Leaving the sport

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Leaving the sport

Post by Christian » Sun Oct 28, 2007 11:06 pm

With all the interest in luring new people to the sport, it may be of passing interest why somebody retires from hang gliding.

On the whole I'm not a standard cse. I started at age 60. For the record, age was not an impediment. I have now about 75 hours in almost four years, and enjoyed the ride. I had an instrument rating in single engine planes, a lot of sports experience, a long history of competition, and found hang gliding instruction clear and the equipment a delight in its simplicity. Although we all learn differently, Greblo's approach was perfect for me.

I have some sort of recurring balance issue, probably a middle ear infection, which has grounded me the past eight months. But that;s not really it.

Truth is, I have already achieved 90 per cent of what HG has to offer me. I enjoyed the learning, the gradual coming of confidence and basic skills, and the experience of flying like a bird, which only those who have done it can understand (and it is much more powerful and personal than powered flight). As I am not drawn to cross-country flying, or competition, I would continue launching sites and landing near my car. A very good time, but good times I've already had.

I'm 64. Looking back, most of the things I took up I did for five or 10 years. Then something happened--a new posting, children, wives, interests, geography--to change the situation. I have never looked back in disappointment, but rather cherished the memories and the good feeling of accomplishment we all feel when completing a personal goal.

Convenience has something to do with it. HG is pretty inconvenient, as well all know. That HG is an individual pusuit has a lot to do with it: I have four children and five grandchildren and many responsibilities, all of which work against disappearing alone. There is just a great deal else to do.

Pretty elusive, as an explanation, eh? Your case is no doubt dfferent, but maybe you recognize some of the factors. The big thing is that hang gliding is a really extraordinary thing to do, especially for people who need to remind themselves from time to time that it is great fun to be alive and that limitations are mostly in the mind.

Never stop doing anything that you know you will miss. If you know you will not miss it, you're free to stop any time.

Enjoy the sky!


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Post by Vrezh » Mon Oct 29, 2007 10:01 am


I hardly know you in person, though your presence is (was?) strong in the community.

So it is sad to hear about your desicion.

I hope you had good times with us, and , if I got it right, we will see you around some times. In the sky or in the LZ.

Wish you best of luck and good health.


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Post by stebbins » Mon Oct 29, 2007 11:47 am


Feel free to come visit, or to change your mind. I have friends who've left the sport for a while and then returned. They are often better pilots (or at least safer) for it.

It is interesting that you mentioned the convenience. I was noting the other day, that if I lived closer to a flying site, I'd fly more. I often could get out for long enough to setup/fly/breakdown, but not long enough for the turn-around too. I keep thinking about moving to Crestline for that reason.... But for me, while I fly less now, I still feel the need to fly. When I go more than a few weeks, I start to get itchy... A month and I NEED to go.

You will be missed. Remember you can come back to visit, watch, tandem, or start again.

Good luck and joy in whatever you do next.
Fly High; Fly Far; Fly Safe -- George


Post by JT » Tue Oct 30, 2007 8:42 pm

Dear Christian,
Just a note to say the loss is more ours than yours. We only met once and spoke a few times on the phone but I know that personalities of your caliber and character are infrequent.
Best Always,

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Post by WingNutz » Thu Nov 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Christian -

Thanks for all the time, effort and good counsel you have given the Club.
Soar With Prudent Passion

Larry Chamblee

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Post by Frederick » Sun Nov 04, 2007 9:35 pm

Christian, thank you very much for getting our web site going -- all the week-in, week-out work to steer our communications over onto this site. The eBlasts have always been very fun and welcome for me to read each week. I feel we're connecting-up and coordinating a whole lot more as a club now, then we used to. Because of the site. It was exactly 2 years ago we discussed (at length) your vision of how to get the new site (Chris built) into use. And here it is now in mainstream play, after all your guiding work.

Thank you, and best wishes. These are the good old days. Each one of them.


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