August 31, 2014

Competition and Events:

Highlights from the 2014 USPA National Skydiving Championships of Canopy Piloting -

Saturday, May 24, 2014

2014 US Paragliding Nationals -

Friday, December 20, 2013

Skydive Ultra -

Thursday, October 31, 2013

USA Sends First Parpalegic to Compete at World Skydiving Competition -

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta -

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Air Wars -

Sunday, August 11, 2013

2013 Hot Air Balloon National Championships -

Sunday, July 21, 2013

New Hang Gliding World Record Set in Chile

New Hang Gliding World Record Set in Chile

News from South America on 13 November 2013: a new hang gliding world record set in Chile by Austrian pilot Thomas Weissenberger. His eight hour flight covered 350 kilometers across the Cordillera Coast in Chile — the new world record for an out-and-back trip. Redbull.com filmed a video of the flight, and it can be viewed on the website. Weissenberger is captain of the Austrian Hang Gliding Team and previously put in a 345 kilometer flight. Weissenberger named some of the flight’s challenges as low inversion, due to the cold temperatures of the Pacific Ocean, and a 500 kilometer long volcanic cliff along…

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World Hang Gliding Championship

2012 World Hang Gliding Championship

On January 17th the 2013 World Hang Gliding Championship held in Forbes, Australia, saw Manfred Ruhmer take first place for men’s hang gliding with a total of 9010 points, winning his fourth world crown. Alessandro Ploner and Fillippo Oppici, both from Italy, finished second (8871) and third (8560), respectively. Ruhmer took first place by a margin of only 139 points over the last year’s world champion, Alessandro Ploner. Ruhmer is noted as one of the most prestigious hang gliders in the world, having won the World Championship three times previously and the European Championship four times. In 2005 he retired…

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Forbes Flatlands Preview

World Hang Gliding Championship - Preview

The 19th Annual World Hang Gliding Class 1 Championship are going to be taking place in Forbes, New South Wales, Australia in January. The competition, held from January 5 to January 18 will host the world’s top hang glider pilots. Forbes, New South Wales, is growing in popularity as one of the top hang gliding destinations world wide. The region, known for its thermal producing skies and flat terrain, is a place to push boundaries and set records. Due to the lack of mountains or hills to start from, pilots will be towed aloft by ultralight aircraft up into the…

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Foundation For Free Flight

Foundation for Free Flight

The Foundation for Free Flight is an organization that helps promote and conserve the free flight sporting industry in America. The organization was originally founded in 1987 to help support teams competing in hang gliding and paragliding competitions. In 2001 the organization was reorganized to focus on preserving the legacy of free flight sports, educating the public and promote proper safety procedures for its sports enthusiasts. The foundation still supports hang gliding, women’s hang gliding and paragliding competitions. The entire Foundation for Free Flight staff is composed of volunteers that love the sport. The Board of Trustees, officers and executive…

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Hang Gliding Bucket List

Hang Gliding Bucket List

In this week’s hang gliding news, we cover four locations known for beauty, extreme gliding conditions, and fantasy flight possibilities. These should be on everyone’s bucket list, though several are for experienced hang glider pilots only. Makapuu Cliffs (Hawaii) On the eastern-most point of Oahu, this is a premier ridge-soaring site with one primary landing zone, and 5 primary launches that work in a broad range of conditions. The classic windy cliff launch is the area from above Makai Pier and the east at 1200’ MSL.  Proficiency with high wind reverse launches is vital.  The wind is strong but blows so steadily…

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Top World Records Countdown of 2012

Top World Records Countdown of 2012

The summer of 2012 was marked by any number of hang gliding, paragliding and skydiving world record records; in fact, some records that have held their ground for decades were shattered. Let’s take a moment to reflect back on these awe-inspiring feats. These are our choices for the top 6 record breaking feats of 2012: Nate and Matt set Paragliding Distance Records The summer started off on a strong note with the new USA paragliding record that was set on June 30th when Matt Beechinor sailed 301km in Sun Valley, Idaho. Little did Beechinor know that Nate Scales was headed…

