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Morning Flights


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I have been flying every available evening, when the weather has been right, but have not done much this summer.

The mornings seem ok, but im worried that gusts start to form by about 10 am (met office). at least when i fly in the evenings it usually calms down, should i, or shouldnt i try mornings??

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I tend to fly either evenings or mornings depending on other commitments etc etc.

Before about 10am at least in the morning, you wont be getting 'working thermals' before then, but might have to contend with dew on your flying site which is not good when landing and having a wrapped up damp wing?

Evenings about 5pm when thermic activity dies down.

I am still not brave enough to hit above average conditions with my low air time and brave thermic activity but I have to admit I have got it wrong sometimes and flown bumpy rides etc etc.

See 'Kent' postings

I do go to the field with te intention of flying and watch the sock for about 30mins and make my judgement then based on site conditions and reports.


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You might surprise yourself, its actually strange mindset of the paramotorist versus the paraglider pilot and I also find myself victim of falling into the "its too thermic" to fly syndrome when in actual fact its the most perfect time for Paragliding (and there isnt much that separates the two)

I think it could be as a powered flyer we are somewhat spoilt and of course a nice smooth flight is just the best. But if you take that into the paragliding world all your doing is top to bottoms and very quickly becomes boring.

The reality I think is that the wings we fly are designed to be taken into thermic lift and you just have to sit back and trust that the wing will do its job (just as it does for the countless PG pilots whom are searching out the bumpy air).

Morgy and I went out for a 1300hrs flight out of Guildford about 6 weeks ago, the wind sock on the ground was swinging all over the place which is a sure fire indicator its gonna be interesting. I had my vario running and as I was following Mark I could see him rocketing up in front of me which I knew meant in 4 seconds I to would be following him. The Vario that day was showing 10 up (I find a 2/3 up is starting to give you the belly butterflies, 10 up is like being on a roller coaster) But once I got past that fear and just settled down to trust the wing the flight was one of the best I have had. We ended up doing 35 miles over a 2 hour flight.

Another really memorable flight was above Lambourne and I was bouncing all over the sky but suddenly popped through inversion at about 4000 ft - from there to 6000ft was silky smooth and another world really.

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but i have a reflex wing, if the collapse, they really collapse. that is what worries me.

Also i have done gliding and GA - if i want to thermal ill use a glider, if i want to go somewhere ill take a plane (license no longer valid though, but you get my point) if i want to enjoy the view ill take the paramotor.

A paramotor has limitations and its when you exceed these that it gets dangerous, the way i see it paragliders go thermalling because they need to, we dont thats why we took up the sport, also when you hit a thermal and it lifts you the added g force may increases the weight being carried by the paraglider, possibly taking it over its rating. paragliders crash more often possibly because of the conditions that they fly in?

To sum up - Ive already broken an ankle doing this sport and it hurt - a lot!! i dont want to do it again (or worse)

sorry if this sounds like a rant but i know the limits of what i fly

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With you all the way on that Rob. Biggest buzz is rocketting up to base at over 100 ft/min whilst engine idling. And if you loose lift you can power up and steer right back in again. But I notice the author flys a big reflex wing so I'm not sure but thermalling might be better on slow to neutral setting and tucks might be more frequent with a low wing loading. Not that they're much to worry about if you have altitude. If windy and thermic it can get a bit rough up there though. If you haven't thermalled but would like to I would say read up and get a bit more instruction perhaps and put 3 windsocks in a big triangle. When they all point the same way you might get a better landing. If you hit sink on flare get ready to power up to soften the landing or go round again for another approach.

When you start to enjoy it you'll get one of these


or even one of these


instead of this


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Bignos please rant away - this is a forum for that very purpose and I for one do not take any offense.

I also have a reflex wing (Fusion) and DHV 1 PG (Apco Karma) having just returned from the Alps flying I tried the Fusion with and without engine in high thermic days, did I pap myself - you bet, but the wing didnt fly any differently on slow trim than my Karma. It went up to Base exactly the same. I did wear a GPS and the only main difference was forward speed although the day I took the Fusion from launch @4000ish it was blowing a bit of a gale and my down wind track was 41 mph which I very much doubt my Karma would do. Sink rate on both wings 2 down on average (which incidentally is also the sink with the engine idling, 4 down with engine off).

Even with my Karma although it does scare you the wing does tuck and collapse, but these happen very quickly and are out before you can do anything about it. That day with Mark I watched his right wingtip fold under itself - again the wing was still flying superbly.

Flying fullstop is dangerous and in short like you not everytime do I want to land exhausted after thinking any second I am going to have to chuck the reserve and try out the alternate landing method. But I am also aware enough that these wings are designed to take the thermal punishment and if I did not have the engine I would be waiting for the most thermic part of the day before going jumping off a hill, and I wouldnt give it a second thought.

Happy Flying and remember its all about the fun factor!!

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I think I sit somewhere in the middle on this one........its not a nice feeling to have taken off and then wish you hadnt.....

But how do you know untill youve done it...... :?

Yes I can cope with all the bouncing around but if Im honest I like it smoooth.......I have before now wished I was back on the ground more than a few times with both with the paramotor and the microlight.....

( ive often asked myself the question why the F**k am I doing this ) and made promises to be a good person if I land safely ...

GOD PLEASE LET ME LAND SAFELY Just this once :cry:

yet I still have to go up when even when I know its going to be a bumpy flight......I dont understand Why ......

After all its not going to hurt one little bit (untill you touch the ground) :shock:

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You're not wrong Eddie.

Everyone has their preferences and not all are the same, bar one perhaps, we all want to live. Coping with rougher air and a desire to thermal can come with experience, but it's certainly not compulsory, if you know how to pick the smoother conditions to fly. Thermalling is great fun though and it will expand your piloting ability. One thing it will do is to conquer some of that fear you feel when you're out on one of your smooth flights and it gets unexpectedly rough, because you'll probably be more able to keep the wing over your head. The skill also helps with some of the fuel tasks in comps too. Best to build up in small steps and send someone more experienced up there first to assess the conditions for you. Weakening conditions, toward the end of the afternoon, wont knock your confidence as much as building conditions at the start of the morning perhaps. I did want to get down as early as 9 am, once last year !!!!! I think that was part of your original question Bignos. Hope that helps ?

If you're ever in Devon and you'd like us to be dummies for you, you'd be welcomed to join us.


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Its obviously all down to experience?

I still poop it but when on th eground relieved and start to plan th enext flight?!

I am just, just ,just getting to grips with my relex and will be pushing it until I know my limits......................safely!!!!!

Bumps in the sky scare the shite out of me but I'm still here?!

I do sometimes ponder like you though?!


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