Hang Gliding when you’re Afraid of Heights

10 Feb

Hang gliding was amazing! I didn’t do the kind where you run off the mountain – I am afraid of falling on my face, crushing my legs on landing, and being able to fly the thing. No, I didn’t create irrational fears about this at all

Instead I went tandem, which involves a plane.

Forced Itimacy?
The instructor lays on the bottom, suspended. I step into overalls of sorts, that are cushiony and have a built in ledge for my feet. When I stretch out my feet, my while body is now suspended horizontally. I’m free floating above the instructor, so my fear of smothering him was moot.

Up, Up, and Away
We’re connected to a bi-plane that takes us up to 2000 feet then disconnects the cord and we glide on our own for 15 or so minutes.

The ride up was easy and smooth. Just, liftoff. I squealed with joy.

When we disconnected from the plane there was a roller coaster dip, which was fine, but I wasn’t prepared to see the cord disappear and I screamed and then laughed and laughed from the adrenaline.

Smooth Operator
He offered to let me steer the glider. I had an extreme need to hold on, so passed. There are options while in flight: tricks or smooth. I opted for smooth. Surprised?

Earth, Sweet Earth
The landing was spectacularly not terrifying! I know, I should be in sales.

He describes it as an escalator and I told him that’s not romantic enough for something as amazing as this. We descend seven feet forward and one foot down, hence his analogy.

It’s MUCH smoother than a plane landing, which always makes me a bit ill. And it’s literally like floating. It’s a combination of ideal ocean waves where it’s serene and you coast over them (but not that movement, just the sensation of being suspended), and then a new feeling of literally floating in air.

The landing was insignificant. The glider has wheels, so no running required. No chance of a broken leg. Phew.

Where was this Adventure?
Currituck in the Outer Banks of NC with outfitter Kitty Hawk Kites.

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One Response to “Hang Gliding when you’re Afraid of Heights”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. How the Outer Banks Can Lure Even an Anti-Beach Person « Americana the Beautiful - February 13, 2012

    […] Hang gliding over dunes. Need I say more? […]

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