Hensons Gap – Site Guide

Site Information

North America

Henson’s Gap is a popular hang gliding site located in eastern Tennessee, near the town of Dunlap. The site boasts outstanding views of the surrounding mountains and rolling countryside. The launch and landing areas are easily accessible by car, and the site is well-maintained by local hang gliding organizations.

Locations and Direction:

The launch area is located at the summit of Hensons Gap, which stands at an elevation of 1,955 ft (594.9 m) above sea level. The GPS coordinates for the launch area are 35.3939° N, 85.4585° W. The landing area is a grassy field at the base of the mountain, and the GPS coordinates are 35.3852° N, 85.4547° W.

Flying Conditions and Restrictions:

Hensons Gap is a great site for hang gliding enthusiasts of all skill levels. The prevailing winds are from the west, which makes for great soaring conditions. Thermals are also common in the area, which can provide additional lift for longer flights.

As with any hang gliding site, there are certain restrictions in place for safety reasons. Pilots must have a valid USHPA rating and insurance, and they must follow all local regulations and guidelines. Additionally, pilots must be aware of the local wildlife, which includes hawks and vultures.

Best Times to Fly and Visit:

The best time to visit Hensons Gap for hang gliding is during the spring and fall months. The weather during these seasons is mild and stable, which allows for long, enjoyable flights. Additionally, the scenery during these times is breathtaking, with the leaves on the trees changing colors.

Record Flights:

Hensons Gap has hosted many outstanding flights over the years. One notable flight was made by Tom Dougherty in 2016, who flew over 120 miles from Hensons Gap to the town of Dayton, TN. This flight set a new USHPA record for a hang gliding distance flight.

More Information:

For more information about Hensons Gap and hang gliding in Tennessee, visit the Tennessee Tree Toppers website at https://tennesseetreetoppers.org/ or call them at 1-931-808-8517. Additionally, the United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (USHPA) has information about local regulations and guidelines at https://www.ushpa.org/.

Leave a Reply