Flying Safety

Paragliding Safety: Preflight Checks

It’s exciting being on launch, especially if your friends are flying! The wind is increasing – you’ve got to get in the air! You’ve got to get in the air! You hurry it all out of the bag, throw on the harness, and fluff out the wing like a startled chicken.

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A Glider Too Far

By virtue of his role, Joe Schofield, the editor of BHPA Skywings Magazine, gets to hear many freeflight pilots' stories. Unfortunately too many of these involve low-airtime paraglider, paramotor and hang glider pilots flying unsuitable equipment, too advanced for them, often with a bad outcome. Even if, by pure dumb luck, the pilot doesn't actually crash, or by chance isn't injured, their confidence takes a knock. They can become disillusioned, afraid of flying and even lose all interest in the sport. In this article Joe shares his thoughts from many years in freeflight and offers some wise words of advice on how to avoid the pitfalls and continue having a great, safe and above all FUN time freeflying for many years to come. Greg from Flybubble adds a few words too.

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Paragliding Safety: Launch & Landing Stance

It looks cool, to just step gently off the hill, tip back into your pod, and swoop off, inches from the grass. There is a hidden danger in this bad habit, one which will show its teeth when launching into unexpected turbulence or striking a hidden object.

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XC Secrets: The Downwind Devil

Turning back at the ridge? Don't get caught by the Downwind Devil!

When soaring, it's safest to keep all turns away from the hill. But for XC you need to thermal, and effective thermaling requires circling. When you're close to the terrain, you can be caught by the 'downwind devil', especially in strong wind. This has caught out many pilots over the years, pilots who knew the theory and yet still made the mistake. It might not be as simple as it seems. Don't let it catch you!

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Flight Safety: The Downwind Devil

When soaring, it's safest to keep all turns away from the hill. But for XC you need to thermal, and effective thermaling requires circling. When you're close to the terrain, you can be caught by the 'downwind devil', especially in strong wind. This has caught out many pilots over the years, pilots who knew the theory and yet still made the mistake. It might not be as simple as it seems. Don't let it catch you!

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Reducing Risk for Free-Flyers (series)

Free-flyers are exposed to many risks. By identifying the greatest danger, you can make an effort to increase your safety margins in other areas. By examining each element of risk in turn—Weather, Wing, Gear, Sites, Ability, Knowledge—in a series of articles, we hope to provide some insight into reducing your risk.

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Attitude: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Hang glider and paraglider pilots are a very small minority and most non-flying people will only ever meet one or two of us. Their opinion of our sport will be based, for good or ill, on such brief encounters...

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