Have you ever taken a Tandem Paragliding flight? If you haven't then you have missed something absolutely unbeatable in terms of adventure experience. If you have, you can now raise the bar by paragliding in Pokhara, Nepal. Pokhara has a 180 degree view of the mountains from the valley floor. Imagine the kind of view you can get when you are up in the air, the closest thing to a bird, no sound of the engine, the wind in your face and nothing but air 3000 feet below your feet.
You ride with your highly experienced pilot, who takes you from the top of a ridge above Pokhara valley to the valley floor. The Pilot uses local knowledge of thermal winds to keep you flying for as long as possible, but when you land, you will know why the birds sing.
Statutory Warning: Flying Paragliders in the High Himalayas is highly addictive.
1. What is Paragliding?
Paragliding is a recreative adventure sport/activity. You fly lightweight glider like aircraft that is a paraglider. A paraglider does not have a fixed structure and it is an amazing amount of fun to be on this free-flying craft. A pilot has enormous responsibility on his shoulders and we expect you to follow his as well the rest of the crew’s instructions. When you take part in Tandem Paragliding, you also become a part of the flight crew and the quality of the take-off and landing depends on you as well.
2. What is a Tandem paragliding flight?
When you take part in tandem paragliding, you are securely strapped into a flying harness. It is a comfortable position and you are in front of the pilot. You are connected to the pilot and the glider by spreader bars. These paragliders are particularly designed to carry 2 people and almost twice as big as the solo ones.
Thermal air currents are used in order to have a good start and to go higher and continue flying. Since no one can predict the changes these air currents go through, there is no fixed-time-guarantee for the duration of these flights. Pilot uses his/her knowledge and experience to give you the best flying time.
3. What should I know about Tandem Paragliding flight?
Even though there is no said information or knowledge that you are required to have, it is good to know what Tandem paragliding is all about. We expect you to pay attention to the briefing session and follow all the instructions. While taking-off, you run when we say “run” and continue with it until we are in the air. Once in the air, the paraglider is controlled by pulling on brake handles and shifting weight. The pilot could ask you to shift your weight while turning and if the conditions are good, might even let you control the glider through the brake handles. We always have a backup parachute, in case of any emergencies. Even though pilots are experienced and trained to make your flying experience safe and fun, a little turbulence owing to weather conditions once in a while is normal.
While landing, you are asked to be ready to run upon touchdown. Most landings are gentle, where you stop as soon as your feet touch the ground.
4. Are there any specific passenger qualifications for Tandem Paragliding?
There are no qualifications to be able to Tandem Paraglide other than willingness and the spirit of adventure. You should be in a good physical health and mentally health and weighing less than 100 kg.
You are given a liability waiver form to carefully read and sign before flying. For individuals below 18, a parent or legal guardian must sign it.
5. What should I know about the safety of flying tandem?
Paragliding is as safe as flying in a commercial flight. There can be turbulence, aborted launches, and cancelled flights due to weather conditions. Sometimes flights are cut short or routes changed due to air currents and the passenger’s comfort.
6. What should/ can I bring with me?
We will provide lockers for you to store your belongings in, while you are out flying. Don’t carry anything except for a camera perhaps, and that too secured with a strap. And remember to wear boots that are sturdy and can be securely fastened.