You can learn to fly a hang glider right here in our mountain free state. It is best to learn from an experienced USHPA certified instructor. There are different ways you can approach your learning.
You might start out with a tandem discovery flight. You will be towed aloft by either the “Scootzilla” winch to an altitude of between 400 and 1000 feet depending upon the wind conditions or aero towed by the Dragonfly tow plane to 2000 feet or good lift. The instructor will handle the launch and landing. During the flight you may have the opportunity to take the controls and see what it feels like to pilot the hang glider. You are sure to enjoy the view and your first free flight experience.
Your real hands-on learning will begin on flat ground. Instead of running down a hill you will learn to launch a glider with the aid of a light tension towing winch, “Scootzilla”. A tow operator will control a winch with a line connected to you and your glider. The first several tows will be short and keep you a few feet above ground. You will be developing launch skills, learning towing procedures, getting a feel for the glider, and working on good landing practices. As your skills improve the tows will be longer and take you a little higher off the ground. After a few days you will be towing up to 300 feet, releasing, setting up a landing approach, and landing the glider on your own.
Winch towing is an efficient way to build experience and learn. In two or three good days at the field you can build up flying experiences that might take months or years if your training is done on a foot launch slope. Imagine carrying a glider up a slope several times on a hot, humid, Ohio summer day. Good exercise to be sure but your air time will accumulate at a snail’s pace. As your skill improves you will also learn the important skills of foot launching from hills and aero towing behind the Dragonfly tow plane.
To see a video demonstrating what the average student is able to do after a day of instruction, click here.
For bird-like freedom you need Wings to Fly