GL1800Riders Forums banner

1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
428 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I put more than 60,000 miles on my GW by the time I sold it. I suppose I had her for 3 years or so. There were 3 times when I was briefly "terrified" during my riding tenure. One involved a deer strike; none involved "going down".

I want to get into ultralights (I have my Private Pilot's license) and wondered how the 'danger' compares.

Intuitively, I feel safe to say we eliminate the "other guy" as the primary cause of accidents when we fly ultralights. So, there is left:

o pilot/driver error (I lump weather and failure to do normal
maintenance in there)
o health problems (such as heart attack while flying/riding)
o mechanical failure ('normal' and 'catestrophic')
o environmental hazzard (unforseen objects or phenomena)

Any ultralight pilots out there? How many times does the "sphincter factor" come into play when flying (day - VFR) compare to riding your wing? Do you feel we can compare apples to apples?

Ride Safely.

-Boatner
(formerly Asheville, NC; now Prairieville, LA)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,685 Posts
I don't know jack schitt about ultralights but like anything else.... risk is a matter of perspective. I'm sure there are many people who think riding a motorcycle is a sure sign of having a few screws loose. There are a few who think merely leaving the house is a sure invitation for disaster. You weigh the benefits vs the consequences and go from there. Personally.... I believe there's little chance I'll get out of life alive. Some day something will make my body assume room temperature. Might as well enjoy life while I'm still alive.
 
W

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Lucky 777 said:
I don't know jack schitt about ultralights but like anything else.... risk is a matter of perspective. I'm sure there are many people who think riding a motorcycle is a sure sign of having a few screws loose. There are a few who think merely leaving the house is a sure invitation for disaster. You weigh the benefits vs the consequences and go from there. Personally.... I believe there's little chance I'll get out of life alive. Some day something will make my body assume room temperature. Might as well enjoy life while I'm still alive.
Well Said.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
806 Posts
I think Bull riding at the Rodeo might be a little more dangerous! Seriously I think they are both about the same,Wing you deal with cagers but you are close to the ground, ultra lite no cagers but the ground is far away.

I would like to try it myself looks like fun and if you gotto go, may as well be having fun when it happens. :lol: :lol:
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,633 Posts
Boatner said:
pilot/driver error (I lump weather and failure to do normal maintenance in there)
After having TWO Goldwings, one of the two wheeled variety and the other of ultralight variety, I can say this is probably the largest risk with either/both.

Boatner said:
health problems (such as heart attack while flying/riding)
Much more likely to get whacked by a large bee or a rock on takeoff than suffer some sort of trauma in flight. Protective gear mandatory. If your private medical is still good you shouldn't have reason to fear.

Boatner said:
mechanical failure ('normal' and 'catestrophic')
This is probably related to item 1 above. Proper PM prevents the majority of mechanical failures in both cases.

Boatner said:
environmental hazzard (unforseen objects or phenomena)
For ultralights, wind, especially the gusty little devils that can tip you over while on or close to the ground.

I was as comfortable in the air as I am on the bike but constant alertness is required for both. Not as worried about being the victim of someone else's stupidity in the air though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
902 Posts
If you are talking about ultralights with the parachute as the wing, wind will be your biggest concern. Upon landing, flipping the ultralight unside down, tumbling it or hitting trees etc. while landing will be your next biggest concern. Engine failure is not a big concern if a decent landing area is near. The more flying experience you have with an ultralight, the less the risk.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
922 Posts
Cool. Before even trying one, get one that is equiped with the 0-0 rocket parachute, like an ejection seat for the whole plane. Actually I think you have to be at least 50 feet for it to work....Check out some BB's regarding them.
http://www.ultralightnews.ca/brs/index.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,266 Posts
I don't fly ultralights but I have been hang-gliding since '79. Comparing motorcycling to hang-gliding is comparing apples to oranges. Hang-gliding is all about knowing the conditions and knowing when to stay on the ground. Motorcycling is much safer.

