If you've ever had the desire to fly like a bird then Hang Gliding is one of the most exciting and affordable solution for most Traveller. A hang glider is a non-motorized, foot-launched wing. A Hangglider has a rigid frame maintaining the shape of the wing, with the pilot usually flying in a prone position.
Hang gliders are controlled by shifting the pilot's weight with respect to the glider. Pilots are suspended from a strap connected to the glider's frame (hence the name "hang" glider). By moving forward and backward and side to side at the end of this strap, the pilot alters the center of gravity of the glider. This then causes the glider to pitch or roll in the direction of the pilot's motion and thus allows both speed control and turning.
In India Hang Gliding has really caught on with clubs coming up in cities such as Pune, Delhi, Chandigarh, Shimla, Mumbai, Devlali, Bangalore and Kalaheti.
According to experts, India has good thermal soaring effects during the summer months, and offers hill soaring almost round the year, the soaring in the winter months-although too static-is also good for hang-gliding. Several sites in India have been identified by expert hang gliders with those in the lower reaches of the Himalayas rated as/among the best in the world.
The equipment needed is minimal by aviation standards. The principle items being the glider, also called the wing, and the harness. The rest of the equipment consists mainly of safety and communication gear.The training needed to get yourself flying solo is also minimal. The basic techniques of hang gliding- launching, turning, landing - are fairly easy to learn. You can fly solo from the training hill and progress to higher flights.
Safety is of utmost importance. You can make hang gliding, like most adventure sports, as safe or dangerous as you want. Ways you can make it safe are to receive instruction from a certified professional and use safe equipment.
Hang gliding is an outdoor sport and Mother Nature is unpredictable weather is always a big consideration. The primary safety factors are personal judgment and attitude. You must be willing to learn gradually and use good judgement and have an appropriate attitude.
Despite the relatively low risk involved with hang gliding there still remains the possibility of serious injury if a pilot doesn't properly prepare and exercise good judgement. Preparation and proper training go a long way towards a pilot's well being as well as enjoyment. Part of preparation is knowing what weather conditions you will be flying in.