And the answers, by Paul Gazis
Question #1: What's it like?
Answer #1.1: FunQuestion #2: Is it hard to learn?
Answer #2.1: (to average whuffos): It depends on the student and the quality of the instructor. You see, ever since the early 1980's, the USHGA has maintained this network of instructors that blah blah blah et cetera et cetera et tedious cetera...Question #3: Is it scary? You must be very brave.
Answer #3.1: No. It's really quite boring. That's why I'm here on the ground talking to you.Question #4 (and proof that whuffos aren't stupid): How do you get your trucks back down the hill?
Answer #4.1: We carpool.Question #5: Where do you go fly around here?
Answer #5.1: Oh, various places, It depends on the forecast and the weather conditions. We fly everywhere from [popular local site] to [obscure site in the middle of nowwhere], Yosemite, and the Owens Valley.Question #6: Do many women fly?
Answer #6.1 (if the whuffo is male): No.Question #7: Have you ever been hurt?
Answer #7.1: Yes, I slammed my finger in a car door.Question #8: No, I meant have you ever been hurt flying?
Answer #8.1: Yes, but you can get hurt a lot worse in ordinary day to day life.Question #9: What happened?
Answer #9.1: I slammed my finger in a car door.Question #10: No, I meant have you ever been hurt flying?
Answer #10.1: Yes. I flew at [popular coastal site], I toplanded, and I ran into this peculiarly morbid bystander who kept asking me if I'd ever been hurt flying. I felt that this was in rather poor taste, so I picked the fellow up and heaved him off the cliff. Needless to say, I threw out my back, so now I bring along Kong, my psychopathic Rottweiler, in case a similar circumstance should arise. That's him ripping the sides off that dumpster. Here, Kong!From new pilots
Question #1: What type and size of glider should I buy?
Answer #1.1: It depends. You should demo as many different gliders as you can and pick the one you feel happiest with. You don't want something that's too hard to fly, but you don't want something you'll outgrow. And keep in mind that with your experience level, there isn't any really "right" choice. You'll have to grow into whatever wing you buy.Question #2: How long have you been flying?
Answer #2.1 (if new pilot is obviously a weenie): Longer than you, you worm.Question #3: Can you give me a ride up the hill?
Answer #3.1 (if new pilot is obviously a weenie): No, you worm.From one's significant other
Question #1: Honey, what do you want to do this weekend?
Answer #1.1: FlyQuestion #2: Honey, it's your birthday. What do you want to do this weekend?
Answer #2.1: FlyQuestion #3: Honey, it's my birthday. What do you want to do this weekend?
Answer #3.1: FlyQuestion #4: Honey, it's our anniversary. What do you want to do this weekend?
Answer #4.1: FlyQuestion #5: Honey, are we ever going to do anything besides fly? 'Cos if you don't, I'm leaving! Right now!
Answer #5.1: Could you stick around through the weekend? We need a driver for the Owens.
|Paul Gazis is a California hang glider pilot. This article appeared on the Internet hang gliding mailing list (firstname.lastname@example.org). Reprinted with permission of the author.|