Archive for the ‘Hang Gliding’ Category

Rob Kells Hang Gliding Competition at the Florida Ridge Air Park

Posted by: Frances

April 26th, 2010 >> Hang Gliding

This last week I had a great opportunity to go to the Rob Kells Hang Gliding Competition at the Florida Ridge Air Park in LaBelle, FL.  You can look at the pictures posted here or check out their blog.  I took three tandem lessons with Steve Larson.  I also got a rare chance to take a tandem flight a mile high up with Jonny Durand.  We were towed up by a Dragonfly (i.e. tug) and dropped off above some huge puffy white clouds.  You could not see land in any direction, it was so gorgeous!  While we were flying above the cloud, we saw our “Glory.”  This is when a rainbow that is in a complete circle has our glider shadow in the center of it.  It was breath taking!  It was so amazing.  We flew about a 30 minute flight and enjoyed the clouds and watching our Glory.  We also worked on S turns and figure 8s.  Jonny Durand is the #1 ranked Hang Glider Pilot in the World.  You can see him fly the Morning Glory in Australia by clicking here.

Jonny Durand and Me


I was also very lucky that Jeff Shapiro asked me if I would like him to take me up on an instructional flight.  He is one of Wills Wings World Team Pilots.  We had a rough launch and landing, but a very informative instructional flight!  I was the most at ease on this flight than any other tandem I have taken.

Jeff Shapiro setting up his Wills Wing T2C Glider (I love this glider)


This entire week was full of learning experiences for me as well as for Matt.  I had a spectacular time and met some really neat people.  I can’t wait to see them all again in the next competition.  Good luck to those in the Flytec Race and Rally!  I am sure wishing I was there.

Overall at the end of the week Matt got 4th place in the Sport Class.  He also beat his personal best glide.  His new best is 31.5 miles!  Go Matt!

Below is a picture of the gliders staging for take-off.


The truck packed with me and 6 others



9m Pulse Hang Glider and Camping

Posted by: Frances

March 9th, 2010 >> Hang Gliding, Outdoor Activities

So this last weekend I went to Lookout Mountain Flight Park and bought a 1996 second generation 9m Pulse that is purple and yellow made by Airwave.  I also bought a harness that is going to be black with a 6 inch stripe from my hips to my feet that is black with silver hang gliders spread on it.  I am really excited and can finally start my lessons on the training hill AGAIN!  Now all that is left to buy is my parachute and helmet!  I will post pictures as soon as I pick them both up!

On Friday night, we camped in our tent.  It got down to the 20s!!! Talk about cold!  I laughed so much the entire night and don’t remember sleeping much.  I was laughing at how stupid we were for camping in a tent and sleeping on an air mattress with tons of blankets.  It was quite funny.  We were tucked under the covers including our heads.  When one of us had to move we would warn the other and count and move.  It was hilarious, but a fun memorable moment in time.

HAM license and Radio

Posted by: Frances

February 20th, 2010 >> Educational, Hang Gliding, Outdoor Activities

I took my HAM radio test today and passed.  I am now an official licensed HAM radio operator.  Wooo!  Hoooo!  I will post my call sign in a few days when I receive it.  I was given a HAM radio for Valentine’s Day and still learning how to use it and its capability.  It is a Yaesu FT270R.  Very excited.  Hang Gliding… Here I come!


Charlotte, NC

Posted by: Frances

January 24th, 2010 >> Hang Gliding, Outdoor Activities

This weekend has been great.  We went to Charlotte, NC to meet up with some of Matt’s old college buddies.  We hung out all night at this bar called the Tavern on the Tracks.  It was a great place, very cozy, but yet spacious.  Watched a few of the basketball games and kicked back.  Had a few that decided crazy dancing was their calling that night, which made things quite entertaining.  Good times, good times.

We also attended the yearly hang gliding meeting for the South Carolina Hang Gliding Association Club and Matt was voted the President and Safety Officer.  Congrats to him!  This should be a great hang gliding year for all of us.  I should be able to finish my lessons, Tennessee Tree Toppers is having a ton of competition days, and the weather is going to be just right!  I just know it!


