Which lesson type should I try?
Students under 18
Adult Students
Students with Disabilities
Hill Flying Lessons
Tandem Lessons on Aerotow
100 Flight Plan - Complete Certification Training Program
Motorized Ultralight Airplane Lessons
Schedule and Hours

  Which 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 hill.

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 exciting day.

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Students under 18
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, 2003.

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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Students with disabilities
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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 Hill Flying Classes
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 FLIGHTS!

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.

 The 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 class?
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 flying class?
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 held?
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 assuming so.

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 always welcome.

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 verbal directions.

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 another day.

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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 Tandem Flights
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 altitude.

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 desires.

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 solo!

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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  In-flight photography
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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  Complete 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.

The 100-flight plan: $1395 complete,
and save $200 off of the purchase price of any new hang glider*

*Not valid 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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  Motorized 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 30th.
Tandem flights:      7am-10am and 4pm-8pm                                                7 days / week
Hill Flying Class:   Starts at 8:30am or 9:30am (seasonally adjusted)           7 days / week

Call 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 - info@hanggliding.com