I'm Dean Funk, I fly hang gliders.
I have dreamed of flying like superman.
One day I was driving along a mountain road, all of a sudden I saw what appeared to be a large flying bird carrying a man. The large bird seemed to swoop me, then vanished. I was so curious. As I drove around the next bend, there it was, hang gliding complete with pilots jumping off a mountain edge. I almost wrecked my car.
I was fascinated. I started flying hang gliders in 1995. I purchased the Eagle Package at Lookout Mountain Hang Gliding. My first mountain flight was on my birthday that year. Two years after my first flight, I flew cross country 100 miles past Atlanta, at 85 miles I flew over my Atlanta home. It was a dream come true. I started competing in 1998, I flew in all of the Wallaby Ranch, Quest Air and Florida Ridge comps. I've also competed in the Flytec Race & Rally,
Big Spring Nationals and the US Speed Gliding Nationals.
I've competed as a US World Team pilot and flew in the 2005 World Championships in Australia. I also flew in the Australian Nationals and the Bogong Cup. Recently, I've done extensive competition tours of Brazil and Colombia. I've flown hang gliders and competed on 3 continents around the world. I love adventure travel and have done my share.
Professionally, I have worked the spring seasons of 2012 and 2014 at Quest Air Hang Gliding, near Orlando Florida, and the summer season in 2014 at Morningside in New Hampshire, I worked as a full time tandem hang glider instructor and advanced flying skills instructor. I have logged over 1,500 tandem instructional flights.
I've been flying Lookout Mountain for 23 years. It's my home, it's the mountain in my dreams and I find my Zen here. I have completed a number of significant flights at Lookout Mountain. I am the current "Great Race" record holder, which is a speed run to the point and back, my time is 24:50. I often fly to the Point of the mountain and know it like the back of my hand. Flying to the Point has become my meditation and my peace.
I can guide you to "The Point of Lookout Mountain." It's the perfect first XC flight, and a great way to break the chain. I can show you the sweet spot along the entire ridge. We have airspace, power lines, and landing field concerns. The view from above Point Park, over looking Chattanooga and the Peace Monument is a great reward during the flight.
The Lookout Valley offers great cross country potential. I have done flights to DeSoto Falls, Ft. Payne Airport, Fox Mountain, Johnson's Crook, High Point, Raccoon Mountain, Sand Mountain and the Tennessee River Gorge. It's all in my backyard. I've done many 90+ km flying tasks in the Lookout Valley.
I am very passionate about the sport of hang gliding and I enjoy mentoring and coaching. For me hang gliding is the ultimate expression of human bird like flight.
I can show you the way and help you attain your next level in hang gliding.
USHPA Master Rated Pilot #65541
© 2016 Dean Funk. All rights reserved.