Wallaby Ranch Davenport Reviews
Hang Gliding in Florida Dec 13, 2009
For anyone wishing to make a first hang gliding flight, this is an excellent place. You will be flying with a highly experienced hang gliding instructor on a tandem hang glider (built to carry the weight of two people) and towed up behind an ultralight aircraft, similar to regular sailplanes, except on a smaller scale. The tandem flights, and training flights are done in the mornings, and late afternoons which is when the smoothest, least turbulent air happens.
For experienced hang glider pilots, gear rental is available. If you don't have a tow rating, you can obtain one here. Cost to earn the tow rating will depend on your experience level. Most non tow rated pilots will need to do at least one, possibly more, tandem tow(s), to demonstrate proficiency, before you will be allowed to solo. I don't have much "flatland" hang gliding experience, living in Utah, where I fly mostly ridge lift. One of the flights I have done at Wallaby topped out 3,000 feet above the altitude I "pinned off" or released from the tow plane. Normal release altitude is 2,000 feet above the ground. This flight lasted an hour and a half. I started getting tired, or I could have flown much longer, as the thermals were plentiful. Malcolm Jones operates the facility, and claims to be (and is) the oldest continuous operating hang gliding tow park in the United States. Wallaby operates as a club type facility, and offers brunch at ten in the morning, and an afternoon light meal at three in the afternoon, for a small fee.
The overall atmosphere is very laid back, but also very safety conscious. Malcolm claims the best safety record of any hang gliding tow flight park in the United States. He has the right to make this claim, because of the way he operates the park.
For more information, check out the website http://www.wallaby.com
Or call 1-800-WALLABY in the United States.
I don't have any photos, as I didn't carry a camera with me the times I flew there. I used to own and drive a Big Truck (18 wheeler). I made a few trips that took me to the Orlando area, and had time to be able to stop and fly there. The first few times I was there, I had left Utah in sub freezing temperatures, and was able to fly my glider in Florida wearing short sleeve shirts.
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