Basic InfoMap and Directions
Coordinates35.349331 -85.331661
Wind DirectionPreferred 320°, OK in light winds – 280°-350°
Wind VelocityLight winds ok, Ideal 5-10mph, Maximum 20mph
Elevation MSL2,380 feet
Elevation AGL1,420 feet
Glide to LZ4:1


Flight Requirements

  • You must read and understand our Flight Regulatory Program (FRP) requirements before flying club sites. The FRP is available at the Henson Gap clubhouse and on this web site. Pilots attempting to fly at Henson Gap who violate these requirements are subject to censure.
  • You must be a current Tennessee Tree Topper Member in good standing with a current USHPA membership and rating to fly our sites.
  • You must have an USHPA Hang Gliding rating of Novice (H2) or higher.
  • Novice pilots must have mountain flight experience at a different site before flying at Henson Gap.
  • If you are a Novice pilot, you must be briefed and vetted by a Director prior to your first flight. See the Site Briefing Request page for information.
  • First mountain flights are permitted only under supervision of a club-authorized observer at launch and radio contact with the pilot throughout the duration of the flight.
  • Tandem flights and student solo first mountain flights are prohibited unless supervised by a USHPA- certified instructor authorized by the club.
  • Solo student flights require instructor radio contact with the student throughout the duration of the flight.
  • You must read and understand our Flight Regulatory Program (FRP) requirements before flying TTT sites. The FRP is available at the Henson Gap clubhouse and on this web site. Pilots attempting to fly at Henson Gap who violate these requirements are subject to censure.

Potential Hazards

  • As winds increase, a venturi can form in the gap north of the ramp, resulting in less lift and more headwind. Stay well in front of the ridge to avoid being trapped.
  • Henson Gap may be prone to rapid changes in conditions including sudden increasing winds, thunderstorms, gust fronts and even tornadoes. Consult the weather forecast for the day and maintain awareness of any predicted severe weather and changing conditions.
  • When soaring, do not allow yourself to get too far behind the ridge. Pilots have landed in trees behind launch, please don’t repeat their mistakes.
  • Conditions can often be extremely thermic between the hours of noon and 4 pm in the spring and summertime and are often unsafe for Novice and inexperienced mountain pilots.

Launching

  • Do not begin the launch too far back. Begin at least at the red line. The red line is an acceptable starting point for a launch run even in no wind conditions. The flat portion of the decking is not the launch ramp, it is the bridge to the actual launch ramp which begins at the red line. The bridge is there to enable the pilot to reach the launch ramp, which is positioned as far out into the vertical airflow as possible.
  • If a pilot attempts to launch from too far back, they will suddenly enter the vertical airflow at the red line and this may cause the nose to pop up, a lifted wing tip, or a stall resulting in a crash on launch. This is especially a problem when winds are stronger.
  • Novices and pilots making their first mountain flight must establish and maintain radio contact with someone in the landing zone before launching.
  • Pilots should use side wire assistants in winds over 8 mph. A keel assistant is recommended in winds over 12 mph. In such winds it is especially important to launch from forward of the red line and understand how to maintain the proper angle of attack.

Important Notes

  • When assembling your wing, and preparing or waiting to launch, please keep the launch area clear.
  • Pilots should clear their launches and announce their intent to launch
  • Please take your trash with you, and keep your speed down to 15 mph when driving past the homes surrounding the Henson Gap site.

Landing – see the Henson Gap Landing Zone page

Cross Country Tips – see the Henson Gap Cross Country Tips page