Hang Gliding – Flight Simulator

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 20,039
    Professional hang gliding instructor Dan Zink from Lookout Mountain Hang Gliding discusses the hang gliding flight simulator.

    Dan Zink: Hi! My name is Dan Zink. I'm an advanced instructor with Lookout Mountain Hang Gliding. Today, we're learning the basics of hang gliding. And the next step is to practice how to fly in our simulator. Now, you can use a glider up on top of a rack like we have, or we've got some suspended simulators over here. What we're going to be using right now, is just a hand glider that's suspended with its back-end up and I'll be able to hang in it, my boy is elevated and I can practice flying. Once you get the physical movements down in a simulator, well then you're going to have a much better chance of doing those, in the air, up at altitude. So, I have got the back-end suspended, I could just hang down here.

    Now for this purpose, we're learning to fly upright, which is in an upright harness with my hands up here on the down tubes. So right now, I don't want to learn how to fly flat. Right now, I'm upright. You have to be upright when you learn how to launch, so we'll be upright for this. Now imagine, I'm just flying along light handed, we've talked up that before, flying along. If I want to pick up speed, I've got to basically bring my nose downward, a way to do is pull myself forward. So, what happens is the hang straps move forward, traps my center of gravity downward, the front-end comes forward. So, this is speed, pulling in a speed.

    Speed is your friend in a hang glider, right. Getting slow would mean stall, that's not your friend. Speed is your friend, so keep a little speed. Relax your back out, it'll slow you down, pulling in is speed. Relaxing your back out will slow you down. Out on our training hills, where it's really calm, light general air, we don't need much pulling at all, about half-an-inch of pressure is all that it is. That's just one finger worth the movement. I don't even have to move my elbows and shoulders; I just move my fingers, that's all you need, for a little bit of speed. That was a good time to mention. We don't do any pushing. Pushing out will raise the nose, that could put us into a stall. So, there is no pushing whatsoever out here. If the glider wants to slow down, it can slow itself down just by you relaxing your hand. You don't need to push it out ever. Alright, how do we make turns? Well, if I want to turn left, I've got to move my body weight over to the left to move this carabiner hang straps over to left, that will bring the left wing down and then it will go into a left turn. So, I want to look over there to a target, is my first job. Look over here and I want to pull my core body weight over to that direction. So I've got to pull my hips and my feet over there just like that. There is no pushing with that hand; it's all pulling with that hand. Pull your hips and feet over. Now, what a lot of people do, a lot of big strong burly guys, these are their shoulders and hands, so they'll just pull this way. You notice the carabiner just twisted, my feet went the other direction. But I didn't pull my body weight over to move the carabiner. That's what you really have to do and that's why you have to work in a simulator to get it right. Move the carabiner over left to right and if we want to go to right, look right, pull right.

    Male Speaker: So if this end is too low then I pull on this end?

    Dan Zink: No, only if this end is too high --Male Speaker: Too high.

    Dan Zink: You pull back and this will be obvious, if you're looking at your target, because this is going to pull you away from your target, you pull back to your target. Okay, it's going to feel, it's going to feel, like this, your lower body. You're with me? Okay, let me see you do about, just do the right, look at me, I'm your target, I'm your new target. Look at me you're going to pull to me. Okay, back to center. This time pull your feet and your hips. He is a guy. Guys have the shoulder thing go, now it's better. Relax, relax not so much. Pull your hips over, here you go, couple more just for practice.

    Male Speaker: Do I have to swing like that? Dan Zink: Little bit of a swing, little bit of a bicep curl, but gentle, gentle, gentle. It's as simple as that to control a hang glider, but you do need to practice it before you get in the air and then know how to do it.

    Now that we've practiced in the simulator, we'll go to the hill and practice launching from about half a way up. Once you get a feel for that, we'll go all the way to the top of the hill and practice launching from there.