Linda Salamone's Blog

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

April 11th 2009
The 2009 Rochester Area Flyer's "Check it Out" program was a huge success this year. Regretfully, I have never before attended one of these events, only because it coincides with the beginning of competition season in Florida or Arizona. Well, the Florida comps are ON this year, but later in the month, so I donned some warm weather clothes and headed to our beautiful 120' training hill in Farmington, NY.

The forecast was for really high wind but sunny skies- not a day we would fly or even hold our regular training, but for our purposes this day, the weather was PERFECT. We set up a few gliders in the wind-shadow of the Quonset hut and Moritz Wagner gave 21 prospective students a bunch of relevant info before we strapped them in.
Eager (and cold) faces....

It was my 45th birthday so I get to have a picture of me doing demo.

Rick Brown showing how easy it is to get it up!

For $50, each student can run around with the glider, get their feet off the ground (on a day like today!), and decide whether or not they want to commit to the club's full training program which begins at the end of April. We've found this one day deal cuts down on the number of people who begin the full program and quit a few days later when they realize that hang gliding is not for them.
The hill in the background faces N, WNW, W and we can use the back for E wind

We all got some exercise....

Our instructors and assistants are volunteers. One of each will be assigned to one day a week where they will make the call as to whether (or weather!) or not they will hold training that day. They leave a message on a remote answering machine and the students know by 4pm (7:30am on weekends) if they will have a lesson. During the 60 days of our program, students usually enjoy 30 or so days of training for $595 (less $50 if they paid for the Check it Out session). The fees include USHPA and RAF membership for one year, and of course use of our Condor, Falcon, and 4 Eaglets. Lessons end late June when the crops are too high, and by then, most of the students have their own equipment and some are ready for their first high flights. Others finish training later in the Fall, when the crops (usually corn) are harvested from the field. If the student re-joins the club the following year, he or she can have use of the training hill whenever it's not 'crop-prohibitive'.

Last season's goofy-looking batch of students (aka The Mod Squad):

So, here is a link in case I misremembered anything:


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