Flying solo. Your first step to being hooked to a new sport. This is also a popular and great gift.
The first qualification status. Progressing to higher and more skilled flights, with instruction
The first qualification to enable you to fly unaided, without instruction.
About Hang Gliding
What is Hang Gliding?
Hang gliding is a simple and popular air sport. It is both a recreational and competitive sport closely related to paragliding and gliding (sailplanes), but using a much simpler and less expensive craft consisting of an aluminum- or composite-framed fabric wing, with the pilot mounted on a harness hanging from the wing frame and exercising control by shifting body weight.
What exactly do you do?
Hang glider pilots can be launched from hills facing into wind, winches on flat ground or by being towed aloft from an airfield behind a microlight aircraft.
The objective is always to stay airborne in lifting currents of air and - for many - to undertake long cross country flights. The UK record for distance currently stands at over 250km and for altitude at an astonishing 16,000ft.
How is Hang Gliding different from Paragliding?
Hang Gliding is very similar to Paragliding, in fact they are essentially the same activity performed with slightly different equipment.
Hang gliders have a more rigid frame than paragliders.
The main advantage of flying hang gliders is their higher speed range, allowing you to fly in slightly stronger winds, than paragliders. This performance does come at a cost to the pilot in that it is a fair bit heavier than the paraglider.
Is Hang Gliding Safe?
Hang Gliding, like any other adventure sport, has its associated risks and dangers, as do many day to day activities. We teach students to operate safely and remain aware. The important pre-requisites in learning to fly safely are: pilot attitude, competent instruction, and safe equipment. If these conditions are met the slow speeds and inherent stability of hang gliders can provide a relatively safe and easy way to fly..<br />
Do they cost a lot?
Sports machines with lower spec cost from £2,000 to £3,500. We do sometimes have second hand machines for sale. A top-of-the range competition class hang glider can cost over £4,500 from new
A full training course costs approximately £1200, much less for a shorter introductory course. Pilots will also need a harness, helmet, flying suit, boots, etc.
How do you make it go?
The pilot launches the machine by running to accelerate to flying speed, then relaxes into the comfortable prone harness while controlling the glider by moving their weight in relation to the control bar. Flying a hang glider is a little more demanding than flying a paraglider, however, the machine is capable of much higher speeds, gliding performance and flyable stronger winds.
Where do you fly?
Pilots fly from hills and tow sites for which we are permitted to use There are also many sites throughout the UK licenced by other BHPA registered Clubs. The accent is on hill flying but tow operations and aerotow facilities are normally in lowland locations. Competitions are held at Club, National and International level. The British have often led the way in competition at World level.
And where to from there?
Circling up to cloudbase and setting course on a long cross-country flight over patchwork fields is one of the wonders of the modern world.
Landing after a long flight using only the natural power of the atmosphere and your accumulated knowledge of the sky gives a hang glider pilot an unsurpassed feeling of accomplishment.
Hang gliding can be a joy for more reasons than just competition. Through our Flying Buddies system fellow CP flyers often meet up to soar a nearby hill, united in the pursuit of an hour or two's soaring in the face of life's pressures or just to watch the setting sun.
To be aloft on the breeze is a rare privilege open to a select few. It's not really a secret, come along and share the priviledge with us!
Who can fly a Hang Glider?
You must be over 16 years old to Hang Glide. There is no upper age limit. You need to be reasonably fit with good vision. If you have any weaknesses or any medical problems please seek medical advice prior to booking with us. All medical conditions must be advised at the time of booking.</p>
In an average of just ten days students can progress from novice to Club Pilot.
Pre Flight instruction include: introduction to the machine, how to rig & inspect the glider and flying site appreciation.
First flights are expected to be short and low level, either down a gentle slope or towed using a very gentle winch pull keeping you close to the ground.
We use a tether rope system in the early days, until proficient in steering and controlling airspeed by weight movement.
The height gained and longer duration flights come once the tether is no longer necessary.
If the weather is not suitable for flying, instruction will take place in the classroom learning basic flight theory, meteorology and air law.
A more sophisticated glider is introduced towards the end of the course and, subject to a good assessment from your instructor and passing the CP exam a Club Pilot rating will be issued. As with paragliding a CP rating opens access to fly on other club sites and begin progressing to advanced flying.
What equipment is needed?
The school will provide the glider, harness and helmet.
Warm outdoor clothing, gloves, strong grippy Boots (No hooks), packed lunch, drinks and a good sense of fun and humour are the requirements for the day. We would encourage you to buy your own equipment only once you are sure the sport is for you. However, it is considered better to train on your own equipment and students do prefer this, generally.
Please ask our advice before you buy as there is so much to know with regards to buying the right equipment.
It can be a very costly mistake to buy equipment that is not suitable for you, specifically.
What about the weather?
Hang Gliding is a sport that is very dependant on the weather, as flying is only possible in certain conditions. The decision of flying lies with the instructor on your course and will advise at your weather check. Our overseas courses offer a way to gain a block of days where training is ideal consistently, and are a fun and great holiday too. Check out our Thermal Chaser holidays for information on the latest hang gliding or paragliding trip.