My wife and I had a great time on our first hang gliding experience! Thanks to sonny, adam, and especially steve our instructor. We will definitely be back!
My impressions following my mile-high flight on Sunday..
Well, I have to say that the flight was worth every penny, that's for sure! When I arrived and was informed by Mark that Andrei had just returned from a mile high, I had no choice but to do the same! Take-off was quick and smooth, but I must have gone into denial soon after because the separation that was being established between myself and the ground didn't seem to bother me *much* at all (after we were up a pretty good distance I asked Adam how high we were "oh, about 800 feet or so." "GULP!" only about 4500 more feet to go! :-) As we were headed up I took Mark's advice and made sure that I did plenty of looking around. It was a little hazy, but I could still see the Bay off in the distance and plenty of detail below. I was happy about the clouds though because it was totally awesome to pass them by on the way up!!
When we reached altitude the plane gave a little signal, Adam released, and at that exact moment it hit me right smack between the eyes! No, not a bird, just the realization of where I was and what I was doing!! :) There was just a sudden calmness after the plane dove away into the distance. Up until that point it was sort of like being in a plane and then, suddenly, I found myself hanging 1 mile up in the sky- totally cool! The descent down is where the real fun began. Just lots of fun to be at the controls and see first-hand how easy it is to fly. I was just amazed by how much the glider flies itself- one could do almost nothing and have a wonderful flight. [ some fun details removed here ;) ] I also did some stalls- I didn't really trust myself at first, but soon learned that they're easy to do and to recover from. In fact, I found out later just how pansy they really are (compared to the wingovers that Adam took me through!). These were a fantastic way of finding out just what these gliders are capable of doing. After the wingovers it was time to land, alas! The landing was perfect- quick and smooth. This was a great adventure and I'll definitely be back for more. The only problem is that I now want to fly solo! Don't hold back. If you have the opportunity to go- I say "GO!", and don't stop at less than a mile if you have that option. This felt way safer than I had ever imagined it could...
My first flight/lesson was a wonderful experience and not at all what I expected. The view was more poetic than I remember looking out from small airplane windows. (I really would like to take a camera next time to capture the house surrounded by trees in a large rectangle of green with the straight driveway curved by the house. My description is less poetic than the view...and it almost makes me want to paint again.) I didn't expect to do any of the piloting and was surprised at how fast the hang glider responds. It was a lot less physical than I expected.
Anyway, I wanted to thank all of you for the addictive experience. (Yes, I made it to number 9 in your brochure.) It looks like we will be visiting you a lot this summer and I will be learning to hang glide.
The rest of the day is nearly indescribable. Sonny towed Jim and I a mile above the Earth. No sound but the wind (and my constant "wows") as we looked down on the clouds?crap, I'm getting goose bumps just writing about this. Seriously guys, do not hesitate to go hang gliding if you're given the chance.
I am just writing to thank all of the folks at Highland for giving me one of the greatest experiences in my life. I am from South Western New York, and I traveled to Virginia last spring to visit a good friend of mine. He brought me to Ridgely to share his favorite past-time (hang gliding). I can remember on the ride there he was talking about how wonderful you all are and I could tell that the drive was far too long for him. When we reached the town of Ridgely his eyes lit up, he began to shake in excitement and his face grew the biggest smile I'd ever seen. It was sort of like watching a child waking up on Christmas morning to see all of his gifts under the tree. I knew right then that I was going to see him in a whole new light.
Even though I was too afraid to actually fly while I was there, everyone I encountered was nice and friendly and made me feel so comfortable. I have always been known to keep my head to the sky and not really pay attention to my surroundings, and I guess I was that way while I was there. From the moment I got there, I couldn't keep my eyes off the sky and all of the people in it. I kept thinking how wonderful it must be to fly like an eagle and how the world must look from way up there. I envied all who flew but I still wasn't brave enough to try it.
I watched my friend take his first flight up for the day and something went wrong... he started heading for the ground before he ever really got up into the sky. Naturally I was nervous, I had watched so many people go way up and come down. One of the instructors came right over to me and explained what was happening. Apparently he had broken his weak link. I was so thankful for that instructor and the time he took to comfort me.
I met a few of the instructors who were more than friendly and made me feel right at home. All of the folks at Highland asked me if I was going to fly, if I wanted to try it, and I just couldn't bring myself to do it. One of the greatest things about the people there, I was never pressured about trying it. I sometimes regret not being brave enough to jump right in there and do it, but I'll never regret my experience at Highland or the people I met there. I can see why my friend enjoys the people almost as much as he enjoys hang gliding.
Thanks again for the wonderful experience!
I wanted to take a moment and thank you! Yesterday, myself and 5 friends traveled from the DC area for our first hangliding experience! It was fabulous! From the moment we stepped onto your field, we were greated by friendly and happy faces! You all helped to make our day of hangliding extra special! To Chad and Sonny~ words cannot express my gratitude to you both- our partners in flight! You excitement and enthusiasm was contagious, and your porfessionalism and skill put our minds at ease as we took off for flight! Thank you! To the woman with the ACE bandage around her wrist (so sorry that I do not know your name!)... thank you for your smile! As each of us took our turn harnessing up, your kind smile helped us feel confident! Once again, I want to thank each and every person who we encountered yesterday- we really appreciated your kindness! Hopefully things will work out for us to hanglide with you again in the near future!
Hi Chad, Sunny
I'd like to thank you both for making my 50th birthday yesterday very special by showing me how to hang glide. It was a fantastic experience. I've never felt more alive, with all my five senses tuned to the max during the flight. The birds-eye view, the sound of the wind, the smell of the clean air, the touch of the control bar responding and the dry-mouth taste of fear. I'd recommend this to anyone who has forgotten how short and precious life is. It puts everything into perspective. I'm looking forward to our next flying lesson/appointment. Again, thank you very much.