Hang Gliding – Landing

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 17,387
    Professional hang gliding instructor Dan Zink from Lookout Mountain Hang Gliding teaches you how to land while hang gliding.

    Dan Zink: Hi! My name is Dan Zink. I'm an Advanced Instructor with Lookout Mountain Hang Gliding. Today, we're learning the basics of Hang Gliding.

    This step is learn how to land. Now, when we're brand-new, we're just going to roll it on the wheels, nice and gentle. If you were to train with us, we would later teach you how to land perfectly on your feet just like a bird. Now, we may fly for 15 minutes, we may fly for 3 hours, every flight has got to have a landing though.

    So, we'll be coming in. When we get a couple hundred feet above the ground, we're going to really dial into the spot that we want to land in. We've got airspeed indicator, we've got streamer, we've got flags blowing, we know which way the wind is blowing. We want to land into the wind. That'll make our touch down a slower speed. So, landing into the wind, basically, we're going to circle around the spot where we want to land.

    Once we get at a certain altitude, in this particular glider about 100 feet up, we'll head downwind, do a base lay and lay and back in to the wind, that's a standard aircraft approach.

    Important thing for us to know at this point is make sure you carry on a lot of speed, the more speed you have in a hang glider, the more control you have, and easier it is to cut through turbulence, and get down into what we call a ground effect.

    Ground effect is where the compressed air coming down below this wing is hitting the ground, bouncing back up and hitting the wing. It creates a cushion that we can glide on. Create a glide, less turbulence, more time to think and relax, think about your landing.

    So, we'll come in with a lot of speed, pulled in about this much, and as we're close to the ground, we'll start to bleed it off, bleed it off. We look all the way down the runway. Don't look down at the ground, it doesn't do you any good to see the grass rushing by. Look all the way down at the runway, everything will be nice and slow and calm that way. Coming with some speed, bleed it off, bleed it off, bleed it off.

    Just a few feet above the ground, you'll notice for a few seconds, we'll be able to fly with no hands doing anything at all. We won't just let go, but they'll be here like this. At the last second when you feel like you're going to tap down, you can give it a little nudge out, we'll touch down at just a couple of miles an hour, believe it or not, we'll only roll about 10 feet and we have a nice smooth landing, just like every time.

    Okay, now what we're going to do, we want to land right to our cameraman, so we're going to do a little circle. If he wasn't there, we would circle kind of around him, but since he's there, filming us, let's circle just right next to him, okay?

    So I can just circle right here of him, and let's time to it, downwind landing, see our wind sock is falling forward of, okay? So, I can circle this way, and we're always looking at our wind sock, but when we get to about a 150 feet tall, pretty close, we're going to head downwind past our cameraman, and do a base leg and final leg, right next to him so he can film us.

    Now remember, we fly a little faster, we come in for a landing, right, so this extra speed you feel is normal. It's what's going to give us a nice ground effect. So we come on in. Nice level wings, let the glider flow down out, and nice stop landing, what do you think? Can you bring it up to turn the valve? Gosh! That was cool!

    Well, those are the basics of Hang Gliding. Thank you very much for watching. If you like to start flying and live the dream, come on out to Lookout Mountain Hang Gliding.