Veronica (06-April-2014 9:02 AM)
Bman, in addition to<a href="http://qghakewctuv.com"> uliraltghts</a> and light sport aircraft, sailplanes are a nice way to go in some areas. Down here in AZ, you can join a club with reasonable annual dues and sign out an aircraft to fly pretty much whenever you want. Sailplanes have a faster learning curve than powered aircraft, and experience flying sailplanes translates well into powered aircraft. You can also fly those things all day here in AZ not a drop of fuel required after release from tow.For me, flying has always been more about being in the air and less about going from point to point. In my Air Force days, I soloed in a sailplane. I was about to solo in a plane before I stopped the powered lessons (medical red tape at the time). I switched to hang gliding (referred to as free flight or foot-launched flight) for quite a few years, and that was really more my style. I liked carrying my aircraft on my back (~60 lbs) and storing it on a ladder rack in my garage. I liked understanding every single bolt on my aircraft, and I liked being able to do a truly complete pre-flight check. I liked being able to buy a brand new aircraft for less than the cost of a used car. I especially liked the feeling of complete and utter freedom while in the air. I was not in the aircraft, I WAS the aircraft. No claustrophobic cockpit. What a feeling to thermal up over 13000 feet and fly over the back of a majestic mountain range.I gave up the hang gliding when I nearly killed myself on a steep mountain launch. For those of you that don't believe in God a near death experience followed by a miraculous save all the while KNOWING that God was in the glider with me that day would have cured me from a lifetime of atheism. I would like to emphasize that the incident was completely due to pilot stupidity, and I believe hang gliding is inherently safe as long as you are properly instructed, current, and flying within your capabilities.I still think about free flight often and long to be back in the air. I have a little powered harness that converts a hang glider into a foot-launched ultralight, and I might one day take to the skies again.