The first video is not me, the rest are. The second video is me, on the day I got approved for towing.
At Mission Soaring, in Tres Pinos (Hollister) you do traing hill flights over and over, until you're good enough to tow.
Then you start towing, first with a foot launch, and then using the cart that gets you up quicker.
The tow is 4/5 of a mile long, and can get you up to 1,000'. [The first time you get 50' high is a bit disconcerting.]
Eventually you get good enough to jump off a mountain. FREEDOM. Big Sur is a good place to do that.
Another is Hat Creek Ridge. When you're better yet, there are many places you can fly, in Calf, and around the country / world.
I started hang gliding when I was 70 years old. I'd wanted to fly since before I was in kindergarten.
I signed up to be a navy pilot in 1963, but my sinuses have always been a mess, and they wouldn't take me.
Came back to Connecticut, and worked testing fans for 2 years (which I still think is cool).
Went to Calif, worked at Schlage lock from '66 to '70. Started taking night time programming courses in '68 and loved it.
Worked at Bank of Americe from '70 to '95, worked 2 years on Y2K stuff, worked at the phone company for a year.
Goofed off a while and saw a "Take a hang gliding lesson, half off" advertisement, tried it -- hooked.
You start on a low training hill and do short flights, over and over and over.
But you record 'em all, 'cause that counts to get your rating (promotion).
There are hang gliding (and paragliding) ratings -- H1 - H4 and H5. [and P1-P4 and P5]
With an H4/P4 rating, you can fly anywhere. "5" rating is more about status.
Most sites are H3 and/or P3 rated. Mt Diablo is H4/P4 because the air is turbulent,
and landing can be more than a little precarious.
Hang gliding is a dangerous sport, I personally know people, some very good pilots, who have died.
But usually they were doing something that they hadn't ought to have been doing.
Not always, but usually. [Check out the Extreme Whip Stall video sometime. He ought'nt'a.]
Alright, alright, I know you're waiting for it. This is my famous TV moment.
MSNBC clip of me
Vimeo video of my flight with parachute deployment
I think these are all of my Youtube videos, so you can see 'em full screen