have originated in Europe and were initially
developed from ram air parachutes but have
evolved over the years into high performance
flying wings. Today's Paraglider is an elliptically
shaped wing made of special non-porous material
usually rip-stop nylon or the like.
Mieussy (in the French Alps ) is the place
where Paragliding first started . In early
80's . Jean Claude Betemps' was first along
with . Andre Bohn and Gerard Bosson to do
Paragliding in Mieussy, They were flying from
1010 meters in Mieussy which is considered
to be the Mecca of Paragliding. MORE
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COMMON Frequently Asked Questions
the main components of a Paraglider ?
is Paragliding different from Hanggliding ,
Parasailing , skydiving: & BASE jumping ?
4. Do you
jump of cliffs?
I want to fly ! how should I go for the sport?
hard is it to learn paragliding?
about fitness ? do you have to be super fit
and is the sport only for the young and athletic?
pilots need to be of a certain age, weight or
it a sport for women?
10. What are the
dangers? How safe is it?
11. What happens if the
12. How do you tow
a Paraglider or fly Paragliders in flat lands?
13. Does it take
any training to learn to fly a Paraglider under
tow , if one is already a pilot?
14 What does the equipment
1. WHAT IS PARAGLIDING?
1. Paragliding is the latest , most elegant
and simplest form of free flying, powered
by wind and gravity.
It is the sport of flying in a special type
of ram-air parachute which can be launched
by running down a hill. Or In the absence
of a hill, paragliders can also be towed aloft
buy by a winch on land or water.
2. WHAT ARE THE MAIN COMPONENTS
OF A PARAGLIDER ?
Paraglide kit consists of flexible wing (
which folds up like a sleeping bag) a harness
( a seat with straps -in which you sit in-flight)
in its basic form. Apart from that you need
a helmet . And above this basic configuration
it really depends on how much money you want
to spend - as there are flying instruments
and all sorts of electric gizmo and fancy
The Paraglider is folded into in a ruck sack
like bag and does not have to be rigged .
It is very light the whole kit weighs about
10-12 Kgs .
3. HOW IS PARAGLIDING DIFFERENT
FROM HANGGLIDING , PARASAILING , SKYDIVING:
& BASE JUMPING ?
is the first cousin of HANG GLIDING they fly
on the same principal except that hang gliders
fly faster are more physical , have a better
glide ratio , have to be rigged before flight
and you have to have a car to carry it . While
paragliding is very convenient can be carried
easily and you can learn it in a very short
SKYDIVING is about free-falling from a plane
or chopper before the parachute is opened
. The main function of the canopy is to arrest
the rapid rate of descent and allow a safe
landing at a particular spot. While in paragliding,
the main idea is gliding and soaring using
the canopy as your aircraft at very slow speeds.
PARASAILING: is more like an amusement park
joy ride, as it does not require any skill
or control from the participant. . You are
simply tied to a rope behind a jeep or boat
suspended from a round parachute with vents
.You go up as the jeep pulls you and come
down as the pulling stops .Also you have no
control while in Paragliding you are actively
flying with all the controls and maneuvering
is in the pilots hands .
B.A.S.E (stands for Building , Aerial , Spans
and Earth ) falling from a great height or
jumping from bridges etc is base jumping but
Paragliding is about flying.
DO YOU JUMP OF CLIFFS?
we don't . There are two phases to launching.
First the canopy is inflated into the wind
and flown up over the pilot's head. Then,
the pilot runs down the slope . so you don't
take off before checking that every thing
is ok. (probably answers the question - what
will happen if the Paraglider does not open
-then do we tumble down the mountain).
5. O.K. I WANT TO FLY
! HOW SHOULD I GO FOR THE SPORT?
need join a club/school that has a suitably
qualified teacher. Don't let someone teach
you unless they have adequate experience and
hold a pilots licence at the minimum from
a credited authority . Paragliding is not
a do-it -yourself sport (however easy it may
seem -seeing others fly ).
