52nd Annual Hang Gliding Spectacular

Call for Stories!

This year, Kitty Hawk Kites is celebrating its 50th Anniversary! To commemorate this historic event, we are putting together a book of stories, photographs, artwork, and articles from our past loyal patrons, clients, and staff.

Jim “Sky Dog” Palmieri has agreed to coordinate and edit this book. He promises that it will be worthy of Kitty Hawk Kites 50th Anniversary because the book will be filled with articles, stories, and experiences written by you, the people who make up the heritage of Kitty Hawk Kites.

We invite you to submit and share a 300-500 word article or story about some unique experience or memorable event which took place at Kitty Hawk, on the dunes, in the ocean or on the sound/bay. Even if you learned to fly on the Jockey’s Ridge State Park dunes and later progressed to the mountains, a story about your most memorable mountain flight is also welcomed.

Click here to submit your Kitty Hawk Kites story!


Join professional hang gliders, fans, and families for this Kitty Hawk Flight School tradition. The Hang Gliding Spectacular is the longest-running hang gliding competition in the world! We are excited to celebrate the 52nd consecutive year of this event and have many fun activities planned.

Kitty Hawk Kites invites pilots from all over the country to come fly with us for this four-day event at Jockey’s Ridge State Park in Nags Head, NC, and the Cotton Gin in Jarvisburg, NC. We will have gliders from Wills Wing and Moyes to demo.  Fun Fact: In 2022, we had over 100 pilots attend this amazing event, the most we have ever had!!!

The Hang Gliding Spectacular and Air Games is FREE TO THE PUBLIC FOR VIEWING with fun activities all day long.

Check the Scores

Advanced Division
Novice Division




PaintingHangGlider 450x432 - 52nd Annual Hang Gliding Spectacular


If you have any questions about the Hang Gliding Spectacular and Air Games, contact the Hang Gliding School at (252)441.2426. Please submit all videos for the Film Festival to hangglide@kittyhawk.com.

*Schedule subject to change. All events are weather dependent


8:00 AM Check-in and set up @ Cotton Gin (Registration highly encouraged online)

9:00 AM Aerotow competition begins

5:00 PM Social hour @ Jennette’s Pier, Nags Head

6:00 PM John Jacobs, co-founder and chief optimist, Life is Good at Jennette’s Pier, Nags Head


9:00 AM – 11:00 AM Check-in and set up @ JRSP

11:00 AM Pilot’s meeting and start of dune competition

7:30 PM – 10:00 PM Hang Gliding Film Festival in remembrance of Bobby Bailey, Steve Wendt, and Mark Vander Galien @Kitty Hawk Kites, Nags Head



9:00 AM – 10:00 AM Set up @ JRSP

10:00 AM  Pilot’s meeting and start of dune competition

6:30 PM Instructor Alumni Reunion @ Kitty Hawk Kites, Nags Head

7:00 PM Woody Jones Memorial Street Dance @ Kitty Hawk Kites, Nags Head



8:00 AM – 9:00 AM Set up @ JRSP

9:00 AM  Pilot’s meeting and start of dune competition

12:30 PM  Rogallo Hall of Fame Inductee David Barrish video @JRSP Community Room

1:30 PM Rogallo Hall of Fame Inductee Paul Voight speaks @JRSP Community Room

2:30 PM Rogallo Hall of Fame Inductee Peter Brock speaks @JRSP Community Room

3:30 PM Official Rogallo Hall of Fame Induction

4:00 PM United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding  Association’s Martin Palmaz speech to kick off Spectacular Awards Ceremony @ Kitty Hawk Kites, Nags Head

  • Catered by Mulligan’s Bar and Grille


We will be awarding the top 3 finishers in each of two divisions: Novice (H1/H2) and Advanced (H3+).  


Pilots will be randomly assigned to a “launch group” consisting of approximately 10 pilots. When the launch director announces your group, please promptly get your harness and helmet on, clip in to your glider, hang check, and approach the designated “off by” launch line and begin a launch queue. It does not matter which order you launch in within your group, just be ready to go. Efficiency is key to getting as many rounds as possible. 


The maximum score for a flight is 50, broken down as follows: 

5 points for any safe, controlled landing in the LZ. On foot, without the nose or base tube touching the ground. Tips are okay. 

5 points for being airborne by the “off by” line. 

5 points for each cone the pilot passes around. The pilot’s body must pass around the cone, not just the wing. (4 cones/20 total points) 

4th ring = 10 points total (5 points for the ring + 5 points for the safe landing) 

3rd ring = 15 points total (10 points for the ring + 5 points for the safe landing) 

2nd ring = 20 points total (15 points for the ring + 5 points for the safe landing) 

 Bullseye = 25 points total (20 points for the ring + 5 points for the safe landing) 

The black “bowling pins” are used as a tie-breaker during final scoring in the event of a tie in first, second, and third place. Additionally, there will be a separate fun prize for the pilot who knocked over the most bowling pins throughout the competition (no matter their task score). 


It is okay for a pilot to run out their landing and receive the 5 “safe landing” points if they are nowhere near the ring.

A pilot cannot run INTO the ring for more points, however. Similarly, a pilot cannot run from one ring into another for more points, nor can they land in the ring but run out and still receive the ring’s points.

The goal is a clean, no-step landing.

Our goal is 7 rounds of competition over the course of 3 days. If and only if we complete all 7 rounds, each pilot’s lowest score will be dropped from their total score. If fewer than 7 rounds are completed, the pilot’s final score is the combined score of the completed rounds.  

This year’s Air Games at the KHK Aerotow Flight Park will be a spot landing event. If we are blessed with soarable conditions we will have an additional prize for those lucky pilots who manage to extend their flight time any noticeable amount (prizes to be announced).
Landing points will be awarded by USHPA pilot proficiency rating standards. To be awarded any landing points, the pilot must not risk damage to any part of the glider or him/herself. (if it is apparent to the landing judges that you were likely to have hurt yourself or the glider, but you “got away with it”, no points may be awarded).
Full Spot landing Points will be given if the pilot lands on his/her feet and nothing else touches the ground but the wing tips and/or keel. If anything but the pilots feet and/or allowed glider parts touches the ground, the pilot will be scored as if the landing had been one level lower that the spot of the botched landing. Special Bulls Eye rules will be in play.
Each level of the landing will be worth points based of you pilot rating:
Level one:      Successful return to earth, unhurt                                                  10 points
Level two: successful landing within the landing zone.
(Open field not being used as runway, crop, or drainage)                                15 points
Level three: successful landing in the target ring commensurate with the pilot’s current pilot rating.                                                                      25 points
Hang 2     100’ circle
Hang 3       50’ circle
Hang 4       25’ circle
If one pilot lands with one foot on the “Bull’s Eye” without the glider touching the ground he or she will receive five bonus points to win the round.
If more than one pilot lands with one foot on the Bull’s Eye, the pilot with the lowest hang rating will receive five points more than the higher rated pilot(s) who will receive five bonus points.
If the pilots have the same rating, the winner will be judged on style and receive a runoff score to become the winner of the round.
Both Feet on the Bull’s Eye with style wins!
More than one pilot with both feet on the Bull’s Eye then the rules for one foot on the Bull’s Eye applies. (And the multiverse collapses)
Any pilot who is found to have “crashed” into the Bull’s Eye will lose two levels of points or more (at the meet director’s discretion) regardless of whether or not they and/or the glider are hurt.

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