lesson type should I try?
Students under 18
Students with Disabilities
Hill Flying Lessons
Tandem Lessons on Aerotow
100 Flight Plan - Complete Certification Training
Motorized Ultralight Airplane Lessons
Schedule and Hours
should I try?
You can choose! Both the Hang Gliding Hill Flying Class, and
the Tandem High-Altitude Hang Gliding Flight Lesson, are appropriate
choices for a 'first time' hang gliding experience. You can
do either one, or you can do both, and you can do them in
any order. You don't have to have any previous experience
to ride tandem with an instructor, and you don't have to have
any previous experience to try 'Hang Gliding 101' at the training
If you think that you'd like to just take an easy and quick
'Discovery Flight', then tandem is the way to go. If you'd
like to do it all by yourself, then the hill flying class
will be your choice. Either way, expect to have a fun and
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Minors are allowed to participate in hang gliding activities
at Raven Sky Sports with parents' written permission. As you
might expect, some minors are more mature than others, and
so the different types of hang gliding activities may be more
suitable for some children than others. We've had children
as young as 4 (!) ride tandem with our instructors. We often
have kids between 8-17 participate, and we have a special
child-size harness for just such an occasion. Some kids who
are 10 (but not all) and older are mature enough to try hang
gliding solo at the hill flying class. We want the parents
to consult with us about their kids, and what those kids can
handle responsibly. A child who flies a hang glider at the
hill flying class should have a good attention span and a
willingness to attend the one-hour ground school at the beginning
of the class. We also recommend that the child have a minimum
body weight of 80 pounds to fly at the hill flying class,
due to the limitations of the equipment and the weight of
the smallest glider.
The youngest boy student to complete our Hang Gliding 100
Flight Plan Certification Program and then aerotow solo was
14, and that was in July, 1997. The youngest girl student
to complete the course and aerotow solo was 12-1/2, in June,
Please note that there is special paperwork
that must be completed by a Parent or Legal Guardian only.
It cannot be completed by an uncle, an aunt, a grandparent,
an older brother or sister, or a friend of the family. If
the parent doesn't plan to attend the class with the minor
child, then the paperwork must be completed in advance, and
signed in the presence of a Notary Public. This is the only
way that all parties involved can be assured that the Parent
or Legal Guardian knows that the child will be participating,
recognizes the risk, however small, of their child's participation
in hang gliding activities, and gives permission for the child
to participate. Please ask us for further information about
children and hang gliding activities.
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Adults come in all shapes, sizes, and levels of fitness, and
there's a hang gliding activity best suited to each person.
If you're fit enough to play tennis, or jog, or ride a bicycle,
then you're probably going to enjoy the activity level of
the hill flying class OR the tandem flight. On the other hand,
less-active adults will probably enjoy the tandem flight lesson
more than the hill flying, since the tandem flight doesn't
require any carrying or running at all. We've had students
as old as 86 (!) participate in the tandem hang gliding flights
with our instructors at Raven Sky Sports.
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Wheelchair? Crutches? Bad vision? Hearing Loss? No problem.
For over ten years, students with disabilities have been taking
to the skies with Raven Sky Sports instructors on tandem hang
gliding adventures. Since we roll on wheels for take-off,
and we roll on wheels for landing, the physical challenge
level of tandem hang gliding can be near zero for the student/passenger.
Please ask us about the special needs that you or your friends
may have, so that we can best tailor the experience to be
safe and enjoyable.
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A recommended start to hang gliding training
Taking flight from grassy slopes is the foundation of traditional
foot-launch hang gliding. During your hill flying sessions,
you'll practice solo control of the hang glider while flying
in the upright position for take-offs and landings. As you
and your classmates take turns flying, you'll learn the proper
way to control your glider through the flight sequence and
during your touchdown, either on your feet or on the safety
training wheels. Then, it's a short walk back up the hill
with your hang glider to get ready for your next flight. It's
fun, it's easy, and it's good exercise.
