Eyes of SWILD

  Hang Gliding with the Wings of Rogallo in California
See also Hang Gliding at Slide Mountain for actual shoot

Hang glider setup

Setting up a Vision Mark IV at Lake Pillsbury, Hull Mountain. This is a great inland site with pretty strong thermals during the summer. Those 'freight trains' can take you to 12,000ft in an instant.

On launch

The launch at the lower site at Hull Mountain is great for Hang 2's and higher. The launch at 6500ft is wide open, with a gentle slope and excellent thermal's right up the slope typically every morning.

I can fly

It's a great feeling to be airborne. In a good thermal there is a big uplift along with the sound of 'lift' - air rushing over your wings. Paul has just about stowed his feet in his harness so he can fly prone.

Suiting up

Suiting up can be a little tricky: ankle wrap boots, warm jacket, pod harness, helmet, sunglasses, gloves etc.

Setting up

To assist pilots on landing, the Wings of Rogallo place large wind indicators in the landing zone at Hull Mountain. These featherweight flags can be seen almost from launch.

4 wheel driving

Having a four wheel drive with an extra strong metal rack is key for taking five pilots to launch. The CD player in this 4Runner didn't even skip while in 4 wheel drive maneuvering through the potholes.


Paragliders also have a great time. This pilot just launched from Peavine in Nevada, where the launch was a little rocky with boulders.

SWIFT setup

This pilot is setting up a SWIFT - a hard wing with joy stick, flying machine. It's pretty heavy compared to a hang glider, and a little tricky on launch.

SWIFT launch

Once the SWIFT takes off, it certainly does move! In the right conditions, the SWIFT can slice through the air at amazing speeds.

Alternate propulsion

Here's a new flying technique - just spread your arms, run real fast, and hope for the best when you reach the cliff edge. It's all in the mind...