You don't need any power, just a short sprint and you take off into the great freedom. Through simple control you fly and land precisely and safely. As a paraglider pilot you enjoy the greatest freedom of all flying sports. You can fly in every season and almost everywhere, because there are Fluggebiete worldwide. Austrian and German flight licenses are valid internationally in conjunction with a so-called IPPI Card. In the Sky Club Austria flight school you can learn every part of paragliding safely and professionally, from pedestrian to flight instructor.
Paragliding has been around since 1986. The ingenious fabric and canvas wing is a NASA invention. The sport of flying itself originated in the Alps. It is mature and fully established as a recreational activity, but also in general sport aviation. Paragliders fly at an inherent speed of about 35 km/h and can be accelerated to about 50 km/h. By circling in the thermal updraft, you can gain altitude very quickly, soar over the peaks for hours and, on good days, cover long distances. Paragliding can also be done in the lowlands. In the lowlands, the takeoff is done with the help of a trolling winch or with a backpack motor. Motor paragliding is now also a recognized air sport and is permitted almost worldwide. The Sky Club Austria flight school has been the first authorized flight school for motorized paragliding since 2006.
Paragliders are tested according to strict safety criteria and offer the highest level of passive safety. They are subjected to numerous flight tests and load tests before being approved for use. The continuation of airworthiness is guaranteed by a mandatory 2-year-follow-up inspection. The pilot harness is equipped with airbag systems and a rescue parachute. The complete flight equipment, consisting of paraglider, harness, rescue parachute and helmet, weighs approx. 8 - 15 kg and is transported in a backpack. For mountain hikers and for traveling there are light equipment with a total weight from only 3kg and a packing size, not larger than a normal hiking backpack. In normal use, flight equipment has a lifespan of about 8-10 years. Interestingarticle (Wikipedia) on the technology.
To fulfill the dream of flying, no one has to be a super athlete. The minimum age to obtain a flying license is 15 years, there are no upper limits. For people over 50 years of age, an aeromedical examination is recommended for high-altitude flights.
Paraglider pilots are on average 25-45 years old when they begin training. They come from all professions, the percentage of computer specialists, doctors, architects, technicians and engineers is above average compared to other sports.
When you fly, you switch off. In the German-speaking world, there are currently about 100,000 active paraglider pilots who find balance and relaxation in the sport of flying. About a quarter of them are women. The majority of paraglider pilots come from the city and from the flatlands.
Paragliding is an ideal sport for a short vacation. On average, a paragliding pilot spends 4-8 weekends per year and 1-3 weeks contiguous or separate flying vacations. Flying is mainly in the Alps and mainly within the flight school accompanied by a flight instructor.
Professional paragliding schools with travel agency concession also offer long-distance trips in small groups with flight instructor accompaniment to the most beautiful flying areas in the world. Examples
In paragliding, a distinction is made between pleasure pilots and sport pilots. Pleasure pilots prefer panoramic flights in calm air, avoiding strong thermals, turbulence and daredevil flight maneuvers. The paraglider of pleasure pilots is usually a simple, safe wing. Most pilots are pleasure flyers!
Sport pilots are thermal and cross-country pilots, freestyle and acro pilots. For sport pilots, continuous training and education is essential. The flying equipment is specially adapted to the pilot and requires a more active flying style.
The courses including flying equipment cost about € 400,- per week. At Sky Club Austria you will be provided with the complete flight equipment during the training. After the basic training you can either buy or rent flight equipment at the flight school. A new, complete flight equipment, costs between € 3.500,- and € 4.500,-, rented it costs including flight liability insurance about € 150,- per week. Tested used equipment is available from about € 1.200,-.
Paragliding, like any other aviation sport, can be learned and practiced absolutely safely. Accidents happen very rarely. When a paraglider pilot is injured while flying, the cause was usually overestimation of one's own capabilities, inadequate training, or flying in bad weather.
The main cause of accidents in paragliding is when "pleasure pilots" become "sport pilots" without special training and education. When practiced with proper care, paragliding is no more or less dangerous than any other sport. For most paragliders, safety is paramount.
A paragliding flight training consists of a basic training and a further training. The basic training lasts, comparable with the glider training, about 3-4 weeks. You can complete these contiguously or separately. The basic training consists of 40 high altitude flights in different basic school and high altitude flight areas and an accompanying theory lesson in the subjects flight technique, meteorology, flight practice, geography, air law and equipment knowledge. In the Sky Club Austria flight school, almost all courses are weekly courses that you can complete together or separately. E.g. in the first year the basic course and one week high altitude flight course, in the second year the second week high altitude flight training with alpine briefing including examination for the acquisition of an internationally recognized flight license. The basic training enables you to fly safely in simple conditions. You can prepare yourself for performance-oriented thermal and cross-country flying in special advanced training courses and in a safety training center.
Paragliding is a social sport. In the courses you will quickly make friends, because the common flying experience connects from the beginning. Often, even in the basic course, long-lasting friendships are made and groups of pilots are formed with whom you experience the entire training and further education together.
In the flight sport of paragliding, the Sky Club Austria flight school is considered the most successful training company in the EU. Years of experience in flight sports training, excellent flying sites, modern teaching equipment and an organization with quality assurance guarantees you the highest level of training and safe flying pleasure. All flights are made with radio and flight instructor support at the take-off and landing site. More than 10,000 pilots, including numerous celebrities from the worlds of sport and business, have acquired the tools for unadulterated flying happiness at the Sky Club Austria flight school. Every course is a first-class sports vacation.