What is hang gliding? It’s flying. Like a bird. While I can’t pretend to know what a bird feels like when it is in the sky, I can tell you that the feeling of human powered flight rivals your dreams.
We call hang gliding, free flight, not only because there is no motor, but also because it frees you from the responsibilities and stresses of your everyday life. You simply can not think about your bills and your to do lists while you are in the air. I promise.
Before I started flying, I thought that hang gliding was something that someone else did, not me. I thought you had to be a throw caution to the wind (no pun intended) adrenaline junky. Not so. Hang gliding attracts people from all walks of life. From twenty-year-old ski bums to computer programmers to sixty-year-old business women and all of those in between. I have watched ten-year-old children fly tandem with an instructor and I am friends with eighty-year-old pilots who have been flying for thirty years.
You can do it. You can fly.
As luck would have it, Chattanooga is a mecca for hang gliding. Lookout Mountain Hang Gliding (Lookout Mountain Flight Park), just south of the city, is the world’s largest hang gliding school. Over the past 39 years, more pilots have learned to fly there than anywhere else.
But you can choose to get as little or as much airtime as you would like.
Want to take just one flight with an instructor? Sure!
ow about spending the day at the park? Can do.
A couple of days? Yes.
Become a hang glider pilot yourself? Absolutely!
With United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association certified instructors by your side you can either take tandem flights, bunny hill classes, or both. Tandem flights are towed up behind an ultralight airplane to either 1500’ or 3000’ above the valley. Once you reach altitude your instructor will release from the plane, and you and your instructor will soar above the world. The views and the peace are spectacular. On the bunny hills, you can spend the morning surfing 5-10 feet above the ground, or you can go all the way through the program with the mountain launch as your prize.
Whatever you choose, be the bird. I cannot urge you enough. Be the bird.
For more information, contact Lookout Mountain Flight Park at www.hangglide.com and 706-398-3541.
Chattanooga Vacation Rental homes close to the mountain launch or landing zone: