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Learn to Paraglide Guide

Flight Planning

Before you take off you should do a weather, site, equipment and self analysis and formulate a flight plan and create an objective for your flight.  Then be able to adapt your flight plan to changing conditions.

Read more: Making a flight plan

Launch area selection

Where you choose to lay out your glider has a big effect on how successful your launch will be and how safe you are.

Risk assessment.  Look at the slope and identify hazards.

is it concave or convex?

are there flat areas or gullies?

is there any wind turbulence being created from other obstacles?

Imagine water flowing over the slope where would be the cleanest area


Identify hazards and set safety limits around obstacles.

Designate your stop safety line this is the point where you must make your decision of whether to take off or not. In a light wind this may be further down the slope,  in a strong wind it could be very close to your feet.  You must decide how much takeoff runway you need and whether you have the distance needed on your chosen launch place to safely inflate the glider control, check, decide then accelerate. 





Weather Conditions

Match the wind conditions with the flying site and your level.

Paragliding is very weather dependent.  You need the weather to be dry and winds lower than 18mph.  For beginners ideal conditions are from 2 mph - 15mph.  You don't need it to be sunny as a soaring site will still work well on a cloudy day if there is wind as the air is forced over the top and we can use the updraft to fly in.

Thermic conditions are created when the sun heats the air and creates cumulus cloud which can sometimes allow us to circle up to the base of the clouds.


Read more: Weather Conditions

Flying Site Selection

Match the wind and weather conditions with the flying site and your level.

You have to assess the site for physical hazards (powerlines, water etc) and wind hazards -  turbulence from the wind blowing over the terrain or funnelling through gullies.

You need to take off facing into the wind.  If you want to stay up then the slope has to be orientated into the wind. 

You need a good weather forecast and to constantly monitor and analyse how the weather actually is throughout the day.

When talking about wind direction you say where the wind is coming.  A Westerly wind is blowing from the west.  You can also use the compass rose to say Wind is 270 degress is also wind blowing from the west.

Match the time of day to the site - Easterly sites are best in the morning when the sun warms them up first, Westerly winds  in the afternoon as the local wind is generated from the sunlight hitting the hill and being drawn up to the higher hill.  Seabreezes also can develop throughout the day and effect your chosen flying site.

On a light wind day it can be better to go up a high mountain or to a hill in the head of a valley.

Strong winds you are best on a coastal site where you can soar and stay up in laminar air.

If the wind strength doubles the turbulence is four times stronger so you don't want to be flying in the leeside (behind the windward side ) of mountains or obstacles  or in the  mountains flying in strong winds.



Take Off

   Inflation good timing/ right speed/ look ahead
   Control with the break/ efficient visual check
   Decision to take off or stop by safety stop line
   Acceleration Look ahead,  lean on chest strap, keep running, contact with brakes, 
   Clear Terrain - Look far, weight forward, give speed, safe heading, clear of traffic
   Sit in Harness - Lift your knees, keep your head forward and roll gently back to sit
   In Flight Check -  from Karabiner up riser, along glider down other riser to Karabiner

Read more: Take Off Process