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Warren Windsports Hang Gliding - Frequently Asked Questions
The following FAQs are intended to help with your questions about Hang Gliding experiences in general, if you have a question that is not answered below, please feel free to contact us.
For assistance with Flight Bookings, Products and Orders please see our Customer Service & Help pages.
Flying Tandem Tours Questions
Well, both hang gliding and sky diving are fun and we recommend each!
But if you have to choose, hang gliding provides:
30 minute flight Slow & peaceful AND/OR fast & exciting. You get to fly it! Spot marine-life and fly with the Sea Eagles. Experience the sensation of free-flight...like your dreams. No fossil fuels required.
Yes, we typically have 2-4 tandem hang gliding instructors available to fly.
SEASONS: We hang glide tandem and solo all year long and have amazing flights every month of the year. Winter (Southern Hemisphere) has good flying but definitely doesn't get as many days of the week as other times of the year.
TIME OF DAY: Sunrise to sunset in the summer is often good for hang gliding in the summer.
Ten AM to three PM is often a good time to fly in the heart of winter.
The wind direction is most affected by the big-scale scenario, ie., the weather systems that move across Australia.
Hang gliding is definitely weather dependent, but magic when we score. The forecasts these days are very accurate 5 days in advance, helping you plan for your scheduled upcoming tandem flight.
Our gift vouchers are valid for one year and currently are extended for an extra 3 months.
It's no problem to take your hands off of the controls - as long as you're away from any nearby objects! The hang glider will recover on it's own every time! Training is just needed to launch and land the hang glider. That's what the tandem pilot is for!
By the way, the hang gliders cannot get into an unrecoverable dive or spiral. They are self-righting. Of course, proper care needs to be taken by each pilot to ensure they fly responsibly, within their own window of capability.
We offer tandem hang gliding flights at Bald Hill, Stanwell Tops, at the southern tip of the Royal National Park. This lookout is a popular destination on the northern end of the Grand Pacific Drive.
We also offer tandem flights and instruction from Hill 60 at Port Kembla. These flights provide spectacular views of the "Five Islands" and Port Kembla Beach to the south. Pelicans often share the coastal air with us while flying at Hill 60.
The most common analogy is “it’s like my dreams”.
No, not one so far! -over 6000 tandem flights
We always give the option to the passenger to tell us if they’d like to go down and land, just after take-off. -No requests so far...
Well, it’s NOT a falling or hanging sensation…it’s a flying sensation! -The scariest part of the flight is thinking about it.
Nothing but a controlled, smooth, gliding decent to the beach. Hang gliders (and all aircraft) create their own "airspeed?" from gravity...and gravity never sleeps.
No! It takes a light touch, not lots of muscle. Hang gliding tandem with a good onshore breeze is not physically demanding whatsoever. We’ve shared the experience with many seniors, children, and folks with physical challenges. EVERYONE deserves to fly!
Easily....using a light input from your upper body to shift your weight that is suspended in the harness
Turns: Pull/push your body in the direction that you wish to turn.
Airspeed?: Pull in (nose down) to speed up. Push out (nose up) to slow down.
We often hang glide side-by-side with Sea Eagles and Pelicans. Also, we spot a wide range of marine life like sting rays, dolphin, whales, sharks, schools of fish….
Sometimes we see clouds forming and if we're extremely lucky we might spot a "glory", which is a small circular rainbow around our shadow that's casted on a cloud below. Amazing!
No, it’s about the amount of wind you hear in your ears when riding a bicycle. It’s easy to have a chat with each other when flying tandem.
Ridge/mechanical lift: the wind reflecting off of an object and moving upward
Thermal lift: a column of rising air, caused from the ground heating
Top end: 50-90 mph (80-140kph) , depending on the pilot and glider.
At Stanwell Tops, we need somewhere between a South to an East wind, from about 10 knots and ABOVE
For Hill 60, Port Kembla, we need a somewhere between a North and an East wind.
Note, we can fly safely with no wind at all, but may not stay up for an extended time.
By flying both of the major flying sites, we're able to maximize the flying opportunity.
Light rain is ok. But flying near building “storm-cells” is NOT cool.
If you wake up and it's raining, don't call the whole thing off YET! We often get beautiful days/flights from mornings that started out dreary. The most important factor of the weather is the WIND forecast. The rain, clouds, and sun may come and go many times throughout a day, providing epic opportunities.
IF, the day does get called off because of the wind forecast (direction mostly)....no problem. Just pick another date you’d like to book, or we’d be happy to help you pick a day in the next few days that looks suitable.
NOTE: We often fly! By using BOTH of the major hang gliding sites of the area, Stanwell Tops AND Hill 60, we provide the opportunity to fly with a wide range of wind conditions.
Fly Solo - Hang Gliding Lessons
Once you have completed your license course and have purchased all of your hang gliding gear, you will be able to fly any hang gliding site that suits your skill-rating. You will join the flying club of your local area, where you'll find a great network of free-flight pilots and future friends, who happily provide further assistance. There are endless possibilities to attend: events, competitions, fly-ins, clinics, and........
Note: we love do both as a hobby, but prefer hang gliding (our passion) over paragliding for a few major reasons:
- Hang Gliders can fly in much more wind, making it 1) more likely to FLY on the day you want to fly and 2) SAFER if the wind strengthens.
- Hang Gliders can FLY in more turbulent air which is good for 1) strong thermals and 2) saftey. Hang Gliders do not have the risk of in-air "collapses" like paragliders do.
- Hang gliders have a better glide-angle than paragliders, meaning they can FLY more distance, see more, and sample more thermals (FUN!).
- Hang gliders can fly almost as slow as a paragliders, but also MUCH FASTER
- Hang gliding feels like FLYING in your dreams! -controlled by shifting your weight, not pulling on strings...
