- Last Updated on Sunday, 16 November 2014 18:00
- Written by Matt Philips
So you've been in Pittsburgh, PA for years and have already tried everything the city has to offer; you went kayaking on the rivers downtown, rode the inclines, went to Penguins, Pirates, and Steelers games, and took a duckboat tour. You even went skydiving, scuba diving, and standup paddle boarding! But Pittsburgh finally ran out of things for you to try...or did it? Did you know that you can learn how to hang glide near Pittsburgh? No, not off Mount Washington, but at an air strip less than an hour away from downtown! Have you ever dreamed of soaring with the birds for hours on end on pockets of air warmed by the sun? Now you can learn how! And you don't even have to leave Pittsburgh to do it!
As children, our imaginations ran wild; we stuck our arms out like wings, ran down hills, and pictured our feet leaving the ground, flying off, and joining the birds soaring in the sky. Now that we're a bit older, we have the chance to make that dream a reality. Learn2Glide gives students the opportunity, equipment, practice, and knowledge necessary to make these dreams of flight come true!
As a first-time student, the first 30-45 minutes of your lesson will consist of ground school instruction to teach you how the glider works, how to hold it, how to run with it, and what to check before every flight to make sure you stay safe. Once you graduate from ground school, you will be connected to a specially-designed hang gliding winch system. This winch system allows the instructor to control how high you get off the ground. While learning the proper methods for foot-launching a hang glider into the air, you will only be pulled a foot or two off the ground, but before you know it, you will be begging for more! As you learn and demonstrate proper controlled you are pulled higher and higher into the air.
Those who find themselves hooked from day one will be happy to know that Learn2Glide also offers training courses to get you certified to fly hang gliding sites across the country at altitudes of up to 18,000ft!
Matt Philips, the owner and instructor for Learn2Glide, has been hang gliding since 2010. He has logged more than 50 hours of solo airtime at various sites in the US, including Colorado, Utah, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Indiana, and Pennsylvania. His personal altitude record is over 10,000ft above the ground. Matt became a USHPA certified and insured instructor in 2012 (USHPA #90246) and has spent countless hours working with a variety of students since then. Matt and Learn2Glide eagerly await giving you the opportunity of a lifetime and look forward to getting you in the air soon!