Flying lessons suitable for the disabled
Hang Gliding Experience, £240.00
Taking place at Darley Moor airfield in Derbyshire, the experience lasts 2 hours with 45 minutes spent in the air.
Light aircraft trial lesson, £205.50
Taking place at Exeter airfield in Devon, the experience lasts 90 minutes with 50 minutes spent in the air.
Please note that restrictions do apply on these lessons, and so please check the Special Conditions
carefully before purchasing. If uncertain, please contact us.
Hang Gliding Customer Review
On the evening of Wednesday the 13th April, 2005, I
achieved my hang gliding dream! At last the weather was perfect with very little wind so we went for it!!!
At 7 pm I met up and had a chat with my instructor, then, next minute, I was getting kitted up! First
I had to put on a lovely warm body suit, and then fit my way into the harness, which is a very snug fit....you
have to make sure your head and limbs fit through all the right holes. It was quite daunting. By the end I
felt like the Michelin man! Next, after a quick briefing, we traveled by car across the airfield to the hang
glider. Getting into it was not easy either, and then I hung there a bit like a fish on hook - but the
good news it that I felt very secure! They decided to tie my legs together too for extra security
(My partner Steve called this altitude bondage!!!). Most people manage to cross them and keep them
crossed but it was a safer bet for me to do it this way. Even paraplegics can hang glide you know. In
that case their legs are simply tied to those of the instructor! The instructor took up his position in the
harness and I put on some warm gloves. The instructor was hanging just below me and I was instructed to put my
right arm around his back and hold onto his shoulder strap, and my left hand was to hold onto his wrist.
The instructor then realized that, in order for him to be able to press the remote control button to activate
the camera located on the far left wing of the hang glider; he was going to have to sacrifice his gloves!!!
The brave man! The hang glider was attached to a microlight plane by a cord and the plan was that this
small plane was to tow us up to the height we were aiming for (2,620 ft) and then release us.
Next minute we were off and within seconds we lifted off the ground. The strange thing was that
it felt so natural. I wasn't nervous. I just enjoyed the thrill of it as we rose higher and higher.
The views of the countryside surrounding, the tiny airfield, the tiny fields, the spots that
were cows, sheep and trees, were spectacular! I could not stop grinning and chatting to the instructor
over the loud humming of the microlight. I was also surprised by how smooth the flight was. We were very
lucky with the low winds that evening! As we rose higher and higher it did get colder and colder
(particularly my feet) but that did not bother me, the views were so glorious! I did try to cover
the instructor's left hand with my gloved hand to protect him from the chill up there, and this did help
him a little- but he took the cold like a man!
Then, after a signal from the microlight pilot, indicating we had reached our target of 2,620ft,
I ducked my head, as the chord attaching us to the plane was released...and then there was complete
silence. It was so peaceful! We were just flying through the air like a bird! The experience was
like a dream! The instructor wanted to then take a few still shots of us using the remote, but
unfortunately, when we turned to look towards the camera, we found that the wind had blown it
off course, so it was no longer pointed at us. So the poor instructor had frozen his hands for nothing.
I think they call that sods law. I didn't mind too much because I knew I'd remember this experience and
the views for the rest of my life! The streetlights were now just coming on in as it was getting to
dusk and it was most picturesque!
Next, the instructor asked me if I'd like to try steering the hang glider. To do this you had to push
on the bar, either on the left hand side to go left or on the right hand side to go right. I had a go
but my attempt was pretty feeble. As I was above the instructor steering required that I apply even more
pressure to the bar. I steered a little and it was fun to try anyway!
Then I agreed with the instructor that we should do some acrobatics. This involved pushing the
and then we were plunged into a freefall dive and we swirled about at angles of up to 90 degree! Though
very disorienting (I was convinced we had gone upside-down several times!) I enjoyed this totally mad
experience. Some people would hate it but I loved it. It was very surreal.
In doing these stunts we lost a lot of height very quickly and before I knew it the ground was
getting closer and closer. The instructor steered us beautifully towards and onto the runway and told me
to look up as we touched down, as the ground would rush up upon us. I looked up, held my breath and we landed
perfectly safely and smoothly but I'm glad I took his advice because the speed the ground came upon us
was very daunting. Looking down would have been very unwise! Everyone could see just how much I'd enjoyed
the experience of hang gliding and everyone congratulated me! The instructor then dismounted and I was left
hanging there, whilst folk made a few jokes about their work being done and how they were off to the
pub. But then they took pity on me and released me.
My mobility was much improved thanks to the cold and I felt confident about stepping over the bar
to get out (I'd had help lifting them in getting in). However my legs did not want to lift and we then all
realized that they were still tied together. We all ahead a good laugh about that.
I was untied (fun this altitude bondage!) and given a hand back to the car and back to the cabin.
I was on a total high and could not stop smiling. The hang gliding experience had lasted around 20 mins in
flying time and had exceeded all my expectations!
I would recommend it to anyone!