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4 Steps to Becoming a Pilot – Paragliding

Have you ever had that dream? You know the one. You’re gliding silently through the air relaxed, without any effort and the scenery drifts on endlessly below your floating feet. Remember that overwhelming euphoria right before you realize that it’s way too good to be true? Well, what if you didn’t have to wake up?


What if you could have that dream experience right here in this reality?

I want to show you how start a new chapter in your life and gain a superpower in the process! You’ve seen the videos online, you’ve heard the pilots go on and on about their adventures, and now it’s your turn to get into Paragliding!

One of the many gifts of modern technology is the development of stronger and lighter fabric materials. Every step forward generates new possibilities for the sport of Paragliding and that translates to easier, safer, and longer lasting flights for us pilots. The sensation of flying in one can be anywhere from chilling in a hammock in the sky to the wildest downhill coaster you can imagine. The beauty is that each pilot chooses their own flight plan.

Good judgment is essential, but for those with the discipline an impossible dream is now a reality! Paragliders give us the means to reach the clouds in ways never imagined before and this is all it takes:

Brad takes a paragliding tandem in Crestlin


If you’ve never been in a Paraglider, a Tandem Flight is great way to get a feel for the experience without committing to the entire process of becoming a pilot. Passengers fly with a Certified Flight Instructor and can even take the controls and fly the glider if the conditions are acceptable. Most are surprised at how comfortable and quiet the ride is. The flights last from minutes to hours and by the end most passengers have a pretty good taste of what flying a paraglider is like.

Skydivers are delighted at the sensation of going up in lift and fixed-wing pilots are blown away by the experience of flying without a fuselage. This is an incredibly different way of being in the air, even for seasoned pilots!

There are so many variables within the sport of Paragliding that it’s impossible to cover it all in just one Tandem Flight. From Miniwings to Paramotor, Acrobatics to Cross-country, a canopy that can do so many things takes time to explore.


Yeah okay, parting with 7k isn’t easy but if you want proper gear and training, it’s the hurdle you’ll have to clear. Anything less than Quality Flight Lessons and Trustworthy Flight Equipment is below aviation standards, especially for a beginner pilot. A current and new Paraglider is the best and safest way to go. The well-being of the student pilot throughout the beginning phases of training needs to be the primary consideration! Unfortunately, far too many students attempt to cut corners by purchasing used gear from a stranger on the internet and then hoping that it holds up for their particular requirements.

New gliders facilitate a much easier learning curve and they are also safer than the technology of yesteryear. Flight Lessons are absolutely essential because what a pilot doesn’t know or isn’t aware of has a good chance of being his undoing. Get the good gear, you’re worth it!

It’s a mystery to me why some would insist on a nice vehicle, nice clothing, and a nice house in a great neighborhood, but when it comes to a life or death decision like purchasing proper flight equipment, they would rather hunt for deep discounts. It’s as if the value of their life suddenly became the last consideration over saving a few dollars. One possible explanation for this is that when an experienced pilot flies a paraglider it looks incredibly easy from a 3rd person perspective and on video. I'm often asked by members of the general public if they can simply rent a paraglider and take it for a spin. "Only if I can be beneficiary on your policy!" I say.

student foward launches a paraglider
Good form is essential for a good launch


Flight Lessons go the same way. In a sport where pilot attitude and good judgment determine everything, you need to be spending time with a practical, experienced, and responsive instructor. The psychological and emotional journey that students go through as a process is given strength or weakness as a result of their experiences in flight training. A school with a great Flight Training Program and thoughtful instructors will, in turn, produce great pilots who make thoughtful decisions.

Those who teach themselves and shortcut the Flight Lessons are evident through observable behaviors. It’s easy to spot the pilot who is unsure, unpracticed, and under-educated. A lot of times they are an accident waiting to happen and every experienced pilot has seen this spectacle play out on a launch or landing. While it is possible to learn a great deal through videos and books, the Essential Feedback Loop is a process one can only get with a coach of some sort. If a student can’t be evaluated and given feedback from another experienced pilot then they are simply guessing if their technique, form, and practices are adequate and safe. It’s ridiculous to risk an entire life on the hope that Flight Lessons are unnecessary. The consequences of being wrong in that assumption are grim to say the least.


Practice makes perfect. Rinse and repeat. You have to stay current in order to safely maintain your new superpower and that takes a minimum level of commitment. This is not a sport for dabblers. Becoming a good pilot is synonymous with proficiency and if you don’t use it, you lose it. That’s true for Paragliding and pilots who stay engaged have better reactions and gain a deeper understanding of their wings and the conditions in which they love to fly. There simply is no other substitute for just getting into the air!

Luckily, motivation is usually not an issue because this sport is a really just an addiction.

Pilots make up excuses to skip work, lie to their spouses and loved ones, and obsess over Paragliding whenever they get a chance. If you’ve found yourself gawking a flying videos late at night or considering eating less so you can buy some lessons and gear, I’m sorry… you are already addicted. Now just accept your fate and become part of the flock. You’ll feel better when you share love of flight with others of the same feather!


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