What is the Maryland Hang Gliding Association?

The MHGA is chapter #44 of the United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (USHPA. We are dedicated to promoting the sport of hang gliding, site preservation and supporting the local flying community. The MHGA includes active pilots, students, and those who do not fly but enjoy the beauty of the sport and the camaraderie of the club. Generally, members reside in the Baltimore metropolitan/central Maryland area.

The MHGA (under agreement with the Baltimore County Recreation Parks Department) maintains a Beginner (Hang One) 130 foot training hill at Oregon Ridge Park. With its sister organization, the Capitol Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (CHGPA), the MHGA maintains several mountain flying sites: High Rock, a 1,100 foot mountain near Thurmont in Washington County, and in the Buchanan State Forest of Pennsylvania, Bill's Hill and Fisher's Road. The MHGA is a partnership owner of a five acre launch, The Pulpit, a 800 foot mountain near McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania.

Safety has the highest priority during all hang gliding activities. The MHGA and its members strictly abide by all rules and regulations of the USHGA. Each member of the USHGA is automatically insured for liability during his or her hang gliding activity, and membership in the USHGA is required to fly MHGA sites. The MHGA enforces the USHGA Pilot Proficiency System of Hang Ratings - a documented procedure that requires pilots only fly at sites and in conditions commensurate with their ability and experience (Hang 1 : Beginner, Hang 2 : Novice, Hang 3 : Intermediate, Hang 4 : Advanced, Hang 5 : Master) and additional regulations such as the requirement that pilots wear helmets and special parachutes.

The energy and knowledge shared by the members of the MHGA allows pilots to learn and develop their skills. MHGA pilots have flown throughout the U.S. and the world. Many have competed either in local, national or international meets. The average flight in Maryland is two hours in duration. The average altitude of a mountain flight is 4,500 feet (above ground level), the MHGA record is 13,500 feet.

Students and beginners need the guidance and training they can gain from the more experienced pilots. Experienced pilots and long-term members of the MHGA enjoy the spirit brought to the club by new people and student pilots. The MHGA believes that through safety, self-regulation, and cooperation the sport of hang gliding will continue to grow.

Fred "Turkey" Permenter's MHGA - In The Beginning,

an inspiring story of how the association was formed.