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How do you hang glide in Florida with no mountains?
Easy. You and your hang glider are towed up into the air behind a specially-designed ultra-light airplane. Unlike mountain flying, we can take you as high as you want and release you anywhere. Flying this way is safer and a lot more convenient than mountain launching. And because the Ridge is located right where Florida’s coastal winds converge, flying here is also a lot more fun since such convergence creates the rising air we need to stay aloft.
What is tandem flying and how safe is it?
“Tandem” means you’re flying on a hang glider built for two with a pilot certified by the 1United States Hang liding Association (USHGA) whose web site lists statistics showing hang gliding to be one of the safest forms of recreational aviation. We fly tandem only in appropriate conditions under the supervision of our Safety Director who pays close attention to conditions and always errs on the side of caution when it comes to our students. It might take you a little longer to learn this way than you think it should — or wait a few extra minutes to take your Sky Ride — but it’s safer.
Do I need reservations for a Sky Ride or lesson?
No, but they’re free, and if you make one, you’re guaranteed to get your Sky Ride or lesson as scheduled, including a priority launch in case any unreserved launches are in line before you. We’ll also confirm conditions with you by phone the day before you’re scheduled to fly so you don’t waste valuable time driving if conditions aren’t flyable. To make a reservation, you simply pre-pay your Sky Ride or lesson by credit card over the phone – no extra fee. And although you won’t be entitled to a refund if you fail to show, (sorry, but we could have booked others in your place), if we fail to deliver what you expected, we’ll give you a transferable “wind check” – or your money back.
What do I need to bring with me for my Sky Ride or lesson?
Whatever the day’s weather report calls for, plus some sturdy comfortable shoes for walking around the grassy park and a windbreaker/jacket (it’s sometimes chilly at altitude). We provide everything else — harness, helmet, instruments, and of course, the glider.
What can my family and friends do at the Ridge if they’re not flying?
Plenty! We have swimming and tanning, volleyball, pet runs, camping, outdoor cooking and bonfires, board games, and more, all on site. And only minutes away are the best bass fishing in Florida and world-famous airboat rides. See Directions and Local 2 3 Accommodations for more information.
What’s involved if I want to learn to fly solo?
Like any aviation program, you would need to sign up for flight school. At the Ridge, that means Flight Time with a tandem instructor and Ground School to learn about flight principles specific to hang gliding. Generally, our students are qualified to solo after 15-20 instructional flights and completion of the Ground School, but everyone is different, and you may require more or fewer flights. (Or only a couple if you’re already a certified pilot but just need to be certified for aerotowing.) You can check out our 4Instructional Packages here on our web site, but it’s better to have a conversation with the General Manager or Senior Flight Instructor who can tailor a program to your specific needs.
Where can I learn independently about hang gliding
There are lots of authoritative places to learn about hang gliding, but we recommend the web site of The United States Hang Gliding Association: http://www.ushpa.aero