious people with serious attitude in a serious business. 99.9% of their business is depends upon word of mouth. They will never ever steer you into a wrong glider or any other gear for that matter.
Wrong! I'm NOT saying that there are many out there, but some people, INCLUDING instructors, will sell you anything if they can. It happened to me, almost quit flying back in the nineties and I've seen it happen to others. I've been able to stop a few newcomers from buying the wrong equipment but I still see newcomers arriving at the site with an old competition glider. Most of the time I see them only once.
This is what I meant, and am trying to avoid. I am in no way trying to show disrespect to those doing trustworthy business, but I am saying that some instructors/schools might do this and so it is a concern of mine. That is why the OzReport, being as influential in the sport as it seems to be, was a prime choice in my eyes to discuss "first gliders" for the sake of all the newcomers, myself included.
Andrew Vanis wrote: Getting the right instructor is key.
Wouldn't it be cool if the USHPA site had a place where folks could rate the instructors? Like Amazon or Angie's list, 1-5 stars and a place for comments.
It would help keep the instructors honest and give insight to newbie's that is now more-or-less unobtainable.
The good instructors will see their numbers increase and use this marketing tool. The bad ones will grumble about it and eventually go away to the benefit of our sport.
Yes, now prospective students can post here or on HG.org and ask about instructors but the folks that have left the sport due to bad experience with an instructor won't be on these boards by default to give the necessary feedback.
I for one think this is a glorious idea, and I would gladly use such a system as I honestly do care about any/all potential students following in my tracks...perhaps my father being a former flight instructor, and then also seeing what happens to poorly trained pilots at fly-ins helped to ingrain that mentality.
Forever in the shadow of a true pilot, C.A. Laversa 1950 -
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George Stebbins
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Post by George Stebbins »

Two things:

1) Jim is like Joe Greblo. I don't always agree with them, but when I don't, I find that I have to step back and seriously think about why I don't. They are so right, so often, that when I disagree, it makes me nervous, so I double check my thought processes thoroughly. And they are both far more patient with the silliness of others than I am.

2) I also have seen instructors pushing inappropriate gliders. But not for a long time. And you can tell: they won't have a rational, logical, explainable reason. Note how clear Jim's arguments were. Also you can post the instructor's suggestion here and you'll get feedback. (Everyone won't agree even with the best instructors, but you'll get a good sense of things. Especially if you learn who to listen to, and who to ignoreâ€&brvbar I honestly think you shouldn't have much trouble with that. Worry more about getting an instructor who can explain things to you the way you learn, and has a good safety record.

Good luck, and welcome to the sky.
Fly High; Fly Far; Fly Safe; Dream Big
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ACLaversa
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Post by ACLaversa »

</br>
For the sake of others reading this thread later I should have posted some links as to where I found the older models on my list, and I am sorry for that. Jim did the work for me here...the "Hang Glider Bible" did end up being invaluable when I made my list initially. Any other comments that people have about each of these models would be greatly appreciated.
Jim Rooney wrote: Aeros Fox
Haven't flown one yet, but it's the update to the Target... so you can't go wrong.
</br>

Well I did notice that the span was a bit lower, but with the same sail area, which of course increased the wing loading. The stall speed is a litter higher than the Target as well, but the glide ratio jumped two points. These updates were very interesting to compare...it made me seriously wonder what you might feel for differences if you could fly them both in the same day.

No Comments
Jim Rooney wrote: Aeros Target
Bulletproof choice. A bit more tail heavy than the Falcons, but an exceptionally suitable beginner glider.
</br>

Now, is it more tail heavy by design, or simply in the sense of how it "feels" while in flight?
Oz Report (Shortened) wrote: <a href="http://ozreport.com/7.91#1">Link</a>
Aeros Target

&acirc;&euro;&oelig;...it was great to get back on a single surface glider. I even aero-towed it off my shoulders and that worked great. Sure I had to really pull in, but she tracked pretty well. It was so nice to be in the air, get kicked a bit by some lift, and not have the glider go into a tizzy. I just put my weight on the wing that knocked up, and put the glider into the thermal...No yawing or dipping the other wing, or climbing the uphill down tube. And when I got low in weak lift, I just hung in there and circled and circled and circled for 25 minutes to cover 2 miles and gain 3,200'. Slow, but steady and easy to keep the glider in the lift. I was flying it the whole time, instead of it flying me.&acirc;&euro;&#157
</br>

"The target 16 was the second glider I ever flew. It was very easy to scooter tow, aerotow and footlaunch. PIO's were non existent even while training with this glider. It was also easy to keep up with and even out climb other gliders, but penetration lacked." - Craig Hassan 11/02/2005

