Now, to be accurate and truthful, the situation in Europe has been much worse in recent years, regarding total fatalities. In 2005, only 50 accident reports relating to paragliding were received, which was a five year low. In 2005 in the U.S., 32 pilots or passengers suffered paragliding injuries. Paragliders are being flown in thousands of locations around the world. Would you be interested in seeing some paragliding action in some spectacular surroundings? I’m about to highlight just a few exceptional places on this planet where there is a lot of paragliding activity from time to time. You have probably guessed by now that this article is aimed at those who haven’t thought about actually flying in a paraglider. Most of the locations below do offer opportunities to get a ride in a tandem paraglider if you so desire!
Many members of the public roll up at Torrey Pines Gliderport in Southern California. Here, they can see paragliders and hang gliders launch from the cliffs into the Pacific Ocean breeze. Famous for many years for being a busy hang-gliding site, paragliders have become commonplace too in recent years.
It’s commonplace for the general public to see paragliders quite close-up as they soar along the cliffs. The district of Miraflores, in particular, is a nice area for shopping and dining, in full view of the Pacific ocean and all the swift action. Either way, you are sure to see paragliders sooner or later, provided weather conditions are favorable.
Hartbeespoortdam, South Africa.
Some say the area looks a bit like Switzerland as a result! To view paragliders, it’s hard to beat a cable car trip on the Hartbeespoortdam Cableway, which is, in fact, the longest mono cableway in Africa. Soaring birds such as the Black Eagle, Fish Eagle, and White Backed Vulture are often joined by paraglider and hang-glider pilots.
Now to the winter paradise of Voss, in Norway. There is a park where you can just relax and maybe spot a paraglider or two approaching from the nearby mountain, overflying a fjord on the way. For those unaware of their existence, powered paragliders (PPG) look much like a parachute flying along with an engine strapped to the parachutist’s back. Paragliding under power is a natural extension to the sport of paragliding. Most power paraglider pilots just buzz along at or under 150 meters (500 feet) or so, slowly and breezily getting from A to B. And a wonderful sport it is.
Yes, powered paragliders have been used a lot in advertising. People are looking up at the paraglider going overhead can’t fail to see the huge, brightly colored words or logo. A paraglider can get in low and close to a large crowd, gaining great exposure for the advertiser.
You don’t need an engine to take still pictures or video footage from a paraglider. In these cases, a passenger does all the photography, letting the pilot concentrate on flying. Operating powered paragliders is also very economical.