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By ninrocket
New H2 Pilot here. I started my journey at Lookout Mountain.

The weather hasn't been too good most weekends this year and I am wanting to take a vacation and hopefully hang glide everyday for a week. I am really wanting to get flight time in and learn as much as I can so I am more competent and wiser in this sport.

I'll either rent a vehicle and haul my Sting II somewhere or I'll just rent a glider and gear if available.

So what are some of the best spots to fly where I can cruise around and learn to be a better pilot?


My usual flying sites in VA are Eagle Rock and Big Walker.

Eagle Rock had a super steep and easy launch on the NW side 1200+ ft AGL and a more challenging flat slope launch on the SE side 800+ ft AGL. The club that operates off of Eagle Rock is mostly PG pilots, but great people all. Here's a link to their yahoo group where you can introduce yourself and contact the necessary people...

Big Walker is a NW site. It can be challenging during mid day and early afternoon as powerful thermals are possible and the LZ is a bit technical. During calm mornings or evenings though, it can be H2 suitable.
Introduce yourself here...

There is also a club that operates a couple different sites in the Cumberland MD area. I've flown there a couple of times and had a really good flight at Zerks.
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/mou ... lyers/info

I've never flown a Sting, but it's my understanding that they are intermediate level gliders. Perhaps not the best choice for a new pilot. Please be extremely careful.
Go west young man!

If you want consistent flyable conditions nearly every day then go west.

If I were going to take a flying vacation, I'd hit Southern California sites like Crestline and Marshall, which are extremely consistent. For a new pilot it's also important to have a good pilot and instructor community and of course appropriate sites/conditions.
Thanks for the recommendations.

Also good advice on the Sting (my instructors seem to think I can handle it ....or they are sadistic :D ). I just want to get as much flight time in as I can with decent air so I am confident with the Sting. I'm in no hurry. It's been a tough summer at Lookout. Mother natures schedule hasn't been working well with my work schedule.

I am single and am considering relocating to the west coast just for the flight opportunities. I'm debt free and am trying to keep my possessions down to bare necessities so I can remain mobile.

I have a job offer in Salt Lake City and I did SEE the Point of the Mountain but didn't have a glider there. I heard there are a lot of para gliders there as well. If I get a job there I will try to get my schedule setup so I have time to fly during the week and maybe a weekday off.

My first flight off Lookout I hit a thermal about 1/4 mile out that spun me around. I tried to fight the turn for a few seconds then realized it was easier just to complete the turn then to fight it(had good altitude and not near anything). It scared the crap out of me because you don't see that on the training hills (I think I called out "mama!")

After I landed and had time to think about it I realized that I had just experienced a taste of what it's REALLY like to fly.

To me a big part of why I love hang gliding is not just the amazing things you see flying like a bird but it puts my life in perspective and I realize I am very small.

I think it's the most spiritual thing I have ever experienced when I'm up there flying.

I just need somewhere to feed my addiction so that I can grow as a pilot.
ninrocket wrote:
Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:14 pm
After I landed and had time to think about it I realized that I had just experienced a taste of what it's REALLY like to fly.
"Glass-off" conditions are what you want to start with.
At least one 1 out of 10 of those days you expect to be glass-off will not be.
It can become no fun very quickly so find someone who you can trust to make that judgement call.

Be aware that an old H5 may not remember what the hell glass-off means.
I'll save that story.
You may also want to consider aerotow training. At Lookout you can do both foot launch and aerotow the same day within a few minutes of each other. On early morning/ late evening AT flights, you're guaranteed at least 15 minutes of smooth confidence building flying. If you're in that area still, PM me.
I paid for the aerotow package and have only used a single flight ticket.

I think I would need to take a week off from work to actually get the aerotow training in. On the weekends they seem to choose first timers over paid students. I understand that it's a business though.
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