Nags Head, NC, July 8, 2011 – Kitty Hawk Kites announced today that, in partnership with wind energy entrepreneur David Blittersdorf, it has reached an agreement to purchase Morningside Flight Park in Charlestown, NH. Founded in 1974, Morningside has been an important part of the hang gliding and paragliding communities for nearly 40 years. The park will continue to operate under the Morningside name, and no major changes in park operations are expected. Closed in October 2010 after the death of long-time operator Jeff Nicolay, the park is expected to reopen on or around July 16.
For Kitty Hawk Kites, the acquisition serves multiple purposes, including the preservation of Morningside Flight Park as a center for hang gliding and paragliding in the Northeastern United States. Kitty Hawk Kites has also announced its intention to work with The Foundation for Free Flight to place a conservation easement on the Morningside property to ensure its long-term use as a site for hang gliding and paragliding. The acquisition also provides an opportunity for Kitty Hawk Kites, which operates the world’s largest hang gliding school on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, to further expand its mission to “teach the world to fly.”
Situated on several hundred acres in the Connecticut River Valley, Morningside’s sloping topography makes it an ideal place to teach hang gliding and paragliding lessons. As students advance in skill, they can increase the altitude from which they launch without ever leaving the park’s training facility and be fully prepared for mountain flying.
“We know that Morningside is a very special place, and we’re grateful we can play a part in preserving it as a flight park,” said John Harris, Kitty Hawk Kites’ founder and president. “We look forward to building on what Jeff Nicolay and Phil Haynes built.”
Morningside will continue to offer beginner through advanced instruction in foot-launch and aero-tow/tandem hang gliding, as well as paragliding. Kitty Hawk Kites will also hold a community social to celebrate the park’s reopening. Details are being finalized and will be posted on Morningside Flight Park’s website: www.flymorningside.com.