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Birds eye view by going hang-gliding | A Soaking Adventure

Birds eye view by going hang-gliding

Hang-gliding is growing in popularity, which is great news because that means the number of places you can learn to fly is growing. Hang glide over the lush rainforests of Hawaii, over California’s coastline in San Francisco or La Jolla or with mountain views in Salt Lake City or Sun Valley, Idaho. If you’re not ready to go at it solo, you can do tandem hang-glides with professionals who will make sure you’re safe so you can simply enjoy the views.

In the hang-gliding pecking order, you can’t get any higher than Jerry Nielsen’s Hang-Five rating, which certifies him as a master at jumping off mountains and soaring around on gossamer wings of man. Nielsen has soared more than 600 unpowered hours in 13 years. He’s done tandem, done tow, had cross-country runs of 50-plus miles. He’s been up to 10,000 feet and stayed up for hours, riding boomer thermals. He’s fought his way out of despised cloud suck, which can drag you up to airless, frozen 40,000 feet. He’s taken off in twangers, soared where the spirit moved him and landed wherever he could. Once he flew from High Rock in Maryland’s Catoctin Mountains all the way to a golf course outside Fort Meade. Descending, he spied an unsuspecting foursome and slid up silently behind. Nielsen, 36, plays the game himself and knows the lingo. “I got right over them and said, ‘Hey, fellows, mind if I play through?’ You should have seen them hit the ground.” Great fun. But as the respectable owner of a Washington medical equipment company and past president of the 100-member Capital Hang Gliding Association, Nielsen also wants you to know his sport is not all yuks, and not just the province of thrill-seeking screwballs. Hang gliding has come a long way from its perilous origins 20 years ago, when wildmen crashing into hillsides gave it a bad name, he said. All pilots wear parachutes and helmets now; modern gliders are aircraft-tough; crashes and injuries or deaths are rare, and the grade of people you find at launch sites is impressive. Take Thursday, for example, when Nielsen led a group here to leap off The Pulpit at 2,000-foot Tuscarora Peak.

Where To Go Hang Gliding in Japan

Oshino Sky Sports Club, located in Yamanashi Prefecture at the base of Mt. Fuji, is less than two hours from Tokyo by car and offers hang gliding tandem flights. Other schools in Tokyo’s vicinity include Sky Trial in Tochigi Prefecture, and Birdnest.Tokyo in Ibaraki Prefecture, which offers hang gliding tandems and instruction in Japanese, Spanish, and English. Hang gliding is fun, relatively simple, generally safe, and, contrary to popular perception, very calm and relaxing. With the hang gliding season starting in spring and running through the fall for most sites, it’s the perfect time to experience a unique yet internationally connected community, while seeing Japan from an entirely new angle.

What are the types of gliding?

The types of aircraft that are used for sport and recreation are classified as gliders (sailplanes), hang gliders and paragliders. These two latter types are often foot-launched. The design of all three types enables them to repeatedly climb using rising air and then to glide before finding the next source of lift.

What is hang gliding called?

Hang gliding is an air sport or recreational activity in which a pilot flies a light, non-motorised foot-launched heavier-than-air aircraft called a hang glider. Most modern hang gliders are made of an aluminium alloy or composite frame covered with synthetic sailcloth to form a wing.


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