FAQ


Will I fly during the first class?

Without a doubt, you will fly during the first class. Classes begin on flat ground where you learn to lift and handle the glider. Within a short period of time, you will begin surface towing using our custom towing rig. You’ll start with “low and slow” flying while you learn to control the glider’s pitch and roll. And if you’re itching to fly right off the bat, you can get that immediate gratification by taking a tandem discovery flight with a certified tandem instructor at your side.

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What is surface/scooter towing?

Surface towing, also called scooter towing, is the use of an electric puller or modified motor scooter as a stationary winch to tow a hang glider or paraglider into the air. During your first training flights, you will get a little altitude as you skim across the ground. As you advance, you will get more and more altitude.

Surface/scooter towing is only the beginning! Once you master the skills presented in the surface/scooter towing lessons during your H1 and H2 certification classes, you’ll be ready to start aero-tow training. With aero-towing, you don’t need a mountain to launch from, and you’ll get considerably more altitude than scooter towing will allow. This is Texas! — not a lot of mountains around here. So aero-towing is the ticket to soaring flight in this area.

Check out our Videos page, and view the Watermelon THUMP! video for an idea of what surface/scooter towing looks like from the hang glider’s point-of-view.

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What is a trike?

A trike is essentially a powered hang glider. It takes off and lands on wheels like an airplane and is controlled through weight-shift.

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How do you steer a hang glider?

Hang gliders are controlled by shifting the pilot’s weight with respect to the glider. Pilots are suspended from a hang strap connected to the glider’s frame (hence the name “hang” glider). By moving forward and backward and side to side at the end of this hang strap, the pilot alters the center of gravity of the glider. This then causes the glider to pitch or roll in the direction of the pilot’s motion and thus allows both speed control and turning.

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How long does it take to learn to fly?

It depends entirely on the student. On average, it takes around twenty flights at the practice hill to obtain the H1 rating, and around the same number of flights to obtain your H2 rating. Some students have achieved this in a few months, and, for others, it has taken longer. Regardless of how much time it takes you to become proficient, you will still have a great time. You will be experiencing flight every day at the training location. Before you know it, you’ll be setting up for your first aero-tow flight!

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Do I need to buy equipment in order to learn?

No. Equipment needed for the class is provided by the school. We provide gliders, harnesses and helmets. We also have a limited number of knee pads for those who want to use them. Students who are taking more than the one-day intro class should purchase the official USHPA flight training manual. Check out our catalog and order the training manual today!

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What should I bring to class?

All hang gliding equipment needed for the class is provided by the school. You should come prepared to spend an entire day outdoors in Texas. Bring lots of water! You should wear footwear such as hiking boots that will support your ankles. Bring sun screen and something to snack on. We’ll take a break during the class to eat and refresh.

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Where is the practice location?

The practice location is in Luling, TX, at The Carter Memorial Airport.

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Can I train in the winter months?

Yes! We offer training year-round!

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Where is the FlyTexas team?

  • Danny – in New Zealand for the winter
  • Cobie – Luling
  • Larry A – still local – a good guy
  • Larry L – Austin
  • Shane – Austin
  • Jeff – in Mexico for the winter
  • Norma – with Jeff!

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Can I watch a class first?

Certainly!!! Classes are held in Luling, TX, at The Carter Memorial Airport.

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How safe is hang gliding?

Hang gliding is as safe as the hang glider pilot. Like any form of sport aviation, hang gliding can be dangerous if pursued carelessly. Gliders in the US are now certified for airworthiness by the Hang Glider Manufacturers Association (HGMA). Also, hang gliding instruction has been standardized, and students learn from certified instructors using a thorough, gradual training program. Despite these advances, people still make judgment errors, and aviation is not very forgiving of such. The majority of pilots fly their entire careers without sustaining a serious injury.

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Where can I get more information on hang gliding?

There are many great resources for hang gliding on the internet. Check our Links page for a listing, or search the internet for hang gliding resources. There are a couple of very good hang gliding FAQs that you can use to compliment the information in this FAQ:
USHGA FAQ

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