Flight Skills

How to use small broken thermals

Sometimes conditions can be very punchy. This might be because the wind is not really blowing directly onto the hill, causing turbulence, or perhaps it’s early in the day and the thermals are small and narrow. Making the most of these conditions can be tricky, so in this article we examine the techniques you can apply to climb to the top using these small broken thermals.

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How to review a paraglider

I thought it would be interesting to you to go behind the scenes during a Flybubble wing review, and see what I do to define the character of a new paraglider. This way you can learn some tips and tricks to apply to your own flying, and you’ll understand more about the challenges and limitations of wing reviewing.

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Landing Setup For XC Flying

Being able to land softly, every time, is a great skill to have. It’s essential for cross country flying, when you don’t know what you’re going to be landing on. I’ve landed on everything from rocky mountain-sides and vineyards to carparks and golf courses. The setup remains the same regardless of the obstacles you encounter: it’s essential that you land pointed into wind, with enough speed to get a swoop out of your flare. By timing your touchdown correctly, it becomes more a matter of stepping onto something rather than swinging into it.

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Flight Safety: The Essential 60 Seconds

Dr Matt Wilkes and Dr Lucy Hawkes led a research group investigating the effects of altitude on paraglider pilots, under the banner of the Free Flight Physiology Project. Although the high altitude research has produced many useful results, what I’ve chosen to focus on is the discovery that relates to every freeflight pilot. Something that could make a big impact on your flying safety.

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Improve Your Ground Handling

Improving your ground handling skills is very important for paraglider pilots, both for your safety on the launch site, and for building your confidence before you fly. But where should you practice it, and what should you be trying to do? We offer some tips and a structured set of exercises to get you started on mastering your wing control.

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Strong Wind Depower: Rear Riser Control

Launching in strong wind is difficult to learn, because if you get it wrong you’re quickly overpowered. Here’s a technique that reduces the force generated by the paraglider, allowing you to stay in control.

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How To Cobra Launch (and not get bitten)

The Cobra Launch is an alternative launch technique for moderate to strong wind. It works by pulling the wing up from a crosswind position relative to the pilot, so the pull force is reduced. In this article we analyse the setup and control required for a successful Cobra Launch.

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Basic Soaring Skills for Low Airtime Pilots

Ridge soaring provides an essential learning environment for low airtime pilots, allowing you to build airtime without the turbulence and hit-and-miss altitude of thermic flying. But after you've gone up and down the ridge twenty times, what else can you do? Are there some things you could be exploring to improve your skills faster? Yes there are!

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How To Topland Safely (On a Paraglider)

Landing on top of a ridge or even on the launch site is a useful skill for paraglider pilots, but the top of the ridge is usually the windiest place to land. This is partly because of wind gradient (wind often increases with altitude) and partly because of the Venturi effect: the wind is accelerated over the top and around the sides of any obstacle. In this article we study various approaches to making a safe landing.

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Managing Your Paraglider On Windy Launch Sites

Flying in strong winds can be really risky, so I thought I’d share with you just a normal procedure that I use when flying in strong wind. You really want to practice this in more mellow conditions and slowly build up your skill level to get into the strong stuff. Probably 90% of accidents are caused by trying to fly in conditions that are too strong.

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