Tuesday Fitness Fix: Learning to Hang Glide

Check here every
Tuesday for a fitness fix rundown. I’ll be on the lookout for running, cycling,
tri’s, adventure races, and other active outlets taking place around the state
that I’ll highlight each week
. This week: Hang gliding. 

Zoie Clift
Recently someone asked me
how one goes about learning hang gliding in the state.  I asked local hang glider Mike Kelsey
about getting started in the sport and he had a lot of good information to
give. So I thought I’d share it in today’s blog. Here is what he said:

We currently do not have an
active Hang Glider instructor in Arkansas. Many of our most recent new pilots
have obtained their training out of state. This inputs some extra time and
travel but not going to one the many certified training centers is
definitely not recommended.  Self teaching or getting instructions
from someone who is not a Certified Instructor through the United States
HangGliding/Paragliding Association is not a good way to start.  Finding a good
school will save you money and or injury in avoiding unnecessary accidents.

Go to 


 to find a list of certified instructors.  A certified
Instructor will have passed an instructors course through the USHPA and
will be able to provide all equipment and instructional materials. I do
recommend the facility at the Lookout Mountain Flight Park in Georgia, as well
as the Facility (Blue Sky) in Lawton Oklahoma.

I am not up to date as far
as the cost to learn but usually they can get you into a two rating in
about 4-7 days of training. Today’s schools use a variety of training
tools. Videos, Simulators, Dual Flight instruction, Aero Towing, Scooter Towing
and Foot launching.

Also available and a bit
closer is a certified Paraglider instructor. We now have about an equal
number of pilots flying Paragliders as those that fly Hang Gliders.  We
are able to share most of the launch sites that are flown in the Ouachita

Check with Ron Kohn
(Certified Instructor) if you have any interest in checking out


. He can even provide you with a tandem
paraglider flight off of one of the local mountains to let you get a taste
of the air.

To see what is currently
going on as far as hang gliding and paragliding in the Ouachita Mountains,
check out 



I also suggest that you
visit one of the local flying site some weekend to watch some of the hang
gliding going on. There are also Fly-ins scheduled at Mount Nebo and Mount

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