Andrew for all your help, patience and encouragement during my training
with you. I was always given confidence by your safety conscious
and measured judgement in assessing the flying conditions and pupils
competence levels. Above all it was always fun and exciting, whilst
making us aware of the risks and dangers."
before I can fly on my own?
without an instructor you will need to have achieved both your Elementary
Pilot and Club Pilot ratings. The EP usually takes 4 days for average
ability with good weather. The CP usually takes 8 days of good flying
days. Whatever rating you have and however experienced you are it
is never a good idea to fly totally on your own.
need to bring anything with me?
does take quite a bit of energy so you will need to bring food.
A light packed lunch with fruit or energy giving snacks. You will
use up a lot of water even on cooler days, so bring plenty. On hot
days it is wise to bring at very least two litres. Also if it is
hot a brimmed hat or cap and sunscreen. There is a fair bit of paper
work along the way so if you have trouble with small print please
bring reading glasses.
is a training day?
we start the training day at 11:00 and finish around 5:00 or 6:00.
If we need to move site during the day due to a change in the wind
direction it often means we stay out a bit longer. Some days in
the summer we will start later and so finish at dusk to avoid the
strongest thermals in the afternoon. If the wind picks up during
the day or it starts to rain then we may have to cancel the day.
weather do you need for paragliding training?
thing we need is not too much wind. If the wind on the hill is much
over 15mph or particularly gusty then it will not be safe to train.
Bear in mind that if the wind is forecast to be 15mph it may well
be much more than that on the hill. Very occasionally we get exceptionally
light winds that may be too light for you, depending on where you
are in the training programme. A little bit of dampness doesn't
necessarily stop training but if there is any proper rain, it will
clothes should I wear?
supporting boots are very important as you will be running over
uneven ground. Apart from that, a range of clothes that doesn't
mind being scuffed around a bit. Please avoid shorts and short sleeves
in the summer - loose long sleeves are best. When you are doing
the hands on training you warm up quickly but on cooler windier
days as soon as you take a break you can get chilly surprisingly
the best time of year to start paragliding?
are two answers to this - now or mid summer. Statistically late
July to Early Sept seem to give us the best proportion of flyable
days here in Dorset. So starting in the summer is most like to give
you the best chance of getting lots of training close together.
On the other hand you can get good flying at any time of year and
if you are not going to get frustrated by booking days only to have
them cancelled due to gales and torrential rain then it is best
to book in to get started as soon as possible.
need to do the EP or can I just do the CP?
need to start with the EP course. This gives you the basic skills
and an understanding of what paragliding is about - the joys, the
frustrations and the risks. The CP builds on these basics, increasing
your skill level and also the range of techniques you are able to
come and watch?
would like to come onto the hill to find out more that is absolutely
fine. Certain sites are more tightly controlled at the request of
the land-owners so we need to be respectful of that but please get
in touch to find out where we will be training. If you are training
you are welcome to bring your support crew with you (they can take
is the maximum age for paragliding?
is no set maximum age to start paragliding though you should fully
understand the risks. If you are older you will have a greater risk
of breaking something and will find it takes you longer to obtain
the physical skills. Our oldest students to complete the full CP
training were in their late sixties when they started and are still
flying nearly a decade later.
is the minimum age for paragliding?
the full courses you need to be at least 16 years of age though
you can take a Taster Day at 14 or 15 provided your parent or guardian
is present. If you are under 18 a letter of consent from your parent
or guardian is required.
not that fit - is that a problem?
thing about paragliding is that you don't need to be exceptionally
fit or strong. You do however need to be able to run fast for short
bursts when necessary and most importantly walk back up the slope
carrying your equipment many times over. We are able to accommodate
all sorts of people and a bonus is that you often find a few days
of training does wonders to your fitness levels!
happens if the wind stops?
it is not wind that makes a paraglider fly but it does help you
stay up. If the wind suddenly stops whilst you are in the air you
will just gently waft down.
if I can't get down?
will only stay up if it is in air that is going up. Most of the
time in the UK paraglider pilots fly in ridge lift - the air that
is deflected upwards as wind hits a ridge. The other type of ascending
air is found in thermals - a column of warm rising air. Experienced
pilots can climb thousands of feet in thermals and make long distance
cross country (XC) flights. If at any time a pilot wants to come
down they simply need to fly out of the air that is going up and
usually this is achieved by simply flying forward from the hill
that you took off from. There are several techniques you can use
to get down quicker that are taught in the CP course - 'Big ears'
and speed bar.
have any questions that have not been answered here please get