Students usually finish courses and are competent, licensed, beginner pilots at around 10-12 training days,
10-12 of training at various Sydney & Wollongong hang gliding sights which includes:
Site introduction and familiarization to sites such as Bald Hill, Stanwell Tops and Hill 60 at Port Kembla.
Personalized instruction, around 6 (student depending) tandem flights, 3 days on the training hills, & 10+ hours of theory. Free use of the latest equipment. Supervised SOARING flights.
A novice rating (student depending) accredited by the Hang Gliding Federation of Australia. A solid foundation of core? flying skills to build upon.
FUN, and a huge sense of accomplishment.
Hours of AIRTIME, use the latest equipment/techniques, personal instruction.
Warren Windsports offers HOURS of hands-on airtime. This opportunity exists through around 6-8 instructional tandem flights (depending on the student's needs). Tandem instruction is: our specialty, and is an integral component of our training program and essential for the developing pilot. Students more readily absorb and understand flight aspects with an instructor by their side giving crucial feedback at the correct moments.
No. In fact, most local students prefer to complete a their hang gliding course sporadically, over a couple of months. Having this extra time will give you a good chance to learn, absorb, and understand some important concepts (i.e. the weather).
-payable in two installments of $1250, with the option to not pay the second installment, if for some reason you’ve decided hang gliding is not for you.
Also: Pleas add $125 for two training books, a workbook, and a DVD.
HGFA student membership is included during your course.
When all outcomes (theory and practical) have been satisfied, you will then be fully eligible for a Novice Rating from the Hang Gliding Federation of Australia (HGFA). If you wish to continue into the sport, you will need to join as an annual member of the HGFA which is approximately $300 and includes a bi-monthly magazine and 3rd party insurance.
Most students finish the course within the 10-12 days.
Note: Occasionally additional instruction and course fees may be required to achieve skills necessary.
Official H.G.F.A Hang Gliding Training Manual $60
The Art of Sky Sailing Book/Workbook/DVD $65
- About $3000 for a great second hand glider (have your instructor help you inspect and test fly them) and around $5595 for a brand-new Moyes Malibu with custom colors.
You can buy new hang gliders in the Warren Windsports online store.
All sorts of people fly hang gliders! -I.T. techs, teachers, lawyers, students, surfers, 747 airline captains, landscape artists, doctors…..
The common denominator between them all is that they all “WANT TO FLY”.
No, just about ANY car can do the job! Hang gliders are not heavy and just need to be supported along the length of the glider. You’ll only need surf racks and a front bumper/hood support rack. Easy!
Other Questions About Hang Gliding & Warren Windsports
Modern hang glider designs are tested and certified safe. Like any activity (mountain biking, sailing, etc...), participants can put themselves into added risk when they do not respect their own skill level, equipment, or the weather conditions.
Yes! Curt has done it about 20 times (and counting).
You have 3 choices:
1) Short-pack it (~14.5 feet) and check it on as luggage (sometimes pole-vaults)! Ask Curt about which airlines is currently providing the most support. This is our favorite way to travel.
2) Ship it, Air-cargo, in a box from your dealer. This is more expensive and takes longer, BUT everything is insured, and you can load up the box if you want.
3) Take your harness, and rent a glider from a school or dealer.
Kitesurfing is another love, but we are not offering kitesurfing instruction in Wollongong at this stage. At the moment, Curt is focusing all energy and time into further development of hang gliding projects of Warren Windsports. Feel free to contact us for more info on Kitesurfing in the Illawarra area.
-Learned to fly in 1994, while water-skiing in the San Diego, Sea World ski-show. There was a hang glider in the show that was towed up (and released) behind the boat...
Every time I drive/ride in the car through Sydney
I’ve hang glided around the many places around the globe and chose Stanwell Tops as my nest.
Stanwell Tops one of the best places for tandem hang gliding. It has an easy take-off and landing area, AND the coastal mountain ranges produce SMOOTH lift for introductory tandem hang gliding flights. The Royal National Park and the Northern Illawarra coast-line attracts pilots from around the world.
My favorite “big-air” hang gliding competitions have been in Brazil, having traveled there five-times over this decade.
Really, there are wonderful flying sites and free-flight pilots, scattered across the world.
It’s like a 3-dimensional Sailing race. The pilots race a course in the sky, which may be a triangular course or an “out and back”, or maybe a straight “race to goal”. Pilots are scored on how fast they fly the course, or how far they went if they did not finish the course. Global Positioning Systems (GPS’s) are used to navigate and as track logs of each pilot. GPS’s also give each pilot a synchronized time.
Thousands of feet high! Curt has been 14,500 feet in Australia and 16,500 feet in the USA.
-If in a "thermal" (warm rising air), you can go as high as the clouds!
And when soaring the "ridge lift" on a mountain, it will depend on the shape/size of the mountain and the direction/strength of the wind.
Our tandem hang gliding flights at Stanwell Tops often take us to altitudes hundreds of feet higher than the launch site of Bald Hill.
At Hill 60, of Port Kembla, we often double the altitude of the lookout/launch site.
The world record is currently 701 kilometers.
Curt's personal best is 416 kilometers which took place in Texas, USA.
The world record is about 36 hours…. Solo-pilots at Stanwell quite often stay up for a few hours, flying up and down the coast. –Wollongong and back. Curt's longest duration is 9.5 hours!
23-33 kilograms. Beginner gliders are lighter than high performance wings
Minimal maintenance is needed. The sail is a high performance material called Dacron. The wires are stainless steel. And the tubing is aluminium. A casual pilot could have a glider for 20 years. A very active pilot could keep a glider for ten years. Air junkies, that fly ALL the time, just get a new sail for the frame every few years.