UW-Whitewater Hang Gliding Club

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Welcome to the Hang Gliding Club Home Page!

Hang gliding in Wisconsin?
You Bet! Hang gliding started in the Great Lakes region in the early 1970s. Flying sites in southern Wisconsin provide abundant hills and near perfect weather conditions for hang gliding year round, even in the dead of winter! Some of these sites include the Spring Green area, along the bluffs of the Mississippi River, the shores of Lake Michigan, and especially by the Kettle Moraines near Whitewater. Others include the Madison, Janesville, and Milwaukee areas, which are great for practicing launching and landing techniques. After pilots have completed their tandem instruction, a towing technique in which a pilot is towed behind a car, boat, or ultralight plane for Aerotowing (the planes we have access to are the only tow planes in the midwest) to altitudes of 1,000 to 6,000 feet.

Hang glider pilots can stay in the air for hours?
In the summer, pilots can stay up for hours, and gain thousands of feet in altitude using updrafts of warm air called thermals. Pilots flying in Whitewater can often stay up for several hours, reach altitudes in excess of 5000 feet, and fly several miles. Last year, there was a flight in the Western U.S. that lasted over 12 hours, and reached 308 miles (mileage like this is becoming more common because of improving glider technology)!

How safe is it?
The safety record of hang gliding is very safe. It's just as safe as most other action sports and forms of aviation. Hang gliding's reputation as a dangerous sport developed in the late '60s and early '70s because of inferior glider design, and when certified instruction was not available. The sport has become much safer from such things as the inception of a pilot proficiency program and instructor certification by the United States Hang Gliding Association (USHGA) in 1974, as well as glider certification by the Hang Glider Manufacturer's Association. UW-Whitewater's Hang Gliding Club is involved in promoting safety in hang gliding as its primary goal.

How do I get started?
For enrolled students, UW-W's Hang-gliding club is the perfect place to start. Absolutely no experience is necessary to start learning the sport of hang gliding with our club. You'll be referred to a professional hang gliding school for your first days of flying, because like other action sports, you need good instruction to start out. Our local hang gliding professionals have offered us discounted and subsidized lessons and equipment use, in a two-phase training program: In Phase One of training, you will receive unlimited training in hill flight hang gliding (you don't get more than ten feet off the ground) at the various grassy training hills within minutes of the campus. Take as many days of lessons as you need, all for one low price. Once you achieve your Beginner (Hang I) certification through the USHGA, celebrate! Now you'll be able to check out club hang gliding equipment and go flying with other certified club members, without having to be in an instructor's class. Practice and enjoy the freedom of flight from various grassy hills within a short distance of school, for the whole school year. As a bonus, your first tandem (dual) high altitude hang gliding lesson is also included in the Beginner Phase.

Members of the UW-W Hang Gliding Club who complete Phase One of training can look forward to many enjoyable days of hang gliding for no costs beyond membership dues, which pay for equipment usage, the pilot proficiency rating program, liability insurance, and a years' subscription to Hang Gliding Magazine. As a club member, you can check out club hang gliding equipment and go flying at the local hills as often as you wish, and at no charge for equipment use or flights! However, to join the club and receive these discounts, you must be enrolled at UW-Whitewater.

For additional information on our classes (Offered most days a week--weather permitting), contact our instructor Brad (Raven Sky Sports) at 473-8800. Our normal aerotow site is located on Highway N (Tratt Street) 1.5 miles north of Main St. Feel free to come visit us!

Aerotowing in Whitewater?!

Try some of these Hang Gliding related links:

Raven Sky Sports Aetotow Hang Gliding

Hang Gliding FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Hang Gliding World Wide Web Server
Sky Adventures Home Page
Tennessee Tree Toppers

Champaign-Urbana Hang Gliding Club's Web Server
Cardiff University Hang Gliding Club (England)

Soaring Forecast Information:

Thermal Index Report
Information for Soaring Pilots
Purdue Weather Processor

Upper Air SkewT Plot (Davenport, IA)

What the #@$! is a SkewT plot??

Other US Upper Air Soundings

Other Weather Sources:

Local weather information and satellite/radar images (Madison)
An Online Guide to Meteorology
OFFICIAL U.S.A. TIME: U.S. Naval Observatory Master Clock

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Created and edited
by Andy Linger:
My first Solo Flight

Comments or Questions can be directed to: ravensky@idcnet.com
Latest Update: 10/1/97