01

How safe is
Paragliding?

How safe is paragliding?

All adventure sports carry risks. To operate safely in any kind of aviation environment one must strive at all times to minimise those risks. The most important pre-requisites to learning to fly safely are pilot attitude, competent instruction, and safe equipment. The modern paraglider is a sophisticated aircraft that has been computer designed, flight-tested and certified to an international standard. Ongoing research, testing and development ensures that paragliders are sophisticated in design and very safe.

How do they fly and stay up?

The wing maintains its aerodynamic form with internal pressure resulting from forward flight. Paragliders can stay aloft when the rising air currents are greater than the descent rate of the wing and have performance similar to some hang gliders.

Do you jump off a cliff?

To begin with, we don’t jump off anything. Paragliders are usually launched by running off of moderate slopes with the glider inflated until you are lifted off your feet.

What’s the difference between a paraglider and a hang glider?

The Paraglider canopy shape is maintained only by air pressure and the pilot is suspended in a sitting or supine position. A hang glider has a rigid frame maintaining the shape of the wing, with the pilot usually flying in a prone position. Hang gliders fly at much faster speeds than a Paraglider.

02

 Paraglider
Dynamics?

Where did they come from?

Paragliders originated in Europe and were originally developed from ram air parachutes, but over the years have evolved into high performance flying wings. The modern paraglider is an elliptically shaped wing made of special non-porous material.

How do they fly and stay up?

The wing maintains its aerodynamic form with internal pressure resulting from forward flight. Paragliders can stay aloft when the rising air currents are greater than the descent rate of the wing and have performance similar to some hang gliders.

Can paragliders go places?

Yes! You can soar up and down the ridge for miles after taking off from a coastal flying site. You can also go cross-country after launching from an inland mountain site or after being towed up. The longest distance flown in Australia is 335 kms. There are many paragliding competitions for experienced pilots throughout Australia and overseas.

03

Can anyone learn?

Can anyone learn?

You need to be 16 to hold a certificate. As paragliding is relatively easy to learn, some of our students have been over 60.

Do I need a license to fly?

Paragliding is regulated by the CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority) under CAO 95.8 and is classified as hang gliding. All paragliding pilots and instructors are members of the HGFA (Hang Gliding Federation of Australia). HGFA membership provides pilot certificates, a national magazine, and a public liability insurance policy for its members as well as regulating the flying sites through a comprehensive club structure.

Where do I learn?

Most of the flying instruction is carried out on the coast in the Stanwell area. We also take groups of students inland to Tumut or Manilla for weekends. This gives you extra flying time and valuable inland experience as part of your course.

What happens after I get my Restricted Certificate?

After being rated you can join a flying club, meet and fly with other pilots and also enjoy weekends away learning new skills and work your way through Intermediate and on to Advanced Level. All levels include a practical skill test and a theory exam.

Where can I fly?

There are many great-established sites in Australia, both coastal and inland. Sites are rated according to pilot ability, and Restricted Licence pilots must always fly where there is a Safety Officer. No one should ever fly alone.

04

What’s the cost?

How much does it cost to buy a Paraglider?

This varies between makes, models and exchange rates, but a middle of the range canopy and harness will normally cost somewhere in the region of $4000.00 to $6000.00. Good second hand gliders are available from around $2000.00.

Equipment and Discounts

When you learn to fly with us, we offer generous discounts on new equipment bought through the school. We sell a range of new and used paragliders and accessories and can help you choose the right equipment. All paragliders are test flown and checked and any follow up advice or help with new equipment is all part of the service.

How long do they last?

General wear and tear (especially the latter) and deterioration from exposure to ultra-violet usually limit the useful lifetime of a canopy to somewhere in the region of four years. This obviously depends strongly on use and the exposure to UV.

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