Forbes: One of the World's Best Hang Gliding Sites

Flying at Forbes

Forbes offers some of the most consistent hang gliding weather in the world. Smooth fat thermals, high cloudbase (up to 14,000feet) and hundreds of kilometres of uninterrupted terrain means that pilots are virtually guaranteed a non-stop competition. The past 4 years have seen the pilots fly a total of over 4600km with an average of 25-45 airtime per competition! Last year the organisers set the longest task ever in Forbes – 310km to Hay – the conditions that day were so good that almost half of the pilots flew the full distance!

In addition, of course there's the abundance of harvested fields for landing. We are very fortunate to have friendly farmers who are supportive of the competition and often lend a helping hand, a drink or food to weary pilots! One lovely famer last year even apologised for the overgrown weeds in her field!


There are no mountains to jump off, so how do we get in the air?

How does being towed up behind a plane sound? Scary? Not really….with a valid aerotow endorsement, pilots of all levels of experience can tow behind a specially designed ultralight towplane called a Moyes Dragonfly.

Dragon Fly

For hang gliders, it's the perfect way to start a flight – it's fast and efficient because the experienced tow (or 'tug' pilots) drop the hang gliders straight into a nice fat column of rising air (we call them thermals)!

ready to tow

Leaving dolly

Of course, this depends on the Dragonfly pilots' experience. We may be a bit biased but we think we have the best tug pilots in the world here in Forbes!

Introducing a few of our favourite tug pilots:

Bobby Bailey - Team Tug Leader


As the designer of the dragonfly, Bobby has countless hours of aerotowing experience. His gentle nature and knowledge about everything with wings is awe-inspiring. He leads by example and it shows in the way his team takes so much pride getting all the field airborne in the safest way possible and in the least amount of time.

Steve McCarthy


Steve is known as the 'mad flyer'! His first flight was being dragged by a very large box kite that he had built out of spruce and doped parachute nylon. Since this time he has gone on to fly Hang gliders, Trikes, Gyro's, Sailplanes, helicopters, dozens of ultralights and single engine aircraft. Throughout the year he assists in the running of Safety and Towing Clinics and takes his towing very seriously.

Pilots love him because he loves towing! He is always ready to take them up in the air and drop them into the right thermals FAST. He is also an all round great guy… softly spoken and down to earth. He has a few interesting flying stories up his sleeve too!

John Blain (or lovingly referred to as 'Blaino')


Blaino has been around for a while (63 years to be exact!). He has been involved in the flying scene for 35 years, 10 of which he has been aerotowing. He claims to have towed more than 1800 people in his aerotow career. He is always good to belt out a tune on his guitar at the end of a great flying day!

Bruce Crerar


Bruce has been flying for 30 years in one form of aircraft or another. Since buying a dragonfly in 2005 he has clocked up over 1100 tows. Ever since Bill invited him to tow at the Forbes competition he has come back every year because he loves "The people, the big air and the fun we have!"

Forbes Soaring & Aero Club


The Forbes Flatlands competition would not be possible without the support of the Forbes Soaring & Aero Club. We are so appreciative to have use of the airstrip every year, and for organising to keep the pilots and crew fed and watered in those hot days on the ground!

Rent your house or a room in your home or house swap

We already have pilots from Russia, USA, Norway, Germany, Holland, Italy and New Zealand signed up to fly in Forbes this summer as well as lots of pilots from all over Australia. Please contact the organisation if you are interested in:

  • Renting out your home while you escape the heat of summer in January
  • If you have a room or rooms to rent in your home
  • If you are interested to do a house swap with a pilot somewhere else in Australia or overseas.

For any accommodation or hang gliding or Dragonfly inquiries please contact Vicki Cain at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call Moyes Delta Gliders on 02 9316 4644.

(photos courtesy of Jamie Shelden, Moyes and Kathryn O'Riordan)