You Can Be!
At a minimum, anyone that can move their own body weight in a jog/run for 20 yards and who has command of their hand and leg movements in response to the instructors directions can have successful lessons. Thats because our instructors physically assist you so you can concentrate on technique. You can even successfully accomplish a camp experience toward your hang one rating and call it an accomplishment! You would be extremely qualified for tandem experiences, and even learn solo towing flight. For $500.00 and one week you can get a rating! Its funny. Sometimes 60 year old grandmothers outdo 25 year old computer programmers
The requirements to become an independent and self reliant foot launched hang II mountain pilot are more strict. A mixture of physical, intellectual, emotional, financial and lifestyle aptitudes must be present to become a competent, versatile and avid pilot. Since aptitudes are simply snapshots of skills at a particular time, changes in these often require increasing or decreasing ambition in the sport during a flying career.The following ten questions can you help assess if this sport would be practical for you. The more you answer in the affirmative the more qualified you are.
- Have you being thinking, dreaming, fantasizing about flying most your life? Most genuine pilots have had this thought most of their lives.
- What is your age, height, weight and fitness level? The more vigorous students have the most versatility for differing weather conditions encountered in training. Relatively heavier shorter legged people have more trouble accelerating the glider. Can you move your body in multiple sprints and momentarily lift 55 lbs? Having some stamina during training and ability to wrestle the glider into place on launch and lift the glider onto car is important.
- Can you accept authoritative rules and community values that trump self-interested impulses? Can you surrender to the teaching process? Although you are personally responsible for every flight, we provide the information to make the best decisions and in return you honor our flying community's rules, regulations and social codes for the sake of all our flying priviledges. The last thing we need is a fatality or rule violation at our regulated sites that removes our right to fly.
- Have you ever learned a complex whole body physical skill? For example: karate, carpentry, snowboarding, mountain-biking, dancing, football, baseball, basketball. Hang gliding training is about whittling all nonessential movements that leave a precisely honed motor skill that makes it look easy.
- Do you have any interest in science or technical subjects? Can you read and pass tests in meterology, radio usage, aerodynamic theory? Actual enjoyment of these topics reinforces the physical skills. If you have no interest in weather prediction, all the potential flying days will pass you by. Do enjoy or are adaptable to being in harsh natural conditions like wind, rain, hot sun? Hang Gliding is a nature-based technical sport.
- Can your body react properly in the face of stress? That is, have ever been prone to freezing up? Can you perfom physical skills and make the right decisons and actions under pressure? Can you accept investments in driving and time and still be okay with not being able to fly when conditions are not right?
- Do you have at least $6000.00 to spend on instruction, equipment, insurance, memberships, within 5 months of the training program? Any less budget results in short cutting professional instruction, the most appropriate equipment and long term support from the community of pilots.
- Do you have a couple days free and clear every week on a regular basis? Or better yet, can you control your schedule based on the weather's whims in the middle of the week? Have you any competing obligations? Can devote most of your weekends in the following two years to consolidating your skills after official basic lessons? Only after a two year mentorship phase (but your flying!), will hang gliding become a life-time practical recreation.
- Do you own a SUV or car on which a ladder rack can be mounted? Do you have space to store a 20 foot long glider? Do you own a cell phone?
- Are you willing to commit to a regular and consistent schedule of instruction?
Most people, when they start training, do not realize the eventual amount of discipline required to accomplish their hang gliding goals. But the sheer fun, adventure and interest in the first lessons compels them forward - always accepting the sport for what it is - the greatest activity short of orbiting the earth or taking a voyage beneath the sea.
The amount of reward is proportional to the amount of effort and time ones put into it. Just like anything else worthwhile.
PS Its not all that daunting if you REALLY want it! - just like "The Secret"