Sacramento Hang Gliding
A message from George Hamilton
One day in the late ‘80s or early ‘90s I had just finished up a day of flying at our local hang gliding site near Coloma, when a visitor showed up at the gate and wanted to know where to learn how to fly. I told him about some schools in the bay area, but he asked me, “How about if you teach me how to fly?” I protested, “But I am not an instructor!”
“Let’s go over to the Sierra Nevada House and let’s talk about it,” he said. I reluctantly agreed and a few drinks later he talked me into it. He already had a glider and harness so we went out to a local hill. He was a natural student and learned quickly. He was having great fun experiencing altitude, but I was also was getting a deep satisfaction seeing someone learning how to fly and having fun.
I realized that this was something I wanted to get into, but I knew that I needed to get some training on being an instructor. I attended an Instructor Clinic at Mission Soaring Center in Milpitas and learned a lot about teaching; flying skills and teaching skills are two entirely separate things. Although my first “student” turned out fine, “Kids don’t try this at home with a non-instructor!”
Through the years, I have gone to a number of clinics and seminars and for almost 20 years now we have been fine tuning our training programs and trying new things. One innovation has been the introduction of towing. This allows students to fly higher altitudes without having to drive out of the area. They can also get a number of flights during a lesson without having to climb or drive up a hill.
Although our training program and other services will probably always be works in progress, our main concern will always be training highly skilled pilots and new flying friends. Feel free to explore the site and if you have any questions, please contact us.