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Tennessee Treetoppers Team Challenge 2012

Tennessee Treetoppers Team Challenge 2012

The Tennessee Tree Topper hang gliding club hosted its annual Team Challenge at the club headquarters above the Sequatchie Valley, Tennessee this week. The TTT event is a 7-day program aimed at providing cross country flying experience and competitive flying training to less-experienced pilots. The Sequatchie Valley is one of the country’s top cross country flying sites. The pilots are organized into teams with experienced “A” pilots mentoring and training the Hang 3 and Hang 4 pilots and the teams compete in a series of daily challenges for which points are awarded. When not flying, pilots attend clinics, seminars and…

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GoPro Survives 12,500 Foot Fall

GoPro Survives Free Fall

Skydiver Lucas Damn’s helmet-cam made skydiving news when it was knocked out of its casing as he jumped out of the plane in a recent dive. The camera survived the 12,500 foot fall and laid resting in the field capturing a unique view of the skydivers gracefully coming to earth. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to free fall without a parachute – this video captures what it would be like. For two minutes, the camera spins wildly out of control capturing very unique images of the camera’s descent. While the video is spinning wildly during the…

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Coupe Icare 2012

Coupe Icare 2012

If you happen to be in France right now, you’re in for a treat. The Coupe Icare has been the most anticipated air sports event since 1974. Held against the backdrop of the breath-taking Alps, it has proven to be an extraordinary event for not only those into the air sports, but the general public as well. As in previous years, the show is expected to attract over 80,000 spectators throughout a 4-day weekend.  Coupe Icare 2012 is scheduled to run Sept. 20 through 23. The event will feature trade tents, a film festival and numerous air sport related fixtures, including…

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Putin Flies with the Cranes

Putin Flies with Cranes

Russian President Vladimir Putin fired back at his critics after he came under withering attacks in cyberspace for his latest adventure. One would expect nothing less from the Russian leader whose adventurous exploits reached new highs when he took the controls of an ultralight aircraft at a research center to lead a training flight for sheltered cranes. The Flight of Hope experiment is a worthy mission as scientists there are trying to breed and restore the population of Siberian cranes. Only about 3,000 of these birds remain in the wild. Part of the project involves using the ultralights with pilots…

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Forbes 2012

Forbes 2012 Pre-Worlds

The 19th annual FAI Pre-World Hang Gliding Championship was held in Forbes between January 5th and January 14th, 2012. The weather for this world class event was extraordinary as 16 of 18 days were flyable. Over 100 pilots from 17 countries took part in this Australian competition. With 40 pilots entered into the competition, the Australian pilots dominated much of the event by placing 3 of the top 4 positions and finishing 4 of the top 10 spots overall. Australian pilot, Rohan Holtkamp, won the Pre-Worlds down-under. The top American was Mitch Shipley in 18th position. Mitch flies out of…

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Sky Surfing

Sky Surfing

You may of heard of Planking, Owling, and Tebowing. All of which involve doing sedentary things in unusual places such as lying down on a building edge, crouching on top of an ATM, or kneeling and praying in the middle of busy street intersection, all while having your picture taken for posting on the Internet. Not to be outdone, a group of hang glider pilots have put a new twist on these latest fads by performing them while stacking their gliders one atop another. With moves known as the “Linebacker” and the “Wing and a Prayer”, this group takes Planking,…

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US Hang Gliding Championship 2011

The 2011 U.S. Hang Gliding Championship took place between August 14 – August 20, 2011 in Big Spring, Texas. This year’s championship had 33 pilots that flew, almost double the eighteen that competed in last year’s competition. Zac Majors, the 2008 US National Hang Gliding Champion flew into first place on the last flyable day of the comp, edging out David Straub by 40 points. Zac has been flying for 17 years and his most notable achievements since taking the 2008 US National Championship was finishing in 2nd in the 2009 National Championship and 4th place in the 2009 World…