All necessary Equipment should be supplied
by the club or flying school. Minimum recommended
equipment as per international standards are
a helmet, DHV (or likewise certified ) harness
and a dhv certified Paraglider ( with a rating
of DHV1 - to the latest norms ). Radio and
if a winch is used it should be DHV certified
or similar testing federation.
6. HOW HARD IS IT TO LEARN
Paragliding is almost certainly the easiest
form of flying to get started in. In addition,
a pilot needs to learn at least some basics
about weather and the aerodynamic principles
7. WHAT ABOUT FITNESS ?
DO YOU HAVE TO BE SUPER FIT AND IS SPORT ONLY
FOR THE YOUNG AND ATHLETIC ?
not , you don't have to be fighting fit or
be a runner . if you can run a few yards without
becoming exhausted , you can fly . Interestingly
people at the age of 60 years and above are
taking to paragliding. Not to Mention that
ladies at 85 have also flown if you have a
medical condition that can preclude you from
engaging in this adventure sport - it should
be first discussed with school .
Normally a fitness certificate from a doctor
is good enough .
DO PILOTS NEED TO BE A CERTAIN AGE , WEIGHT
OR SIZE RANGE?
minimum age of 14 - 16 years (different for
different countries ) is required The limits
are more mental than physical. If someone
is sufficiently mature to make decisions affecting
their safety and has relatively good reflexes
, then they probably are of a reasonable age
for flying. Since flying depends more on logical
approach ,balance and endurance than on brute
As far as the weight is concerned pilots of
any size can fly, weight is no problem as
there are gliders for each weight range .but
yes you have to run at least a few yards with
dedication , if you can do that you can fly.
As far height is concerned there are harnesses
of different sizes. There are special harnesses
9. IS IT A SPORT FOR WOMEN?
it is and they have won world championships
too . also some of Paragliding records have
been set are by ladies. They fly very gracefully
indeed . Ultimately Paragliding is not about
brute strength but fine skills , technique
10. WHAT ARE THE DANGERS ? HOW SAFE
IS IT ?
the safest way of practicing any adventure
sport is watching it on TV But if you want
to have fun and the thrill you have to experience
it. Like all adventure sports it carries with
it all inherent risk factors which are minimized
using certified quality equipment , proper
training technique , flying in right conditions
and with adequate theory to back your understanding
. Modern Paraglider is a sophisticated aircraft
& has been computer designed, flight-tested
and certified to an international standard.
Ongoing R & D ensures that paragliders
are sophisticated in design and very safe.
e.g. a certified beginner glider (DHV1 ) is
designed and tested that should anything go
wrong in normal flying conditions and circumstances
- it is supposed to resume normal flight in
less than 4 seconds without any pilot input
provided the pilot is not flying in thunderstorms
or beyond the level or experience of the pilot
. This is where the maturity comes handy .
it is one of the most important factors for
making Paragliding dangerous or safe as any
sport can be.
If flown in correct conditions and the right
type of glider - Paragliding is a very special
11. WHAT HAPPENS IF THE WIND STOPS ?
loved question of pilots to tease the uninitiated
- you will probably hear from most of them
with big smiles and winks to another " you
plummet man - or you fall man " - leaving
the new pilot more nervous and scared .
Relax Flight in a Paraglider does not depend
on the wind, and paragliders can be flown
when there is no wind
As the Paraglider flies because of the "relative
wind" over the wing which creates the "lift"
which counter acts against the gravity so
you don't fall like a parachute you just glide
You too in your flying career will be asked
the same question and probably you might play
the same trick.
12. HOW DO YOU TOW A PARAGLIDER OR FLY
PARAGLIDERS IN FLAT LANDS ?
are a number of ways they include using a
static line, a payout winch or a stationary
winch . By the help of a special rope using
any of the three options you are towed aloft
where you disconnect and then fly free .
