I have been hearing about thermals and flying conditions for many years having both my father and my brother as glider pilots. After my trip to Australia where I helped as the ground crew for Team Canada in the Australian National Soaring Championship (have a look at Emmanuel Cadieux’s blog, the Canadian pilot here), I must say that flying was ever since on my mind. I came back with some knowledge on how to identify the best cumulus clouds and a few things about meteorology.
So I have been wanting to learn how to paraglide for a while now and after convincing Chris to come with me, we booked a 5 days course in Alsace to learn the techniques. We had our classes at the Flugschule Pappus, and had Christof as our very nice instructor.
Wait, did I mentioned the classes were all in German? 🙂
Well of course we wouldn’t fly from the top of a mountain at 1000m on the first day, so we started with the basics. We first learned about the structure of the wing, how to untangle the A-B-C lines and so on. Understanding the basics, you know. And then, we learned how to launch and practiced our launching for the first 2 days.
On the third day, we had our first flight, from 40m high! This was such an amazing and unforgettable moment. During those 5 days, we had perfect conditions, we would fly everyday in the early morning till noon, have a long lunch break and fly again in the afternoon from 4 till 8ish. In the afternoon the wind would be too strong for us, little beginners.
Here is a look of our camping ground (at the lovely Camping Schlossberg):
Day 4 and Day 5 were the best. We got to fly from 90m high! That was quite impressive.
And here is our little group on the field and also in the classroom since we also needed to learn bits of theory 😉
All and for all, we had a great time. We came back to Munich on Sunday evening with a big smile on our faces and our L-License in hand. This license doesn’t give us much at the moment other than the right to do our A-License. The A-License is the one you want to have for solo flights.
Big thanks to Christof and Hari from Flugschule Pappus!