And motorcycling is more fun.... its a longer ride.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,633 Posts
hennigm4 said:
Cool. Before even trying one, get one that is equiped with the 0-0 rocket parachute, like an ejection seat for the whole plane. Actually I think you have to be at least 50 feet for it to work....Check out some BB's regarding them.
http://www.ultralightnews.ca/brs/index.html
They are called ballastic parachutes and some small aircraft, not ultralights, are beginning to have them as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
344 Posts
Boatner said:
I want to get into ultralights (I have my Private Pilot's license) and wondered how the 'danger' compares.
You have a PM. Give me a call and I'll answer all your questions and concerns for a safe transition.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
I look at it this way ... you can die falling off a 8 ft. step ladder if the conditions are right or wrong (hmm?) ... if it's motorcycling, hang gliding, ultra lights, or swimming in your back yard pool ... experience tells you when it's safer. Of course the envitable could always happen. Just my .02
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
133 Posts
As a pilot/skydiver interested in hang gliding but stayed away because I thought it would be more dangerous than Skydiving.....I would have to say that Ultralights could potentially be more physically damaging than riding a streetbike. It's the learning curve. JMO

I would be most attentive to the rigging and flight surfaces of an ultralight. A hardware or rigging failure high enough would be catastrophic. If possible use a chute attached to the craft in case of emergencies. Pilot stupidity and inexperience is the most likely thing that will kill you. Get past all of that and you should have fun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
906 Posts
I think I would go with a gyrocopter. From what I understand, cross-winds do"t have too much efect on them.

Joe
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,991 Posts
I look at it this way ... you can die falling off a 8 ft. step ladder if the conditions are right or wrong (hmm?)
There is a big difference here. Falling off a ladder doesn't have the drawback of having a lot of time to think about how bad this is going to hurt. :shock: :lol:

I probably shouldn't be reading this thread. About two years ago I opened my big mouth and told my wife how cool I thought ultralights are. She turned around and bought me a gift certificate for my first one hour lesson/flight. Cool birthday present!

That was in March of this year and I still haven't gone up. I want to do it in the worst way and I'm scared s$$tless. The only flying I have ever done is in commercial aircraft. I have a marginal fear of heights that I am going to have to deal with. I also can't ride roller coasters because I have a tendency to lose my stomach and toss my cookies, which makes me think I must be one of those that loses his equilibrium easily.

I'm screwed! :?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Here is some data comparing Ultralights to General aviation. Having a PPL gives you a certain insight into the risks of flying small aircraft. As such you can make your own decision.

http://www.challenger.ca/upac-accident-study/

Conclusion from the data:

The data shows that accident rates for ultralights are lower than for general aviation aircraft. The data does not support the perception that there is more risk involved in flying ultralight airplanes than in flying general aviation airplanes. Conversely, the data demonstrates that ultralight activity is actually safer than general aviation activity.

Comparable motorcycle data. http://www.webbikeworld.com/Motorcycle- ... istics.htm

For those who don't want to dig...using 1996 data:

Ultralight Fatalities per 1000 registered aircraft - 1.0

Motorcycle Fatalities per 1000 registered motorcycles - 0.5582

So statistically you're twice as likely to be killed flying an ulralight as you would riding a motorcycle.

By the way... I always feel some apprehension while riding... I think it keeps me alive and well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
428 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Larry!

Go use that gift certificate! I first flew in a Quicksilver and it was great. Somehow hights aren't the same as looking over the edge of a cliff or building.

-Boatner
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,623 Posts
Interesting ...
Way over a million miles on motorcycles, One bloody accident !
Over 23,000 hours flying Crop Dusting Airplanes, Two accidents, no blood.
One ultra-light flight, occidentally got in the air, no blood on landing !

My score sheet shows motorcycles as being the most dangerous for me.

JMHO 8)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,310 Posts
I have ridden bikes since age 13. It is freedom. When I ride I think of nothing else. This to me is invaluable. There are risks in most activities. I suspect I will ride until I have to trike and trike until they rip the keys from my hands. If you enjoy an activity do it with reason. We are here to enjoy life. RIDE SAFE :D
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,496 Posts
well...

I have a master's rating in hanging gliding (and two open distance records ... "way back when").

I have an instructor rating for ultralights ... soon to be obsolete with the new sport pilot changes.

I have a private ticket for general aviation with an instrument rating.

All my air time is about 2500 hours.

I've been one lap around the perimeter of North America on a 750 Honda riding two up with camping gear (also "way back when") ... 10,000 miles in 6 weeks. Back then I thought I was riding a "beast" ... in retrospect, it now seems like I did it on a mini-bike. :roll:

My "new" (07) Goldwing is now about 10 days old and I've put 800 miles on it ... way cool and I'm loving it.

IMHO ... motorcycles are more dangerous than flying ...

Very simply (perhaps too much so), if I do everything "right" while flying there is little chance I'll get hurt or killed
... on the bike, I can do everything "right" and WHAMO!
... some cager can ruin my day and I may never see it coming.

I love flying and I love riding ... they are very similar ... riding is like flying really low ...

regards,
Dennis

(that's why I choose "wingwing" ... one wing for the airplane and one wing for the bike.) :)
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top