Paragliding in Kealakekua near Captain Cook.
The Big Island Soaring Assoc. (BISA) is the small local club, they fly at Kealakekua, a few miles from the coast. Mostly light thermals, need to be able to do really flat turns, take off is behind a locked gate on private property that can only be reached by 4wd. Membership fee applies. High accident rate and very tight LZ's.
No local hang gliding pilots.
Location: Kealakekua near Captain Cook,very voggy (vog from the volcano) with a hot stable air mass and restricted landing fields.Lots of bandito landings. A 4 wd is required. Usually pretty short flights for visiting pilots, can be 6 minutes or less depending on how cross it is, but when it is good it is good. Take off is on private property behind a locked gate. Really tight landing areas,surrounded by big trees, light winds often cross and shifting, add some major ground effect from the lava rock LZ - sitting in the sun for hours. On take off, light wind flat slope launch, often cross,high voltage power lines to fly over right after launch. All of that resulting in several fatalities and numerous accidents over the years.
Give me a call for more info. Advanced only. 213 457 3614
Ratings held in the past with the United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Assoc. USHPA:
Advanced rated hang gliding pilot with turbulence, cliff and cross country sign off
Beginner and Advanced hang gliding instructor
Certified HG School USHGA
Advanced rated PG pilot American Paragliding Assoc. 1988
3 times re-certified paragliding instructor United States Hang Gliding Assoc. for a total of 16 years as a certified hang gliding /paragliding instructor.
The sport is relatively new in the U.S. There are about 4000 paragliding pilots in the U.S. compared to several hundred thousand around the world. The level of instruction is very uneven, except in a few hot spots. Countries like the U.K, France, Japan, Germany,Switzerland, Austria all have 10’s of thousands of pilots each and a much more advanced system in training and product development. Pretty much all of the state of the art gear comes from Europe.
The rating system in the U.S. is voluntary, instruction is not required by law to fly a hang glider or paraglider. The USHPA has not done a great job in growing the sport, membership has been stagnating for many years. Quality of instruction and high accident rates might be one of the reasons. Make sure your instructor has a lot of experience and does not hide behind some kind of certification. A lot of "instructors" have very little teaching experience in the U.S.