Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department has recently kicked off a seven-day Paragliding Festival, an initiative to attract hordes of adventure-seeking tourists to the state. This festival will happen in the second week of October, on the outskirts of Srinagar City. Though the very best times for Paragliding happen to be in the intervals of April-June and September-October.
All About Paragliding
Paragliding is an exciting & relaxing activity that everyone can enjoy. It involves flying through the air hundreds or thousands of meters above the ground and it means you must take steps to make sure of your safety. It is really easy to learn. However, one of the most dangerous aspects is the period when someone starts to feel comfortable in the air.
When you are new to flying, you will be extremely careful and even feel vulnerable. On the contrary, if you have gone through the training to become a pilot, it can be pretty easy to develop a false sense of security as it is easy to take safety less seriously and make mistakes.
These paragliding tips will help everyone in having a great time during paragliding! These tips are simple & easy to remember for anyone who begins paragliding and is looking for a great time flying in the air without having to fall too dramatically. As long as you keep a few things in mind, you'll be sure having a highly satisfying flying time.
Check Your instructor Check whether your paragliding instructor is USHGA Certfied Basic or Advanced Paragliding Instructor and how much experience he has. Having a good paragliding instructor is rather important. Try talking to him and see if you can follow all he has to say and whether he can clear your doubts properly. These instructors go through some rigorous training and know most minute aspects and should have the ability to make you understand as well. For a good flight, clearing all doubts is necessary.
Check for Steady winds For paragliding beginners it is important that you do not make flights in steady winds of eighteen km per hour or less. Heavy winds during a flight can be very dangerous as cables sometimes twist making the flight difficult and cause the pilot to steer off course. Advanced skills come handy to stay on course during a heavy and steady wind.
Understand the slopes beforehand For paragliding beginners it is best to start off by foot launching. You do it by running down a slope and letting the wind take the canopy as you fly. Beginners do well to stick to slopes with 3:1 – 4:1 ratio. It is also good to remember that wind should only be about fifteen degrees of being straight up the slope. Any slope greater than this will cause you a tough time in controlling the sail.
Ensure No obstructions Before launching yourself on foot, make sure your running is area is clear of any obstructions that you may run into. Once the wind takes the canopy and begins lifting you up, it is hard to stop the gliding forward. As far as possible, be sure to pick out a spot with little obstructions within sixty degrees to either side of the intended flight path.
Read The CanopyManufacturer's recommendations before using the canopy. As designers and manufacturers they will definitely suggest certain canopies for paragliding beginners and other canopies for more advanced gliders. Beginner's canopies are much more simple and allow the new pilot to simply focus on practicing with steering and not going too high up in the air.
1. Whenever trying new maneuvers like top landing, wing overs, spirals and other potentially dangerous tasks should done under radio or at least get some advice, or be under radio supervision where possible.
2. Always do new maneuvers with height and slightly away from ridge.
3. Do not become over confident and don’t indulge in radical stuff near the ground.
4. Check your equipment always as old and porous gliders don’t respond well to collapses and have delayed recovery and also have a tendency to go lose height just after launch .
5. Don’t believe that your glider cannot be affected by turbulence because it’s a safe wing. Overconfidence sometimes leads to injuries.
6. Unless you have proper training and understanding do not fly in conditions that your skill level cannot handle. Whenever in doubt stay out the sky and keep yourself safe.
7. Fear and reeling under low-confidence is just as dangerous as being a know-everything man. You always tend to focus on the wrong information and then make silly mistakes. Feeling butterflies in the stomach is ok but mind numbing fear is not justified. It is better not to fly.
8. Instead of rushing in anything, it is better to take time to assess your risk and venture on the side of caution.
The Best Flying Season
Paragliders' best flying season in Srinagar is from April to June. The summer months of April to June are the most pleasant although the paragliding season is enjoyed all year round. Spring and Autumn seasons bring the best possible conditions for an amazing ride. Further, September to November is also an ideal flying season. Both Indian and foreign paragliders, enjoy this time.
Sunset and Sunrise are the best time for paragliding as you will get a chance to witness some amazing views.
The unfavourable periods are the monsoons which witness rainfall and winters in December are usually harsh with temperatures falling to sub-zero levels so paragliding is not advisable then. Also when strong surface winds are prevalent, few paragliders venture out.
Reaching the Take Off Spot
To reach the adventure spot you can take a 15 min car ride starting from Harwan uphill to Astanmarg Takeoff Point 2,100 ft above the Landing Zone. This is where begins the unforgettable breathtaking adventure.
Before hopping in, you need to complete some paperwork by filling in your personal details and signing the Indemnity Bond after which the Flight Pass is given to you. Your pilot will collect the flight pass and then you can proceed.
Minimal Training from the Pilot
Before the trip, your pilot will give some basic training and help you understand the baby steps you need to take. This step-by-step explanation will cool you and you will be extremely confident and relaxed. Pay attention and clear your doubts beforehand.
Your Maiden Flight
When the wind kicks in, you can take off but don’t worry as the pilot will pull the glider steadily above your head, checks the lines and you can feel the air rushing up the slope. You take a few big steps towards the edge and off you go, your feet leave the ground as you fly away. Now just sit back, relax and enjoy the cool winds that rush towards you, while you look and enjoy the thrilling flight.
If you are an enthusiastic adventurer, you may want an acrobatic manoeuvre or a calm scenic float and your pilot does the rest. From the top you can view the entire Pir Panjal Range, the Zabarwan Range and get a peep inside the Dachigam National Park. Float a distance ahead and you also see splendid views of Srinagar City, the Dal Lake and the Harwan and Shalimar Mughal Gardens.
Astanmarg Dhara Harwan
Jammu & Kashmir
Monday - Sunday : 09.00 - 18.30
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