Potential students, interested persons, and active students are welcome to come along to flying sites to partake in the process.
It would be great if aspiring pilots and interested persons got in touch with their local flying clubs. As an interested person you can use this website as a starting point to find a flying club near you. Join their club and join their Google group/ Group Chat... to learn from all the chatter among pilots. The sport really is a small community overall and many people in the sport know each other and and can help you find more information, finding used flying gear, recommendations on finding instructors, etc.
Sometimes local pilots go on trips to the bigger flight parks to aerotow or foot launch at big flight parks, generally at these commercial flight parks there are instruction possibilites for new pilots. If there are students and interested new people active in the local flying clubs, many times the club members would welcome you to go along on a trip so you are going with buddies...you can get instruction as a student and meet up with the club locals you came with for dinner, drinks and flying talk. It all adds to your learning about the sport. Many of us pilots have learned alot around a campfire somewhere on our flying journeys.
H2 / P2 rated pilots with a USHPA Observer can fly some sites but not other sites requiring more experience and skills.
Even if a person is not flying but want to learn they can come participate in some way -we see this working at few of the clubs we fly at now. Next year’s students are tagging along this year and helping wire crew, shuttling cars, generally helping as a pit crew for the flyers. Future students learn a lot just by observing. By the time they have their first lesson they have the general idea of how flying looks. They have visually seen the motions of launching and landing it gets tucked away in the mental synapses.
Newcomers watching, talking with pilots, asking questions will go a long way to helping someone get started in this sport. Training takes a student so far, the pilot community takes the student and refines the student into a pilot.
The United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association maintains a list of Hang Gliding and Paragliding Flight Schools and Instructors - please go to USHPA’s website.
It is beneficial to ask around with some of the newer pilots who just went though training about their experiences with schools and instructors. Opinions will vary, but the students will give you the good bad and the ugly of their experiences if you ask.
Becoming a Hang Glider pilot or a Paraglider pilot is LIFE CHANGING it adds truly amazing experiences! Someday you may even look an eagle in the eye!