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10 Fundamental Steps to Become A Safe Pilot
Diving into paragliding is one thing, but taking the right steps to become a safe pilot is a whole other ball game. You see, there really is a right and wrong way to paraglide, with the wrong way potentially ending in bad injuries or even death of you or another person. After all, paragliding might be an invigorating, thrilling sport, but it can be dangerous if you do not take the right safety measures. Now, since pilots such as yourself (or your future self) just want to have a great experience, here are ten optimal steps that will get you prepped and ready so you can have a wonderful and safe time from start to finish.
1) Proper Training and Schooling:
The very first step to become a safe pilot is to make sure you have the proper paragliding training to fly at all. This means enrolling in a respected paragliding school, working with experienced instructors, and getting certified to operate a glider yourself.
2) Buy Quality Paragliding Gear:
Not all manufacturers are created equal. Yes, you might spend more money on gear that is higher quality from a reputable company, but it will also give you the most confidence that you will be safe using it each time.
3) Only Use Gear for Your Skill Level:
This is a big one because beginners who use pro wings will not know how to properly handle them, which can cause crashes. To prioritize safety, assess your skill level and invest in a wing and gear that is best suited for you.
4) Make A Checklist:
Write down the safety steps you need to do each time along with all the items you need to take with you during your flight. This is a perfect way to ensure you will never miss a step or forget something vital when in the air.
5) Have Your Gear Inspected Regularly:
Even if you do not see any rips, rust, or tears yourself, it is always a good idea to have your gear inspected by a professional regularly. Take the reserve pack, for example; If you have never used it, there could be all sorts of water and dirt trapped in there that can deteriorate your material, making an annual repack/inspection necessary for safety.
6) Checks On-Site:
Even if you packed up your paragliding gear and are sure it is ready to go, make sure to do another quality check when you get to your launch site. Look for any wing damage, untangle any lines, examine the riser maillons and the speed bar connectors. This is a final overview to ensure your kit is prepared and airway ready.
7) Site Assessments:
Any time you go to a new location, always do a thorough site assessment before taking off. Seek out any potential hazards that could get in your way, what the air traffic looks like, and scope out some emergency landing options just in case you need to use them.
8) Always Fly in Clear Weather:
Anyone looking to become a safe pilot should never fly at night or in weather that hinders their vision. This makes flying a hazardous sport, and one that could end not very well. Even if the skies are clear, if you see dark clouds in the distance rolling in, it is best to save your flight for another day.
9) Ensure Your Gear Is on Properly:
Are your helmet in place and the strap secured? What about your harness, are all the connections connected from your leg straps to the straps and buckles? Do your risers or brake lines have any twists that could lock up your controls? Check all your gear, every time.
10) Follow the Rules and Regulations While Piloting:
There are several rules of the sky for paragliders to follow to make sure that they and those around them are safe. From space regulations, flying locations to directional changes, you need to study and forefront these at all times while in the air to the moment you land. For more information on this, you can find it on The Rules of Paragliding – Understanding the Paragliding Rules and Regulations post.
Conclusion – Check, and Check Again
Taking the right safety steps, like listed above, is the sure-fire way you can cover your bases and truly become a safe pilot. Though it might sound like a lot of responsibility, the safety of your paragliding flight really relies on you and your due diligence from the moment you put your gear on to the moment you take it off. Much like driving a car, you are the one who needs to be in control and have the confidence that all the moving parts are doing what they should be before you go for the ride. Then while you are in motion, following the rules of the – in this case, sky – is what will keep you and those around you as safe as possible.
In summary, the best way to enjoy your flight is to always put safety first, no matter what. When you make it second nature to incorporate these steps within each experience, then you can take pride in knowing that you are a leading example of what a genuinely safe pilot looks like.