Mr. Moose Goes Hang Gliding

First Flight

I became interested in flying in 1994.  I kept it in the back of my mind for some time, meeting a pilot here or there.  One day when riding my bike, I came across a place where people were hang gliding.  I went into the airport and had a talk with the people there.  They told what it would take to learn to fly.  I decided then and there to do it and made arrangements to start the following weekend and have flown ever since.  And so went my hang gliding career.

This is a photo of my first solo flight.  it was a beautiful summer evening and the air was smooth as glass.  People kept asking me if I was afraid and I kept telling them no.  I expected to feel some fear, but it never came, I was ready.  The flight was so smooth and the glider agile.  Probably had something to do with being without 230 pounds of ballast otherwise known as my instructor.  When I turned, the glider went with me without hesitation.  I was flying about 1400 feet above a road and saw a cyclist below.  I thought, "What a great night for a bike ride"  Thought the better of it and said, "Nah!"

The endless fields of Wisconsin into the distance.  One good thing about flying in farm country is that if you have to land away from the airport, there are landing spots galore.

Not all gliding is done by running off a mountain.  We do what's called aerotowing where you get towed up by a specialized ultralight.  This was taken by the ultralight pilot and shows me being towed about 300 feet behind.  You can see the tow lines if you look closely.  See the videos below for more on aerotowing.

This is how you take off for aerotowing.  Your glider sits in a cart and the tow plane pulls you along the ground until you rise up from the cart.  You take the cart with you for a foot or two and then drop it and off you go.  In this photo, the lines are being prepared for attaching to the harness (sleeping bag-like thing we fly in) and glider.

Hang Gliding

The two photos above were also taken by the ultralight pilot.  I'll be getting some new photos for this season, so come again some time.



If you're interested in flying in the mid-west, whether it be to learn to fly solo or just try it out in a tandem flight with an instructor, give the Whitewater Hang Gliding Club a call.  Talk to Fay at (407) 361-4209, they're good folks.  You can take lessons to learn to fly on your own or if you just want to take a one-time flight on a tandem glider, the Whitewater Club can take care of you.  The middle video on the lower row shows Mr. Moose on a tandem.

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