New to the Sport?
If you're just becoming aware of Hang Gliding, you've come to the right place. We, the pilots of HangGliding.org welcome you and are glad that you'd like to learn more about the sport we love.
If you're not familiar with what a hang glider can do, you'll want to read What Is Hang Gliding? If you have a question, it may already be answered in the Hang Gliding FAQ. If it's not answered there, by all means ask it on the Q & A, Learning to Hang Glide message board. You don't have to be a registered member to post there.
There are some videos that explain the basics on the Introductory Videos page. If you have a high speed connection, you'll enjoy the clips on the High Resolution Videos page. The Launch Methods and Types of Hang Gliding can give you a better idea of the depth of this sport. Finally, the HG Glossary has a rundown on the vocabulary of Hang Gliding. And if you're ready to give this sport a try, keep reading this page.
Learning to Fly
Getting into hang gliding is likely simpler than you expect. For many student pilots, the training process consists of:
- Taking an introductory flight or introductory lesson.
- Taking initial lessons, be they foot launched, static towed (with a winch), or towed behind a powered ultralight (or combination of the above).
- Completing your first solo, a highlight of any pilot's career.
- Obtaining your Novice (a.k.a. "Hang 2") rating.
Who Can Fly
Hang glider pilots come from all walks of life, and range in age from 14 to over 70. In order to hang glide, you will need to be reasonably healthy and mobile. You will need full use of your hands and arms. There are successful pilots who have physical limitations, including paraplegia.
How Long and How Much
In the United States, you can expect to spend between $700 and $2000 on training, or $3000 to $8000 with equipment, to go from absolute beginner to your Novice (Hang 2) rating. People have learned in as quickly as four days, while six to 10 days would be an average length of time.
There is a practical side to getting into the sport, the acquisition of equipment. As a budding pilot in search of your own gear, you will need:
- A beginner's hang glider.
- A harness.
- A helmet.
- A set of instruments, which pilots call a vario.
- A rack for your car, truck, or van.