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.
Is Paragliding for you?
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 skilful enough flights of hundreds of kilometres are possible. Skilled pilots compete in paragliding competitions in many parts of the world. 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.
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.
Paragliding is a great accessible way to fly. The sport is one of the best kept secrets out there. Soaring effortlessly over beautiful scenery alongside Kestrels or Eagles is just one of the many highlights.
Paragliding is a unique sport which offers excitement, relaxation, beauty and a buzz that’s second to none. There are many Tamdem Instructors and flight schools around Australia who can give a taster flight and advise you on the next steps if you would like to learn.
Atleast take a tandem flight, give it a try and you’ll be hooked!