Sam Pasha|Paragliding Instructor

About Paragliding

What is Paragliding?

What is Paragliding?  Paragliding is a fun, exciting and relatively easy way to fly.  An inflatable wing and harness are used to experience this free form of flying.  A key benefit over other forms of flight is the ability of the pilot being able to pack up and carry his glider on foot after his/her flight.

Paragliding Equipment

The paraglider wing is a fabric aerofoil shape with holes in the leading edge for the air to enter, inflate and pressurize the wing.  The pilot is suspended below by multiple lines. This provides a pendulum effect which stabilizes the wing above.  The harness in which the pilot is secured also acts as a seat during the flight. Most modern harnesses will encompass some rear back protection and a reserve parachute in case of emergency.

Is Paragliding for you?

This basic form of aircraft offers the pilot unobstructed views and the full feeling of being outside flying through the air. Paragliding training field Paragliding is very accessible for people of all ages and fitness levels, most will successfully complete the course and enjoy enjoy the freedom of flying solo.

A paragliding license is obtained by attending training through a qualified instructor.  These courses can be completed in as little time as nine days.  Once qualified, continued practice and learning helps progress the pilots’ skills and safety.

An easy way to try the sport is to take a tandem paragliding flight.  This involves a flight with an instructor and gives you the experience without attending a piloting course first.

Paragliding is classed as an extreme sport and as with any aviation has inherent risks.  However, with the appropriate skills, equipment and weather conditions the risks are can be minimized. Tandem Paragliding

Flying a Paraglider

When a Paraglider stays up or flies higher it’s known as soaring.  There are many forms of gliders but all rely on the weather and air conditions to gain height.  Sailplanes, Hang Gliders & Paragliders all need rising air to gain height.  Paragliders, like all gliders are always gently sinking in the air they are fly through.  If this air is rising faster than they are sinking the glider will rise and gain altitude.

      

The two main ways a paraglider gains height is to fly in rising columns of air known as thermals or fly into moving air that is being pushed upward due to terrain, e.g. mountains or hills.  Paragliders can fly surprisingly high and in most countries are legally allowed to fly up to 10,000 feet or 3000 meters.  Control of the Paraglider is achieved via a combination of weight shift and brake lines which adjust the trailing edge of the wing.  This is similar to ailerons or the elevator on a conventional aircraft.

Paragliding cross country (XC) can be done by gliding between rising air columns or thermals and if conditions are right and the pilot is skillful enough flights of hundreds of kilometers are possible.  Skilled pilots compete in paragliding competitions in many parts of the world. Cross Country Paragliders   Competitions consist of races in which pilots fly a set course to reach a goal.  Courses are determined by weather and skill levels of the competing pilots.

A motor and propeller can be attached to a special paraglider harness to drive the aircraft forward.  This is known as powered paragliding.

Paragliders are flown in many areas where there is rising air.  A common sight is Paragliders over coastal cliffs. Pilots flying Paragliders inland do so from higher hills or mountains.

Like all aircraft, Paragliders are affected by the weather.  Rain and strong winds are the paraglider pilot's enemy. A good understanding of the weather can assist in longer and safer flights.

 
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