Hang gliding seems so simple. Suspend yourself from a winged glider and jump off a cliff. Hang gliding is as close as humans can come to flying like a bird. We just can’t fly as long. However, if you do not know how to control the glider after you are airborne, it could lead to a very rough landing. As with anything that looks simpler than it really is, trying hang gliding without taking lessons first is just not a good idea. It does not take long, but it is essential for you must become a rated pilot.
Oregon Hang Gliding School has a training program run by USHPA certified instructors that leads to a the “hang II rating” required by the government. It includes about 100 ground skimming and flights at the 50 to 100 foot level. Once you accomplish this, you should have the motor skills for the Hang II rating as determined by the United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association. Each lesson consists of 7 to 12 flights. By the time you have finished the first 12, you should know the basics. Lessons 11-14 teach strategy and judgement and you will have reached the minimum skills requirement.
Lookout Mountain Hang Gliding operates a 44 acre flight park at Lookout Mountain, Georgia and they offer several training packages. Complete the V.I.P. package and you will reach your Hang I, beginner, and Hang II, novice, and beginner aerotow ratings. You will be flying solo in less than seven days.
Raven Sky Sports in Whitewater, WI has both hang gliding hill flying and tandem high altitude hang gliding lessons. They will accept students under the age of 18 if they have written permission from a parent. They will tailor a program for them and they have kids sized harnesses for the very young. The oldest student they have had so far was 86. Raven Sky Sports also accepts students with disabilities for the tandem hang gliding adventures. These gliders have wheels, so there is no physical activity needed on the part of the student. The beginning hill gliding classes are the beginner lessons where you learn how to control the glider through the flight sequence and touchdown. You can start out with training wheels and progress up to foot power. This one lasts for six hours and you will get at least six flights.
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