Posted by: Frances

January 5th, 2010 >> Hang Gliding, Workout

Day 1: Back and Biceps

Day 2: Plyometrics

Here we go again for a second start of the P90X workout series! My knee and hips hurt after the Plyometric workout!  I need to get back in shape so that I will be ready for more Hang Gliding Lessons!

Well the rest of this week was about me being sick from the Hydrogen Peroxide I accidentally drank.  It has made me so sick!

Team Challenge Hang Gliding Competition

Posted by: Frances

October 19th, 2009 >> Hang Gliding, Outdoor Activities

This was a week long event that took place in Dunlap, TN at the Tennessee Tree Toppers Launch site.  It was all about Hang Gliding and it was a blast.  Although I am not a solo Hang Glider Pilot yet, I was taught so much great information that will help me be a really great Pilot in the future.  They held all kinds of seminars such as learning how to use the GPS to ready the clouds and weather.  There was a wealth of information right at my finger tips because we had some of the most experienced, best, record holding pilots at this meet.  I met an amazing amount of wonderful people that I hope to see again in the future.  I also was able to camp the whole week which was fun and very pleasant to be away from the phone and internet and media and work for that long.  It was so relaxing, but very cold at night!  Below is the Team Challenge Crew:


I also was able to take a flight with Clark Harlow off the new ramp off the mountain that is about 1400ft above the landing zone.  Running off that ramp was very exhilarating.   Also, if you would like to take a soaring tandem Hang Gliding flight with Clark Harlow  go to


Sunrift Outdoors Store & Hang Gliding

Posted by: Frances

September 12th, 2009 >> Hang Gliding, Outdoor Activities

So this morning Ground Industries were out at the HUGE annual Sunrift sale selling there boards and supporting the store.  It was a great success and a lot of fun.  frances-on-launch-at-glassy-mountain-1

Then, Matt and I went out to Glassy Mountain for an end of the day Hang Gliding flight.  There were a bunch of other guys that also came out and only Matt got up to cloud base.  It was a fantastic flight for him.  We had a great day all around.  That is Matt’s new U2 glider behind me.

Hang Gliding and Mountain Boarding

Posted by: Frances

September 5th, 2009 >> Hang Gliding, Outdoor Activities


I am officially one lesson closer to having my Hang 1!!! I went out to Lake Norman today for a boat towing Hang Glide lesson.  WOW!!! I had a blast!  I did get some air time and a really good lesson.  This is me fixing to take off out of the water.  I am being towed by a ski boat and a 125 ft rope.  LOVED EVERY MINUTE!!!  Highly recommend boat towing for lessons!


Then, as the day rolled on, I drove up to Beech Mountain Ski Park for a mountain boarding event Ground Industries hosted.  There was a deceit turnout and a good number of boarders doing some neat tricks.  Especially Barron doing his famous flip.  Everyone had a blast and the weather was PERFECT!

I had a full day today of driving across North Carolina, Hang Gliding, and enjoying the High Ground Event!

What a Great Great Day!

Weekend at Lookout Mountain

Posted by: Frances

August 24th, 2009 >> Hang Gliding, Outdoor Activities

Relaxing and watching the pilots fly

I had a blast this weekend at Lookout Mountain.  Matt got his new U2 Hang Glider and flew all weekend.  I got to learn a bunch of interesting things about hang gliders and their performance levels, as well as wind conditions to fly in, setting up for landings, and much more.  The weather was gorgeous the entire time.  So a bunch of pilots got some great air time in.  I also met some really cool people while I was there that made very good impressions on me and I won’t forget.  Below is a picture of Mike Barber about to launch!  This is why I can’t wait to be a Glider Pilot.  I want to do this!  Click Here


Hang Gliding

Posted by: Frances

August 9th, 2009 >> Hang Gliding

I went up to Glassy Mountain today to meet up with a few Hang Glider Pilots and film some launches.  The weather was gorgeous outside; sunny, few clouds, and a slight breeze.  Three out of the four flights were short, but one of the pilots caught some good thermals and kept climbing.  I enjoyed watching and was taught a few things while I was there.