Southern Oregon Airsports
Hang Gliding in Oregon
James Tibbs attained his first flight in 1991 and has since
logged over 600 flights and 500+ hours of airtime. He has earned the USHPA silver safety award and holds an Advanced hang glider rating as well as being appointed as a USHPA Region 1 Observer. In addition to attaining instructor certification through a USHPA-certified instructor training program, he has also competed and placed 1st and 5th in two sanctioned national hang gliding competitions in Sport Class. He also holds a USHPA tandem rating.
The pilot who teaches himself has a fool for a student… Robert Livingston
A special skill set is required to safely and effectively operate a hang glider. Consider that it took many weeks of trial & error before you were able to walk. If you choose to set out on your own, it will likely take as long for you to learn to fly, and the errors that will no doubt occur will likely end in frustration, damaged equipment, and even serious injury.
In the early days of the sport, free-flight pilots had to learn the hard way – through trial & error – and many paid with their lives. Fortunately, the sport of hang gliding has evolved over the last several decades to be the safe and fun activity that it is today. This evolution came about because those who possessed the wisdom to learn from the successes and misfortunes of their forerunners chose to pass along that hard-earned knowledge to future generations of would-be foot-launched aviators.
The instructors at Southern Oregon Airsports possess the experience, knowledge, training and equipment to provide you the student with a safe, fun and rewarding introduction to the incredible world of hang gliding. Our tried-and-true method of instruction will have you off the ground in no time, saving you countless hours of frustration & money in repairs, and minimizing the risk of serious injury and maximizing fun!
So you think that hang gliding might be for you, but you’re not thoroughly convinced? Or perhaps you’re just interested in experiencing free-flight without the serious time commitment. Maybe you have a friend or family member for which you’d like to give the amazing gift of free-flight. No problem! How about a tandem flight from a USHPA-certified tandem pilot?
Contact us and we’ll schedule you for a scenic flight above the Williams Valley beneath the gossamer sail of a Falcon 3, the most docile tandem glider available on the market today. And if the air is right, we’ll land near one of the many area wineries for a celebratory glass of local wine. It’s a memory you’ll keep for a lifetime!
Gliders & Gear:
It is imperative that the glider with which you choose to fly is not only in top working order, but that it matches your particular style and skill level. Your life will literally be suspended from beneath the wing, so making sure that it is as safe and sound as possible is a must.
We at Southern Oregon Airsports network within an extensive community of fellow hang gliding enthusiasts, both locally and nationwide, and are continually on the lookout for quality used equipment.
If it’s new gliders and gear you’re after, we can also assist you in choosing the right equipment to suit your particular needs and abilities. Contact us for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. How much does a hang glider weigh?
A. When lifted, a hang glider weighs anywhere from 50 to 75 pounds. When you start running with a glider at the proper pitch however, it is weightless.
Q. How much do they cost?
A. If you’re patient, you can find a good used glider for a few hundred dollars. Avoid buying a used glider if you don’t know what you’re looking for – you could end up with a deathtrap. If you buy a new one, they are usually a few thousand. Harnesses range in price from a few hundred for a used one to over a thousand dollars for a new one.
Q. How long does it take to learn?
A. With proper instruction and the right attitude, most students will be off the ground and actually flying within the first couple of lessons. It may take a dozen or more lessons before you’ll be flying at significant altitude (1,000′ or more off the ground).
Q. Can I take a couple of lessons and then go fly off the mountain?
A. No. Most flying sites are regulated by local monitors, and pilots are required to possess a certain rating issued by an instructor or observer. To obtain a rating, you must first be a member of the United States Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association (USHPA), and obtain the necessary training. This means that the landowner is protected by USHPA insurance, as well as ensuring that you are properly trained and risk is minimized. Your instructor will work with you to obtain the proper qualifications to earn the necessary rating.