Requirements for the safe training of pilots

Physical Requirements for foot-launched PG and PPG

  1. AGE: Minimum age required to train is 18.  Under special circumstances i.e. with 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 health care provider whether it is safe for you to train.  There is no maximum age limit.
  2. *ABILITY TO RUN: You must be able to run at least (30) yards in (6) seconds or less.
  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 weight is 200 lb (190 lb for tandem flights).  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 or death while flying a paraglider.  If you are unusually tall and big, we will make an exception to the upper weight limit.
  5. VISION: Your long distance vision and depth perception must be good.  If you need glasses, be sure to have sports-type eyewear, such as "Rec-Specs", that will not accidently fall off while flying.  Inability to see clearly while in the air could result in injury or death.
  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 *EXTREMELY* dangerous 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 also of critical importance.  It is essential for engaging in any activity like paragliding or hang gliding where panic, loss of self control, or anything similar can lead to injury or death.  People do not think about task saturation but it can happen, as in this video.  How will you respond 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) pilot training will be easier.  This is NOT the activity where you want to learn how you do mentally or physically.  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.  Fear of heights can be overcome and should never be a barrier to a pilot's desire to learn how to fly.