Beginner hill classes last six hours, so there's plenty of
flying time. Class size is limited by reservation to six students
per instructor, to assure personal attention. Your instructor
will pace you on every trial run, ready to help you steady
your glider as you learn to control the forces of flight.
You'll practice on level ground until you are ready to get
a little sky under your feet. Then you'll fly your hang glider
down the gently sloping hillside for at least SIX DIFFERENT
Raven Sky Sports uses several different grassy beginner hills.
All are between 40 and 80 feet high, face different wind directions,
and all are gently sloped to limit the altitude that you'll
achieve during your beginner training. Higher flight is achieved
from the same hillsides by graduating to higher performance
hang gliders, typically after four or five lessons.
Raven Sky Sports uses current-model Wills Wing Falcons and
Condors, the most popular beginner gliders in the U.S., known
for their light weight, good balance, stable handling and
easy slow-speed take-offs and landings. These gliders come
in a variety of sizes, from small to XXL, for student pilots
weighing 80 to 300 lbs. The school gliders are equipped for
safety with training wheels, designed to make even your less-than-perfect
flights pleasant. They also have padded tubing and plastic-coated
cables for additional protection. Safety helmets will be provided
by your instructor.
Hang Gliding Student at the Hill Flying Class
When you learn to operate a hang glider, you take on a
responsibility to yourself and to others to develop your
skills safely. You'll learn safe flying practices and you
will be expected to fly cautiously, even beyond your days
of instruction. The safety record at Raven Sky Sports is
excellent. We ask you to show respect for your own safety
and the safety of your classmates and instructor. Please
come to class on-time, alert, and well rested.
What to wear to the hill flying
Long pants (blue jeans are best) are required for hill classes,
even in summer. Athletic shoes, running shoes, or hiking
boots, with socks. Layers on top: a short sleeve shirt
that is light in color, a sweatshirt, and jacket or
coat allow for the best range of comfort choices throughout
the day. Bring a winter coat and gloves/mittens for a cold
day. And, bring a complete change of clothes, shoes and
socks in case of wet grass, mud, or inclement weather.If
you're clothes get wet or muddy, or your shoes get wet,
you'll be glad that you brought spare clothing.
What to bring to the hill
One gallon of cold drinking water per person. Please, no
aluminum or glass containers allowed at the hill classes,
plastic only. Picnic lunch, enough to get you through 3pm.
Bring sun block and apply it first thing in the morning.
If you use allergy medicine, bring it along.Layered clothing,
including T-shirt, sweatshirt, and jacket (for changing
temps throughout the day).Change of clothes, as mentioned
above.Optional: lawn chairs, sunglasses and cameras.
Where will your lesson be
Even we won't know until the morning of your class! Hang
Gliding is very weather dependent, and class sites are chosen
each morning to take advantage of winds forecasted for that
day. We have many hills and tow runways favoring different
wind conditions. All sites are within 15 miles of Whitewater.
Most of our classes are held at our 360° hill at Twin
Oaks Airport, but not all of them, so check with us before
Morning 'Check-in' on the
day of your hill flying class
Your instructor will choose the best training hill for the
day early the same morning. Students must phone (262) 473-8800
between 6:30-7:15 a.m. to be informed of the location for
the day's classes. Call between
6:30-7:15 a.m. to check in, and to find out where we've
chosen to fly today. If you are calling in on behalf
of a GROUP, please contact all group members before calling
the above number. Last-minute cancellations do happen, so
if you are on a WAITING LIST please call between 7:00-7:15
a.m. Be prepared to leave home right after you check in.
Travel time from the Chicago suburbs is between 1 - 2 hours,
even more from further south. Hill training classes begin
at 8:30 a.m. or 9:30 a.m. most seasons, and you'll be informed
of the planned start time for your class at the time that
you make your reservations. Tandem lessons on aero tow are
often available after the hill flying class on most days.
