8th Annual U.S. Hang Gliding Competition Takes Off In Big Spring

by Diane Tuazon
NewsWest 9

BIG SPRING - It's not a sport that's for the faint of heart, but enthusiasts say it's easy to get the hang of it.

"It's not as dangerous than you think.   It's no more dangerous than an ATV. You just use good logic and common sense," Hang Gliding Competitor, Derek Turner, said.
"It's the eighth time in Big Spring, and the reason we come is because they have the best weather and the aiport is a great facility, also the people are welcoming," Competition Coordinator, David Glover, said.

Glover says this week's weather is just what the competition needs to get going.

"The conditions we look for is light wind and puffy clouds because it helps provide easy glides," Glover said.

Each day this week is a seperate competiton. Gliders who compete must finish in the fastest time. Sunday's winner is no stranger to hang gliding.

"My father's been doing it since I was a kid. I went to the '81 and '83 Nationals. I just keep coming back for more," Turner said.

While hang gliding may not be a sport for everyone, instructors say that those who are interested can take a few courses and be gliding through the skies in no time.

"If someone wants to try hang gliding or get into the sport you can come in and we have a pilot who can teach you, so that you can experience it yourself," Glover said.

As for the man who took first place his secret to his success is simple.

"Go and practice as much as you can and go with a good pilot who makes good decisions; you'll learn to do it right," Turner said.

The U.S. Hang Gliding Competition will last until Saturday and is open to the general public.