U.S. Hang Gliding Championship Continues in Big Spring

By Anayeli Ruiz
NewsWest 9

BIG SPRING - Hang gliders will be flying high in Big Spring all this week. The city is hosting the National Hang Gliding Competition. NewsWest 9 got a chance to get in the drivers seat and glide across the West Texas skyline.

Our West Texas winds and scattered clouds is the perfect recipe for this seven day National Championship. On Monday,

"This weather is the best place to do hang gliding in the world. The airport is nice and new and the town's people in the city are so welcoming and warm," David Glover, coordinator of the Championship, said.

That's why dozens of pilots from all over the U.S. and Mexico gathered in Big Spring for the competition.

"It's a race in the sky. The clouds act as virtual gas stations and at 2,000 ft, we release them and they catch the thermals and go up," Glover said.

To U.S. champion Zach Major, hang gliding is his freedom

"It's Freedom. I challenge myself, I don't have to turn a key and make it go, it's just you working with Mother Nature, it's a rewarding experience," Major said.

Zach Major has been hang gliding for 17 years. He is the 2008 U.S. National Champion and finished fourth last year in the world championship.

Major makes this sport look like a breeze and anyone can do it.

"Anyone can learn, there's a lot of ways to learn," Major said.

So NewsWest 9 decided to take the challenge and learn to hang gliding and who better to show us than a National Champion.

NewsWest 9 went up in the glider. This is a special glider that takes two people up at a time.

We went up 2,000 feet and were released, we were able to catch a thermal and went up to 3,000 feet above the ground and the view was phenomenal.

If you would like to go up in hang glider you can for a fee of $99. Call the Big Spring airport for more information.