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Article : Luke’s experience

I remembered the first lesson, it was a cold summer morning in Queenstown of New Zealand, there were only 2 new students that day,

This article was contributed by our member Luke

29 January 2019, Tuesday

I remembered the first lesson, it was a cold summer morning in Queenstown of New Zealand, there were only 2 new students that day, me and a Canadian. I remembered that we spent almost the entire day running around the training ground learning the correct way of taking off, how to control direction with the handles. I remembered there was a mild slope that we ran down from, that was the first time my feet left the ground under a paraglider… for a whooping 3 seconds! I remembered that 50m hill that we did our take off and landing training at, I fell face down on the 3rd attempt at landing.

Then came the next day where we were driven up to the mountain 780m above the ground for the real deal. At that time I could not believe that we were flying solo, albeit supervised, that was only the second day mind you! However, we had very experienced instructors to guide us at every point in flight. The rest they say is history, I have been flying since December 2016 and I hope that I could fly way beyond December 2066.

I am sure every pilots have their own memorable stories of their first attempts at this sport, some maybe so senior that their first was 20 years ago and they may not even remember it!

However, not all are so fortunate to be able to do that. Every now and then we will receive ill news of pilots dying, and we all pray that when we see the news we do not see familiar names, after which we all pray that we never see such news again.

Here is a little extract from an email blast I received from the New Zealand paragliding association sometime ago when one of their member was killed in an accident-

Extract from email

We do not want to be that person who have spoken to someone who perished in an accident, and we sure do not want to put our flying buddies in those shoes.

A letter to new pilots or even pilots who have not flew for some time (including myself sometimes),

It is important that you know what you are doing before bringing that canopy up and running towards the horizon for once your feet leaves the ground anything short of a perfect landing at the correct place will get your injured, from a minor scratches to major fractures.

After getting that rating card that has your name on it, when finally certified to fly solo unsupervised, some will feel they are the best and they can do anything. The thought of flying with the eagles, looking down at this good earth from above, flying along the mountains enjoying the views previously only birds could have and men could only dream of. But please take baby steps, there is a reason why nature designed us that way, we do not learn to walk (in this case fly) before we can stand. Take advice from the local pilots, err on the safe side, if you don’t feel right then perhaps you should wait even if others keeps nudging you to go, it is your flight, your life and nobody should dictate what you should do. You are responsible for yourself.

We are not only here for a good time but for a long time, so fly safe fly smart your future depends on it. I’ll see you guys in the skies!

PGSG Group Singapore

One reply on “Article : Luke’s experience”

Hi Can I have Luke Zi Xian Yong contact or if he can call me at +65 90065612
As we 4 pax like to learn and like to know which school is best to go to ?

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