Paragliding pro Chrigel Maurer during a cross-country flight
(Tandem) Paragliding in Germany
There are plenty of paragliding schools all over Germany. Most of them are in the middle (North Rhine Westphalia for example) or in the south (Bavaria) of Germany.
There are two different ways to get a first feeling of the sport. One of them are trial Days the other ones is a tandem flight with a professional pilot. On the offered trial days; you learn how to take off on a small practice hill and land by yourself. If there is no hill or mountain in sight, you must rely on winches, which pull you up a few hundred meters from where you are and let you glide back to the ground.
Tandem flights are offered by most flight schools or other providers of paragliding tandem flights, which can be easily found on the Internet.
At the page “Flying areas” I am presenting you some of the most famous and beautiful flying areas around the German Alps!
How does paragliding work?
Some people might mix-up the hang glider with the paraglider. The hang glider is a completely different aircraft with rigid wings and a triangular shape! With the hang glider the pilot lies in the harness more bird-like, the paraglider, on the other hand, lets the pilot sit in his harness like in a comfy chair. Hang gliders are much faster, but less maneuverable than a paraglider. Both types of aircraft have their own special appeal – which is why some pilots try out the “other” type of aircraft.
The special feature of paragliding is that the portable glider can be stowed away in a backpack and setting it up takes only a few minutes. The glider itself keeps its airworthy shape in the air due to “dynamic pressure”.
The air is “pressed” from the front into the open chambers of the glider. Since the glider does not have any openings at the back, the air accumulates in the glider and builds up pressure. This pressure maintains the profile of the glider. The aerodynamics and lift are comparable to many other wing shapes, such as an airplane.
Learning to fly
Many imagine that the training will be complicated, expensive and tedious. But almost all students are surprised, how uncomplicated and fast you get “airborne”.
How long does the paragliding training take?
In my experience, this depends mainly on one’s own flexibility, dedication and of course the weather. There are pilots who have their license after only two months. Others need a summer. But it never gets boring – after all, you are flying!
How much does the pilot training cost?
Depending on the flight school, it varies. The average is about 1400 € for the so-called A-certificate, excluding the fees for the exams, which is divided into a theoretical and a practical part.
What does the paragliding equipment cost?
Depending on the requirements, you must reckon with about 2000-3000 €. A new paragliding equipment cost completely around 3500-5000 €. Good, used equipment for paragliding is best bought, at the paragliding school.
After all, this makes paragliding the cheapest way to become a pilot.
Tandem Flight first?
Many people think that at the beginning of the paragliding pilot training, you will fly together with a tandem pilot – this is an exception. However, the flight with a professional tandem pilot is often the motivator to start flying, but it is certainly not a requirement to become a paragliding pilot.
From my own experience: If you are not quite sure whether this “airy” hobby is something for you, then a tandem flight will give you disclosure. And one more thing is for sure: Together with a tandem pilot, you learn paragliding in an incredibly intensive way.