In the late 1980s paragliding started to become popular in Europe and Britain, its pilots soon outnumbering those who fly hang gliders. The preceding image is based on a photo taken during the filming of Thermik by Henry Hauck.
In this photo by Justin P, I am visually checking the wing before commencing launch at Monk’s Down in about 2001. The red streamer on the harness indicates that I had fewer than ten hours paragliding experience after I qualified in 2000.
As world record breaking hang glider pilot Larry Tudor stated, the paraglider is in many ways what the hang glider tried to be, but did quite make it: A minimal cost, portable and lightweight, quick rigging, safe and easy to fly glider.
Barton-on-Sea, which to the east becomes Milford-on-Sea, is a popular cliff site. It is for experts only, so I have never flown there. However, it is a cycle ride from my home…
The glider fits in a big rucksack. To get ready to fly, you carry it up a hill facing the wind (in a car—no need for roof bars and other supports, on a bike, or even on horseback—it has been done) spread it out, strap in, and launch. OK, you carry out some preliminary safety checks along the way—and ground handling the things is a bit of an art—but that is about how simple it is.
Barton-on-Sea (Milford-on-Sea) is a public area.
Bournemouth even more than Barton is a cliff site for experts only. (I have never flown there either.) Like Barton, it is a bicycle ride from my home…
That’s the Isle of Wight on the horizon with its rocks and lighthouse called the Needles.
The following paragliding incident report was written in German and translated by a computer program at about the turn of the century…
Last weekend in Bassano, flies the Response of noble rehearses. Start, flies, agility, stability, sinking and Performance genuinely convincing, is with weak Vehaeltnissen soon at all by-risen, because itself the thing so beautifully to crank and one leaves contrary to my genesis in the group inside to through-crank can.
Slide to the antenna super, there in something bockigreen conditions no Zellchen emptied (mine Truck wackelt here continuously with the ears, makes however only nervously, otherwise all the same.)
Thus everything madly, or Then in when gliding direction landing strip a sow-stupid error meinerseits: Wanted to look times, like the braking force rise downward. But applied here: To hard comes softly, the ways are nevertheless somewhat shorter, and I am in the bag flight.
Which the wing made then with me, was not very merry: Special flight, negative, extremely far lateral Vorschiessen, scarcely at the sail, trailers by-fall. Before the rescue throwing I try still another Full stall, and see, the screen fly again, as if nothing would have occurred.
My warscheinlicher principal defect: after the bag flight I probably loosened the brakes not immediately completely, an error, from which I state that also different already made him. (see comment in the last DHV von Stefan Bochs believes I)
1. One more dynamically 2(-3) remains in the extreme flight such, even if he feels compared with a wackligen old Hochleister like a Intermediate.
2. Have other similar experiences with the bag flight made?
3. Gehoert, if those is the case, the behavior in the bag flight into the quality seal check?
4. Full stall seems to help as ultima ratio, a safe Behavior with full stall is thus quite relevant.
All property and no unpleasant surprises
You can try paragliding by going up with a suitably qualified pilot in a dual rated wing with a dual harness.
In the mid 1970s (the early days of hang gliding) we used to fly standard Rogallos when the hill was covered in snow like this. (I even flew when it snowed; the low sun lighting the flakes coming at me was a memorable experience.)
However, the paraglider is much quicker to get ready for flight than even the simple early hang gliders, so preparation is less of a trial in cold weather. Having said that, the seated flying position exposes the pilot to the cold more than does the prone position of the hang glider pilot in his enclosed harness, so you get colder flying a paraglider than a hang glider, despite the lower airspeed of the paraglider.
If I was this low in a hang glider I would be considering heading for the emergency landing field. However, the slow-flying paraglider has many more safe landing options including the beach.
Because paragliders fly and land much more slowly than hang gliders—and, unlike hang gliders, they remain eminently steerable at low airspeeds—you can fly them into places that would be dangerous for a hang glider to fly.
The X-38 was built to help develop technology for an emergency crew return vehicle from the international space station. The X-38 is manufactured by Scaled Composites, Inc., Mojave, California.
While paragliding equipment is very different from that of hang gliding, the basic flying skills the pilot develops are the same.
This topic continues in Paragliding continued.
YouTube video by Jeremy C of paragliding and hang gliding at Barton-on-Sea in June 2010