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July 14, 1975

Hang Gliding

Author Affiliations

Denver General Hospital Denver

JAMA. 1975;233(2):171-172. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03260020057028

Elsewhere in this issue (p 158), my colleagues and I have described an experience with injuries associated with a new sport: hang gliding, or sky-sailing. Because this exciting new sport can easily be practiced with relatively little expense in many parts of the country, an increasing number of associated injuries will begin to appear, and it behooves physicians to learn something of how they are incurred.

The hang glider is an "unpowered, single place vehicle whose launch and landing capability depends entirely on the legs of the occupant and whose ability to remain in flight is generated by natural air currents alone."1

Flight is initiated by running a few steps down a hillside or mountain, against the wind, at which point the kite-like glider generates sufficient lift to make the occupant airborne. The average flight in Colorado lasts one minute. The average sailor reaches no more than 76 meters