What is a Paraglider?
A paraglider is a foot-launched, ram-air, airfoil canopy, designed
to be flown and landed with no other energy requirements than
the wind, gravity and the pilot's muscle power.
If the air is rising faster than the paraglider is descending
(as often happens) flights of 1 to 3 hours are not uncommon.
Is Paragliding Safe?
Paragliding, like any other adventure sport, has its associated
risks and to operate safely in any kind of aviation environment
and must strive at all times to minimize those risks. The most
important prerequisites to fly safely are: A responsible pilot
attitude, strict application of the prescribed "safety checklist"
and quality equipment. If these conditions are met, the slow speeds
and inherent stability of Paragliders can provide a safe and easy
way to experience "flying with the birds".
How does a Paraglider fly?
Paragliders fly on the same principles as airplanes. The cloth
is made from special chemical coated, windproof tissue, a double
layer stitched in a way that the cloth is wide from the front
and narrow from the back. More than 150 small strings tie the
cloth to the pilot and passenger.
From front, the tissue is kept open to let air enter the cells
during take off. As a paraglider runs downhill for take off with
the wind blowing against him, all cells of the glider are filled
with air. Once the cells are full, no more air can enter. Due
to its narrow construction and lower direction from the back,
a low-pressure area is created which causes a 2/3rd lift. The
wind crossing from the lower side creates a high pressure area
and causes the remaining 1/3rd lift for take off.
Does a paraglider have to jump from a hill
for take off?
a paraglider only runs down a moderate slope holding the glider
against the wind direction with an angle of 30 to 70 degrees until
the glider gets inflated and "off you go!".
What is the difference between a Paraglider
and a Hangglider (Delta)
A Hangglider has a rigid frame maintaining a shape of the wing,
with the pilot usually flying in a prone position. The Paraglider
canopy shape is maintained only by air pressure and the pilot
is suspended in a sitting or supine position.
The Hangglider has a "cleaner" aerodynamic profile
and generally is capable of flying at much higher speeds than
a Paraglider. From a packing viewpoint a Paraglider folds down
into a package the size of a largish knapsack and can be carried
away easily where is the Hangglider has a "bulky" feeling
and needs for instance a vehicle with a roof rack to be conveniently
Up to which altitude can a Paraglider be
Paragliders have been able to reach over alpine passes and have
thus been "Himalaya" proven.
What will happen if the Glider collapses
in the air?
Generally, there is very little chance of a total paraglider collapse
due to the weight of passenger and pilot and the glide ratio.
Sometimes a glider may collapse from the sides due to a change
in wind direction but it is easy for a pilot to handle this situation.
If I fly as a Passenger in a Double Seater
will I have any Responsibility during the Flight?
You can enjoy the flight like a bird in the air and don't have
to do anything special. You may even take photographs depending
on the duration of your flight.
If it is so easy, can I fly on my own?
It may look easy to fly a glider but actually it isn't. One serious
mistake during the flight and you can loose your life. That's
why a tandem pilot before escorting any passenger needs at least
one to two years of training and lots of experience.