Fly Away Hang Gliding

Hang Gliding Instruction and Tandems

Fly Away Hang Gliding provides all of the necessary equipment that you will need to learn to fly. Hang gliding lessons will run 3 or more hours with many flights.

Like learning anything new, the more days a month/week that you can dedicate to learning to fly, the quicker you will progress. Learning to fly hang gliders is easier than learning to ride a bicycle. We specialize in personalized instruction.

Most students acheive their Hang 1, Beginning rating, in 2 days. It takes an average of 7 to 10 days to achieve your Hang 2, Novice rating. A Novice rating allows you to fly in our mountains with supervision. Soon you will be using the thermals to stay up and soar for hours.

You will begin your lesson learning the basic controls. Then you will run with the glider on level ground, 'moonwalking', as an hang gliding instructor runs along with you, controlling the glider, as you learn to steer. As soon as you are comfortable, can 'keep target' (look at a target during your whole flight) have a light touch, and steer, you will progress higher up the hill. We will progress you as safely as possible, but we will make sure you have the skills required to go higher.

Students average 50 to 100 feet in the air by the end of the first hang gliding lesson.

Quick learning students make it to the top of the 200 foot training hill on their first flying lesson.

The average student makes it to the top of the hill by their second hang gliding lesson.

We can video your flights. Seeing a video of yourself right there on the hill after the flight helps you learn more quickly. You are encouraged to bring your own video and/or still camera also.

We offer transport to the top of our 200 foot training hill via a hang glider hauling vehicle.

For most people, this results in 3 times as many flights per lesson than hiking it yourself. This is one of the many advantages of our hang gliding school.

Combine the transport up the hill, Santa Barbara's consistent weather, excellent instructor, and it's easy to see why our students progress often twice or three times as fast, requiring half as many lessons, as many other schools. Many students who see how we train after they have learned to fly elsewhere wish they had known about us before.

driving glider back up hill

You will fly Wills Wing Condors and Alphas the state of the art training gliders. Advanced pilots average 2 hours per flight in our local mountains. After a tandem mountain flight you're ready for your first solo mountain flight. Your first mountain flight will be off Alternator, at 3800 feet. Your flight will last about 15 to 20 minutes. Congratulations, you're now a pilot and the air is free!

Student launching off top of hill

Physical Restrictions

  • The minimum weight is 80 pounds.
  • The maximum weight is 350 pounds.
  • You must be able to pick up 40 pounds and jog at least 5 MPH.

It's warm and sunny here in Santa Barbara year round, and we have fresh, clean, smog-free air. The weather is good for learning to fly year round, unless it's actually raining.

looking from the landing area to top of hill
student flying off top of training hill

Hang gliding is the closest you will ever come to flying like a bird or the flying you've done in your dreams. It is also the least expensive and most exhilarating form of human flight. We have a perfect safety record and plan to keep it that way. Hang gliding is safer than general aviation, aside from flying in a commercial aircraft. It has the same fatality rate per capita as scuba diving. It used to be very dangerous because of the uncertified, unsafe equipment and lack of instructors. Modern hang gliders are certified Pitch Stable and rated for 6G's positive loading and 4.5G's negative. We are looking forward to hearing from you and teaching you to fly.

Directions to Elings Park.

Google 2650 Cliff Dr., Santa Barbara. There is no address there, but it will put you very close to the entrance.

If you are traveling north on Hwy 101 from Los Angeles, you will go left on Las Positas, towards the ocean. If you are traveling south from San Fransisco, go right on Las Positas.
Go about 1 mile, through several stoplights and you will come to a "T" intersection at a stop sign with a flashing red light.
This is Cliff Dr. Take a left.
COUNT 6 TELEPHONE POLES (a couple hundred yards) on the left side and there will be a blacktop driveway. Turn in there.
Go up the driveway and stay to the left. The road will turn to dirt and go through a second gate. Park by the plastic porta-potty.