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You are in: Devon > Devon On Film > Film features > Live Your Dreams

A wing tip view of Mike Stainer in full flight

A wing tip view of Mike in full flight

Live Your Dreams

Devon hang gliding enthusiast Mike Stainer has produced a stunning aerial video which he hopes will change public perception of the sport. Filmed entirely in the skies above North Devon, the video gives a pilot's eye view of hang gliding.

It's probably the nearest thing to having your own wings, yet hang gliding is often perceived as an extreme white-knuckle sport.

A Devon man with a passion for hang gliding is determined to change that impression by taking to the sky with a video camera.

Mike Stainer has produced a 15 minute video, largely filmed from the the wing of his glider as it swoops over the scenic North Devon coastline.

The long sandy beaches around Woolacombe offer perfect conditions for coastal flying and from the air provide a stunning backdrop for aerial filming.

Mike swoops over the Devon countryside

Mike swoops over the Devon countryside

Mike's film 'Live Your Dreams' has already taken off in a big way on the Google Video website with well over 5,000 people viewing the footage.

"This is not your average everyday holiday video", said Mike.

"It was filmed in 2005 in the skies around Woolacombe using a Sony digital camera and a tiny micro camera attached to the wing.

"I wanted to make a film that would show people what it's really like up there.

"I think it portrays hang gliding as a peaceful and gentle sport, rather than the white-knuckle ride it's sometimes thought as."

Mike has been hang gliding since the early 1970s and is a past British Open Champion.

The moment of take-off

Mike swoops over the Devon countryside

On his travels around the world he has flown a variety of aircraft including microlites and paragliders - but hang gliding remains his real passion.

"I have travelled quite a lot, but find North Devon quite unique and as breathtaking as anywhere I have visited in the world," explained Mike.

"My devotion to hang gliding started way back in the early 1970s after I saw a BBC TV programme with Alan Whicker. It featured some crazy people jumping off cliffs with funny kite like things.

"As a child I used to run down a hill and imagine I was taking off. So really it's an extension of a boyhood dream." 

In Devon the cloud base is usually anywhere between 1,500 and 3,000 feet, but on a good day hang gliders go much higher. They normally cruise at an air speed of 25-33 miles per hour. 

last updated: 17/10/2008 at 12:40
created: 10/05/2006

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