"I trained on this glider and found it quite forgiving. I am hoping to fly across the UK from Land's End to John O'Groats on Target hang glider." - Shola Ogunlokun 08/29/2006

"I trained using this glider and also bought is as my first glider. It has many nice details in the design. It has easy and predictable handling and tows great. Great first glider." - S&Atilde;&cedil;ren Ladegaard 02/20/2008

"The Target was the second glider that I owned. It is very easy to rig, forgiving in flight, easy to tow and hill launch. Yes it packs down to 6 feet, but that is not the sort of thing you will want to do too often. Landing this thing is great, if you are too high just stuff the bar and it comes down nicely. It can be a bit lively ground handling in strong conditions and penetration lacks. Overall a great glider for someone out of school or for someone looking for stress free easy flying." - Dan Hamblin 06/15/2008

<a href="http://www.delta-club-82.com/bible/210- ... .htm">Link To Comments</a>
Jim Rooney wrote: Airborne Fun
An other bulletproof choice. I have absolutely nothing bad to say about this glider.
</br>

Well, I like "bulletproof", and I also like when you have "nothing bad to say"...if others can reinforce that opinion then this might be a great prospect for me to keep in mind.

No Comments
Jim Rooney wrote: Apco Nimbus Ds
No idea... never heard of it.
</br>

Built 1987, in Israel.

No Comments
Jim Rooney wrote: Ellipse Twist
Same... no idea.
</br>

"I made the end of my training on this wing (with the 13 m2) and I hope to find a second hand because I have marvellous memories of with it: Because of simple surface no needs to think of the response time of handiness or anything, it is a true prolongation of the arms, a dream! To finish the performances in rate of fall, the facility of landing and approach are appreciably the same as a paraglider, with more speed : )" - St&Atilde;&copy;phane 09/14/2003

"According to the specifications, my twist has a maximum speed of 55 km/h. On a difficult final with heavy turbulence I felt like a needed all the speed possible for extra safety. After a perfect landing, my vario showed a max. airspeed of 79,9 km/h...!" - Andr&Atilde;&copy;
03/29/2004

<a href="http://www.delta-club-82.com/bible/160- ... .htm">Link To Comments</a>
Jim Rooney wrote: Enterprise Wings Aero
1st level DS wing. Similar to something like a Pulse.
You'd struggle to find parts for it.
</br>

Thats too bad.

"Easy double surface glider. Just a step up from a single surface glider. Mellow and predictable handling." - Jim Rooney 12/30/2008

"I have a couple of these old Aero 165 Gliders and they are still great to fly. I had a great flight in one today 7/10/2010 I intend to flyit often. I point out that they have all different features depending on their age. Interesting!" - Tom Ridgeway 11/06/2010

<a href="http://www.delta-club-82.com/bible/97-h ... .htm">Link To Comments</a>
Jim Rooney wrote: Europe Sails Alfa
No idea
</br>

No Comments
Jim Rooney wrote: Icaro Mars
I currently train with both sizes of this glider.
It's a bit of a pain to set up as it's a very old design, but I love it.
The hangstrap unfortunately is designed with a safety catch. This is a very bad design. It's good when assembled correctly, but has a tendency to kill people if they forget the safety. I wish Icaro would update this glider cuz I love teaching with it.
</br>

If it is a good design, I am sure that even a glider built in 1986 could be a great option, but the "tendency to kill" is a bit unnerving.

No Comments
Jim Rooney wrote: Icaro Relax and Rx
I wish I was a millionaire.
These are obnoxiously sweet gliders. Incredibly easy to fly. I won't teach with them cuz you don't learn anything! (kidding, but they are truly that easy). I would love to have one around as my personal "just having fun" glider.
</br>

I have heard nothing but good things about these two...they will both stay on my list of possibilities for sure.

*Relax*
Oz Report (Shortened) wrote: <a href="http://ozreport.com/7.79#4">Link</a>

