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Paragliding in Pattaya, Thailand

Aug 14, 2008
Everybody dreams of being able to fly at some point in life, running across a grassy field and soaring over houses, streets and countryside. The wind in your face, cruising like a bird leaving all your worries and stress on the ground. It is no longer just a dream but a reality with the aid of a paraglider and paramotor.

Things have come a long way since the triangular Hang-gliders of the 1970s, the development of the Paraglider has made foot launched free flight an extremely popular sport today. The paraglider was first conceived in the late 1970s by parachutists foot launching Ram Air Chutes from the Alps in France, over the years these chutes have been modified and improved into a very Efficient wing giving the pilots performance more like a fixed wing glider.

Flights of over 200km are common just using thermals and the pilots skill to find lift and stay aloft for hours on end. Training in most countries will see you airborne, solo within a few days and it is possible to have a basic licence within a few weeks. The equipment is relatively cheap, a new glider, harness, reserve parachute, Boots, helmet and variometer will see you safely in the air for less than 4000USD! With many second-hand equipment available, less than 2000USD for an aircraft is not impossible!!

During the late 1980s motorised backpacks started to arrive on the paragliding scene and the name ?Paramotor? was soon adopted. These units gave paraglider pilots the opportunity to get in the air from a flat field rather than have to find a hill or mountain to start their flights. The also
gave these flyers the opportunity to stay airborne When all the thermals of the day had finished or even before they had started.

These units are very popular in Thailand, they development of paramotoring over the last 20 years has seen the Units get lighter, more powerful and less expensive each year. The training times are similar to paragliding and there Is a huge choice of new and used paramotors available. They can be easily dismantled, will fit in the boot (trunk) of a car and only require a small soccer field as a take off area. Prices range from 10,000USD for a full tandem outfit including Wing, reserve parachute, two seater trike and instruments to 1000USD for a used solo unit.

There are dangers involved in these sports, they are classed as extreme sports but with a sensible attitude Many pilots have enjoyed decades of safe flying up to 12,000 feet over some of the most beautifull countryside In the world. There are saftey courses available to deal with collapses from flying in turbulance and all pilots carry A reserve parachute. It is easy to enjoy this sport at your own pace, evening and early morning flights in smooth Air watching the sun rise (or fall) are a popular with some, whilst others enjoy the strong lift from midday thermals.

If you are interested in either of these sports why not nip down to any Sport flying club you can see paragliders and paramotors in abundance, chat to some experts and if you can even have a taster flight on a tandem paramotor.

A few other facts: If the motor fails you are still on a glider, no problem! A reserve parachute deployment is extremely rare World record distance on a Paraglider (No Paramotor) is 349Km
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Pattaya Dude -Sun, Sea, Sand and Sex. Pattaya Info
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