Welcome To The Exciting World Of Hang Gliding
MOUNTAIN WINGS HANG GLIDING CENTER would like to welcome you to the exciting sport of Hang Gliding...the most exhilarating form of recreational flying known to man. We would like to take a moment to answer some of the more common questions, as well as to preview the flight course that you will be taking.
The first questions we usually hear pertain to safety. As with any adventure sport, the possibility of injury exists in hang gliding, but is not likely. A safety minded pilot who uses good judgment, will probably never have a problem. Mountain Wings stresses a safety-oriented program. As one would expect, weather conditions are extremely important when it comes to hang gliding, and although it can be frustrating when Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate, be assured that you will fly only when it is safe to do so.
As far as equipment goes, all hang gliders manufactured must pass strict certification requirements pertaining to strength, air-worthiness, handling and stability. In addition, all of our school equipment is thoroughly inspected on a regular basis to ensure it is in good condition. The U.S. Safety Counsel says Hang Gliding is one of the safest forms of outdoor recreation activities available.
Flight duration ranges from a few seconds, for the beginner pilot on the training hill, to many hours once you have reached the novice level. An average high altitude flight in good soaring conditions can be several hours in length. The duration record for this area of 11 hours, 20 minutes, was set by a novice rated pilot. The altitude gain record for Ellenville is 13,800 ft and the straight line distance record is now 201miles. The U.S. distance record is just short of 500 miles in one flight.
Now, about your lesson:
The instructor, as well as the school itself, is certified by the United States Hang Gliding Association and are highly qualified to teach you to fly safely.
The first part of your introductory lesson is the ground school, during which you will watch a short informational video tape and then get fitted with your harness and helmet. Then, it’s out to the training area for the “hands-on” part of your instruction. You will learn to assemble the training gliders and to evaluate the conditions for the day. You’ll hook into our stationary simulator where you begin to understand how the hang glider speeds up, slows down, and turns. Most of all, the simulator lets you practice responding to commands that your instructor will be giving you.
Next, you will start handling the glider itself. By balancing the glider on your shoulders and running with it, you create airspeed and actually get the glider flying as it lifts off your shoulders.
You learn to launch and land the glider while still on flat ground. Be sure to listen to your instructor and ask as many questions as you like. You can expect the ground school to take 1/2 hour to two hours depending on size of class and conditions. The remainder of the day is flying time.
The fun is now about to start. You have mastered the ground work and are ready to move to the training hill. The key here is to remain relaxed and remember what you have learned. You will be flying solo and will have to carefully and quickly respond to directions from your instructor.