Association News Member Articles

News : Annual General Meeting 2023

Paragliders Association Singapore Annual General Meeting 2023

Announcement to Members of Paragliders Association, Singapore : The AGM for the year 2023 shall be held on 6th May 2023 over online teleconference at 5pm SGT. Please attend this as the future of the association will be decided here.

The agenda for the AGM is as follows:

  1. Recap and update on any matters arising from previous minutes
  2. PGSG members registry
  3. Finances
  4. Annual fees
  5. Committee members
  6. Special agendas
  • Fate of PGSG
  • Payment of annual fee to AFS

PGSG Group Singapore

Association News Member Articles

Article : Luke’s experience

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

Association News Member Articles Paragliding Equipment

Article : Buying your Paragliding Gear

Wonder what considerations to make when buying new paragliding gear? Read this article by our senior member Ivan Chang.

From time to time, we receive queries on purchasing of equipment (especially from students/new pilots). Here is a list of questions for reference:

Paragliders Consideration

EN rating: A is beginner, En B is intermediate and C/D are advance/competition wings only recommended to frequent. Low En rating is more tolerant to pilot’s input error, but lower in performance (means poorer glide ratio). High En gliders on the other hand has better performance but might be too agile/responsive for students to handle. It is recommended to progress from low En rating (after flying at least 30 hours in varying/thermic condition, acquiring stably relatable landing skills before upgrading)Ensure all equipment (including glider, harness, reserve and helmets) are En/DHV certified. Read feedback from online (careful as a lot of sites are sponsored these days), gather feedback from fellow community and test fly where possible.

Year of glider release:

Technology advance quite rapidly. Gliders that are released more recently will have advance in design over one that is 2-3 years older.
Weight range
Different gliders have different weight range. For safety (lower chance of collapse and faster to recover), it is recommended to fly in 2/3 or ¾ of all-up weight range.

Harness Design

There are different types of harness designs including air bag, versus foam. Reversible, front loading versus rear loading reserve. A lot of people prefer air bag versus foam as it has smaller packing volume. However air bag needs to be inflated for it to take effect (can take up to 30sec after take off), but this is most vulnerable stage of flying as accident usually occurs during this stage. Front reserve container allows pilots the flexibility of removing bulky reserve and fly/GH without reserve. However front containers will also obstruct pilot/take off marshal’s ability to check and confirm carabiners are correctly striped in. Many piolots prefers reversible harness as it avoids pilot having to carry additional packing bag. However to handle reversibility, many harnesses sacrifice safety/comfort. In addition, any wear and tear during transit of these reversible harness will render harness’ airbag void from service. Note that different harness design suits different body size, flying pattern and skills. Eg. Performance harness has lower carabiner connection points, allowing easier weight shift, but might be too unstable for beginner pilot. Oversized harness will get thrown around in harness, but if it is too small, one cannot easily sit into the harness and risk spinning.

Considerations when buying a Reserve:

Many different types in the market including Pulled-down apex, square, round, steerable, Rogallo, etc and each has it’s pros and cons. Important is – make sure you have the resources/know-how to have them repacked. (Recommended to repack/inspect every 6 months especially given humid climate in Singapore – eg. use of low grade rubber bands that melts in tropical weather).
· Packing volume/weight, rate of descent,. rate of pendulum, Critical Loading (how much G force reserve can sustain).
· Date of manufacture – Reserves has maximum lifespan of ten years (reduced if not maintained properly). Check date of manufacturing to ensure reserve bought are new.

Compatibility Test

Whilst glider, harness and reserve are En certified. However it does not implies they are all compatible. For example, we have seen reserves cannot be deployed even after handle is fully extended, reserve bridle is of different length from harness design, reserve is too big and cannot fit into harness or too small and wobble in compartment, harness connection point is too low for glider etc.

Renting versus buying

Considerations for buying versus renting are:
· With regular flying, one might over-perform training gliders very soon.
· Students pilots are prone to land in bush/tree and heartache if you damage new gliders.
· During training, the availability of choice to upgrade or downgrade depending on wind strength.
· Having own glider will allow pilot to be familiar with own glider characteristic, not having to share, more flexibility/time in GH and not having to accustom in every flight.

Buying new versus second hand:

When buying a 2nd hand equipment, best if you know the pilot. Check if glider has landed in salt water/tree/bush and exposure to UV. Line check (symmetric/asymmetric extension, internal breakage). Conduct porosity check. Check original source of glider (which dealer?) for availability of support/services. Check if manufacturer still supports in spare parts (line sets), reserve handles etc.

Dealer considerations

Perhaps this is one area that’s paid least attention. Paragliding equipment need to be serviced/inspected and hence dealer’s proximity, capability and service level are all very essential. Following outline considerations in choosing dealers:
– Product knowledge and technical skills to assess pilot’s flying capability and benchmarking against different brand/model
– Technical competency in performing annual checks including glider porosity check, stress points and weathering assessments, velcro adhesiveness, air in-take efficiency.
– Technical competency to perform compatibility test, deployment simulation, reserve installation and packing, line change, glider patch etc.
– Availability of assorted spare parts (eg. Brummel hooks, maillons, karabiners) and tools (eg. for reserve packing) locally.
– Efficiency and proximity for dealer in servicing safety notice (When a defect is reported on a certain product, manufacturer will issue safety notice to their dealers for recall and replacement of parts)
– General customer service (check with local community for feedback)

Paragliding Helmets

Some pilots choose to improvise with bicycle helmets rather than wearing helmets specially designed for paragliding. Whilst good bicycle helmets are also subjected to stringent impact test (2m drop on flat anvil – approx – 22.5kph) and CPSC Standard, they are not designed for paragliding.  Paragliding helmets are certified under European EN966 standards, which has its’ own Impact management, helmet stability, retention system strength and extend of protection requirements. Both sets of standards do overlaps, but there are also areas that are significantly different.  For example, paragliders need to be weary of line snag from helmet’s sharp edges/visors and generally needs broader area of protection  (consideration of open versus full face helmets). Note also that wearing of non-EN certified helmets/equipment might render your insurance being void in some countries.

PGSG Group Singapore