Years ago I was driving the Eastern US coast, and decided to stop in Kitty Hawk North Carolina, where the Wright Brothers first achieved flight. While there I discovered the Kitty Hawk Kites Hang Gliding School and decided to give it a try. After some instruction in theory, and running with the hang glider on level ground, I took my first run down the giant sand dunes. I didn´t manage to ¨catch air¨ the first time, but by the second or third time running down the dunes I managed to fly for a few seconds! Well, that just whet my appetite for more, so when I saw the option of a tandem flight I signed right up. For the tandem flight, they took me to a local rarely-used airstrip. There, I was hooked into a large hang glider with an experienced pilot/instructor, and the kite was attached by a long tow rope to a pickup truck on the runway. When we were ready, the pickup started driving down the runway, and the forward motion gave us the lift we needed to take off. In just a few
seconds we reached 500 meters in altitude, and the instructor released the tow rope– we were flying free! What an incredible feeling! Once the pilot realized that I wasn´t going to panic, he let me take over control of the glider, while hanging by my side and giving me instructions when needed. We ascended on some air currents, practiced turns, did some spirals, and after about 10-15 minutes the instructor took over for a gentle landing next to the runway. It was such an incredible experience that I was inspired to take lessons back home– but that´s another story. If you ever want to truly ¨Fly like an Eagle¨, then I recommend Kitty Hawk Kites Hang Gliding for an incredible experience!