Flight Skills

Catching the Drift: Thermals and Wind

Holding on to a drifting thermal can be very challenging, but improving this skill can yield exponential gains in airtime. Due to their buoyancy, thermals want to rise straight up. At some point the prevailing wind will overcome this inertia and tilt the thermal column. The winds at different altitudes can vary in direction and strength. The thermals therefore follow a wandering tilted trajectory as they rise, which can be difficult to map in three dimensions.

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Wingtips: Thermaling With Others

When thermaling with others, try to follow behind pilots not to the inside of their turn. Rather slow down or widen your turn until they are on the opposite side of the thermal, so you can both help each other with maximising your climb rate. Read more

Speed Riding Safety

With less predictable snowfall and increasing numbers of free riders year on year, it’s easy to see why the discipline of speed riding is gaining in popularity. It enables access to remote and “untracked” parts of the mountain that skiers and boarders can’t get to and it’s really easy to learn the basics if you’re a good skier or paraglider pilot.

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Flying Life: teaching Gurkhas to fly in Nepal

Flybubble Team Pilot Alistair Andrews shares the joys of paragliding in Nepal. "After a blinding flying season in 2015, although hopeful, I never expected 2016 to match it. Work was more intense, I spent some time overseas both flying and not, I got married and even lost my job towards the end of the season! I was very lucky to be offered a trip to Nepal to teach some Gurkhas to fly."

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Hang-gliding Until The Mountains End

Last year, Dale Lippstreu flew 268km in South Africa on his ATOS (Class 5 rigid wing hang glider).

Although longer flights are often achieved across the South African interior, this is an exceptional flight for the mountainous region of the Western Cape, where the technical challenges usually end flights well before 200km.

Dale shares some insight into achieving this flight.

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Just Another Little Cloud

'I thought I should speak on the radio, telling the guys "I'm in the cloud, I can't get out, I'm scared..."

But then what? Which cloud? And anyway, no-one could help me.

I felt really alone and very small.'

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Landing Area Etiquette

Do you have the right of way when you land? Will it save you from a collision?

Angus Pinkerton (Chairman, BHPA's Flying & Safety Committee) takes a look at landing area conflicts and ways to manage them sensibly.

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Is Everybody OK?

Steve Empringham offers an insight into paragliding and mental health (republished with permission of Skywings Magazine).

Is it just me, or do some aspects of paragliding strike you as, well, just a bit abnormal?

If you feel like paragliding is dominating your life in a not entirely good way, read on. You are not alone. And take hope – there is another way.

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