It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane….It’s Dan and Casey!

By Dan

“Start walking… jogging…RUN… RUN FASTER!!! You’re up, now keep that bar at your chin……………..aaand FLAIR!!!!  You did it!”

The encouraging words of wisdom from our flight guide at Kitty Hawk Kite’s Hang Gliding School. They claim to teach the easiest sport in the world-one so fantastically simple that even a bag of sand can do it. This might be true, once you get past the fear of being the sole pilot in your very own hang glider that lets you soar up to 15 feet above the “soft sands” of Jockey’s Ridge Dunes. Hang Gliding, Kitty Hawk Kites

Hang Gliding, Kitty Hawk Kites

If you took a poll asking people what their ideal super power would be, I think 9 out of 10 would say “flight“. The others might say super strength, time travel or x-ray vision, but let’s be real. Super strength would make it impossible to hug cute puppies, time travel would screw up the continuum and nobody likes the guy who wears sunglasses inside. So if it’s the power of flight you want, look no further. Jockey’s Ridge at Kitty Hawk is the birthplace of human-powered falling with style. It was the Wright Brothers flight location of choice and if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me.

So me, Casey and eight of our close friends journeyed out to Kitty Hawk for the weekend to take on hang gliding. After an exciting night of ghost stories, leaky tents and ukulele sing-a-longs, we rose with the sun for our 10am appointment with fate. A quick video and personal instruction session later we made the short trek to Jockey’s Ridge. Apparently it only takes around an hour to learn to fly. Who knew the amazing concept of flight could be explained and executed by newbies such as ourselves in such a short time frame.

One at a time, we made final preparations for take-off. We were each given 5 flights in rotation at progressively higher altitudes.  While each flight was only about ten seconds in length, the whole process definitely felt much longer.  At first, your heart races as you accelerate to the end of the dune. But then, a feeling of pure joy takes over as your feet are lifted off the ground effortlessly and you glide over the dunes beneath a Carolina blue sky. Then comes the landing, when your instructor tells you to flair. This can be the hardest part, and although we had a few bumps along the way, nobody had any crazy out-of-control nosedives or was blown into the next county. The instructors held onto our hang gliders with a string and guided us the entire way. All this for the price of $94 dollars a person.  A little pricey–yes. But totally worth it to experience flight where the Wright Brothers did. (Us North Carolinians are pretty proud of being first in flight if you haven’t noticed…)

Explaining the whole process can be a little tricky, so here are some pictures and videos. Please be patient with the first video–there is about 15 seconds of waiting for Casey to take flight.

Hang Gliding, ACruisingCouple

Hang Gliding, ACruisingCouple

Pretty awesome, right? And those were videos of our first flights before we really got the hang of it.  It is crazy how much better each flight is as you learn to guide the hang glider.

We would like to thank Kitty Hawk Kites for their amazing service during this awesome experience. If you’ve ever thought about flying, then these are the guys who can make it happen. But if you do go hang gliding at Kitty Hawk, don’t do what we did and camp.  Just don’t.

Meet: Casey Siemasko


Casey Siemasko is a blogger, content marketer, and co-founder of A Cruising Couple. She has been living and traveling outside of the US full-time since 2011. She finds her life inspiration in exploring the world and seeks to find the magic in the most ordinary of places.

12 Comments

  1. what are you talking about?! The camp ground was __________ (I cant think of anything nice to say)

    Reply
  2. what are you talking about?! The camp ground was __________ (I cant think of anything nice to say)

    Reply
  3. Not even sure how I found your blog but glad I did. That is something that never really crossed my mind but for some reason now, am quite keen. Seems like a great time.

    Reply
    • Thanks Rob, we’re glad you stopped by! Hope you’ll give hang gliding a try. Also, your website is absolutely awesome..just subscribed to the rss feed 🙂

      Reply
  4. Not even sure how I found your blog but glad I did. That is something that never really crossed my mind but for some reason now, am quite keen. Seems like a great time.

    Reply
    • Thanks Rob, we’re glad you stopped by! Hope you’ll give hang gliding a try. Also, your website is absolutely awesome..just subscribed to the rss feed 🙂

      Reply
  5. weeeeeeeeeee! LOVE it! haven’t done this, but have done zero gravity and been up in a harnass for a film= not afraid of heights at all! putting it on my list. loved the videos too. what are you two shooting with?

    Reply
    • You would love it! I don’t know if it’s as cool as zero gravity, but definitely a really fun 🙂 Glad you liked the videos.. we just used my little cybershot but we’re hoping for some better equipment from our wedding registry! We keep saying we’re going to get better at taking videos of all our travels haha

      Reply
  6. weeeeeeeeeee! LOVE it! haven’t done this, but have done zero gravity and been up in a harnass for a film= not afraid of heights at all! putting it on my list. loved the videos too. what are you two shooting with?

    Reply
    • You would love it! I don’t know if it’s as cool as zero gravity, but definitely a really fun 🙂 Glad you liked the videos.. we just used my little cybershot but we’re hoping for some better equipment from our wedding registry! We keep saying we’re going to get better at taking videos of all our travels haha

      Reply

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