Paragliding in Alsace

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? 🙂

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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.

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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.

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Here is a look of our camping ground (at the lovely Camping Schlossberg):

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Day 4 and Day 5 were the best. We got to fly from 90m high! That was quite impressive.

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And here is our little group on the field and also in the classroom since we also needed to learn bits of theory 😉

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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!

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