Gliding Questions

How expensive is hang gliding?

Hang Gliding is one of the cheapest forms of aviation, but it is still an investment. Safety conscious individuals will not look for the cheapest gear and training but the safest.

How much does it cost to learn?

The Pilot packages and lesson prices are on the front page. Overall cost of instruction ranges between $2,400 to $3,800. Much cheaper than a private pilot license!

How long does it take to learn?

Training time varies with the individual and the weather; a student who comes in for training consistently can complete their H-1 and even H-2 program in just one season!

How much does a glider cost?

A new Beginner/Novice Glider will cost anywhere between $3,800-$4,500. A used Glider can be found as low $1500. However the Glider is not the only piece of equipment a new pilot needs. Different styles of Harnesses and Parachutes are also needed. It is a very gear intensive sport and can be a big investment, but we will always help you find the right gear for you at the most affordable price.

How long will my equipment last?

Depends on how well you take care of it, if you store and maintain your glider and gear properly then it will extend the life of your wing 10-15 years.

Is hang gliding dangerous?

Hang Gliding is described by USHPA as an Inherently Dangerous Sport. There is no getting around the fact that there is risk involved every time you decide to fly. However the number one lesson you will learn at Windsports is Risk Management and Good Judgment. We want you to be able to fly for a very long time and to be safe every single time you take to the sky.

Do you need wind to fly a hang glider?

No. This is a common misconception. A glider flies due to the aerodynamics of the wing and is driven by gravity. However wind does play a tremendous part in the sport. In your training you will learn not only about how the wind affects our flights but all about meteorology and its’ effect on aviation.

Can I fly anywhere?

There are flying sites all over the world that a Hang Glider pilot can launch from. However most sites are associated with certain skill requirements which we classify with ratings. As you progress in your flying career and develop your abilities, more flying locations will become available to you. Many sites are also protected and/or maintained by local clubs and organizations that may require special permits/fees/waivers to be submitted first.

Do I have to join an organization?

Yes, every pilot must join The United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (USHPA) to become a rated pilot. There is paperwork including a waiver and a yearly fee involved with joining. Membership includes a monthly magazine and liability insurance coverage.

How do I transport my glider?

Almost any car/truck/trailer can be fitted with a simple rack to carry a glider if there is not already a system on the vehicle.

Where can I store my glider?

Windsports has storage facilities at our mountain and beach locations for $15 a month. The local club (SHGA) also has storage available at the base of the mountain.

Where are the lessons located?

The introductory and advanced training hill lessons are located at Dockweiler State Beach on the 30 foot sand dunes. The high altitude tandem flights are located at a flight park in Sylmar in the San Fernando Valley.

Andy and a happy student prepare to launch a tandem hang glider
Little Acorn man hang glides from a leaf