What is a Paraglider?
Is Paragliding Safe?
Do you jump off a Cliff?
What is the difference between a Paraglider and a Hang Glider?
What are the advantages of flying a Paraglider rather than a Hang Glider?
How high can you fly?
How do I go about learning to paraglide?
What are the Main Components of a Paraglider?
How much does a Paraglider cost?
How long will a glider last?
Specific Local Questions:-
Can I fly my Paraglider or Hang Glider on Jersey?
Where can I fly my Paraglider or Hang Glider on Jersey?
Are there any rules about Paragliding or Hang Gliding on Jersey?
Who can I contact for more information?
Where can I get more information from?
Q. What is a Parglider?
A. A paraglider is a foot-launched, ram-air, aerofoil canopy, designed to be flown and landed with no other energy requirements other than
the wind, gravity and the pilot's musclepower. A Paraglider descends at about 3 minutes per 1000í of altitude. However, if the air is rising faster than the glider is descending (as often happens) the glider will gain height, Flights of 1-3 hours are not uncommon and easily possible around the coastline of Jersey. Paragliders
are designed for soaring flight unlike Parachutes which are designed to descend.
Q. Is Paragliding Safe?
A. Paragliding, like any other adventure sport, has its associated risks and to operate safely in any kind of aviation environment one must strive
at all times to minimize those risks. The most important pre-requisites to learning to fly safely are: pilot attitude, competent instruction, and safe equipment. If these conditions are met the slow speeds and inherent stability of paragliders can provide a safe and easy way to experience Flying with the Birds!
Q. Do you jump off a Cliff?
A. Definatly not! I donít jump off anything. Paragliders are usually launched by running off of moderate slopes (could be above a cliff) with the glider inflated above your head untill you are lifted off your feet and thus flying!
Q. What is the difference between a Paraglider and a Hang Glider?
A. A Hang Glider has a rigid frame maintaining the shape of the wing, with the pilot usually flying in a prone position. The Paraglider
canopy shape is maintained only by air pressure and the pilot is suspended in a sitting or supine position. The Hang-glider has a "cleaner" aerodynamic
profile and generally is capable of flying at much higher speeds than a Paraglider.
Q. What are the advantages of flying a Paraglider rather than a Hang Glider?
A. A Paraglider folds down into a package the size of a largish knapsack and can be carried easily in any form of transport. Conversely, a Hang-glider needs a vehicle with a roof-rack (usually with extensions) for transportation to and from the flying site, as well as appreciable time to set-up and strip-down. It's also great deal easier to learn to fly a Paraglider than a Hang Glider. What can compare to hiking to the site with your aircraft strapped to your back!
Q. How high can you fly?
A. When training you will start out just skimming the ground. As you progress and become more skilled and confident you will gradually go higher. (Under your instructors directions)
Using ridge lift as is the case in Jersey you may be able to get up to about 800ft above sea level but by thermalling in other countries Paragliders have been able to reach over 18,000í above sea level.
Q. How do I go about learning to paraglide?
A. The best way to go about learning is to book a course of instruction with a registered BHPA (British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association) school.
Most schools offer one day intro courses so that you can try out before you submit the full cost of a course. On signing for a full course you will first do the BHPA Elementary pilots licence (About 2 days instruction) and then continue on the the full Club Pilots Licence (About 3-4 days instruction). The next recommended stage is to join a paragliding club where you will be taken under the wing of more experienced pilots and learn specifics about the sites you may fly.
A comprehensive list of UK schools can be found listed on the BHPA WEBSITE "SKYWINGS".
Q.What are the Main Components of a Paraglider?
A.CANOPY (the actual "wing" or "glider" or "bag"), RISERS (the cords by which the pilot is suspended below the canopy) and a HARNESS(what you get strapped into!).
In addition, the brake cords provide speed and directional control and carabiners are used to connect the risers and the harness together.
Q. How much does a Paraglider cost?
A. This varies between the makers, models, and countries, but a middle of the range canopy and harness will normally cost somewhere in the region of £1,800 - £3,000 (Second hand gliders are usually available at a lower cost and I know for a fact that some dealers take used gliders in part exchange for new models selling the second hang glider on after full checks have been carried out.)
Q.How long will a glider last?
A. General wear and tear (especially the latter) and deterioration from exposure to ultra-violet light usually limit the useful lifetime of a canopy
to somewhere in the region of four years. This obviously depends strongly on the amount of use and the exposure to UV.
Q. Can I fly my Paraglider or Hang Glider on Jersey?
A. Yes! Allthough there are limitations on where you can actually fly and up to what height. See my SITE section and RULES section for more details.
Q. Where can I fly my Paraglider or Hang Glider on Jersey?
A. At the current time we have 6 sites around the coast of Jersey where Hang Gliding and Paragliding may take place. See my SITE section for more detailed information and maps.
Q. Are there any rules about Paragliding or Hang Gliding on Jersey?
A. Yes! Due to the close proximity of the airport to all the sites on the island there are a number of rules and considerations which have to be adhered to!
See my RULES section for more details.
Q. Who can I contact for more information?
A. Please feel free to e-mail me any further questions you may have and I will do my best to answer.
Q. Where can I get more information from?
A. My LINKS page has a number of paragliding resources listed but I suggest your first port of call is to check out the official BHPA WEBSITE "SKYWINGS"
2001/2002 Darren Dupré