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Paragliding - Frequently Asked Questions

Paragliding in Kullu Valley 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?
No, 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 transported.

Up to which altitude can a Paraglider be used safely?
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?

Solang Nala, above Manali, Kullu Valley

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.

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