Frequently asked questions
Q: How long can you fly for?
A: The short answer is "as long as you want"! Ridge lift (the type of lift created when a wind blows over a hill) is consistent, so all the time the wind keeps blowing, you can stay in the air. However most people get tired after a period of flying the ridge and either land or choose to fly cross country, using thermic lift to stay aloft. In this case the answer is "as long as you can"! Most flights last an hour or two, but on a really long cross-country, when setting a record for example then pilots might be in the air for up to 8 hours or more.
Q: How far can you fly?
A: The UK record is over 300km and the world record is over 500km.
Q: Is it dangerous?
A: There is an element of risk in flying a hang glider. That said, it is a lot less dangerous than the general public perception. Hang glider pilots are mostly by nature cautious, considering risks due to weather conditions, the site, their equipment and their own ability prior to flight. Exact levels of risk are hard to quantify and statistics are skewed by the relatively small number of pilots compared to other activities. However it is fair to say the risk is of a similar level to other adventurous activities such as climbing, riding a motorcycle, riding a horse or playing rugby. To a large extent, as a pilot you can choose to take the level of risk you feel comfortable with by choosing where, when and how you fly.