Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Walk... Jog... Run

To say that I am happy after my trip to LMFP is an understatement. There are 50 flights in my log book; three aerotow flights and 47 flights from the training hills. I did not get a chance to launch off of the mountain just yet, but it is on my list of things to do when I go back in May. I still have two aerotow fligts left. I used 3 out of the 4 aerotows that came with the Eagle Package, and I purchased another, leaving me with two aerotows for my next visit.

When foot launching a hang glider, a pilot holds the glider at the correct angle of attack and looks at his/her target. Then the pilot starts to walk, trots to a jog, then runs. The glider acquires enough airflow to generate lift and eventually carries the pilot into the air. This process has become my analogy for getting anything in life accomplished: First, you aim to do something. Then, you make gradual steps to getting it accomplished, and increasing your intensity until it get's "off the ground."

This is precisely how I managed to finally get into hang gliding after wanting to fly for so many years. It took small steps... saving money from each check from the beginning of this year, getting support from Blackstar Educational Institute, buying books to study, watching videos on youtube, exercising, talking to veteran pilots, and finally... showing up to Lookout Mountain Flight Park to dedicate an entire week to study.

This is far from over. I still have much to learn as a hang glider pilot. On my list of things to do this year is
  1. Gain a strong foundation in mountain launching and learn how to ridge soar.
  2. Get surface tow rated.
  3. Get aerotow rated.
  4. Learn how to thermal
  5. Learn how to ridge soar
  6. Take at least one cross country flight.
  7. Achieve my H3 rating.


  1. That seemed like it was so much fun! I would have loved to have been there but.....I am not a big fan of heights.

  2. It was tremendous fun! And actually, you would be surprised to find out how many high-ranking, championship winning hang glider pilots have a fear of heights!