the hang gliding ratings are achieved based upon hours/number of flights and specific skill sets as well as passing written and practical tests under the auspices of the united states hang gliding association. you start out at beginner or "hang 1", novice is "hang 2", intermediate is "hang 3", advanced is "hang 4" and sky god is "hang 5". i'm a "hang 3" rated hang glider pilot and have about 50 more hours before i can qualify for hang 4.
you earn add-on ratings based upon special skills including aerotowing behind a slow flying "tug" ultralight, platform (truck and boat) towing, cliff launch, slope launch, high wind launching, wire crew launching, restricted landing field, etc. i have all of these, btw.
i just turned 51. i white water kayak, scuba dive, ski, water ski, race competition go-karts, do nascar racing courses, and of course, hang glide. hang gliding is better than anything i've done, so far.
my wife has a friend she plays chamber music with, who lives in vermont. i may have an opportunity to fly there someday, and if i do, i would like to meet your father-in-law. if he ever makes it down to the lookout mt. area, tennessee tree toppers sites in the sequatchie valley, or mt. nebo and mt. magazine in the arkansas river valley, he can contact me to show him around. we have great hang gliding sites. send him the tennessee tree topper web page for information on the fun-fly-in xc competition in october: www.treetoppers.net
you can click on the "video" tab for some spectacular bird's eye view videos of that site...that's what it looks like to hang glide.
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese
My father in law started at 47, so the same range. He is a "hange 3", but has the qualifications for a "hange 4', but has yet to take the test.