Trike flying sounds like a sport from a toddler’s daydream, but it’s actually an alternate name for powered hang gliding, Hang Glide USA’s specialty. The company’s gliders are outfitted with engines but can also fly with their engines off, riding wind currents over Amelia Island’s scenic beaches on the Atlantic Ocean. Wind ruffles passengers’ hair, thanks to the gliders’ open-air cockpits. And though they can try their hand at the controls, passengers are always accompanied by one of the company’s instructors. Every instructor has a perfect safety record and teaches passengers flying basics during airborne rides.
The Sea & Sky Krucker Cygnet, the aircraft of choice at Duckwing Triking, may resemble a hang-glider with a motor, but a flight in it is more than just gliding about in the breeze. Called a "trike" because of its three wheels, it's an amphibious vehicle, meaning it can take off from land or water and it hatches from aquatic larva instead of being made in a factory. The pilots at Duckwing love teaching others about this unusual craft, which is why every flight is a lesson instead of just a ride-along. Passengers get a chance to take the controls and soar above the Gulf of Mexico, and St. Joseph Sound.
The FAA–certified Cygnet II–powered hang glider bearing the Amphibian Air stamp gives riders a bird's-eye view of Savannah and the outlying Low Country as they zip about during guided lessons. An FAA–certified instructor takes the front seat in the trike's open-air cockpit directly ahead of the student and demonstrates the basics of flying before allowing his pupil to take the controls if conditions permit. A certificate of training documents the flight for the student, which can be used toward a sport-pilot license. Amphibian Air recommends wearing comfortable clothing and making reservations for sunrise or sunset any day of the week, as those are some of the best times for a smooth flight.