Tag Archives: Paragliding FAQs
Q: What exactly is paragliding? How does it work?
A: Paragliding is the easiest and slowest form of free flight. The equipment consists of a parachute-style canopy (that is designed to glide through the air) and a very comfortable harness that is flown in a relaxed, seated position. The glider is controlled by two toggles and can be turned in any direction, accelerated, slowed down, and safely landed at speeds that are generally less than 20 mph. Its roots are in Hang Gliding and Skydiving. Unlike Skydiving, the canopy or glider is not opened after a free fall but is unpacked from its backpack container, laid out on the ground, and launched by foot down a slope. Paragliders can be soared for hours in uplifting parcels of air from mountaintops, sand dunes and hillsides.
Q: Is it hard? How long will it take me to learn well enough to be able to fly safely on my own?
A: As I mentioned, paragliding is the easiest form of free flight to learn. Students of all ages who have basic coordination skills and can jog and run for brief intervals of up to 30 seconds can learn the fundamentals of paragliding in just a few days. Within the first day or so, you’ll be “soloing” the glider at low altitudes of a few feet. Within 15 -25 days or so of dedicated instruction and practice, you should be qualified to safely fly with your fellow pilots at many of the amazing flying sites around the country. Paragliding does requires certain flexibility with both your shoulders and knees. Some hiking and stints of vigorous exercise will be a part of any paragliding lesson.
Q: And just how safe is it?
A: Statistically paragliding is quite safe as compared to other sports. But lets face it, you are piloting an aircraft and as with any vehicle things could go wrong. When they do, only great training and a level headed approach can create a positive outcome. If you maintain a safe attitude, have patience with the weather, fly good equipment, maintain it properly and learn from a reputable school who will teach you not only how to fly but “when to fly” Choosing when to fly has the greatest impact on the safety of Paragliding.
Q: Do you have to live in the mountains to enjoy paragliding?
A: Though paragliding got its start in the Alps of Europe, it is currently enjoyed by pilots worldwide in the mountains, on the dunes of the beach, the foot hills and even the flat lands. Towing paragliders aloft has become a fixture at many schools and clubs and several long distance flights, and high altitude gains have been made from large fields in farm country or the desert.
Q: Is it expensive to learn and buy equipment?
A: Like most adventure sports, paragliding will require the purchase of instruction and gear. Paragliding gear is generally not rented but is provided in all of our pilot training packages and lessons. Upon completion of our basic course, your instructor will help you choose a wing and harness that is appropriate for you. A complete gear package will generally cost between $3500 and $5000 dollars, depending on several factors. Pilots who choose to continue beyond the training slope will likely progress with our “Guided Self Discovery” method through novice and intermediate ratings. Some additional instructional costs may be incurred and are based on the pilot’s level of progression.
Interested in paragliding lessons in New Hampshire? Get in touch with Heath at Morningside Flight Park at 603.542.4416 for more information.