Spectators, photographers, friends and family members are
Please refer to the site guide
for detailed directions and travel times to our many flying
and training sites. If you can't print out our site guide,
please call us at Raven Sky Sports for a replacement or
Occasionally, we find it necessary to cancel or postpone
a hill flying class after it has already begun. If this
happens during your class, we'll issue you a Rain Check
to come back and finish your class on another day, at no
extra cost. No refunds are issued after a class has started.
Tell us if you're planning to travel the day before your
lesson, and we'll advise you on your travel day. We'll even
excuse you from reservation deposit commitments if we believe
that, in good faith, the weather will likely be unfavorable
on the following day. We'll really work hard to prevent
you from wasting a trip and a motel stay if we have reason
to doubt the weather...We'd rather that you try it again
In case of bad weather: Call
between 7:00-7:15 in the morning before assuming class is
canceled, because we may have read the morning weather forecast
differently and reached a different conclusion!
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Dual Instruction Hang Gliding on Aero Tow
From the moment you and your instructor hook into your special
tandem glider on landing gear and connect to the Dragonfly
ultralight tow plane, you'll be impressed. The smooth rolling
launch is followed by a steady climb to over 3,000 feet of
First-timers will love the open air feeling as the tandem
certified instructor guides your dual hang glider to altitude,
then releases it from the tow plane. The silent descent is
exhilarating! No skill or previous experience is necessary
to try high-altitude dual hang gliding. The instructor will
be happy to share controls during the descent if the student
Dual instruction is a great first exposure to the excitement
of hang gliding, even for the one-time only student. You don't
have to attend the hill flying class first, you can choose
to do the tandem hang gliding as your first hang gliding experience.
When you take a tandem hang gliding lesson at Raven Sky Sports,
you'll be flying with a USHGA certified instructor in a special
two person hang glider. Since you'll have your instructor
with you the entire time, you won't need a lengthy training
session. You'll get oriented to the tandem flight plan in
just a few minutes, and you'll be ready to fly together.
The tandem glider is equipped with a special wheel assembly
that allows it to roll freely during take-off and landing,
and there's no running involved. When we're ready to go, the
instructor signals for takeoff, and the tow plane will slowly
accelerate down the runway. The glider will roll behind the
tow plane until it is going fast enough to fly, and then we'll
lift off. Flying on tow is a lot like waterskiing through
the sky. Your instructor will keep the glider lined up behind
the tow plane throughout the tow up. You'll be in a great
position to watch everything that the instructor does, and
to talk with him, and to enjoy the incredible scenery as we
ascent to 3,000 feet above Wisconsin. When we get to altitude,
your instructor will trigger a release mechanism, and we'll
fly free of the tow line and begin our descent.
At this point in the lesson, you can take the controls and
steer the hang glider around. You can try flying faster, or
slower...you can steer right and left. Your instructor will
keep you within safe limits, and your instructor will take
over the controls when it's time to set up the landing approach
and the landing. We land on the wheels, back on the grassy
runway, right where we started from. Total round trip time
is usually about 20-25 minutes, but that can vary according
to atmospheric conditions.
If you love hang gliding, and you want to continue with lessons
in the curriculum, then you'll fly additional tandem flight
lessons from the lower harness (which corresponds with solo
flying). Your instructor will fly above you in the upper harness,
where he can keep you within safe limits and assume the controls
as necessary. Eventually, you'll be able to perform the whole
flight from take-off to landing without any input from your
instructor...and you'll be very close to being able to go
Tandem hang gliding lessons are usually held mornings and
evenings- 7 days a week. Midday appointments are also available
by special arrangement, but are more likely to experience
wind gust delays.
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Your tandem flight can be captured
forever with our optional photographic package. We have a
special camera with an ultra-wide angle lens mounted out on
the wing, aimed inward. You and your instructor are in the
middle of every photograph, and the scenery keeps changing
as the two of you fly from ground level, up to 3,000
feet, and descend back down again. Either you or your instructor
can choose when to take each photo, and either of you can
press the button.
