Learning to fly a hang glider in Wales.

Learning to fly in Wales

The following story illustrates how a bit of perseverance and patience can make all the difference when working towards your Club Pilot rating.

From Pedestrian to Buzzard - The Quest for CPC
by Steve Farthing

For me it all began at the HQ of Dragon Flight Hang Gliding School in Blaina, South Wales. I met the man "Richard Crane" who filled me with new words like minimum sink, maximum glide and S.W.A.N.K.

Inspired I signed up and tried the simulator. Then it was off to Bedlinog, where I put on the kit and, tethered to the forgiving Stubby, ran ….and ran. Several weekends later, having covered thousands of miles of Bedlinog by foot, EPC was gained.

Knackered but full of hope, I had a major row with the wife, and bought a glider, harness and vario. Disappointment and frustration soon followed.

Months went by, too much work, bad weather…no work more bad weather. I passed my CPC Theory, bent a wing tip batten, had "Lionel Blair" landings, and was shouted at for going the "wrong way". But words on the hill from Paul Farley, Paul Dancey and the man himself Richard Crane revived the will to live.

Almost a year, and at last a (big) leap off the back of Merthyr. Still in the groove.

Weeks of phone calls followed. Then it was off to Rhossili. I took off from the Pimple, got into prone and…. Landed on the beach. "Shit"

Eight weeks later Richard arranged another trip to Rhossili with his mate Dave Sagan. This time I took off from the top. Two stalls, 2½ hours soaring (greedy g*t) and one bent upright, and I was signed off.

Not quite a buzzard, but no longer a pedestrian.

My special thanks go to Richard Crane, Dave Sagan and Roger for the help, advice, time and patience

For further training information contact one of the BHPA registered schools operating in Wales,
or click on the appropriate wing below to return to the correct "learn to fly" page.

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