&acirc;&euro;&oelig;...yesterday I got a chance to fly the Relax 16, a 170 square foot single surface glider. My first impression is that this is the easiest to fly glider I've flown since I flew Belinda's 40 pound Icaro-manufactured Moyes Mars 150 (with 7075 aluminum tubing) in the early nineties...I aerotowed it from my shoulder bridles. On the single surface gliders I have normally attached my bridle also to the keel also to reduce the bar pressure, but Steve said that it wasn't necessary with this glider...I had to pull the bar into my diaphragm to stay with the tug, but the glider was steady and easy to tow...I took it up early and found a thermal at 600' to get the first thermal flight of the day. I took that light thermal that varied between 20 fpm and 180 fpm to 2,200' as I drifted to the north. Essentially all you had to do was think about turning and it turned. Everything about the glider felt light. I felt that this is what hang gliding should be about, fun, light flying without work. You might think with such a light handling glider that the pilot would over control it. I didn't notice any of this. It was very predictable. I am still having a hard time believing that this glider flew as well as what I experienced. I'll just have to fly it again to confirm my original impression. Of course, it is still a single surface glider, so when I pulled in the bar, it went down fast.&acirc;&euro;&#157
</br>
Oz Report (Shortened) wrote: <a href="http://ozreport.com/8.068#3">Link</a>

Anne-Odile <Anne> writes to Quest Air:

&acirc;&euro;&oelig;...I finally had a test flight done, and then took the Relax for its maiden mountain flight yesterday. I'm glad to report that it was just as much fun as what I remembered from Florida, except even better, as I had much better thermalling conditions this time...The Relax is just so much fun to fly. I can slow it way down so that I could maximize the smaller cores that we had on Sunday. Thermals were quite tight, often with multiple cores, but I was able to turn the glider really tight and push out a good amount, so I climbed awesome with it. I was on top of topless gliders, and even a Ghostbuster for a good while. It was so much fun...I also mentioned to the other pilots that I thought these were the smoothest conditions I had flown in at that site ever. It felt like butter. However, they told me it wasn't the case for them, they found it just as rowdy as usual (this place usually gets quite trashy, especially around the convergence). I then realized that it was my glider that made it so nice...At this site, the LZ is quite far from launch, and you only have so many options to initially get up before you have to head out. On a single surface, it can be tough. But on the Relax, it felt that I got almost as good a glide as my Saturn usually gets there. Landing was also really easy. I had a no-stepper in a light breeze in the valley. This glider has a good amount of ground effect though, for a single surface. It goes on for quite a while, before you need to flare. It kind of surprised me on my test flight on the training hill. I went much further than I thought. The flare window is quite obvious though...I'm in love with this glider...I've got nothing but good things to say about it.&acirc;&euro;&#157
</br>

"I flew an all mylar one. Looked fantastic! Sublime handling and excellent build. Not good for going fast - unless you want to get down. Best exposed X tube glider I've flown." - moony 11/30/2005

"I tried this kite soaring over the dunes in August 2007, she was very beautiful, very well finished, light, off by itself (!), very easy to balance the wind, handy, a treat." (translated from French) - Alex 08/28/2007

"My very first glider; I got it brand new. I love it. Moving from paragliding to hang gliding, this is pure pleasure. And she is beautiful too..." - Laurent 11/14/2008

<a href="http://www.delta-club-82.com/bible/285- ... .htm">Link To Comments</a>

*Rx2*

No Comments
Jim Rooney wrote: La Moulette Atlas
No idea
</br>

I know it started production in the 80s and they are still putting out updated models.

"A single surfaces dating from the Eighties, but which is still useful in school." - Delta Club 82 10/08/2004

"First good 30% undersurface. Only two quick pins to rig. Nice handling." - Dennis Thorpe 09/22/2005

"When I saw one of these rigged at a club night I thought it was the most fantastic wing I'd ever seen. This was the glider everyone copied in 1980/81. Very strong (sleeved) uprights you could straighten with impunity!" - moony 11/30/2005

"I finished my apprenticeship under the super scorpion (best of 1981), when my instructor Mr. Manucci Sospel, advised me to go see the specialist in south-east of France Mr. Mike from Glanville. Mike was a visionary and had the first Atlas of the area. The Atlas is still a wing of excellence." (translated from French) - denis Lauby 07/27/2008

"I learned to fly on one of these, well graduated to it half way through training from a Super Scorpion. Happy memories. One of those lovely transistions to something much better!" Mark 10/25/2010

<a href="http://www.delta-club-82.com/bible/10-h ... .htm">Link To Comments</a>
Jim Rooney wrote: Moyes Malibu
So sweet.
</br>

Haha, well that is great to hear Jim although I know some people feel like it drags a bit, and has stiff handling in comparison with other stuff out there.

No Comments
Jim Rooney wrote: Northwing EZY
Not sure, but it should be fine.
</br>

"A great ss glider, very forgiving, very good handeling, landing is like it's name - eazy!" - yuval inbar 01/25/2008

<a href="http://www.delta-club-82.com/bible/313- ... .htm">Link To Comments</a>
Jim Rooney wrote: Seedwings Funky
I don't know first hand, but I've heard good things
</br>

I hear the same!