Remember to look at the camera and smile! We shoot
an entire roll of 24-exposure color print film during your
flight, and you take the undeveloped film home with you the
same day. The cost is only an additional $24 per person to
do a photo shoot during your tandem hang gliding lesson, and
the photos that you print and share will be an exciting reminder,
for years to come, of your special adventure. New:
We now also offer a DVD Video of your flight, shot from a
similar vantage point, for $48.
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Hang Gliding Training Package: 100 Flight Plan
Quite possibly, the best
hang gliding curriculum you can take. A comprehensive package
of fifteen or more lessons designed to bring the realm of
high altitude solo hang gliding to the new student pilot.
This training program can be completed in as few as five days,
although most students choose to spread the lessons out over
three to four weekends.
All necessary equipment rental is included as the trainee
completes a Beginner (Hang 1) and Novice (Hang 2) lesson program
by combining hill training and tandem instruction at our facilities
near Whitewater, Wisconsin.
During the hill training sessions, the student will become
familiar with the Wills Wing Falcon training glider during
the first two to three lessons. With this lightweight, easy
to fly training glider, beginner classes are easy and enjoyable.
The student will learn the basics of setup and breakdown,
pre-flight inspection, and enjoy beginner flights from the
very first day. Within a few days, the trainee will earn U.S.
Hang Gliding Assn. Beginner Certification and then progress
towards the next step, Novice Certification. Finally, transitional
lessons complete the curriculum as the student learns to fly
one of several brands of recreational double surface gliders,
as the needs of the individual may vary. A total of 90 flights
during hill training meets one of the requirements for the
Intermediate (Hang 3) certification. Students are encouraged
to attend hill flying lessons often.
Tandem high-altitude instruction is a cornerstone of the 100-flight
plan curriculum. A series of ten private lessons is designed
to provide the pilot trainee with over 5 hours of instruction
and flight time in the Northwing T-2 tandem glider. Each tandem
flight is towed up by the Dragonfly Tow Plane, operated by
the Sky Sports Aero Tow Club, Inc. dba Wisconsin Hang Gliding
Club. The student and instructor are towed aloft to 3,000
feet for each lesson. In the beginning, the instructor will
guide the glider behind the tow plane to release altitude,
and then the student will assume the controls during the descent
while practicing a series of training maneuvers. After a few
such lessons, the student will assume the controls earlier
in each flight, until (s)he is competent at doing takeoffs
and guiding the glider on tow. Ten such lessons, in combination
with hill training, usually completes the curriculum and prepares
the student to do takeoffs and landings, control the glider
on tow, perform turns and approaches, and then to fly solo.
(Some student pilots require additional tandem flight lessons,
at additional cost.) First solo flights are supervised via
radio communication for an added level of security and confidence.
100-flight plan: $1395 complete,
and save $200 off of the
purchase price of any new hang glider*
with any other offer. Students may take up to 4 individual
lessons on a trial basis and still apply all payments toward
the $1395 package price. Alternative payment plan of fifteen
$105 payments also available. Students are expected to average
at least one tandem flight for each hill flying class completed,
to benefit from crossover of skills learned. Additional charge
of $85 for each tandem flight after the first ten are completed.
Additional charge of $25 for each hill class that is taught
one-to-one, when available. Lesson books and USHGA membership
are not included in package. This offer may be withdrawn at
any time without notice. September 2002
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Ultralight Airplane Lessons
Ultralight training is available
for both Stick and Rudder (conventional 3 axis control) and
weight shift Trikes.
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Schedule and Hours
Raven Sky Sports is open from 7:30am
to Dusk, 7 days a week from March 1st through November
Tandem flights: 7am-10am and
7 days / week
Hill Flying Class: Starts at 8:30am or 9:30am
7 days / week
or e-mail for more information.
Raven Sky Sports Hang Gliding
- A Wisconsin Corporation
Twin Oaks Airport - P.O. Box 101
Whitewater, WI 53190
(262) 473-8800 - www.hanggliding.com - email@example.com