What Every Paraglider Should Know

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The most important tip for the care of your paraglider:
Never pack your paraglider away wet or damp and leave it in the bag to dry!

How do I open big ears efficiently?

A popular technique, in order to open big ears, is a jerky pumping with the brake. This technique is usually ineffective. Many gliders – also beginners gliders– can, in this way, only be opened with a time lapse. As well as this, the pumping action agitates the wing and diverts the pilot from the actual flight. Ideal to open the ears is to use a continuous, gentle and symmetrical brake line course. Even with more highly classified gliders, the ears open reliably in this way, so that without a visual check the pilot can concentrate fully on the landing.

Why is it an advantage, if big ears do not open automatically?

Big ears is a reliable and safe descent assistance. Big ears result in a shorter glide path and an increased sinking. Many pilots are of the opinion, that in this condition the glider can not collapse, even with strong turbulences. Our experience is that this is a dangerous fallacy: even with big ears one can create a front collapse or a large asymmetric collapse. Therefore it is ideal to lean the ears on so far, that they remain leaned on without brake line course and open gently during operation of the brake. One does not have to hold the outside line and can react with the brake at any time. The pilot can descend over a longer time safely without effort and can even land with leaning on ears.

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Which seating position is suitable for me?

Opinions differ greatly in answering this question. Even the most convinced horizontal harness enthusiasts change their minds during safety training to a sitting position. The more upright the position, the better can weight distributed and the better the pilot can follow impulses and the rotating motion of the canopy. All our pilots are of the same opinion: sitting is security! When adjusting the harness on the ground, one must consider that in flight the wind “blows” the pilot to the rear. In order to make a realistic adjustment on the ground, we pull the hung up pilots with approximately 30 kg to the rear. That can be done best with a spring balance and a v-line, which are fastened to the lateral belts.

How do I ideally adjust my main brake?

All paragliders are delivered with 8 cm free travel main brake line. However, there are different possibilities of holding the brake while flying. The brake should be individually adjusted, depending on the retaining method of the pilot, in order to support its flight style optimally.

During the adjustment one should walk 1 or 2cm forwards and mark the changes with a point.

Note! Brakes adjusted too short are dangerous – if the glider is already braked without having pulled the brakes! Brakes that are too long impair agility and response time. Please never forget to interlock the brake line after each adjustment carefully with the grasp.

To prevent undesired “folding” of the seat board, the seat board should be fixed by fastening the velcro straps which are found at the side of the seat board. Maximum seat board inclination can be adjusted in the same way.

How do I flair out correctly?

Only all too often we see pilots with a strongly pre-braked glider go into the final approach. On landing, the brakes are only able to be pulled slightly more. The consequence is mostly a rough landing with a much too high sink rate and thrust forward.
We recommend in the final approach to prepare the glider for landing by regulated releasing of the brake and then about 1 m above the ground to pull the brakes so that the distance to the ground is maintained as long as possible. By this gentle, slow deceleration the pilot under the glider swings easily forward: thus the lift and the energy expenditure for the landing are clearly less by the increased angle of incidence. Physically weaker pilots can land perfectly with easy tail wind.

Important: in the final landing bring the pelvis away from the harness into a hanging position.

Acro and material

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Paragliding acrobatics is getting more and more popular. Now legal in Austria and France, acrobatics are being discovered in other countries by ever more pilots. We are convinced that acrobatics is a firm component of our sport and with the correct attitude, it is hardly riskier than competition long distance flights. A discussion around the correct attitude and the perfect basic conditions would extend the scope here. We would therefore only like to list in short what is most important to us:

a suitable harness for acrobatics, with two rescue reserves.
always train over water, with an operational life raft and with automatic life jacket.
a paraglider suited for acrobatics, which corresponds to the ability of the pilot.
practice all maneuvers first under the guidance of a professional and take as much time as possible for learning each new figure.
the fascination of the acro flying lies not in the showing off but in the harmony and security of the implemented maneuvers.
permanent examining of the equipment for wear and functionality. With intensive acro flying the paraglider can become flight unfit after few months. Professional acro pilots usually change their wing every 6 months, their lines every 3 months.

The Elementary Pilot (EP) Course

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You must complete a Taster Day before you can start an EP Course, because the Taster Day is the first day of the EP course.

Most students achieve their Elementary Pilot in four days; a Taster Day plus an EP course. However, these do not have to be consecutive days. The course can be spread over a short period of weekdays or weekends (dependant on the weather and your availability).

The aim is to teach you the primary skills of flying paragliders. Having completed the basic skills on your Taster Day you will now start to achieve much higher flights up to around 500 feet. You will also learn how to turn the glider up to 180 degrees, be taught a different launch technique so you that you can fly in stronger wind. You will learn to make simple flight plans for yourself and be able to land (almost) where you want to.

The course includes some basic theory that covers Air Law, Principles of Flight and Meteorology. After successfully completing the flying tasks, you will have a final assessment with your instructor and sit the EP exam. Achieving an EP rating simply passes you ‘fit for further training’ and qualifies you to enrol on the Novice (Club) Pilot course.

Some schools insist you complete a Taster Day before starting your EP course.  This is done for four very good reasons:

1. It gives you the opportunity to talk to our other students to see if we live up to your expectations.

2. It gives us the opportunity to see if you have the necessary spatial awareness, coordination and attitude to be able to fly safely.

3. It counts toward your EP course, so it saves you money.

4. We really don’t want to take your money unless you are 100% sure of what you’re getting yourself involved in.