My first Hang glider a Wasp 22
I started flying in mid 1973 on a Wasp 229 without a king post which I fitted later. I bought it while I was an apprentice toolmaker.
I first saw the ridiculous-looking machine on TV and decide I wanted to try the new sport. So I borrowed the money from my Father and explained what I wanted it for. To my surprise he bought one too!
The great day finally came and we took delivery of our new flying machines at Truly Hill near Brighton. Instruction was straight forward - run like mad, push the nose up a little then pull back a bit. Move your body to the right to turn right and left to go left. To land, flair out about 3 ft from the ground. ‘Good luck, mate!’ was the parting phrase from Terry Hanes.
My Father tried to take off first but tripped and twisted his ankle so it was my turn. I was flying and when I looked down I thought ‘Oh shit, what am I doing up here? It was bloody great! When I landed my knuckles were white and could not feel my fingers. Full of excitement, I couldn’t wait to climb up the hill and throw myself off again.
After a year or so, Terry Hanes from Wasp Hang gliders asked me if I wanted a trip to Spain for three weeks to show of their new Falcon. I jumped at the chance, giving up a well paid job at Duracell batteries for a free flying holiday all expenses paid and pocket full of money. I had a great time!
Later I started working for Hiway Hangliders in Bernard Road in Brighton as a toolmaker and test pilot. I was also in the British Hang Gliding League. However I'm not very competitive as I always wanted to do my own thing and have fun!
Hiway Cloud Base
When Hiway moved to Wales I was unable to go with them as my Father became very ill with a brain tumour.
Test Flying a prototype Emu
It was a nice easy to handle machine.
After my Father sadly passed away, I once again joined Hiway in Wales where I built my first Trike.
We couldn’t really settle In Wales so returned to Brighton and joined Graham Slater at Ultra Sports making The Tripacer. It was sold in great numbers and put on many wings.
My Hang Gliders were Wasp 229, Wasp Falcon, Hiway standard 240, Hiway Cloud Base, Scorpion, Super Scorpion, Emu, Demon, Moys and Clubman. I have also flown many other machines.
Tripacer Robin 250
In 1983 I started sailing again. I have a 37ft yacht and did a bit of cross channel racing and spent
2 years sailing in the Med but still take a great interest in what’s happening in the sport of Hang Gliding and Trikes.
I truly believe that I had some of the best times of my live in the early years flying and the wonderful characters I met at that time. Gerry Breen, The Hanes brothers, Steven Hunt, John Ivers,
Roly Lewis-Evens, Mark Woodhams, Tony Fuel, Graham Slater, Gordon Faulkner, Johnny Carr, Miles Hanley, Ian Grayland and many others who I have left out not to bore you all but be assured they are not forgotten and I will always have fond memories of them all.
I wish you all safe Flying
................ My ramblings