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2011 World Hang Gliding Championship

The 18th FAI World Hang Gliding Championship took place in Sigillo, Italy from July 16th to July 30, 2011. This year’s Class 1 competition was plagued by bad weather for most of the entire two week competition. Only two tasks were flown and the rest were cancelled. Alex Ploner from Italy used the home field advantage to make this his second consecutive Class 1 championship, he took the 2009 World Championship in Chabre, France. Second place went to Christian Ciech, also of Italy. Primo Gricar of Slovenia took third. This year’s competition was reminiscent of last year’s women’s worlds when…

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Flytec Race & Rally 2011

This year’s event was held between May 8-14. The concept of the race and rally is simple. For seven days, pick a different town to fly too each day and use that same town as the point of departure the next day. Weather conditions, wind directions, and thunderstorms will often dictate which direction will be flown. Originally the final goal was to land at Lookout Mountain Flight Park in northwest Georgia but midway through the competition, winds from the west forced the pilots to fly easterly into South Carolina. This was the first year the rally got out of Georgia….

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Rob Kells Memorial 2011

The 3rd annual Rob Kells Memorial was held at the Florida Ridge Hang Gliding Park in Clewiston, Florida. The event took place between April 30-May 6, 2010. For a second straight year, Jonny Durrand of Australia took the honors of this year’s crown. From the second day of this competition it was a 3-way horse race between Jonny Durand Dustin Martin, and Zac Majors with Jonny not leading the comp until the last day. This event was held in honor of Rob Kells. He sadly passed away in 2008 after a two year battle with prostate cancer. Visit Rob’s Page….

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Back in the Air Again

An Australian hang glider pilot who has been banned from flying for the past 5 years has recently taken to the skies after completing his license suspension period order by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of Australia. John Smith of Queenstown first ran into trouble in 2003 when the CAA revoked his “recreational pilot status” for dive bombing a paraglider pilot in the landing zone (see video below). Smith was caught flying during his suspension in New Zealand in 2006 when a local police sting operation photographed him flying commercial tandem flights. The police were tipped off by a competitor…

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Forbes Flatlands 2011

The two-part Forbes Flatlands Hang Gliding Championship took place between January 2-12, 2011. This year the competition was divided into two competitions, the Craig Worth Open and the Steve Hocking Challenge. Jonny Durand of Australia took 1st place in both segments of this year’s competition defeating out fellow Australian Curt Warren in 2nd of Gerolf Heinrichs of Austria in 3rd in the Craig Worh Open. Jonny also took 1st in the Steve Hocking Challenge. Jonny was also the 2010 Forbes Champion. All Results are here for the Forbes Flatlands Hang Gliding Championship.

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Big Spring US Nationals, Hang Gliding

The 2010 US Hang Gliding Nationals was held at Big Spring, Texas between Sunday August 15 to Saturday August 21, 2010. In all, 18 pilots took part in this year’s competition. Notably absent was Dustin Martin, Jeff Shapiro, and Jeff O’Brien, all being members of the US Hang Gliding team. Larry Brunner held the overall lead for 6 days in a row when Zac Majors took the last task and the championship title. Zac managed to have a top 3 finish every day except for day one. Campbell Brown out flew fellow competitor James Yocam for the Rigid Wing title….

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2010 Hang Gliding Pre-World Championship

The 2010 Pre-World Hang Gliding Hang Gliding Championship took place in Sigillo, Italy between July 30 to August 8. Mangred Ruhmer of Austria took the Gold with Jonny Durrand of Australia taking second place. Two USA competitors, Jeff O’Brien and Zac Majors both won a task in this event. The USA sent two teams this year to the Pre-Worlds with USA1 finishing in a 10 place overall and USA2 finishing in 28th place overall. Zac Majors was the top finishers from the USA with an 18th place finish followed by Benn Dunn at 24th, Jeff O’Brien at 41st, Jeff Shapiro…

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