FAQ – What is Paragliding

Paragliders Association, Singapore
Home of the Singapore Freeflyers

Frequently Asked Questions about Paragliding

What is paragliding?

Paragliding is most likely the easiest way to fly – and for sure the lightest. For thousands of years, flying has been a dream of human being and being able to pack your aircraft into just a backpack and carry it around with you while hiking is something that amazes non-flyers always.
The pilot is sitting in a harness which is connected to the wing over several lines. It’s the ultimate experience of freedom. And despite not using an engine but just the power of you – while launching – and of the wind – while in the air – makes it possible to stay in the air for hours and hours. This is possible through thermal up-draft or constant stronger winds that blow up a hill. 

I am a rookie and I want to fly!

1. Can I learn paragliding in Singapore? 

Unfortunately, there are no flyable sites in Singapore and to-date there are no certified instructors in Singapore (despite the number of skilled pilots). The only option to obtain a paragliding license is unfortunately overseas but given the steep learning curve, one is advised to acquire theoretical lessons and basic ground handling techniques locally. Subject to demand and availability, introductory sessions can be arranged. This has proven to shorten the learning curve!

2. Are there any foreign training schools that you can recommend?

We are more than happy to share with you where we learned. But as different schools have different standards/cost/duration, coupled with the complications in locality of license issued, please contact us and we will respond according to your needs. However we can provide a list of schools (and fees) around the region for considerations. A basic introductory course typically ranges from 3 to 14 days.

3. What is the membership requirement?

Anyone above 18 years-old! As long as you agree to abide by our constitutions and your doctor concurs that your heart is up for the adrenaline rush, the sky is your limit. We even have grandfathers in our group!

4. How long does it take to learn?

A life time!
Jokes apart, it takes 3 to 5 days of lessons (in a school with certified instructors) on the ground before your first solo flight. Once you have done your first solo flight, you still have to build-up your experience and confidence to be able to fly safely independently. To be able to fly solo without guidance (licensed pilot), one would expect a minimum 14 days of intensive instructor-guided flying.

5. How much does the equipment cost? 

Basic equipment consists of glider, harness, reserve and helmet. A fully brand new set will probably set you back by about S$4,500 not considering other (optional) peripherals such as variometer, GPS, radio, flight deck etc. You can get a full set for less than half of that if you are getting second-hand equipment though. And unlike golf, there’s no green fee! Once you are certified, travel with your glider and the sky is your limit. But remember, different gliders have different performance and characteristics. Never fly in a glider that is beyond your limit.

I am already a paragliding pilot!

1. Can I fly in Singapore? 

To date, paragliding activity is not yet listed by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore. More info on the allowed aerial activities can be found here. We have contacted CAAS and we are awaiting their reply. With the geography, the density of estates and number of restricted airspace in Singapore, our options are limited. However, it is very important for Singapore to allow ground handling activities to allow us to train and practice in order to fly safely overseas. We trust that CAAS would be receptive to our request. 
Let us know if you come across any suitable sites and we can explore together.

2. Can I do ground-handling in Singapore?

Depending on wind conditions, Marina Bay Cruise Centre, East Coast Park, Tampines and Tuas Avenue 7 are spots that we regularly use to master our gliders handling skills. Note that all these sites are open to public too, and such places are crowded with weekend joggers and children cycling. Do give way and signal early to avoid collisions. Refer to the ground handling page for more information.

3. Can I join you guys to fly? 

You are definitely welcome! Different sites have different levels of difficulty requiring different level of experience. We require one to sign up as a member, then we will advise you on the trips that might be more suitable for you, depending on your readiness. For beginners, we hope that you can trust our advices and follow to trips that are adapted to your current skills. This is important for your safety, and ours. 

4. When is the next trip?

Read our news section or refer to our homepage for the latest trip plans.
Depending on flying season, we plan regular trips to nearby countries (Jugra, Bahau, Maninjau, Bali, Taiwan, China, Nepal and others). In addition, individuals also post their respective paragliding trips to our group and members are invited to join.
Looking for a buddy to fly? Come join our Association and you will be updated on coming activities.

16 answers to questions you will never ask again once you are a pilot

On the flip side, these are ANSWERS to QUESTIONS that you will frequently use to reply to onlookers.

  1. No, I’m not on a back packing trip
  2. Yes, this is a paragliding back pack
  3. No, paragliding is not the delta-shaped one, that one is hang-gliding
  4. Around 15 to 20kg
  5. No, I don’t jump, I take off
  6. Yes, it can be controlled
  7. As long as I want – between 2 minutes and 10 hours
  8. Thermals go approximately up to the clouds
  9. Clouds smell of humid air
  10. No, I’m not afraid
  11. No, I won’t crash
  12. If something happens, I have a reserve parachute
  13. Around 4500 SGD
  14. You have to learn it
  15. No, there are no air holes
  16. In every country except in Singapore

If you know all the questions, you’re a pilot or ready to be!

PGSG Group Singapore