"Best Single surface glider ever! I absolutely love mine and am VERY happy I decided to get one after finishing my training! I will keep it forever even tho I now fly A hi performance wing also." - Unknown 02/01/2008

"The Funky Seedwing is an ideal wing when finishing hang gliding school and for soarings near the sea. Light, manoeuvrable, fast to set up and not too bad in thermals on mountain sites, with a little performance difference compared to a Mambo, which is compensated by being easier to fly." - Olivier 04/10/2008

"According to the manufacturer apart from a few tweaks the Funky is basically a Seedwings Space without the double sail and without VG." - S&Atilde;&cedil;ren Ladegaard 07/01/2009

<a href="http://www.delta-club-82.com/bible/663- ... .htm">Link To Comments</a>
Jim Rooney wrote: WW Falcon
The gold standard in beginner gliders.
You can't go wrong with any model of Falcon... they're all fantastic.
</br>

*Falcon (Org.)*

"I bought this glider after having a troubling time on a Magic IV. That glider was too advanced for me and I was scared when I flew. So, I took a step back and bought a Falcon. It was the best buy I have made to date. It keeps me at the top of the stack easily and I have relatively low airtime. It is a breeze to land and handles superbly. If they are still about, get one, you won't be sorry." - Simon 06/19/2007

<a href="http://www.delta-club-82.com/bible/24-h ... .htm">Link To Comments</a>

*Falcon 2*

"This glider has a cleaner leading edge and trailing edge (no bungees) than the Falcon 1, and carries more weight per size. Great flier, and very light in weight. All modern SS gliders are the best all-around performers in the HG world, so you cant go wrong with any brand. The only downside is that they dont penetrate headwinds like a double-surface, so range is reduced."- Christian 11/11/2005

<a href="http://www.delta-club-82.com/bible/158- ... .htm">Link To Comments</a>

*Falcon 3*

No Comments
Jim Rooney wrote: WW Skyhawk
?.. going to have to look that one up. That an old model?
</br>

Built 1984.

"This glider gets 5 stars! I love it!" - Emily Webb 04/06/2006

<a href="http://www.delta-club-82.com/bible/17-h ... .htm">Link To Comments</a>
Last edited by ACLaversa on Fri, Jan 21 2011, 01:37:11 pm, edited 5 times in total.
Forever in the shadow of a true pilot, C.A. Laversa 1950 -
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Ron Gleason
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hmmmm …

Post by Ron Gleason »

Anthony, I have been watching this thread and finally decided to chime in.

First off, best of luck with your aviation pursuit.

One thing I have not seen you post is what your father is telling you to do. He is the best one to provide guidance. Second off, analysis paralysis. Again talk with your dad and take a road trip to Ellenville and hang out with Paul Voight, he will get pointed down the right path. worth the time and money to go to NY.

I flew HG's for 30+ years starting in 1976, grew up in MA. I flew with your dad and your uncle in the late 70's and early 80's at Mt Tom, Greylock, The trail, Skinner and cape cod. Great people and I was saddened when I heard that your uncle died. He was the first one to explain thermal forecasting to me and proved by saying, the thermals will start by 2pm lets be ready to go. Lo and behold we were at the trail and at 1:30 the cycles started and we were soaring by 2:30 for the rest of the day. I will never forget your dad's 'fudge' wing, ask him about it if you have not heard about it!.

Read what Jim Rooney writes and follow it. I have known Jim for a number of years and he knows what he is talking about. Plus he is a no BS type of guy, he tells it like it is.

Again best of luck and keep us posted here on your progress.

Ron Gleason
Last edited by Ron Gleason on Thu, Jan 20 2011, 12:16:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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ACLaversa
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Post by ACLaversa »

I actually remember your name coming up a few times and feel I may have met you in my past as well judging by the picture...but it would have been long ago. Thank you so much for your condolences and advice it is greatly appreciated.
Forever in the shadow of a true pilot, C.A. Laversa 1950 -
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Rob Clarkson
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Post by Rob Clarkson »

North wing does not promote the Freedom as a beginer glider.
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ACLaversa
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Post by ACLaversa »

I have narrowed it down to:

- Aeros
*Target 162 (Non-Tandem)
- Ellipse
*Twist 16
- Icaro 2000
*Relax 16
*Rx2 15.95
- La Mouette
*Atlas 16
- Wills Wing
*Falcon 170 (Original)
*Falcon 3 170

Any opinions on the pros/cons of one verses the other...or is this a solid list to keep for when it comes time to discuss options with my instructor?
Forever in the shadow of a true pilot, C.A. Laversa 1950 -
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