Requirements for the safe training of pilots

Physical Requirements for foot-launched PG and PPG

  1. AGE: Minimum age required to train is 18.  With the written approval of both biological parents, we may allow students younger than 18 to train.  If you are 46 or older, we recommend that you consult with your doctor whether it is safe for you to fly a foot-launched aircraft.  There is no maximum age limit.
  2. *ABILITY TO RUN: You must be able to run (30) yards in (6) seconds or less.  If you cannot do this, you will eventually run into trouble in a foot launched aircraft.  Before training, an instructor may ask you to complete this task if he suspects that you are not able to do it.
  3. *ABILITY TO ENDURE A MODEST FALL:  You must be able to jump from a 3' height and land safely.  Part of your training includes learning how to fall without injury.  There will be times, though not often, when a pilot will land with some force.
  4. *WEIGHT: Student pilot weight minimum is 105 lb., maximum is 200 lb.  If you are overweight for your height and build by more than 20%, this sport is not for you.  Many of those wishing to train have lost the weight necessary.  Being overweight greatly increases your risk of injury while flying a paraglider.  However, if you are unusually tall, we can make an exception to the upper weight limit.  Heavier pilots require larger gliders, harnesses, and put added strain on peripherals such as the towing winch.  Accordingly, we may charge additional fees.
  5. VISION: If you can legally operate a motor vehicle, you can fly a paraglider per any vision requirements.  If you need glasses, be sure to have sports-type eyewear, such as "Rec-Specs", that will not accidently fall off while flying.
  6. LEFT-RIGHT DETERMINATION: If you have difficulty determining which is your right or left, have someone drill you and see whether you can train yourself to instantly recognize which side is which.  It may take some time.  Getting your right or left side/hand confused can be hazardous while paragliding.

*We can waive these (3) requirements for those who are training for wheeled powered paragliding (trike or quad).

Mental Requirements

Mental stability while paragliding is necessary.  Panic, loss of self control, or anything similar can lead to injury or death.  People do not think about task saturation but it happens more often than we like, as in this video.  How will you respond to some urgent matter when you are in the air?  It is worth thinking about.  Those who have had military experience will likely have had the mental training necessary.  Most people have the necessary mental stability to paraglide.  If you can do six things at the same time (like flying a helicopter) training will be easier.  This is NOT the activity where you want to learn how you do mentally or physically when participating in an extreme sport, like paragliding.  Experience in skydiving, rock climbing, caving, kite or wind surfing, or mountaineering is helpful.  Many years of training pilots has demonstrated to us that almost all people have the necessary mental ability to paraglide.

 Paralyzing fear of heights can be overcome (yours truly) and should never be a barrier to a pilot's desire to learn how to fly.