Frequently Asked Questions:

Is hang gliding dangerous?

  • Yes, but what we deal with is risk management.  Proper training in any high risk sport minimizes the risk.  The lack of proper training may make many activities dangerous.  However, with thorough training the sport of hang gliding has proven to be a safe way to enjoy the freedom of flight for over 25 years. 

Do I need a license to fly?

  • No, the FAA does not regulate hang gliding but the United States Hang Gliding Paragliding Association (USHPA) is the self regulating body we adhere to.  They provide standards for accreditation of pilots and instructors.

Are their age limits?

  • Because it is not a government regulated sport there are no age restrictions however those under 18 do need parent consent and be approved by the instructor prior to starting lessons.

Does weight or height matter?

  • Hang Gliding can accommodate many shapes and sizes.  Generally a pilot weighs over 120 lbs and not more than 250 lbs.  Specialized gliders are made for those outside that range.  As long as the pilot can lift the glider and steady it, height does not matter. 

How long are the flights?

  • Beginner flights last under a minute, flying under 10 feet off the ground.  Accomplished pilots can fly for hours.  A typical flight for an intermediate pilot in good flying conditions may last for 2 hours. 

How long is the flying season?

  • The Upper Midwest flying season runs from May through November.  You can fly in the winter months but you better wear your long-johns.

What if I am scared of heights?

  • It is not uncommon for advanced pilots to report being scared of heights.  However, once harnessed into their glider their training takes over and all the fear subsides as they climb into the wide open sky.

Do you need wind to fly?

  • Wind is a factor but the forward movement of the glider through the air is what makes it fly.  Wind and rising air (thermals) can be helpful but too much wind can make flying unsafe.

More questions and answers at www.USHPA.aero