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Ellenville

Postby GoIllini » Thu May 12, 2011 9:12 am

Hey, just wanted to follow up with someone on this forum who sent me a PM on hanggliding.org a year ago on the situation with Greg. You guys PMed me last year about how there was a risk Greg would send me off the mountain too soon. In reality, all of us H2 candidates are now all complaining that he is never going to let us off that darned mountain. We've been on the training hill for the past 13 months- over 25 full days of instruction. that's what you should have warned me about. :D

Greg and Tony seem to be on better terms now, at least when it is pragmatic for both of them. Greg made a deal where students under his supervision are allowed to land on Tony's field- if they pay for access. No more hiking off to Brace Mountain and carrying a hang glider two miles. Three weeks ago, an H4 from out of the area landing in pretty strong thermal conditions broke his arm on a crosswind gust/whack- Greg drove out onto Tony's field to help the guy, Tony came out, and they were having a cordial conversation after the guy was on his way to the emergency room. The reduced level of feuding is working wonders for the sport.

Greg is quite a different animal today. He's obsessed that his pilots will not hurt themselves when they go off the mountain. He insists on seeing one-step landings over and over again in Ellenville's bumpy winds on the training hill. He gets very excited in his Greg sorta way when someone fails to immediately preflight their glider after setting it up. Everyone- except for Greg- seems convinced that we're ready for a mountain launch- we are calling our own launches without Greg's input, doing no step landings, I haven't seen a whack from Greg's students since the season began- nuh-uh, Greg says we're starting to get closer but still not ready, even though he has a crush of new students coming in.

Greg does make money off of selling equipment, but one guy bought his harness and helmet on Ebay and Greg didn't make a fuss of it. Tony and Paul also require you to have your own glider to fly off the mountain, and there was a bit of an adjustment to using a mountain glider and harness from the Condor/training hill harness.

Just wanted to thank you for your input in the process and drop off some more current information. Next time, just warn folks that the 6-10 days they quote on Lookout Mountain or out in CA is *NOT* a quote for Ellenville. It's more like 6-10 months of two day weekends. The program was a great value, although I wonder if it had anything to do with the dearth of new students in the 2010 consumer economy.
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Re: Ellenville

Postby TadEareckson » Tue May 17, 2011 2:33 pm

Three weeks ago, an H4 from out of the area landing in pretty strong thermal conditions broke his arm on a crosswind gust/whack...

1. Wild guess. Hands on the up on the downtubes in the process of flaring?

2. Wheels?

3. If he had stayed on the basetube - even with no wheels - kept his speed up into ground effect, and let the glider land when it wanted to, is it likely that he'd have been hurt?

Greg is quite a different animal today. He's obsessed that his pilots will not hurt themselves when they go off the mountain.

In my experience pilots that get hurt tend to do so at the other end of the flight (although I myself am a pretty good exception to that rule).

He insists on seeing one-step landings over and over again in Ellenville's bumpy winds on the training hill.

In my experience pilots tend to get the most creamed doing one-step landings over and over again - in bumpy winds, no winds, and pretty strong thermal conditions with crosswind gusts.

Greg says we're starting to get closer but still not ready...

1. When you're "ready" how confident do you think you'll be that you won't break your arm to the extent that the Hang Four from out of the area did if you land in pretty strong thermal conditions with crosswind gusts?

2. Is the fact that you haven't mastered the one-step landing as well as such luminaries as Greg DeWolfe, Kevin Carter, Paul and Lauren Tjaden, John Simon, Allen Sparks, and Linda Salamone the only thing that's standing in the way of your first mountain flight?

3. I've only had one flight off the Ellenville training hill. It was seventeen years ago at an instructor certification clinic. Mike Robertson made us all take a hop on a trainer and deliberately land on the wheels. Mike thinks that, generally speaking, trying to land on your feet is stupid and dangerous. So does Christian Thoreson, Lookout's former flight school director (twenty-some years, I believe). So do I.

He gets very excited in his Greg sorta way when someone fails to immediately preflight their glider after setting it up.

Is there anything else he gets very excited about prior to the glider getting into the air?

You've done a hang check to verify your clearance over the trainer's basetube and are standing behind another student in launch position. Can you describe the procedures you follow from that point until you get airborne?

Next time, just warn folks that the 6-10 days they quote on Lookout Mountain or out in CA is *NOT* a quote for Ellenville. It's more like 6-10 months of two day weekends. The program was a great value...

I'm absolutely positive it was a great value for at least one of the people involved.

...although I wonder if it had anything to do with the dearth of new students in the 2010 consumer economy.

Zack C - 2010/12/13

I had a very different mindset too back then and trusted the people that made my equipment. Since then I've realized (largely due to this discussion) that while I can certainly consider the advice of others, I can't trust anyone in this sport but myself (and maybe the people at Wills Wing).

Actually... As a consequence of those zillions of training hill hours you've wasted pursuing the mythical mastery of the one-step landing, you may be well on your way to learning the most important lesson possible in hang gliding. I'm optimistic about your future and I think I can help you.

If you send me your savings account, credit card, and Social Security numbers, mother's maiden name, and a two hundred dollar fully refundable deposit within the next thirty-six hours I'll give you twenty half priced tows on my lockout-proof hydraulic winch. (Loaner snap-on wheels for a small additional charge.)

Sorry I didn't respond to your post in a more timely manner - only tripped over it earlier today.
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