Tag Archives: flying

Weak Links

In all aviation the pilot is usually the weakest link… The purpose of a weak link is solely to prevent the tow force from increasing to a point that the glider can be stressed close to or beyond its structural limits. Lockouts can and do occur without increasing tow tension up until the point where […]

Tow Bridles

I love hang gliding. For me there is nothing that can compare to the joy of a quality cross country flight. Like many pilots I have discovered the easiest way of achieving this is by going towing. It’s been four years now since Rohan Holtkamp taught me how to ground tow. Since that time I’ve […]


Lockout. A word to send a tingle up even the most gung-ho pilots spine. Before we go on to look at lockouts in detail a brief description of the theory behind modern towing will be of great benefit. We all owe a lot to Donnel Hewitt, a physics professor and pilot, who in the late […]

Choosing a Helmet

In a recreational activity like hang gliding , there are significant risks of injury or death. Helmets on the market today offer varying degrees of protection. The purpose of this article is to provide a guide on how helmets work and what to look for when choosing one. You need a helmet whenever you fly. […]

Choosing a Hang Gliding / Paragliding School

G.W. Meadows Many of you reading this have either just had your first experience with hang gliding/paragliding or are considering it. Hang gliding and paragliding are without a doubt the most exhilarating sports in which a person can participate, but sometimes a new pilot will have had a bad experience learning to fly that can […]


The human eye is a marvellous instrument. It is however distinctly different to a camera which can observe a 15 degree arc of horizon and bring everything at one distance into sharp focus. Our eyes can observe about a 200 degree arc of horizon at one glance, but not everything we see will be sharp. […]

From Parachutes to Paragliders

By Kurt Kleiner No one is exactly sure who invented the sport of paragliding. However, there are photographs and video footage of a group of skydivers flying their parachutes off of small hills in eastern Montana in the late seventies. At about this same time, a handful of climbers in the French Alps began to […]


Nearly every pilot will experience some degree of fear during their flying career. How we each deal with it can make the difference between reaping maximum enjoyment from our chosen sport or perhaps even choosing to abandon our dreams of free flight. Fear is a perfectly normal human reaction but if you think it is […]

Mid-air collisions

Do you know that pilots need a total of 12.5 seconds to avoid a collision? This is the time an American military study concluded was necessary to avoid a collision. That’s an awful lot of time! In 12.5 seconds two gliders on a head on collision course traverse 250-700 metres depending on their combined airspeeds. […]

The three skills of a graceful landing.

Whilst at the landing paddock the other day, I couldn’t help but notice that some pilots fail to land gently, instead they just “arrive” at the ground. In fact this is not just a localised occurrence, you will see it happen now and again all around the world. Have a look at the Brazil video. Many people […]