They Don’t Call it FREE Flight for Nuthin’

We often refer to hang gliding as "free flight" because of the fact that we can fly for hours and go for many miles without any power source other than the heating provided by the sun beating against the ground and the gravity that creates our glide. But lots of us like the term for other reasons. Hang gliding--unlike just about every other facet of everyone's life--is unregulated by government. That's right. The FAA does not get involved in our pilot certification (which is quite rigorous, nonetheless). The FAA does not get involved in the certification of gliders and other equipment (rigorous, and expensive, for manufacturers--and there aren't even any "uncertified" gliders for sale (see HGMA)). The FAA does not get involved in the locations we fly. Our association, the United States Hang-Gliding Association (USHGA) coordinates with landowners to provide insurance for our flying activities. In short, you, dear citizen, don't pay a single penny for our activities. I wouldn't trade such rational and natural anarchy for anything, and most of those I know in the sport wouldn't either. Proof? Well, it pains me to prove it in such a heartbreaking way, but here it is. There was a tragic...

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Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2022, contains over 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More
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