Introduction to equipment, terminology, and safety procedures including preflight. Hands on forward inflation techniques (or reverse inflations, depending on wind strength), using toggles to steer and flare to prepare for actual flight. Develop proper timing for releasing A risers. Discuss ground speed/airspeed/wind speed. Weather observations as they affect current flight possibilities. Develop relationship between instructor/student and get the student used to responding to verbal communications. Possible low flights depending on student aptitude and conditions.
Review of safety procedures and more wing handling. Discuss current weather observations with student participation in short term forecasting. Discuss glider speeds (trim, best glide, minimum sink, flare) and the importance of having a flight plan. Before the first flight, it is imperative that the student understands that strong control inputs can cause oscillations, and could cause a stall or spin (discuss angle of attack). Using radio control, do some short low-level flights depending on student aptitude. Constantly assess conditions and break when conditions become inappropriate for beginners (good time for discussion of thermals and wind strength including how wind affects our glide). If not too windy, practice reverse inflation techniques.
Simulator training covering: surge control, oscillations, getting in and out of the harness seat, proper flare timing, etc. Have student give analysis of current conditions, discuss flight plan, then more flights at a higher altitude with emphasis on smooth control inputs and flare timing, some turning, ending with a safety review. (Debriefing every flight is a good practice). Use down time to discuss weather in more detail, prepare for exam, discuss landing approaches including S-turns, figure 8’s and 360 degree turns, air traffic, right of way rules, rotor etc.
Student demonstrates how to slow and speed up the glider smoothly. The student explains how to control direction and correct for an asymmetric wing fold of less than 25% and how to avoid a stall or spin. Proper PLF technique can be practiced, but be aware that this can injure the student and possibly postpone his/her training. The student now continues adding flights to the log book, each time demonstrating skills learned over the course. (See Novice Rating Requirements). More flights demonstrating control of the glider with weight shift, rear risers turns and exhibiting the ability to use big ears (with appropriate altitude). Understands that rear risers can be used to flare if the control toggles are disabled for any reason.
Continued flights until the number of USHPA/ USPPA flights and flying days are satisfied, and until student exhibits proper skills to qualify for P2 or PPG2 rating. Consult Novice requirements and work on completing these tasks. Student must pass USHPA/ USPPA Novice Paragliding written exam. The student will deliver a signed copy of the USHPA assumption of risk waiver and rating form to the USHPA office and agree to all terms and operating limitations therein. Then graduation culminating in the student buying the instructor a beer or beers in a local venue.
III. Beginning skills
developing habits (hooking in, etc.)
trim, best glide, minimum sink, flare
crosswind (launching, landing, crabbing)
flying the canopy
angle of attack
stall and spin
V. Wind and weather
rising air (dewpoint)
clouds and what they represent
VI. Landing approaches
points of reference (trees, etc)
aircraft approach/standard approach
S-turns, figure 8’s, 360’s
ground speed/wind speed/airspeed
circling turns in wind (drift)
air traffic/observe previous landings
VII. Flying skills
asymmetric – control
active flying – surge control, proper brake pressure
big ears, b-stalls, spirals
thermalling – ridge lift
flying with faster aircraft
The training can (and probably will) deviate from the daily syllabus given here based on weather conditions and students progress and is meant as a guideline.