Interested in hang gliding? Currently learning to hang glide? Post your questions here.
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By mpkrueger
Hi there--new to the forum--live in the beautiful northwest (Seattle) and hoping to find out more about hang gliding.

Here's my situation: I'm looking to find the best place for a first flight--not for me (although I will be participating) but for my girlfriend. It's a dream of hers to hang glide... and I'm planning to propose soon. So I want to find the best place for us to go.

Some parameters:
  • Would like to go sometime in very late July or first half of August
  • Absolutely able to travel--a trip would be very fun and she would like it
  • Not necessarily confined to the US; but costs and convenience are a factor
  • Prefer a place with high likelihood of good weather--while weather is of course unpredictable, would like to be confident that we can get a flight in
  • Wherever we go, would like for there to be great instructors and beautiful scenery--basically to have a great and memorable first flight experience
Thoughts? Suggestions?

I've been looking online and in the forum--it seems that Utah, Colorado, and California are popular. I was also looking at an outfit in Interloken, Switzerland--but it's looking pretty pricey to get there...

Many thanks in advance for any information you can share!
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By dievhart
welcome to the forum..
I would say California (I am bias though)....your right about the weather out here...awesome for HG.....
..and Mt. Tam would be a nice flight with a rent-a-house(cottege) on the beach down in Stention beach (the LZ).....but it is a shorter flight (15min)....
There are many other places to fly here in the bay area also so if Tam didn't work (fog/weather) you might could hop over to another site in the same day)...
more of a welcome as I'm busy and can't send you some links.....
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By flysurfski
The most spectacular place I've ever flown is Makapuu Cliffs located on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.

The site is pretty consistent, except sometimes the wind can be too strong to fly.
If your there for a week and keep a flexible schedule ,you'll be fine.
Best to avoid the rainy season which is from about dec- feb.

You can call Phil Godwin @ 808-381-4296 as he is a tandem pilot and lives just down the road.

You can stay fairly cheap in Waikiki. I recommend the Aqua Palms on Ala Moana Blvd across from Hilton Hawaiian Village. (100 per night, very clean rooms) If you want more tranquility stay at the Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore. Phil used to own a motel too, don't know if he still does though.

Plus there are so many thing to do on the island besides hang gliding! Too many to even start to list them. Top of Diamond head would be a great place to propose to your girlfriend, but there are plenty more too.

Good Luck - here's some photos.

www.flickr.com(light house shot)

www.therightblue.com(tandem launch shot)

www.alohaislandwedding.com (wedding shot)
hang gliding at makapuu.jpg
hang gliding at makapuu.jpg (142.56 KiB) Viewed 14831 times
makapuulighthouse.jpg (103.15 KiB) Viewed 14831 times
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User avatar
By HangDiver
The hang glider pilot is the groom. The guy kissing the bride is his "best" man.
hang_gliding_at_makapuu_202.jpg (142.56 KiB) Viewed 14822 times
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By Paul H
There are some very scenic flying sites not too far from Seattle. Rampart ridge and Dog Mt are two of them.
By mpkrueger
Haha, love the caption :)

Thanks for the ideas--California, Hawaii and around Seattle--very helpful.

Many thanks!

Anyone else, please chime in if you have thoughts!
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By Wingspan34
HangDiver wrote:The hang glider pilot is the groom. The guy kissing the bride is his "best" man.

You are just BAD! :roflcat:
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By Wingspan34
But seriously, . . .


I have a question. Is your girl friend interested in learning HOW to hang glide, or just going on a single hang gliding flight?

I ask because there are places where you go to learn how to fly and there are places where your girl friend can go to get a tandem flight (a two place flight with a specially trained professional pilot and larger tandem glider). There are a few places where both types of flight can take place.

But if she wants to actually learn to fly solo, then giving you locations where she is only likely to get a tandem flight won't get you and her where she wants to be.
User avatar
By tokyoDirk
fly,surf,&ski wrote:The most spectacular place I've ever flown is Makapuu Cliffs located on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.
from what I've heard about the makapuu LZ it doesn't sound ideal for a first flight. :shock:
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By flysurfski
mooncricket wrote:
from what I've heard about the makapuu LZ it doesn't sound ideal for a first flight. :shock:
There is no actual training hill instruction on Oahu, it would only be tandem flying.
(sorry should have mentioned that)

Makapuu is a definety an advanced rated site for very good reasons.
Not a problem for any competent tandem instructor though

As for the landing field- It's not as bad as it looks. It's up hill and generally into a strong headwind. Although the consequense of over and under shooting are NOT GOOD. Theres a HUGE landing field available at sandy beach, but I have never landed there. For me the "Box" is more intimidating than the postage stamp field.

User avatar
By rwisdom
take a look:

PS - Makapuu Point is a very scarey looking, postage stamp LZ

my vote would be for Rio by far.

also, try the Hotel Arpoador, right on the beach;
and you can easily book a tandem flight right on the beach down by Gavea where they fly; I've also rented a glider and flown there, my most memorable flight; beach landing; spectacular aerial views of the Corcovado, the mountains and beaches; you fly over a golf course and the the beach condos before landing on a long, wide, beautiful beach and of course there are some great beach bars right there! 8)
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By tokyoDirk
maybe I missed something.
Did everyone assume we're talking about a tandem cause its his girlfriend?
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By peanuts
mooncricket wrote:maybe I missed something.
Did everyone assume we're talking about a tandem cause its his girlfriend?
yeah, cricket, you missed something, that being his GIRLfriend. what else would anyone expect ? :run:

on a more serious note, almost no bad place for dangle kiting.
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By flysurfski
Rio looks awesome!!

very similar to Makapuu . Easier launch and LZ for sure. Would be like landing at the beach in Waikiki. :thumbsup:

but remember Hawaii is a domestic flight :mosh:
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By Wingspan34
mooncricket wrote:maybe I missed something.
Did everyone assume we're talking about a tandem cause its his girlfriend?
In post #8 I asked mpkrueger for a clarification on specifically if she was looking to learn (with soloing in mind) or if she just wanted a "ride". He hasn't answered yet.

So the answer is no. Not everyone assumed mpkrueger was talking about a tandem.
By mpkrueger
Wow! Thanks so much for the many replies--clearly this is a vibrant forum! That's awesome.

It's a good question about learning vs. only a tandem flight. I will let you know how I've thought about it and let you tell me if I'm crazy. :)

She puts this (hang gliding) up there in an elite group of things she would like to do in her life--so I want it to be amazing for her. To that end, I was leaning more towards optimizing for the dramatic and mouth-dropping tandem flight.

That said, I think that if she does have a good experience, she will definitely want to learn to fly solo. When she gets into something, she gets committed--so I wouldn't be entirely surprised if we're looking at buying one in the next year. :) But that is all somewhat conditional on the first experience being a good one--if it leaves her wanting more. Which is why I again come back to having a great tandem flight as a first experience.

Does this make sense? Or is part of the joy, even on the first day, in learning to take short and low flights on your own?

So I'm adding Rio to the list as well... :) although she's been to Brazil a few times in the past 2 years so that doesn't offer much novelty unfortunately.

Someone earlier suggested Dog Mountain--pictures look beautiful. Anyone else been there or know any more about it -- and how it would fit the thoughts above?

As always, many, many thanks! I'm amazed to have so much feedback so quickly!
By mpkrueger
Any further thoughts on this?

Thanks in advance!
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By Paul H
Dog Mountain is a beautiful place to fly and the usual crowd there is a very friendly bunch.

:shock: :shock: :shock:

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