May 2, 2012

Hang Gliding, North Carolina

Photograph by Tim Butch, Your Shot

This Month in Photo of the Day: Adventure and Exploration Photos

My friend Wes Stalls gave me a call one spring morning letting me know the winds were blowing out of the east and were soarable. This picture was taken at Jockey’s Ridge State Park in Nags Head, North Carolina. It is a 90-foot-tall sand dune plus smaller ones situated on a small strip of land between the Atlantic Ocean and Albemarle Sound. The Wright brothers took the first powered flight just five miles up the road from where this picture was taken. Wes was able to get in five or six turns before making his landing.

(This photo and caption were submitted to Your Shot.)

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ailsa john
ailsa john

Hang gliding is an air sport of piloting an aircraft called a hang glider. Modern hang gliders provide the ability to stay airborne for hours and travel hundreds of miles. The pilot uses a body harness to strap into a light-weight unmotorized glider that is foot-launched from a mountain, hill, or tall structure. In areas with flat terrain, a technique called "Aerotowing" is used to get the glider in the air.  Most modern gliders have an aluminum alloy frame with a fabric wing. The glide ratio has accurate which allows gliders to fly for extended time periods. Instruments used during flight include a variometer, GPS, and radio. Safety equipment used include a helmet, backup parachute  first-aid, ropes, and a knife. 

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