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"For once you have tasted flight you will  walk the earth with your eyes turned  skywards. For there you have been and  there you long to return."  - Leonardo da Vinci
Paragliding Introduction How is it done? Is It Safe? Powered Flying Paragliding in Himachal Rates for Tandem Joyride  Introduction  Paragliding has changed the concept of sport and hobby flying since it was invented some 40 years  ago. Although humans have been known to  perform gliding flights for more than 200 years, it  was the advent of hang glider that made the sport flying popular, convenient, affordable and safe.  Then came the paraglider with its advantage of  portability, ease of transportation and setting up,  better aerodynamic performance which provided  the aero sport enthusiasts with the ultimate thrill – so far. Before taking up any type of flying –  whether gliding or powered - you must remember  that you would be exposing yourself to many  avoidable unknown hazards. “Flying by itself is not inherently dangerous but to a far greater extent than the sea, it is cruelly unforgiving of any incapacity or neglect”. Paragliding activity all over the world and particularly in India is not regulated by strict government regulations and  that puts the responsibility for safety squarely on the shoulders of flying enthusiasts. Paragliding in India can be enjoyed at various hill stations dotted across the country. So, if you are making plans to  indulge in the exciting and adrenaline-pumping activity of paragliding, all you need to do is to reach your destination, explore and prepare yourself to enjoy the thrill of paragliding. However, before indulging in this activity, you should  know in detail about it and its various aspects. How is it done? During paragliding, you sit dangling in air in a chair like harness, which is attached by means of strong thin ropes to a structure made of fabric, known as wing or canopy. The wing consists of two layers of synthetic material, either of  nylon or polyester, woven around a supporting frame. Due to its aerodynamic structure, the wing stays naturally  inflated when air enters the layers of wing fabric. Even though, there is no engine in the glider to get it propelled, the wind does enough to keep it off the ground and the gravity provides the thrust needed to propel the glider. The glider is launched into the air, by first filling the wing with air and then gathering some speed through the air by running or walking down from high takeoff sites. Once in flight, the paraglider pilot controls the velocity and direction by  changing the angle between the glider and the ground. All this is done by pulling or relaxing the ropes attached to  the wing. Is It Safe?  Like all man made machines and flying machines, paraglider also has its limitations. Weather is the most important  factor to be considered in all flying – From Boeing 787 Dreamliner to Airbus A 380 - more so in gliding flights. Strong winds can blow you far away from where you did not intend to go. The turbulence associated with strong winds and  clouds can alter the aerodynamics of the canopy, causing serious trouble with its ability to keep flying. In rapidly  rising or descending air, glider control may be limited. Clouds present the flights with their own peculiar hazards and need to be avoided like snakes.  If everything else is going good, then there is the physical demand on the body  during each take off and landing where the pilot and the passenger is required to take the shock of landing and take off on their bodies, legs and ankles. Even slight mishandling or bad luck during take off or landing can result in  serious injury. A paraglider is not as unforgiving as the powered ultralight or microlight aircraft. Powered Flying  You don't really have to worry  about wind currents if you create your own wind. Powered  paragliding and Powered Hang  Gliding is the same as regular  paragliding or hang gliding, save one thing: You sit comfortably on a seat, on three wheels and  shock absorbers. The wing is  propelled by an engine driven  propeller. The propeller has a  thrust you control, allowing you  to ascend, speed up and slow  down at will. You are not at the  mercy of winds and can choose  where you want to go. No  worries of taking the shock of take off or landing on your legs, ankles or body. Click Here to experience a Powered Paraglider OR Powered Hang Glider joyride. Paragliding in Himachal: Paragliding in India is generally  conducted from hills as they  serve as natural takeoff sites.  Hence, a number of places in the  two most prominent mountain  ranges in the country, the  Himalayas and the Western  Ghats serve as ideal sites for this adventure sport. Almost every  such place has training institutes, where you can learn the sport if  you are not experienced in it. Being a popular hill state among the tourists and paragliding joyrides being in great demand, it was natural that the  paragliding activity saw an exponential growth in Himachal in last 10 to 15 years. Paragliding pilots and institutes  mushroomed all over the state, many of dubious distinctions. Anyone who could get his hand on a paraglider canopy and could manage a take off and landing, without even the basic understanding of the science and art of this flying, started offering joyrides to gullible visitors. Many accidents shook the government into action and after the directions from the judiciary, the state government regulated the sport flying by making rules in 2004. The two most popular paragliding sites in Himachal are Solang in Manali and Billing in Kangra. For any person  wishing to do paragliding in Himachal, whether an individual doing it as a hobby or a visitor taking a joyride, it is a  must to know some important regulations which govern this activity to ensure safety of the pilots and visitors: It is mandatory for all pilots to register with the Department of Tourism or the local paragliding association. For any paragliding association or pilot to undertake joyrides, they need to be registered with the Department of Tourism and a Registration certificate/  permit/ license issued. They are required to  display these on person or at the paragliding  site. Solo Paragliding or tandem joyrides can only  be undertaken from notified sites cleared by  Department of Tourism. Before issuing the clearance, The Department of Tourism conducts a technical inspection of  each site, pilot, his equipment (Paraglider)  and other safety arrangements at the  paragliding site. In your best interest, only fly  from notified sites with those pilots who have  the certified equipment and clearance from  Govt. authorities. Rates for Tandem Joyride: The rates for Tandem Joyride in a paraglider are fixed by HP Govt. for various locations. To see the rates for Manali CLICK HERE.  
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Forget Paragliding  experience the Real Thrill in a Real Aeroplane. High speed, fast climb in an open cockpit aircraft - Aeroplane joyride on the way to Kullu Manali. Click HERE
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