From catapulting flaming soldiers over castle walls to sitting on active geysers, humans have long been fixated on flying through the air. Absorb the wonderment of flight with this Groupon: for $199, you get a two-day Falcon tandem hang-gliding package at Lookout Mountain Flight Park in Rising Fawn, Georgia (a $399 value). The package includes the following:
- Beginning ground-school session
- 15 training-hill flights
- One tandem instructional aerotow flight to 2,000 feet
- Lookout Mountain Flight Park T-shirt<p>
Lookout Mountain Flight Park’s flock of USHPA-certified staff members trains hang-gliding neophytes to tickle the troposphere above a 55-acre training ground. The first day of the Falcon package begins with basic training at Lookout Mountain’s ground school to teach fliers and aspiring cartographers how to launch and control a glider through flat-ground training and indoor simulated flights. After five practice sessions the first morning and 10 the following day, students get their wind legs by learning to surf 5–10 feet above the 65-foot practice hill under the guidance of a certified instructor. The afternoon session supplies the highlights of the experience, as students strap into a tandem hang glider for an aerotow flight 2,000 feet above Lookout Valley. Before students depart the premises, they don a Lookout Mountain T-shirt that commemorates inaugural flights and replaces wardrobes forfeited in high-stakes bird races.
In total, the 110-acre mountain resort features camping, cabins, lofts, and a bunkhouse in the landing zone for extended stays. There is no limit on the number of Groupons you can purchase, so make it a family outing or organize your own flock to migrate to Miami for the winter.
Lookout Mountain Flight Park
A U.S. Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association–rated master pilot, Matt Taber has been soaring through the skies since 1978, during which time he's managed to design several of his own gliders. He's also devised and constructed other contraptions, such as glider-towing equipment and lightweight tow planes—both of which his company, Lookout Mountain Flight Park, uses to teach new recruits how to surf the skies. Matt leads a team of USHPA-certified pilots and instructors that coaches students of all levels in basics and advanced maneuvers through on-the-ground training and hands-on tandem flights, during which pilots safely guide their charges over the scenic mountains and blurry bushes of Lookout Valley. Conducted on a 55-acre private training facility, lessons can include the overnight use of amenities such as a pool, volleyball court, bathhouse, and cabins.