13. DOES IT TAKE ANY TRAINING TO LEARN
TO FL A PARAGLIDER UNDER TOW , IF ONE IS ALREADY
A PILOT ?
a mountain pilot can learn to fly under a
tow in about half a day , under instruction.
As the technique for take off is little different.
It is advised people without adequate tow
experience should not attempt to fly under
History of Paragliding
These were the words from an individual who
had a desire to fly. Human beings from a long
time has a life long dream to fly and the
motivation came from the free soaring bird’s
touching the blue sky higher and higher. For
convenience it didn’t took much time to invent
“Wheel”, but to fly took a long time before
understanding the science of aviation. The
stories we heard of Icarus & his father Daedalus
from ancient Greece, the scientific experiments
of Leonardo da Vinci, the vague stories of
magic carpets in Arabia, Chinamen flying man-carrying
Kites, or the stories from Ramayan of “Pushpak
Viman” bringing back Ram, Sita, Lakshman and
the famous Himalayan trip of Hanuman with
power to fly. All these stories have cropped
out of human mind for the strong fascination
of flying free, like a bird in open sky. The
modern age of aviation began in 1891 with
Otto Lillienthal , who developed bat like
wings & managed to complete two thousand flights.
His publication “the flight of Birds and the
fundamentals of Aviation” made considerable
contribution to Wright Brothers who developed
practical aircraft. Later during the World
War I a parachute type device was used for
controlled landings of Army personnel’s, supplies
and tanks to remote places where aircraft
landings were not possible. Significantly
during World War II modifications were done
on the parachute which can now be land towed,
in places such as Germany & Holland. The round
parachute required a lot of tow force to stay
aloft and weren’t very controllable. A new
style parachute “Para commander” with a more
oblonged shape, cut outs and longer panels
& vents to increase the glide angle and more
steering capability. This revolution was developed
by Pioneer Parachute Corporation in late 1950’s.
the Para commander had a glide ratio of 2.5
as against the conventional round vertically
falling parachute. David Barish in 1963 did
some serious work for NASA (National Aerospace
Administration), for experimentation in rocket
recovery devices. Francis Rogallo is one of
the pioneer in developing both hang gliding
& paragliders. Domina Jalbert a Canadian made
a new type of parachute, where between two
layers of cloth a vertical webbing was done
to hold it’s shape like a airplane wing. It
was called as “Parafoil”. A constant development
work was happening through the early seventies
and eighties, but the attention got diverted
by hang gliding in early seventies from parachutes.
In 1978 in Micussy France that became the
first Mecca of Paragliding. Many pilots started
coming to this place for flights of over 1000
meters in height. Races began to be organized
with its increasing popularity against the
heavy, risky and cumbersome Hang gliding.
Before you look for the cost of paragliding
equipment, let me tell you that you don't
need to buy any paragliding equipment for
your training course with paragliding schools
thay provide all the required stuff. Some
paragliding schools ( temple pilots) also
provides flying hours even after you complete
your course. Buying paragliding equipmentis
to be considered only when you have completed
your basic course & have been bitten by
the bug.& only if you want to fly regularly.
Be warned that this is a extreamly addictive
are official dealers for most brands of paragliding
equipment in india but before you make your
choice speak to your instructor or school.
approximate cost of equipment in India.
Glider (Canopy): From Rs. 80,000 to Rs. 1,20,000
[$1775 to $2660]. My 'Gin Zulu' glider came
for Rs. 1,04,400 Harness: From Rs. 10,000
to Rs. 30,000 [$222 to $666] depending on
the brand. My 'Supair EVO - XC sports' came
for Rs. 31,500 Helmet: From Rs. 1,000 to Rs.
13,000 [$22 to $288]. Please buy a good helmet.
My 'Charlie Insider' came for Rs. 12,500 Reserve
Parachute(MUST): From Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 30,000
[$444 to $666]. My 'Gin Reserve' came for