Hang glidingHang gliding

Hang gliding


Hang gliding

This sport requires bravery, a cool head and large doses of patience if you want to fly like a bird. The rest involves making use of natural air currents to glide through the air and enjoy the spectacular view. A hang glider is an aircraft built out of tubes and fabric. It has no engine and no wheels, and takes off either from the top of a mountain or by being towed by a cable. The pilot wears a safety harness attached to a bar that can be located in front or to the sides, and directs the glider by moving the centre of gravity. Flights are either individual or in pairs in a two-seater model. Despite its size, the hang glider is easy to handle. When it is folded, it only measures between four and six metres in length and some thirty centimetres in diameter, making it easy to transport. The best way to get started and obtain a pilot´s licence is to go to one of the many schools that operate in Catalonia. Although this licence is not required by law, you should never fly without accident and liability insurance, in addition to a current federation licence. The Volager school in Bellpuig (Lleida) is open all year round and organises courses on demand. Individuals of all ages can practice hang gliding, although the Spanish Air Sports Federation has set the minimum age at 14. The most important moment is take-off, as this requires running while supporting the weight of the glider, which weighs between 20 and 25 kilos. Nevertheless, the flight is not tiring. Although flights can last several hours, beginners do not usually stay up for more than 20 minutes. In the Pyrenees, under favourable weather conditions, you can fly as high as 3,000, 3,500, or even 4,000 metres.