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Ep. 577: The Art of Hang Gliding - Scott Wise

Over the last 44 years, Scott has been experiencing the joys of hang gliding. From his very first bamboo framed DIY attempt to state-of-the-art wings, Scott has flown in some pretty epic places. He’s here today to give us an intro into the sport and show you how you too can fly like a bird too.


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  1. I enjoyed Scot Wise's interview. His explanations of flying hang gliders vs. paragliders are technically correct. As an outspoken critic of paragliding, I was pleased to hear him bring up the problem of a "cravat," where a suspension line wraps around a wingtip following a collapse, resulting in a terminal spiral dive. This was pointed out in a NOTAM by the BHGA years ago, after they spent so many years blaming the operators for pilot error. It wasn't pilot error. Their wings turned on them and killed them. Hang gliders don't do that. It really is pilot error when you get killed on a hang glider. Pilot error can be addressed and prevented, which is why there are so few hang gliding fatalities compared to paragliding. When you get into the weeds, you learn about a lot of things in paragliding that kill their operators that can't even happen on hang gliders. Of course, this is not emphasized in paragliding schools. They teach you in nice laminar wind conditions, then the more adventurous head inland to thermal country. Students are rarely told about the safety of that airframe in impacts or the inherent prevention of collapse I have documented 1,900 paragliding fatlaities. The majority have involved theramal incidents. Flying thermals in paragliders is like taking a knife to a gunfight. The commercial aspect is the greatest danger to the paragliding novice. He is never told the whole picture. As Scott says, it's all about the money.


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